- Today we will Discuss Self-Control.
- KJV translates it as “temperance;” NIV, “self-control.”
- Greek – Egkrateia, “self-control,” lit., “take hold of.”
- It is not used Frequently in the NT. (Ac 24:25; 2 Pe 1:6; 1 Co 7:9; 1 Co 9:25; Ti 1:8)
- It is not used Frequently in the LXX (Greek OT). It is used to describe self-restraint, self-control, & self-discipline in matters of physical pleasure & emotion.
- Classical Greek: “the mastery of pleasure and desires.”
- It describes one who is in full control of himself so that he can restrain himself from every evil desire.
- The Apostolic Fathers have a Great Deal to Say…
I. It is a Gift of God.
II. It is One of the Pillars of the Christian Life.
III. It is an Ally of the Christian Life.
IV. It is the Way to Save the Soul.
V. It is the Mark of Christian Love.
VI. It is the Support of the Christian Church
- Self-Control Must Be Exercised in Every Aspect of Life: Physical Appetites – esp., Sexuality; Emotion; Spending; Habits; & Decisions.
- Self-Control is a Behavioral State, but How do we Attain it?
- Philosophy – Logic
- Religion – Denial of Pleasure
- Common Sense – Willpower
- Psychology – Habit
- The Bible – The Holy Spirit
The exclamation, “Get ahold of yourself!” usually followed by a slap to the face is a common TV and movie trope. It is the response to someone who has lost control of their emotions and is panicking or acting hysterical. While we certainly would not recommend a face slap as a strategy to help someone regain control, the exclamation is a literal translation of egkrateia, (self-control) our eighth fruit of the Spirit; it means to “take hold of” or “get ahold of” oneself. It is used to describe self-restraint, self-control, & self-discipline in matters of physical pleasure & emotion. Self-control is necessary for winning the prize at the end of our race.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (RSV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
The Spirit helps us to gain self-control.
Have a Great Week! Joey