By Loren Due PhD, DMin
February 10, 2019
This article starts by defining self-control as the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations as defined by the Internet. This very detailed definition applies to most situations in life when one has taken the opportunity to control one’s life. This is not a favorite behavioral attitude of most people because it requires the individual to be self-accountable.
We start at this point because I believe this is where we should end in terms of human behavior in the church and the world. There are times it appears the world has a better self-image than some churches. I believe this because many people in the church lack detail understanding of what each aspect of the fruit of the Spirit means. I could be wrong and hope I am wrong about this lack of knowledge of some in the church.
Because if churches are teaching this last component which is number nine in the fruit of the Spirit then many saints will demonstrate different behavioral patterns that are in line with God’s concept of holiness. Now I must regress and define what the King James list as number nine – Temperance (Self-Control). Temperance defined as abstinence from alcoholic drink. That is a very narrow definition of temperance from the internet. As you can see, it deals only with alcohol.
When you review other versions
of the Bible (New Living Testament, Amplified and New King James), you discover
a broader use of temperance to mean self-control. When the word abstinence is
used it means NO touching or tasting of alcohol which for some means also
wine. Several scriptures illustrate what temperance means: Leviticus
10:9, Numbers 6:3, Deuteronomy 29:6, Judges 13:4, Judges 13:7, Judges 13:14, 1
Samuel 1:15. Proverbs 23:31, Proverbs 31:4, Jeremiah 35:6, Jeremiah 35:14, Ezekiel
44:21, Daniel 1:8, Daniel 10:3, Matthew 11:18, Luke 1:15, Luke 7:33, Romans
14:21, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Timothy 3:3, 1 Timothy 3:8, Titus 1:7 and
Titus 2:3. I know there are a number of scriptures but I need you to see for yourself exactly what the Bible says about Temperance.
Now let us examine the meaning of Controlling One’s Self or Self Control and see what the scriptures say: Matthew 16:24, Luke 14: 26-27, Romans 8:13, Romans 15:1 and Galatians 5:24. Essentially the above scriptures tell us that one should learn to deny one’s self and practice self-restraint and composure. It is more than just self-control about liquor and wine, but the other translators believe self-control relates to all areas of life that require the individual to show to take charge of the body responses.
The real question in all of these scriptures and definitions is whether the Christian really knows how to use it with or without the Holy Ghost (Speaking in Tongues). Some believe that if you do not have the Holy Ghost you cannot practice self-control, which is one school of thought. It implies that a person must have the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues in order to function.
According to Thomas Strong the transliteration of the Greek word, literally meaning “called beside or alongside to help.” John exclusively used the term in the NT. He described the Spirit as another “Paraclete” who teaches (John 14:16), reminds the disciples of what Jesus taught (John 14:26), testifies (John 15:26), and convicts of sin (John 16:7-8). John also described Jesus as the first “Paraclete” (John 14:16) or advocate (1 John 2:1).
To those who believe the Bible and live by its principles and concepts the Paraclete is real. It is so real that when I personally have a challenge that I cannot handle on my own I call on the Paraclete or Holy Ghost to help me make it. When living according to the Word of God the bible, which is contrary many times to the way of the world the follower of Christ, are tempted to do things that are not right. Those that have the Holy Ghost can call on it to help them in the moment of passion to be an overcomer.
The other side of this are those who do not have the Holy Ghost and yet they find a way most of the time to practice self-control. These people are self-righteous. When polling some self-righteous people they shared there strict upbringing contributed to their ability to practice self-control in the most difficult situations.
The difference between the two is that the person who has the Holy Ghost who asks the Holy Ghost to help them will always get the help and the one who relies on self may or may not make it. The Holy Ghost never fails.
Another very important difference is that the person who has the Holy Ghost who remains with Lord will go to heaven but the person who has not received the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior will be loss eternally if they do not accept Jesus. What choice will you make as you practice self-control?