Self-Control (Part 3) – Gospel in Life

Self-Control (Part 3)

Tim Keller |  April 22, 1990

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  • Fruit of the Spirit
  • The Bible
Genesis 3:1-7; 39:6-12
RS 208-11

1 Corinthians 9:23–27; 10:11–13

Let’s discuss the ideas of self-control and freedom, drawn from Corinthians. Self-control, or “egokratia” in Greek, is seen as a key to being spiritually strong. It’s also named as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, showing that self-control equals freedom. We’ll look at how to grow self-control in our lives, which can help us conquer bad habits and make better choices.

1. What self-control is

Paul gives us the image of an athlete in a race to explain self-control. The Bible’s idea of self-control isn’t about ignoring our feelings, but about caring most about what truly matters. When we do this, we not only gain self-control but we also find real freedom, as everything else in our lives begins to fall into place.

2. How self-control is born

Getting self-control and an eternal reward isn’t about doing good to get into heaven, but about loving the gospel and letting its blessings shape our lives. Life is like a race, where winning and the ultimate prize come from sticking it out, like Jesus who became human for our sake. This amazing act of love is a message that can bring order and control to our lives.

3. How self-control can grow

We can grow self-control in three practical ways: knowing and remembering what the Bible says, being part of a group of believers to keep us on track, and accepting challenges that make us rely on God’s trustworthiness. These challenges also help us connect more with our group. Through these practices, we can grow self-control by always turning to Jesus.



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