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FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT: TEMPERANCE
(SELF-CONTROL: TWO KILLER POINTS TO KNOW)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)

The last fruit of the Spirit is temperance, or self-control. Let's look at two killer points on this subject.

Remember, we are still in the grouping that is about how we relate to ourselves. While it might seem this is the same thing as patience, the fourth fruit of the Spirit, it cannot have the same meaning. Patience is about how we relate to other people; self-control, then, has to be about something else.

Defining self-control is the easy part; living it is the hard part. The word means holding one's self in, the virtue of one who masters desires and passions, and one who has discipline over his or her routines.

This word is found only three times in the New Testament. Of course one of those is in the list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. It is also found in Acts 24:25 where it is included with righteousness and judgment. In this episode Paul is standing before Felix, and all we know of his sermon is three words: righteousness, self-control, and judgement to come. The implied meaning is that self-control is our response to righteousness. In 2 Peter 1:6, Peter says that self-control is added to knowledge, implying that what is learned is required to be put into practice.

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Chad Prince
(Oxford, AL)


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