Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
It comes with God’s spirit. The word is somewhat counter-intuitive. It is by the power of God in us that we can accomplish what we should, but there is also the element that we have to do our part by using and engaging the holy spirit within us.
ἐγκράτεια egkrateia eng-krat’-i-ah From G1468; self control (especially continence): – temperance.
ἐγκρατής egkratēs eng-krat-ace’ From G1722 and G2904; strong in a thing (masterful), that is, (figuratively and reflexively) self controlled (in appetite, etc.): – temperate.
Acts 24:24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
Acts 24:25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
Why is “self-control” situated between these two giant spiritual pillars!
Our Will vs God’s Will
What Does God Want…
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
…for us to do His will and not our own.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
Titus 1:8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
Elements of self-control; Not self-willed, but what God wills!
Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power….
2 Peter 1:4 ….having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
- faith – God’s way of life
- virtue – moral fiber of the way of God
- knowledge – better understanding of God’s way; grow in knowledge of this way of life
- self-control – living within the way; moderation/restraint within the bounds
- perseverance – enduring and persisting in that way; self-control is not doing
- godliness – acting the way of God would [divine nature]; growing in the grace of God; put it to use;
- brotherly kindness – practicing that way; doing good especially to the household of God [this is his audience].
- love – completely encompasses the way of God
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. [human/Satan’s nature].
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2 Peter 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
2 Peter 1:13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
Jesus, the Example
Right before His betrayal and subsequent agonizing crucifixion here is what Jesus prayed
Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Is this what we would have done knowing what awaited Christ?
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Moving From What We Were to What We Should Be
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
Colossians 3:7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
The world is out of control – we were once like that as well – until we exhibited self-control
2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
2 Timothy 3:4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
We cannot change the world. We need to focus on ourselves which we have enough trouble trying to control.
Colossians 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Colossians 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
This is the Christian battle – the fight for mastery over who and what we are in an effort to become what we should be.
Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Personification of human nature
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Our natural self is not righteous; that is why we are to put on the righteousness of God
We cannot do this in and of ourselves, we need the help of God and He gives it to us through His spirit in the form of self control. This is the power that we have to tap into if we want and expect to win this ongoing battle.
Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Our strength alone is not enough.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Romans 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is hope!
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Because of this change: Romans 7:24-25, we are to walk a different way with the spirit of God in us. We do not walk in the carnal ways that we used to, but now I show Jesus Christ in me through all of my actions
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
By the power of the spirit of God living in us, we now have the ability to live the right way and no longer be bound to the wrong and have the death penalty looming over us.
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
To think on and go after the wrong things leads to death, and of course the opposite is true.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
It takes the mind of God in us and the self-control that comes with it to do all that God asks of us.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 9:25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Controlling Our Thoughts
James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
Lacking self-control is always going to be a continual issue for us, since we are not perfect. But we are to go on to perfection – this is what we are to be shooting for – but there will be bumps along the way.
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
James 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
We have conception, birth and maturation of sin. There is lust or desire and then after we think on it for too long the sin becomes evident and in the end if it is not overcome it leads to the final death. This is where self-control comes into play – any time before our judgment, we can turn around. The sooner the better. It is by far easier to nip it in the bud than wait for it to become habitual and ingrained in us:
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
It is our willingness to submit to God that aids us in fighting the negative powers affecting us.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Ephesians 4:26 “BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
Ephesians 4:27 nor give place to the devil.
Don’t give the devil a chance or an opportunity to work.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
We are of God if we recognize and overcome them [false prophets, false ministers; those that are anti-christ or against Christ and what He stands for]. We are able to accomplish this because of God in us.
Replacing Wrong Thoughts
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.
Seek those things which are above – set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
What do we need to control? It is our choosing of right over wrong. We can do this with God.
Are we choosing the Kingdom of God first or do we love the world more? (as our long term goal)
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If we have buried the old man and have the faith in/of Christ then we will act in a Godly way and produce this Godly fruit of self-control.
Revelation 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.