The Inside Column 6/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 07, 2016 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to you. We invite you to join us after the service for a hot drink and fellowship.

Thank you all again for all the work that went into making this year’s church fair a great success, we raised around $5000, which is a great result, but of course the real benefits is the time we get to spend working together and meeting people from the community. Well done everybody.

This week’s fruit of the spirit is Self-control.

As we have been working our way through the fruit of the Spirit the ones that most people have come and talked to me about after our services were Patience and Gentleness. In other words the ones about how we treat other people. Self-control is about how we treat others and also about what we do when no one is watching.

I came across these thoughts from John Piper…

The very concept of “self-control” implies a battle between a divided self. It implies that our “self” produces desires we should not satisfy but instead “control.” We should “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross daily,” Jesus says, and follow him (Luke 9:23). Daily our “self” produces desires that should be “denied” or “controlled.” That path that leads to heaven is narrow and strewn with suicidal temptations to abandon the way. Therefore Jesus says, “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). We get a taste of what is involved from Matthew 5:29,  “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you.” This is the fierceness of self-control.

Fundamental to the Christian view of self-control is that it is a gift. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace … self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). How do we “strive” against our fatal desires? Paul answers: “I labour, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29). He “agonizes” by the power of Christ not his own. Similarly he tells us, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live” (Romans 8:13). “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). We must be fierce! Yes. But not by our might.

When we really see and believe what God is for us by grace through Jesus Christ, the power of wrong desires is broken. Therefore the fight for self-control is a fight of faith. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Yours in Christ

Phil

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