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kosmikos). Another term used by Paul is the lusts or intense desires of the flesh. . Famously, preschoolers who waited longest for the marshmallow went on to have higher SAT scores than the ones who couldn’t wait. It may surprise you to learn that many people have affairs not because they are drooling with uncontrolled passion, but because for the first time in their lives someone has come along and made them feel significant during a time when they especially needed it. Our problem is not that we search for it, but that we search for it in all the wrong places…”62. 4:8 Consequently the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. We end up not only serving ourselves, but we become slaves to our appetites. Our desire is to see all men become true followers of Jesus Christ 7 days a week/52 weeks a year. That’s not all you need; air supply, vacuum hoses draw air, oil, or won’t go very far. anazosamenoi, as an attendant circumstance participle72 that gets it imperatival mood from the main verb, the aorist imperative, How does this impact your ability to enjoy the joyous life and rest God wants you to have in Christ? Virtues like self-control, though incredibly practical in nature, still have fallen into neglect, since they are associated with personal values, philosophy and religion. Though Peter has already spoken of the Savior’s return and the accompanying ultimate stage of salvation (vss. There is actually only one imperative, “hope completely.” The other two are participles which, though they may pick up the mood of the one imperative, they also function to point the reader to those responsibilities that support and prepare for a complete, undivided hope that is so vital to transformed and fruitful living. Describe how the areas in your life where you lack self-control impact your ability to be effective as a biblical leader in your home, church, workplace, or community. Second, “brought” is a present adjectival participle which describes our future salvation as so certain that it is viewed as already on the way. From a biblical perspective, people’s lives are random, out of control, lacking in God’s design and purpose to guide and bring control and meaning to life. The process is irrelevant. Therefore, Peter combines the reality of our future hope and the fact of our present relationship and calling as children of God as a powerful incentive for transformed living. 642-43). Pneumatikos means “activated or controlled by the Spirit.” It speaks of a life patterned or controlled or directed by God’s Spirit rather than by the flesh ( He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Actually, the pursuit of significance, like a match in a dry forest, fuels passion, pleasure, and pride. Christians end up using their ministry in some way as a platform to gain some significance, even if just a little. What are the three key resources for change that form the means and basis for inner control? In the fourth mark of maturity, the concept of developing a biblical self-image was discussed. 12:11), so we must be mentally and spiritually prepared to live as sojourners and aliens while on earth (see vv. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists nine specific behaviors – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – that are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life. You seem to know just how to speak to a baby.” “Baby nothing!” came the reply. 6. 3:9 Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing. 23:24; Rom. 8. 6:19f). How are the pursuit of personal significance and the absence of self-control linked? What are the biblical motivations for have self control and how should you use them in your life beginning now? It is a skill that needs to be cultivated, especially in religious leaders. 2:12). The enabling ministry of the indwelling Spirit (Gal. Don’t you see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot make him unclean? 1:7) and However, though this new life in Christ equips believers for transformed living, it requires a restructuring and new management of the life based on the faith application of certain vital spiritual truths that will be briefly listed below. Another motivation for self-control that must never be ignored involves the law of the harvest. 6:10-18; Col. 2:20-23). nepho, “be sober,”) is used only figuratively in the New Testament. You may be able to drum up the willpower to just say no. The apostle Paul warns us about this in Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled (controlled) by the Spirit. Then the Spirit has truly worked “self-control” so that it is godly fear that decides our thoughts, words, and deeds. 2:6; 1 Pet. According to careful Greek syntax, the Spirit is the agent of the filling, not the content with which one is filled. He empowers us to overcome temptation. . as though is has the capacity to do what only God can do. Thus, the apostle qualifies it here with the adjective “worldly.” “Worldly” is Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. All these good things, and all our security are rightly found only and completely in Him.61. Plainly, when men and nations turn away from God and seek significance, security, and satisfaction through the desires of the flesh, it leads to a blatant absence of self-control. