ENDURING TO THE END #3
PETER SAYS WE ADD TO KNOWLEDGE—— TEMPERANCE OR THE NEW KJV SAYS SELF-CONTROL. AND WE COULD ALSO CALL THAT SELF-DENIAL.
THERE IS MUCH THAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY CONCERNING SELF-DENIAL OR CONTROL OVER THINGS IN OUR LIFE.
THE FOLLOWING VERSES ARE FROM THE KJV BIBLE, with some words in the modern language.
Prov. 16:32. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS, “BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT.” THERE IS A TIME FOR RIGHTEOUS ANGER. BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE THE WISDOM AS TO WHEN, AND WHERE, AND FOR WHAT.
Prov. 23:2. “Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.”
OBVIOUSLY THIS IS MEANING IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM CONTROLLING HOW MUCH YOU EAT, YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. GET SOME SELF-CONTROL.
Matt. 5:29. “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell, 30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Mark 9:43.
IF ANYTHING IS GOING TO RULE YOU, KEEP YOU SLAVE TO IT, WHEN IT IS WRONG, YOU NEED TO DO WHATEVER TO BE FREE FROM IT. LET’S SUPPOSE YOU HAVE HAD A FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL; YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN, THE FRIEND STILL WANTS YOU TO GO OUT AND GET DRUNK, AND WOMANIZE, ONE NIGHT STANDS AS SOME CALL IT; YOU WILL HAVE TO PULL AWAY AND STOP ASSOCIATING WITH THAT FRIEND. IT COULD EVEN BE A BLOOD RELATIVE, SISTER, BROTHER, COUSIN, ETC. THAT YOU WILL NEED TO GIVE UP AND NOT BE WITH BECAUSE OF THEIR WRONG UN-CHRISTIAN MIND-SET.
Matt. 8:19. “And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. [Luke 9:57,58.] 21. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first go and bury my father. 22. But Jesus said unto him. Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Luke 9:59,60.
SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO CONTROL WHAT FIRST MUST BE CONTROLLED TO BE A TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS.
Matt. 10:37. “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. 39. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that looses his life for my sake shall find it.”
YES AT TIMES WE MAY HAVE TO CONTROL WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT— JESUS OR SOMETHING ELSE, EVEN TO BLOOD RELATIVES.
Matt. 13:44. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
IT DOES TAKE SELF-CONTROL TO ACT UPON WHAT YOU KNOW IS THE WILL AND WAY OF GOD.
Matt. 16:24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Mark 8:34,35; Luke 9:23,24.
AGAIN JESUS LAYS EMPHASIS TO CONTROLLING THE WAY YOU MUST CHOOSE—— HIM WHATEVER THE COST, OR NOT CONTROLLING WHAT YOU KNOW IS THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE.
Matt. 18:8. “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell.” Mark 9:43.
GOD IS THE MAKER OF THE HUMAN BODY; PAUL TELLS US THAT WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD; OBVIOUSLY WE DO NOT LITERALLY CUT OFF ANY PART OF THE TEMPLE OF GOD.
Matt. 19:12. “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it let him receive it. 21. Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou have, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Luke 12:33.
IT MAY BE POSSIBLE GOD PUTS YOU IN THE SITUATION THAT YOU REMAIN SINGLE, AS YOU DO THE GOSPEL MINISTRY. PAUL IT SEEMS FROM ALL THAT IS WRITTEN WAS A SINGLE MAN DOING THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST. BUT THAT IS ONLY FOR WHOM GOD HAS SO CALLED TO BE SINGLE. I WOULD SAY 99 PERCENT OF MEN ARE NOT CALLED TO BE SINGLE WHILE DOING THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD.
AND FOR SOME THEY MAY HAVE TO BE WILLING TO GIVE UP MUCH PHYSICAL THINGS TO SERVE IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST. AGAIN THAT WILL BE FOR GOD TO DECIDE NOT MEN.
Luke 5:11. “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed him. 27. And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him. Follow me. 28. And he left all, rose up, and followed him.” Mark 2:14.
LEVI HAD SELF-CONTROL; HE KNEW WHAT HE HAD TO DO AND DID IT. GOD LEFT NO DOUBT IN HIS MIND.
