by Ed Rowell

This content is part of a series.

From to Compulsive to Self Controlled (9 of 9)
Extreme Makeover
Ed Rowell
Galatians 5:23
November 21, 2004

In the introduction to this series, we looked at Galatians 5: 19-21. "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Sounds like Reality TV doesn't it? Then, what a contrast Paul gives in verse 22. "BUT the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Self-control brings us full circle. Without self-control, we give in to those acts of the sinful nature that Paul described. Without self-control we don't have the capacity to truly love or to experience real joy or to know lasting peace. Without self-control we're impatient, unkind, and selfish. And without self-control, we can't be faithful and we're unable to develop a gentle nature.

Self-control is like walking along a steep mountain ridge. If you step off either side, the result is the same--it's a long fall. Self-control is the means to maintaining our freedom by not falling into legalism on the one side, or into license on the other.

The Greek word translated "self-control" (egkrateia) means "having control or mastery over one's own desires and passion." It's "mastery of self." It's the opposite of "self-indulgence." Self-control is saying "yes" to what we should do and "no" to what we shouldn't do.

Contrasting self-indulgence with self-control
Samson Judges 13-16
After the days of Moses and Joshua, the tribes of Israel underwent a dark period of history. It could be summarized in 4 points.
• There was no king in Israel.
• People were doing what was right in their own eyes.
• God's people couldn't seem to work together.
• People we ...

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