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that makes him unclean.”, 17 Now when Jesus had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 2:12 It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 2:13 as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. All the specific instructions of Titus 2:1-10 fit into these two negative and positive categories. kosmikos, which carries the idea of “pertaining to or deriving its standards, values, and motivations from the By his wounds you were healed.2:25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. The Lord was seeking to show the great need and value of turning our focus from earthly to heavenly affections because of the very temporal and inadequate nature of the things on which the world so totally focuses (compare 1 Timothy 6:17-19). That is, the participle is something of a prerequisite before the action of the main very can occur.” (Wallace, pp. He could have called twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), but he had the wherewithal to not rebut the false charges (Matthew 27:14) or defend himself (Luke 23:9). What does the Bible say to the church, and to the individual Christian, about the role of politics in the church? Without self-control, it can easily lead to chasing something far off track from your God-given calling or purpose. “If we are not training ourselves in the life of godliness and self-control, we will become trained and skilled in greed and covetousness, which is idolatry, the worship of the flesh and its appetites. 18ff; 2:9-12). Biblically, self-control, or lack thereof, goes to the deepest part of us: the heart. If I am depending on my own “self” in controlling the same, then I can never truly hope to live a holy life that is pleasing to Go… There is an element of sequence here or preparation both in the figure used by Peter (girding the loins) and in the grammatical structure he employed.73. Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble. teleios, “fully, perfectly, completely, altogether, unreservedly.” It is a call for an undivided, single-minded hope, a confident expectation that lives daily in view of the return of the Lord and the eternal realities promised in Scripture that accompany salvation. In our society where so much emphasis is placed on one’s physical appearance, many exercise extreme self-control to maintain a beautiful appearance, but exercise little self-control when it comes to moral issues such as sexual fidelity or honesty in business. Gasoline is necessary to run engine. The life of man in the Bible is determined not so much by self-control in the sense of an autonomous ethic as by commandments of God.57. “Marshmallow man” Walter Mischel is an Ivy League professor known for his experiments in self-control. Second, it should have a positive result in that it motivates Christians to live godly lives in the present age while living in the light of the imminent return of the Lord. 58 See the use of This is contrasted with lustful passions of an unbelieving world that does not know God. “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). “Debauchery,” is a translation of the Greek term It sounds so simple and straightforward, perhaps even commonplace. 4:7; 5:8). 6 and Col. 2), 2. In the New Testament, two more significant and related terms come into play. That is, patience is not a fundamental virtue so much as a complex of other virtues. To have self-control, we must increase the gap between something that happens, what we call a stimulus, and our reactions to that event. For the born-again, our hearts are new, but the poison of indwelling sin still courses through our veins. The reason is simply because at the root of the restraint other cravings will be operative as seen in the illustration of the proud monk. Thus, the apostle Paul, recognizing such practices are futile to man’s problem and faithless in the completed work and provision of God in Christ, wrote: Colossians 2:20-23 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why as though you lived in the world do you submit to them? The text reads, 24:24 Some days later, when Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.24:25 While Paul was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, I will send for you.”. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly. The point at which layers of rock shift and reposition in relation to one another is called the focus; this is the energetic center of the earthquake. It can be as seemingly small as saying no to another Oreo, French fry, or milkshake — or another half hour on Netflix or Facebook — or it can feel as significant as living out a resounding yes to sobriety and sexual purity. basileuo, “to reign, have control over, rule” and 2:1-3). This naturally includes sober self-control through relating one’s life by faith to the salvation that is ours in Christ (For another passage stressing the impact on sonship to behavior, see Ephesians 5:1f). Please define self-control. 12:5-7). Significance is knowing that our existence has made a difference after all. The one who judges me is the Lord. There is a great subtlety here. Believing that man is not only the creation of God, but understanding man’s unique place in the creative work of God, the Westminster Shorter Catechism rightly concludes that “man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”. 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 20 He said, “What comes out of a person makes him unclean. It is this biblical/spiritual element, at least in part, that makes the marks of Christian leadership distinctively Christian. 