Luke 14:26. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.” vs. 28-32.
SELF-CONTROL TOWARDS GOD MAY MEAN SOME PRETTY SERIOUS DECISIONS. THE WORD “HATE” HERE MEANS TO LOVE LESS THAN TO FOLLOW WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO FOR HIM.
Luke 18:27. “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed you. 29. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, [Mark 10:29.] 30. Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
BECOMING A CHRISTIAN IS SERIOUS BUSINESS; YOU CONTROL WHAT YOU NEED TO CONTROL; YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT FAMILY OF GOD’S CHILDREN TO ASSOCIATE WITH, AND ETERNAL LIFE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION.
Luke 21:2. “And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4. For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury has cast in all the living that she had.” Mark 12:43,44.
THE LADY HAD CONTROL OVER WHAT SHE HAD, HER HEART WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE; GOD I’M SURE LOOKED AFTER HER PHYSICAL NEEDS. JESUS I’M SURE WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN HER DESTITUTE. REMEMBER JESUS DID HAVE A “MONEY PURSE” THAT JUDAS WAS IN CHARGE OF LOOKING AFTER. JESUS AND THE INNER DISCIPLES WERE NOT DESTITUTE OF PHYSICAL THINGS, THEY WERE NOT PENNY-LESS.
John 12:25. “He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” Matt. 16:25; Mark 8:35.
ONCE MORE IT APPLIES WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE GOD’S CHILD; YOU CONTROL YOUR DESTINY AS TO WHICH WAY YOU WILL PROCEED.
Acts 20:22. “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23. Save that the Holy Spirit witnesses things to move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
YOU HAVE THE CONTROL, GO WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD OR NOT.
Acts 21:13. “Then Paul answered, What mean you to weep and to break mine heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
YOU HAVE CONTROL AS TO HOW YOU WILL ACT.
Rom. 6:6. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [SIN IS— 1 JOHN 3:4].
Rom. 8:12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13. For if ye live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify [kill] the deeds of the body, you shall live. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
KNOWING THE CALL AND TRUTHS OF GOD, YOU ARE IN CONTROL AS TO HOW YOU WILL LIVE.
Rom. 13:14. “But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
PAUL ENCOURAGES US TO CONTROL OURSELVES IN THE WAY OF SERVING CHRIST.
Rom. 14:1. “Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. 8. For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. 3. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God hath received him. 4. Who art you that judge another man's servant ? To his own master he stands or falls….. One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6. He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks. 7. For none lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. 8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10. But why do thou judge your brother? Or why do you set at nought your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess, to God. 12. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean [common] of itself: but to him that esteems anything to be unclean [common], to him it is unclean [common]. 15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walk you not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died. 16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of. 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18. For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eats with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak…..”
I HAVE EXPOUNDED THIS SECTION IN DETAIL IN MY “NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STORY” ON THIS WEBSITE. IT IS TO DO WITH SOME PEOPLE BELIEVING YOU SHOULD BE A VEGETARIAN AND NOT EAT MEAT, AND/OR SOME THINKING FOOD AND DRINK WAS RITUALLY MADE COMMON OR UNFIT TO EAT [MANY AT PAUL’S TIME QUESTIONED THE PRACTICE OF THE GENTILES AS TO OFFERING FOODS AND DRINK TO PAGAN GODS]; THEN COMING INTO THE CHURCH OF GOD; THEY WERE STILL CARRYING SOME OF THEIR WRONG BAGGAGE WITH THEM. SUCH WERE WEAK IN THE FAITH, THE TRUTHS OF GOD. SOME DID NOT EAT, FASTING ON CERTAIN DAYS, OTHERS FASTED ON OTHER DAYS, AND THEY WERE JUDGING EACH OTHER, ON MATTERS OF EATING AND FASTING, MEAT EATING OR NOT, WINE DRINKING OR NOT. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CLEAN OR UNCLEAN FOODS LAWS OF GOD AS IN DEUTERONOMY 14 AND LEVITICUS 11. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHICH DAY OF THE WEEK TO OBSERVE THE WEEKLY SABBATH ON. IT IS TO DO WITH SOME BEING WEAK IN THE FAITH AND OTHERS STRONGER IN THE FAITH [HAVING MORE SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE TRUTHS OF GOD]. THE STRONGER IN THE FAITH WERE NOT BEING SELF-CONTROLLED, AS TO NOT OFFENDING THE WEAK IN THE FAITH. WE MUST USE SELF-CONTROL IN WHAT WE DO AND SAY, THAT MIGHT OFFEND THE NEWER AND WEAKER ONES COMING INTO THE CHURCH OF GOD.
