“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 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 1:5-8 (NKJV)
As believers in Jesus Christ, God has given us a new nature, but at the same time, we also have to deal with the old carnal nature. Self-control is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5—our new nature. In order for the fruit to grow we must stay connected to the vine! John 15:4 says “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
We shouldn’t say, “I just don’t have any self-control” because the truth is that we do have it, but it needs to be exercised in order to be strong. We can develop self-control by using it, just as we can develop muscles by using them.
Exercising self-control is a form of freedom. We don’t have to do what we feel like doing—that which comes naturally from carnal nature. We are free to do what we know is wise and good and Godly. Discipline and self-control will help us as the Holy Spirit works in us to become the person we want to be as followers of Jesus.
When we depend on Jesus and what He can do through us, there is no need to fear, for Jesus has no limits. He finished the work. He paid the price for all of our sins. He died in our place. We all slip and fall into sin at times, but God looks on us as righteous. The price of sin has been paid in full by the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. In John 19:30 Jesus said, “It is finished!” The victory has been won for all who call on the name of Jesus and depend completely on Him.
Father God, please help us to resist what is wrong and to do what is right through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Study by Allan Frankcom
Worldwide Church of God Bristol
Emmersons Green Village Hall
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