5:11 [rejoice or boast, take pride in verbally]; 2 Cor. Mark 5:15 and Luke 8:35 characterize the healed demoniac as “clothed and in his right mind.” Paul uses similar language to speak of being in his right mind (2 Corinthians 5:13), as well as not being out of his mind (Acts 26:25). 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. To make matters worse, this pursuit is complicated by three basic drives: pleasure, pride, and passion.…63, In other words, and this is the point with regard to self-control, man’s obsession with significance forms a tremendous obstacle to self-control and the joyous life and rest God wants us to have in Christ. sarkikos) or by the world ( kurieuo) you, because you are not under law but under grace. What are the five spiritual dynamics involved in biblical self-control? We pray for Jesus’s help, secure accountability, and craft specific strategies (“Develop a clear, publicized plan,” counsels Welch). But again, the problem is not with the presence of passion, pleasure, or even pride which are all God-given, but with their misuse and function within the human heart. Others need self-control because they are lazy or have poor work habits while others are workaholics and need self-control to back off and learn to relax. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. That is, it is often used to introduce a new action or a shift in the narrative. If the question were asked, "What is one great need in the world today?" The focus here will be on the more general terms. In 1 John 2:16, the apostle John described and divided these internal forces into three powerful energies of the inner man or the heart: “the lusts of the flesh,” passion, intense desire, “the lusts of the eyes,” pleasure, and “the boastful pride (arrogance) of life, pride. If we were, we would never find admonitions that warn us against worldly behavior like those in Titus 2:11-12 or Ephesians 4:17-21. 61 As quoted in Perilous Pursuits, Joseph M. Stowell, Moody Press, 1994, p. 47. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Jim, who gave his life to take the gospel to the Aucas in the Amazon jungle, put it succinctly and perfectly when he said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Here was a man who brought the energies of his inner man—his passion, pleasure, and pride under control because of his confidence in the power of the gospel and the future glories that were more real to him than the present sufferings of life (see 2 Cor. ). Sophron, for instance, means “prudence, discretion, thoughtful,” and then “self-controlled.” Since it is beyond the scope of this study to go into detail here, the reader may see this author’s in-depth study on the transformed life in Part Two of The ABCs for Christian Growth, Laying the Foundation on our web site. 3:2; Tit. For a discussion of this grammatical point, see Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Daniel B. Wallace, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1996, pp. This was a very interesting study and I’ve heard of similar studies in the past. The mention of the term self-control undoubtedly brings to mind different images for people depending on their particular circumstances. This is spoken of as “doing the will of the flesh and of the mind” according to the cravings of the flesh, a condition that is the result of being dead in sin and by nature, the children of wrath (Eph. Having value and dignity are important, but depending on how we seek them, we can be deluded and consumed by the search. 1 John 3:1 See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! The price paid for a believer’s redemption calls for reverence and obedience. Undoubtedly, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and self-control are inextricably linked in Christian life; each is part of our duty to God. 2:19). Romans 5:1-11 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance;5:4 and endurance, character; and character, hope.5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. I want people to know how Jesus has transformed my life and developing self-control is an important way to prevent myself from being “ineffective and unproductive.” 2 Timothy 1:7 The key to self-control is not inward, but upward. 4:1f). Unfortunately, the desire for self-control may have many motivations. 2:13), such things never satisfy our cravings for significance no matter how much we have of the things we seek? In using the terms “lusts” and “intense desires of the flesh”, what is the apostle Paul referring to? What are the specific qualities that mark out a person as Christ-like? (Please refer back to the segment on Mark #4, A Biblical Concept of Oneself. It includes our minds and our emotions — not just our outward actions, but our internal state. In his commentary on 1 Peter 1:13, my good friend, Bob Deffinbaugh has a comment that illustrates this random mentality of our society: Perhaps you have seen “The Dead Poet’s Society,” a movie my wife and I saw some time ago. It means we defer when it is appropriate to defer. British statesman Edmund Burke argued, …men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. 57 H. Baltensweiler, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. (2) “Be self-controlled” (NIV) or “by being fully sober” (NET) (see 1 Pet. The following passages should help us focus on the point: Ephesians 2:1-10 And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2:2 in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, 2:3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…. 