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Thursday, December 19 2019
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
We examined Temperance (Self Control), the last of the graces of the fruit of the Spirit last week. it is simply the ability to control oneself in all things. We understood that we must exercise self-control over our Flesh, Time, Anger, Our Tongue and Belly. In 1Corinthians 9:24‑27; Paul compared a believer to an athlete subjecting the body to rigorous discipline with self-control to be able to win, so also must we apply self-control to every area of our lives if we must win the Lord’s incorruptible crown.
Finally, we are studying the last chapter in this Paul’s letter to the region of Galatia. We should remind ourselves, in conclusion of our studies, that the main theme of the book of Galatians is that we are justified by faith, not by the works of the law.
1: Restoring a Fallen Brother; Gal.6:1-5
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examines his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
originally, "take before (hand)." Here it means "take something by surprise, overtake, surprise someone." The word indicates a non-normal event. Sin isn't to be considered a "normal" part of the Christian's life. The normal Christian life is walking in the Spirit. However, the reality is that we goof up, we slip, we sin because we have an adversary (1 Pet.5:8). But grace made provision for restoration;
also be tempted; Grace made provision for restoration. 1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
When we discover such a brother or sister, we must not jump on them with legalism, condemnation and judgment, but allow a mature spiritual person to handle them. Spiritual means Holy Spirit-filled person.
Restoration must be done by a spirit of meekness, gentleness or humility; the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one's self-importance or superiority. James 5:19-20.
While doing this work of grace and love, we must be carful less we fall into temptation of judging others.
are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves."
The law of Christ is the law of love; John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." It is the royal love as we see in James 2:8.
We can be tempted to say, "I don't want to get involved. It's not my business." But that's not love -- nor does it recognize the fallen one as part of our Christian family. 1 Pet.4:8 “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
4 But let each one examines his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load
It's easy to deceive ourselves about our own righteousness. long-time church leaders and members are particularly vulnerable, since we're around church, we've taught the Scripture, we believe in the truth. We think of ourselves as "good" people. But we can be the worst hypocrites! James is especially instructive here: James 1:22-25 “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing."
Each one should test his own actions." We're not to be easy on ourselves. Only through continual self-examination and bare honesty can we protect ourselves from self-deceit. 2 Corin.13:5
The danger is that we who are restoring others may lose our humility and become condescending -- and lose our own edge!
2: Be Generous and Do Good; Gal. 6:6-10
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
uses this word also in his letter to the Philippians. “Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only." (Phil.4:15b)
Paul isn't trying to get money from the Galatians. Elsewhere he insists that he himself glories in preaching the gospel free of charge to the recipients (1 Corin. 9:18). He can do so because the Philippian church helped support him! But it is important that he teaches the churches how to provide some support for their own leaders and preachers both financially and materially. Otherwise these teachers won't be able to spend their time preaching. So, he asserts this important principle that came down from Jesus himself; Matt.10:10, 1 Corin. 9:4-14; 1 Tim. 5:17.
deceive ourselves by failing to observe God’s principle but expecting to reap the benefits. God watches over His words to perform them; Jer.1:12. We can’t mock God or treat Him with contempt, you will reap whatever you sow. Flesh to flesh and spirit to spirit. We can choose either to yield to God's Spirit in us or to go our own way. Each direction has eternal consequences. One end is eternal life; the other is "corruption," that is, destruction.
conduct or activity, lose enthusiasm, be discouraged. Why must we not grow weary, because there is a reward! At the proper time, the time God has chosen, Christ will come and reward us both here and after. I cor.15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain."
Vs 10, Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. God will always present us with opportunities for good works, but we have the personal preference to do them and be rewarded. We are to continually find ways to do good to others, since it is the natural outflowing of God's love that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). It was this doing good which was to characterize Christians to the pagan culture that surrounded them. We're not to be known as religious weirdos, but as people who act in loving and kind ways, patiently doing good to others.
Wednesday, December 04 2019
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
We have finally come to the last of the graces of the fruit of the Spirit. These graces, seeds or virtues manifest when we allow the Holy Spirit express Himself through us. The KJV calls this 9th seed of the fruit of the Spirit, Temperance, the NKJV calls it “self-control”.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) says: “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Self-control is more commonly used today than Temperance. And Self-control is something that we have received from the Holy Spirit it’s also something that we have to exercise in our lives daily. Because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, implies that we already have this grace in our hearts, but it’s up to us to bring it to the surface, to manifest it in the natural realm.
WHAT IS SELF-CONTROL?
Simply, it is the ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. As Christians, we need to exercise self-control in all things; it’s a very necessary part to the Christian life. Although it is possible to gain self-control by purely natural self-discipline; we can only go much further in exercising self-control, if we allow the Holy Spirit who dwells in us express Himself through us.
WHY MUST WE EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL?
There are basically three main reasons why we MUST exercise self-control.
The reason for these is seen in verse 5c “. . . so that the word of God will not be dishonoured.”
HOW DO WE EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL?
Generally speaking, it is by creating boundaries and guidelines and living by them. Specifically, as Christians, it is by allowing the Holy Spirit dictate how we respond or react. Romans 8:14 (AMP) says: “For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
FIVE AREAS TO EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL
In 1st Corinthians 9:27 (AMP) Paul applies this strategy “But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].”
TPT version put it this way:
“but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body[a] and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.
The footnote [a] says: Or “I beat my body black and blue.” This is an obvious metaphor of placing the desires of one’s body as second place to the desires of the Holy Spirit. See Rom. 8:13.
One area that we really need have to self-control in is with our time. These days too many things can steal your time. Things like TV, Social Media, sometimes fellowships, hobbies, and many others. Even your family can steal your time. Nothing wrong with any of the above things, but in excess, they can steal your time. Colossians 4:5 (AMP) says:
“Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious].”
We need to use every chance we have to tell people about the Good News. Ephesians 5:15‑16 (LB) says: “So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools, be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.”
Another area where we have to exercise self-control in is with our temper. Eccl. 7:9 says: “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger dwells in the heart of fools.
Proverbs 16:32 (TPT) says: “Do you want to be a mighty warrior? It’s better to be known as one who is patient and slow to anger. Do you want to conquer a city? Rule over your temper before you attempt to rule a city.”
We need to control our anger. If you do, you are better than the mighty.
Ephesians 4:26 (AMP) says, “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behaviour], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.
We must exercise self-control in what we say. Eccl.5 verses 2 and 6 say:
“Don’t shoot off your mouth or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better.”
“Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation?”
(James 1:19) Says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
We are thus admonished to be slow to speak because when angry, many times, we speak off the top of our heads, and say things we don’t mean, things we’ll be sorry for later.
There are those who have allowed their bellies to be their gods due to greed. The Bible says in Philippians 3:19 that their end is destruction! The ESV says: “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
Proverbs 25:6 says: “If you find honey, eat just enough-- too much of it, and you will vomit.”
Proverbs 23:2 says: “Be careful to curb your appetite and catch yourself before you fall into the trap of wanting all you see.”
Proverbs 23:20 says: “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat.”
In 1st Corinthians 9:24‑27, Paul’s metaphor is about the lives of athletes in preparation for the old Grecian or Olympic Games, where every competitor had rigorous training before he/she could compete, during this rigorous training, they had to be temperate in all things. Even athletes today do much the same thing, they exercise temperance or self-control. Now if these athletes put in so much effort just to win a medal that fades, shouldn’t Christians put in even more effort to maintain their spiritual fitness and get an incorruptible crown? Of course we must take the pain to maintain our spiritual fitness by fasting, praying, fellowshipping, attending communal and individual Bible studies, etc.