Rom. 15:1. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached you fell on me. 4. For whatsoever things were written afore were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.”
THE STRONGER PEOPLE IN THE FAITH OR TRUTHS OF GOD ARE TO USE SELF-CONTROL, IN WORD AND DEED, AMONG THE NEWER SPIRITUALLY WEAKER, CHILDREN OF GOD.
1 Cor. 1:12-13. “Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Peter; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
THE CORINTHIANS WERE HAVING FAVORITE MINISTERS; THEY WERE LOOKING TO MEN. THEY WERE NOT CONTROLLING THEIR CARNAL IMPULSE TO “FOLLOW” MEN. PEOPLE NEED TO REALIZE ALL MINISTERS OF CHRIST ARE ON EQUAL GROUND, USING WHATEVER GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT THEY HAVE; BUT NONE ARE TO EVER BE IDOLIZED ABOVE ANY OTHER MINISTER OF CHRIST.
1 Cor. 6.12. “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
KNOWING THE TRUTHS OF GOD THAT ARE LAWFUL MORE THAN OTHER NEWER PEOPLE, MAY BE VERY LAWFUL TO DO AS FAR AS THE TECHNICAL WORD OF GOD GOES, BUT MANY THINGS THAT YOU COULD DO WITH GOD’S BLESSING, WOULD NOT BE HELPING OTHERS WHO ARE NEW AND WEAKER IN THE FAITH OR TRUTHS OF GOD.
1 Cor. 8:10. “For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11. And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12. But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.”
HERE IT IS AGAIN: TO DO WITH WEAK BROTHERS THAT DO NOT KNOW ALL THE TRUTH OF GOD. IF THEY SEE YOU DO SOME THINGS [COULD BE DRINKING WINE, OR A BEER, EATING MEAT], AND THEY BECOME OFFENDED…. PAUL SAYS WE ARE TO DO NOTHING THAT OPENS THE DOOR FOR OUR BROTHER TO BE OFFENDED—— SELF-CONTROL ON OUR PART IS ONCE MORE NEEDED.
1 Cor. 9:12. “If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 15. I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 18. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 23. This I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 25. Every man that strives for the mastery is temperate [self-controlled] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: 27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
THERE WERE SOME “MINISTERS” THAT WERE DOING THE MINISTRY FROM A WRONG MOTIVE, TO GAIN SOMETHING PHYSICAL IN THIS LIFE. AND SOME WERE FOLLOWING THEM. PAUL TELLS HIS MOTIVE FOR DOING THE WORK OF CHRIST— PURE TRUE MOTIVES. YET HE KNEW HUMAN NATURE COULD BE STRONG TO PULL IN THE WRONG WAYS OF LIVING, BE IT FOR MINISTERS AND/OR NON-MINISTERS. PAUL HAD TO HAVE SELF-CONTROL IN MIND, OR IT COULD LEAD TO HIM BEING A CASTAWAY.
1 Cor. 24. “Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.”
WE NEED SELF-CONTROL TO BE UN-SELFISH, SO OTHERS COULD BENEFIT FROM OUR UNSELFISHNESS.
2 Cor. 6:3. “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.”
ALL THAT WE DO AND SAY MUST BE TO NOT OFFEND PEOPLE. AS JESUS SAID BE AS WISE AS SERPENTS AND HARMLESS AS DOVES. IT IS TRUE THAT SIMPLY BEING A CHRISTIAN IN ALL THINGS WILL OFFEND SOME PEOPLE, THAT IS NOT WHAT PAUL OR JESUS WERE TALKING ABOUT. THEY WERE TEACHING THAT IN YOU, AS MUCH AS IS POSSIBLE WITH YOU, TRY NOT TO OFFEND PEOPLE; OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS MUST BE CONTROLLED.