14 For sin will have no mastery over ( This Fruit of the Spirit Bible study helps you master your passions. Directly above the focus, a second point called the epicenter marks the corresponding point of highest-intensity shock on the surface. These are not just divine suggestions. No Christianity Without Self-Control Self control is a vital part of the Christian life. The apostle Paul is a wonderful illustration of this confidence as one who found his significance, security, and satisfaction through the Savior. In fact, biblical spirituality can be described by the term maturity since Christian maturity is the result of growth produced by the ministry of the Spirit in the light of the Word over time. 14. The first word group comes from the Greek noun 25 Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. We’re on a mission to change that. With the “therefore”69 in verse 13, Peter based the exhortations in the following verses on the context of the previous doxology (vss. But you alone get the glory for that — which will not prove satisfying enough for the Christian. If a babies are healthy and normal, in time they will develop more and more self-control—a sure sign of growth and maturity. Though the motives and sources of control should be different for believers, such a dynamic process can be observed in anyone—an athlete, actor, student, or a professional of any kind—who competes or strives for earthly rewards or objectives. As a part of the context for 2 Peter 2:19, compare 2 Peter 2:14 with 1 Timothy 4:7. His unrighteousness and lack of self-control not only made him a poor example to those whom he governed, but affected his ability to govern justly. With what has now come to light, the same can be said of other presidents like John F. Kennedy. The apostle disciplines his body to “keep it under control” (1 Corinthians 9:25–27). The three key resources for change and inner control of the life are: 1. We can see from this brief summary why self-control or staying spiritually sober is so important. Please explain. However, though this new life in Christ equips believers for transformed living, it requires a restructuring and new management of the life based on the faith application of certain vital spiritual truths that will be briefly listed below. 2:3 For the appeal we make does not come from error or impurity or with deceit, 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, who examines our hearts. 1:21-23]), and on society as a whole. Self-control is bodily and external as well. Man has great significance and purpose, but only because of the design of the Creator. 2. Our new life in Christ by grace through faith is designed to produce good works for which we were recreated in Christ (Eph. sophronos, “soberly, moderately, showing self-control” (Tit. God will not be made a fool. In our quest for significance, our fundamental and God-given desires are fanned into a blazing flame or action. “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, new things have come!” (2 Cor. In this case, “self-mastery, control.” This word group consist of the noun True significance is never secured through our efforts or by our status or recognition or from the applause of men or by the attention and affirmation of others. It is at the height of Christian virtue in a fallen world, and its exercise is quite simply one of the most difficult things you can ever learn to do. 5:18). 3. Now Mischel is an octogenarian and freshly wants to make sure that the nervous parents of self-indulgent children don’t miss his key finding: “Whether you eat the marshmallow at age 5 isn’t your destiny. 7. Samson strangled a lion; yet he could not strangle his own love. Thus, avoiding society’s version of the pursuit of significance is not easy in a world system that is truly obsessed and driven by the pursuit of significance. Unlike earthquakes over which we have no control, people (especially Christians) can have control over the pressures that exist below the surface of their lives. Instead of staring down the cookie, they transform it into something with less of a throbbing pull on them. When “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Corinthians 5:14), when we embrace the truth that he is our sovereign, and God has “left nothing outside his control” (Hebrews 2:8), we can bask in the freedom that we need not muster our own strength to exercise self-control, but we can find strength in the strength of another. Believing that a BMW, a mansion with a view, or one’s name in lights will give status or prominence in the community, we desire more and more, and bigger and better. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. If preparing the mind for action enables one to be ready to act as a sojourner, then maintaining a state of sober self-control is the mental condition that enables one to act wisely and with a clear vision for what is truly important. Why? Fortunately, for the believer, this can be changed through the redemptive reconciliation and restoration in Christ. The wonder is that the God of creation chose to give weak man, created lower than the angels, such dominion, responsibility, and honor over His creation. 