The Fruit of the Spirit is (9) SELF-CONTROL (temperance)

In this letter may we see how the Holy Spirit will change our temperament “old nature” into a new temperament “new nature”. This only will come to those who are “born-again. The “divine nature” which comes through Jesus Christ is the only escape from the control of our natural temperament, for only through Him are we made “new creatures”.

I’m sorry to have to admit that the majority of Christians do not see a complete transformation of their temperament. The reason is abundantly clear: the Christian has not remained in an “abiding” relationship with Jesus Christ. But that does not change the fact that the moment the individual received Jesus Christ, he received the “new nature” which is able to cause “old things to pass away and all things to become new.” When we put on the “new nature” we are to become “spiritually minded”.  We must choose daily…and be on the guard.

Sad to say, many “Christians” continue to live in the “natural and carnal” state of mind when they have received the “spiritual” nature of God. God does sanctify us as an ongoing process but we must consecrate ourselves daily to God and become Godly minded and not to allow our minds to go back to the “old nature” and carnal ways. Lack of total surrender/ yielding to the spirit of God in our mind; will and emotions (in the heart), will open the door to our old carnal ways.

The in- filling of the Holy Spirit is not only commanded by God for every Christian (Ephesians 5:18), but this filling results in the Holy Spirit so controlling a man’s nature that he actually lives the life of Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is a product of one abiding in the vine. A true Christian is Christlike.

Jesus tells us truly what it takes to be Christlike…it will ONLY come about by “abiding in the vine” as stated in John 15:1-14 (KJV) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Self-control will solve the Christian’s problem of emotional outburst such as rage, anger, fear, jealousy, etc., and cause him to avoid emotional excesses of any kind.

No Christian can be mature in Christ, steadily filled with the Holy Spirit and usable in the hand of God, who does not regularly feed on the Word of God. This calls for a regular time of Bible reading and prayer…a must!

You receive self-control from the Holy Spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit that delivers you from despair and that enables you to win in all circumstances! Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

  • Self-confidence enables us to achieve some things.
  • Self-confidence also limits us to human potential.

What can you expect when filled with the Holy Spirit?

  • The nine (temperament traits) fruit of the Spirit…of the Spirit filled life found in Galatians 5:22-23. The Holy Spirit will help us attain these fruit of the Spirit but it will take both wanting and doing that which is right.
  • A joyful, thanks-giving heart and a submissive spirit. Eph. 5:18-21 (KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
  • The Holy Spirit gives us power to witness. Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
  • The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus Christ. John 16:13-14 (KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

How to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

  • The Christian should be interested and desire for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and must regularly “examine himself.” Do you lack the things mentioned above. Acts 20:28 (KJV) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • Confession of all known sin. 1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Submit yourself completely to God. Be ready and willing to do anything the Holy Spirit directs you to do. Romans 6:11-13 (KJV) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
  • Desire and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13 (KJV) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
  • This is a very important step…It will take Faith; after asking, yield and surrender your body; mind, will and emotions. Believe you will receive, be body filled with the Holy Spirit! And begin to thank Him for His filling.

Romans 14:23 (KJV) And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Begin walking in the Spirit…grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit are the two sins one must guard against in order to maintain the Spirit-filled life.

  • DO NOT grieve the Holy Spirit through anger. Anger is a universal sin. Anger takes many forms. Consider these 16 variations of anger …bitterness, malice, clamor, envy, resentment, intolerance, criticism, revenge, wrath, hatred, seditions, jealousy, attack, gossip, sarcasm and forgiveness. Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
  • DO NOT quench the Holy Spirit through fear.

Fear is a universal sin. Here are 16 expression of fear

  • anxiety,
  • doubts,
  • timidity,
  • indecision,
  • superstition,
  • withdrawal,
  • loneliness,
  • over aggression,
  • worry, inferiority,
  • cowardice,
  • Suspicion,
  • hesitancy,
  • depression,
  • haughtiness, and
  • social shyness.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (KJV) Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.

The results of the Spirit-filled life (Ephesians 5:18-21) and those of the Word-filled life are one of the same. The Lord Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth,” and he also said of the Word of God, “Thy Word is Truth.” It is easily understood why the Word-filled life causes the same results as the Spirit-filled life, for the Holy Spirit is the author of the Word of God.

This highlights the error of those who try to receive the Holy Spirit through a once-for-all experience rather than an intimate relationship with God which Jesus described as “abiding in Me.”

The conclusion that we can clearly draw here is that the Christian who is Spirit-filled will be Word-filled and the Word-filled Christian who obeys the Spirit will be Spirit-filled.

The Holy Spirit adds a divine dimension: supernatural power…

  • Joshua leading his people to victory over Jericho
  • Young David defeating mighty Goliath
  • unlearned disciples turning the world upside down. Defeat can be changed to victory in God’s power.
  • Discipline is self-control in action.
  • Discipline is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power.

5 PROMISES for you for self-control.

  • Titus 2:11-12 (KJV) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
  • 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
  • 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  • Hebrews 2:18 (KJV) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (help) them that are tempted.

Putting your trust in God enables you to do what you ought to do. The fruit of the Spirit will change your life! Give the Holy Spirit full control TODAY!

Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark  

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