Gal. 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
IF CHRIST IS IN US WE ARE SELF-CONTROLLED BY HIM; OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS WILL BE CHRIST-LIKE.
Gal. 5:16. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 24. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
ONCE MORE SAYING A CHRISTIAN IS UNDER SELF-CONTROL; OF COURSE IT MUST BE SO, AS THE FATHER AND CHIRST LIVE IN US— JOHN 14: 23.
Gal. 6:14. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
CHRISTIANS ARE NOT CONTROLLED BY THE WORLD, BUT THE WORLD IS DEAD, SO WE CANNOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IF THE WORLD IS DEAD AND CRUCIFIED. STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD TELLS US WHAT IN THE WORLD SHOULD BE DEAD TO US; WHAT WE NO LONGER HOOK UP WITH.
Phil. 2:4. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” vs. 5-8.
AGAIN WE ARE TOLD WATCH WHAT WE DO AND SAY WHEN AROUND OTHERS, SO THEIR WELFARE COMES BEFORE OUR RIGHTFUL FREEDOM IN GOD’S LAW—— WE GIVE UP OUR FREEDOM SO WE DO NOT OFFEND OTHERS, I.E. WE DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL IN THE PRESENCE OF THOSE WHO WOULD BE OFFENDED BY OUR SO DOING.
Col. 3:5. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, un-cleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and coveteousness, which is idolatry.”
WE ARE TO KILL, NOT DO, THAT WHICH IS WRONG, SIN, AND WICKEDNESS. GOD’S WORD DEFINES WHAT WE SHOULD NOT BE DOING. WE MUST HAVE SELF-CONTROL.
2 Tim. 2:4. “No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
IN A PHYSICAL ARMY YOU ARE NOT OUT IN SOCIETY; YOU ARE UNDER LAWS OF THE MILITARY. WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE IN THE ARMY OF GOD; WE COME UNDER HIS LAWS AND RULES; WE MUST HAVE CONTROL IN LIVING IN THE ARMY OF THE LORD.
Tit. 2:12. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SELF-CONTROL AS GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, TOWARDS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, IN CONTRAST TO THE UN-RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE WORLD WITHOUT GOD. GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEFINED IN PSALM 119: 172.
1 Pet. 2:11. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12. Having your conversation [conduct] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
TO BE A LIGHT OF RIGHT LIVING, GODLY LIVING, YOU MUST HAVE SELF-CONTROL.
15. “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
MOST NATIONS OF THE WEST HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MORALITY [THOUGH IT IS SLIPPING AWAY MORE AND MORE], AND KNOW YOUR WELL DOING IS GOOD AND RIGHT; TO BE SO TAKES SELF-CONTROL. BEING “FREE” IN GOD THROUGH CHRIST, DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN THROW RIGHTEOUS SELF-CONTROL OUT THE WINDOW.
1 Pet. 4:1. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
CHRISTIANS ARE SAVED BY GRACE NOT SO THEY CAN LIVE ANY WAY THEY LIKE, BUT SO THEY CAN LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WAY OF LIFE AS TAUGHT IN HIS HOLY WORD.
THE APOSTLE JAMES HAS A WHOLE SECTION ON CONTROLLING THE TONGUE. WHAT COMES OUT OF OUR MOUTH CANNOT BE SWEET WATER AND BITTER WATER; A WELL OF GOOD WATER PRODUCES GOOD WATER; IT IS STABLE, NOT SWEET AND THEN BITTER AND BACK AND FORTH, NO PERSON KNOWING WHAT KIND OF WATER WILL COME FORTH. SO WE HAVE TO HAVE SELF-CONTROL OVER THE WORDS THAT COME FROM US.