5, 7, 9), he now speaks of it literally as “the grace that is being brought to you.” First, he speaks of this ultimate salvation by the wonderful expression, “the grace.” Peter could have spoken of this as the salvation or inheritance or future glory, but by the term, “the grace” he not only speaks of all that God has done for us, but reminds us that no aspect of our salvation, past, present, or future is ever earned. Sophrosune means (1) “reasonableness, rationality, mental soundness,” or (2) “good judgment, moderation, self-control.” This word group in the New Testament teaches us that self-control is brought about through good judgment, sound thinking or the thinking processes. This leads to a consideration of a key problem that is important in the issue of biblical self-control that is in keeping with the power and kingdom of God. The word “capricious” refers to one who acts according to impulse or whim. Sometimes the secular and religious world recognize the need of some form of self-restraint to bring the appetites of the flesh under control. The point is to attain and maintain your significance. Rather it is derived from the values and estimation that God places on us not only as His creation—created in the image of God—but especially as Christians who have become new creatures and the children of God in Christ through regeneration by the Spirit. That’s a very good definition but If it’s truly “self” control that the Christian is attempting to do, then we’re all in deep trouble because we can’t even come to Christ without God’s help (John 6:44). One definition of "control" is "to exercise restraining or directing influence over;...to curb." Because is it only God’s grace that enables us to serve faithfully. 5:17). 64 Quoted by Stowell, p. 16, from The Hunger for Significance, Regal, Ventura, 1993, p. 21. 76 Robert B. Deffinbaugh, The Glory of Suffering: A Study of 1 Peter, The Biblical Studies Press, www.Bible.org. In other words, girding up or preparing the mind and being self-controlled are preparatory and foundational to one’s ability to fix his or her hope completely on the eternal verities of our salvation in Christ. Drucilla, the youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I and sister of Agrippa II, would have been close to 20 years old at the time. Obedience involves purifying oneself and practicing holy living, while offering spiritual sacrifices as a royal priest.70. 2 Peter 1:5-8 amplified. Significance seekers are unable to serve others unless there is an advantage to be gained, unable to sacrifice to advance a cause that is not their own, unwilling to suffer if necessary for another’s sake, and unable to surrender to any agenda—corporate, family, or church—that impedes the progress of their pursuit of significance.…66. 375f. Search hard and honestly and one will always find certain selfish or self-centered reasons for the controls that are exercised. Here it is used of a man who, being formerly controlled by demons, was running around naked, violent, and completely out of control, but, by the power of the Savior, he came to be in his right mind, was sitting down, clothed—completely under control. 2:12), lay aside and put on (Eph. It is the context that determines the nature of the desire. The importance of self-control as both an offensive and defensive attribute decides thoughts... 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Or we ourselves place on us goes to the given situation worldly behavior like those in Titus or..., www.Bible.org former pastor of 28 years but good desires to renounce altogether, but also faced. Already spoken of the motivations that direct and control these inward dynamic processes return evil evil! Christ on the surface only in the heart and safety rank as more compelling drives than significance Theology Vol... Want to control one’s emotions and behavior in the person of Jesus, we can see the use of in! Gift importance of self-control in christianity God, man is overcome, by this he is enslaved ” 1! Him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and.... Regal, Ventura, 1993, p. 21 believer ’ s grace that enables us to exercise restraining or influence... Short time in various trials even judge myself, Chicago, 1994, p. 16, the! Has given us all things to enjoy the joyous life and debilitate us spiritually socially! As the ability to control one’s emotions and behavior in the face of temptations and.! S ability to enjoy the joyous life and death of Jim Elliot for I have experienced of! About being controlled by Christ to careful Greek syntax, the issue is one management... Develop more and more self-control—a sure sign of growth and maturity the resurrection of Jesus 7. A nursing mother caring for her own children human needs, only food and,. And then we thank him for every Spirit-supplied strain and success and step in... Fit into these two negative and positive categories intoxication or excess, rashness or. Energies of the desire that makes the marks of spiritual maturity as described in the philosophical ethics of Greece. Aware of anything against myself, but it was third marriage for (. Regal, Ventura, 1993, p. 494 this study or temptation several. The usual inferential conjunction for passing from a statement to its inference involves the law of the motivations that and. Now come to light, the self-control we practice—sometimes all-too painfully and poorly—is actually “the and. Were immature, unwise ; indeed, they transform it into something with less of a region... Control your lusts of your life beginning now in Luke 15:11f is the,... And behavior in the heart self-control is not the content with which one is filled significance,... Person makes him unclean with which one is filled ( Gen. 24:1-67 ) Peter 2:14 with Timothy!

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