Monday, July 21, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance
Notes from sermon by Pastor Broyhill; July 20, 2008
Galations 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law

One fruit of the spirit, with nine flavors, temperance being the nineth. Each flavor layers upon the other. Before temperance, there is meekness, which means "power under control", or "submission". Temperance is visible and can be seen by others in you; it is valuable- not only for our benefit (personally) but because others can see it in us, our temperance can bless others and we can set an example of godliness for others. Fruit is developed in us over a period of time by the spirit's control in our lives. Temperance is last in the listing of the flavors of the fruit of the spirit- it begins with love, and ends with temperance.

When others see temperance in us, they see:
Moderation in every area of our life - self discipline - our passions under control - power over our selves ...

Temperance defined could be said as: "controlled living in an out of control world".

Temperance involves living with discretion; having the ability to discern what is holy and what comes from following God's Word; discipline, and having the ability to specifically focus on God
Proverbs 3:21
21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

1 Corinthians 9:25
25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Temperance is knowing how to say "no" to one's self, because if you cannot keep your spirit in check, one day you will lose what is dear to you ...

Proverbs 16:32
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Proverbs 25:28
28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Our lives are like a city; our spirit is our protective walls. In biblical times, cities were surrounded by huge walls that protected the people that lived within. But when the cities were invaded, the walls were broken down. Often it seems it was because the walls were not guarded properly, or there was not enough strength in the ones who were guarding the walls. Are we strong enough to guard the walls of our hearts, spirits, and lives? In today's psychology, walls appear to be a bad thing. You hear of walls in relationships, which, when you look at the actual relationship, cold be a good or bad thing.

We must rule our own spirit and be sensitive to the things of God. Not the things we think are the things of God, things we think God would have, but actually be in His Word, getting to know Him, growing closer to Him, so we may know what is and is not pleasing to Him. We must not lean to our own understanding of what we think of God, we need to get to know Him. Only when we are close to him, will we be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be able to follow His lead for our lives. In psychological terms, we must know what our spiritual "triggers" are, to know what to stay away from, to protect ourselves spiritually and emotionally. I say emotionally, because I believe if we are strong spiritually, then when we are spiritually offended, then we will be greatly emotionally offended. But the opposite is not always true, because a spiritually weak person can still get their feelings hurt, but it might not be grounded in a spiritual matter, the pain might be actually coming from hurt pride, which is sinful. (I also believe the root of all sin is pride.)

So we must learn to say "no" to our selves. Pastor mentioned Alexander the Great. He said that Alexander's father told him to go conquer the world. By the age of 32 he had completed that feat, but he also died that very year. He was a drunkard and very likely died of acute pancreatitis * as a result of his lifestyle. He conquered the world, but could not say no to his desire to drink and get drunk. How many people do you know who have destroyed their lives because of their "addictions"? I have people in my own family who are suffering the dire health consequences of not saying no to their desires. One of the reasons I quit smoking was the diagnosis of my uncle's lung cancer. It was HARD, but I chose to say no to myself and conquer the addiction of nicotine.

What else do we commonly face in life that we need to say no to? I know I need to say no to the computer more often. I am ashamed to say how many hours I have literally wasted on this machine. Hours I will never get back in my life. That is the one big thing the dealt with me about last night, this computer. I have recently resigned from leading / moderating two forums that I have lead for six on one, seven on the other, years. I have to draw the line; I have to put up that wall to protect myself. I have to remind myself, I do not need to go to those places to edify my life. I have to say no, I need to go work on my house to put it in order. I have to say no, my kids need more of me.

Temperance is demonstrated:
1 Corinthians 9:24
24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

The Christian life is likened to a race, or a fight, but the good thing is we all win, if we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, if we have been born again. To be able to finish this race, we must demonstrate temperance in our life. We must put spiritual self discipline in front of physical self discipline, what good does it do us to be physically fit but not spiritually fit? However we should be good caretakers of the temple of the Holy Spirit. This will be the difference between a mediocre Christian life, and a life of victory over sin! Do we want to look good and keep losing our temper towards our loved ones? Do we want to have a lot of money, but be such a miserable person we have no one around us to spend the money on? Are we going to let our flesh dictate what we do, or are we going to live spirit led lives? We must die daily, that's what Paul done!

1 Timothy 4:7
7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

1 Corinthians 15:31
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Temperance is demonstrated in our speech:

Proverbs 10:19
19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Proverbs 17:28
28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Ephesians 4:25
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Christians are not to lie, tear each other down, or use cutting words! That is what the world does, we are to be different. We should be aware of our words and whether they will edify our brothers and sisters, or even the unsaved person. We should know what our limits are in what we hear, and we should be aware of what the limits are of those around us- something that we might be okay with, others might not be okay with.

Temperance is demonstrated in our thought life:

2 Corinthians 10:5
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; ..."

We must have a disciplined thought life. We must keep our minds on what is pure, and what is holy. Pastor mentioned a man going through an airport that flied frequently due to business. The man liked to read the newspaper, but knew that when he went into the airport newsstands, there would be porn present. He admitted to finding himself looking at the covers of the pages of the magazines, and he knew it was wrong but felt himself drawn to the images. What do you think would be better for this man? Should he continue going into the newsstands? Should he buy a paper before going to the airport? Or not reading the paper at all if buying one beforehand was not an option? A LOT of times we think we have no choice in a matter, but we DO. We have to look for that choice. We are NOT victims!! We must be careful in what we allow ourselves to think about, because what goes in will eventually come out during times of stress. Like a carbonated soda, when shaken up enough, it eventually explodes and you have a big giant mess!

How to develop temperance in our lives:

We must make the decision to do so, we must choose to make a concerted effort to grow closer to God and have a deeper relationship with him. We must decide that God will direct our lives, and not lean unto our own understandings:

Proverbs 3:5-6
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We must deal with the sin in our lives, a good starting passage for this would be:

Galatians 5:19-21
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

{Why not set to do word studies on all of these words and see how they apply to your own self?}

We must confess our sins to the Lord, daily, by the minute if we need to! Speciic sins, not "Lord please forgive me of my sin...", but "Lord, I just got so angry in my thoughts at this person, please forgive me for wanting to lash out at this person ... (or lashing out at this person)" ... the Lord is faithful to forgive, if we ask:

1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We must die daily to our flesh. We must learn to say "no" to our selves. We must learn to quit making excuses four our fleshly desires, in order to do what is best for ourselves. Accept nothing but the best that is what God wants for us!

Romans 13:14
14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

"It is easier to satisfy that first desire of the flesh, than it is to desire all that will follow thereafter..." -- Pastor Broyhill

don’t be a flesh filled Christian, be a spirit filled Christian! Be spirit filled and directed, and realize you cannot do that by yourself, you need God as your guide- stay in His Word to learn more!

Galatians 2:20
20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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. *


Sisterlisa said...

This is really good and at such a good time for me. Thank you Miss Wendy!

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