EXAMPLES OF SELF-DENIAL OR SELF-CONTROL
Moses, in choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the pleasures of sin, Heb. 11:25; in taking no compensation from the Israelites for his services, Num. 16:15. Samuel, in his administration of justice, 1 Sam. 12:3,4. The widow of Zarephath, in sharing with Elijah the last of her sustenance, 1 Kin 17:12-15. Daniel, in his set-control under a situation, Dan. 1:8; in refusing rewards from Belshazzar, Dan. 5:16,17. Esther, in risking her life for the deliverance of her people, Esth. 4:16. Peter and other apostles, in abandoning their vocations and following Jesus, Matt. 4: 20; 9:9; Mark 1:16-20; 2:14; Luke 5:11,27,28; in forsaking all and following Jesus, Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:58. The widow, who cast her all into the treasury, Luke 21:4. The early Christians, in having everything in common, Acts 2:44,45; 4:34. Joses, in selling his possessions, and giving all that he received to the apostles, Acts 4:36,37. Paul, in not counting even his life dear to himself, Acts 20:24; Phil. 3:7,8; in not coveting any man's silver or gold or apparel, Acts 20; 33; in laboring for his own support while he also taught, Acts 20:34,35; 1 Cor. 4.:12: 10:33.
AGAIN LET ME REPEAT— YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY “WORKS” BUT BY GRACE! YOU ARE SAVED BY GRACE IN ORDER TO GO FORTH AND LIVE BY THE WORD OF GOD, IN THOUGHT, WORD, AND ACTION.
SO WHEN WE GET UP IN THE MORNING, OUR MIND SHOULD BE TUNED IN TO GOD. WE GO FORTH ON THE BUS OR TRANSIT SYTEM TO WORK; WE ACT TOWARDS OTHERS AS JESUS WOULD ACT. WE WORK WITH OUR CO-WORKERS AS JESUS WOULD WORK WITH THEM. WE GO TO THE RESTAURANT AND WE WORK WITH THOSE SERVING US AS JESUS WOULD WORK WITH THEM. IF WE ARE IN CERTAIN RECREATION ACTIVITIES WE MOVE AMONG OTHERS IN THE SAME ACTIVITY AS JESUS WOULD MOVE. IF WE HAVE A BUSINESS AND EMPLOY PEOPLE WE TREAT THEM AS JESUS WOULD.
WE MUST GET INTO THE HABIT OF THINKING BEFORE WE SPEAK, SO WE ARE AS WISE AS A SERPENT AND HARMLESS AS A DOVE.
WE SHOULD BE NICE TO KNOW; PEOPLE SHOULD ENJOY US, FEEL AT EASE WITH US. THEY SHOULD KNOW THEY CAN COME TO US AND SPEAK OPENLY TO US, ABOUT…WHATEVER; AND KNOW THEY WILL BE HEARD.
TRUE CHRISTIANS WILL BE HAPPY EASY-GOING PEOPLE.
SURE WE WILL HAVE OUR “DOWN TIMES” WHEN THINGS IN LIFE WILL TROUBLE US, BUT WE WILL KNOW GOD AND CHRIST ARE THERE TO HELP AND COMFORT US; AND WE WILL KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE US AND ARE THERE TO LISTEN TO US, OR JUST GIVE US A SHOULDER TO LEAN ON.
YES, WE WILL MISS THE MARK AT TIMES, AT BEING SELF-CONTROLLED. WHEN THAT HAPPENS [AND IT WILL] WE NEED TO ADMIT IT, REPENT TOWARDS GOD, ASK FORGIVENESS, AND THE STRENGTH TO GET UP AND MOVE ON, KNOWING WE ARE FORGIVEN. WE MAY EVEN HAVE TO SHOW HUMBLE REPENTANCE BEFORE A HUMAN THAT WE DID NOT DO RIGHT TOWARDS.
ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND 1 JOHN 1 AND INTO CHAPTER 2.
WE SHOULD BE SO FILLED WITH BEING IN MIND-SET WITH THE FATHER AND CHRIST, THAT SATAN THE DEVIL, THE SINS OF THE WORLD, CANNOT GET INTO US, WE WILL HAVE A HOLY INVISIBLE WALL AROUND US THAT THE EVIL ONE CANNOT PENETRATE.
SELF-CONTROL— SELF-DENIAL— IS PART OF BEING A CHRISTIAN THAT WILL WALK THE WALK, TO THE END, REMAINING FAITHFUL TO THE END— AND INHERITING GLORIOUS ETERNAL LIFE.