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God‘s Marvelous Light Show us the way to SELF-CONTROL (Photo by Pastor Davis) Studying God’s word allows us to obtain knowledge of who God is, who we are and who we are in God.  

The Bible commands us to study to show ourselves approved; when we do this we reflect a wiliness to be obedient to God, thereby placing ourselves in a position in knowing that, “OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL!”

Studying God’s word allows us to obtain knowledge of who God is, who we are and who we are in God.  When we are able to gain such critical knowledge, and then begin to act on that knowledge, it leads us steady to having SELF-CONTROL over every aspect of our daily lives.

SELF CONTROL is one of the fruits of the Spirit; SELF-CONTROL refers to mastery over sinful human desires in every aspect of our life.  The Greeks considered this a highly prized virtue. Their focus, of course, was entirely on self-effort, but the problem was that self-effort always fails in the long run because it may control the body but does not affect inward desires.

Therefore, the WORD OF GOD speaks to us and says, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV)

The quality of SELF-CONTROL must then lead to patient endurance, the ability to steadfastly endure suffering or evil without giving up one’s faith.  Endurance is not a stoic indifference to whatever fate allows; rather, it springs from faith in God’s goodness and control over all that happens in believer’s lives.

Such endurance leads to godliness,  this is another word that is unusual to the New Testament, but common to Greek ethics lists of that day, we see that Paul emphasized godliness in the Pastoral Epistles as being the virtue that should characterize the life and conduct of the believers.  Godliness was the primary word for “religion” and referred to a person’s correct attitudes toward God and people, usually referring to performing obligatory duties.  Here we discover in 1st Peter the word describes an awareness of God in all of life – a lifestyle that exemplifies Christ and is empowered by him (the same word is used in (1st Peter 1:3).

We as Christians and believers must have a right relationship with God and right relationships with fellow believers.  The false teachers claimed such “godliness,” but were sadly lacking in reverence toward God and in good attitudes toward others.  For all believers, it is a requirement that if we want to obtain SELF-CONTROL over all aspects of our lives, we must work hard to prove that we really are among those God has called and chosen to reflect His teachings and training to overcome SELF.  Pause your thoughts and reading for a few minutes and watch this short video clip teaching on SELF-CONTROL.


Now listen to how Paul describes to us how he trained to gain SELF-CONTROL over his physical body.  He says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  (1 Corinthians (9:24-27 ESV).

In closing, I tell you that every believer should be putting out the kind of effort for the reward of God’s Kingdom that an athlete puts out to merely win a wreath.  In order to do so, it requires you to develop SELF-CONTROL and practice SELF-CONTROL daily.

Now let us learn the lesson of SELF-CONTROL that Paul teaches us in this Scripture, because he practiced what he preached.  He had to live by the gospel and therefore he practiced self-denial like the athletes just described in this Scripture.  Paul did not run the race aimlessly, nor was he like a boxer who misses his punches.  Instead, he kept his eyes focused on the goal, running straight for it, with purpose in every step.  He did not allow himself to be sidetracked and he did not waste time becoming lazy.  He kept on, disciplining and training his body.

Paul pictured life as a battle.  We as Believers must not become lazy for Satan seeks to cause us to stumble, sin continues to buffet, and sorrow and pain are a daily reality.  Instead of being bound by our bodies, we as believers must diligently discipline ourselves in our Christians lives in order to stay “in shape.”  When we truly learn to do this, we will be in the process of learning the truth and that is, “OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL!”


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