2 Peter 1 Self Control 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence in your faith, supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. The foundation of our lives must be a rock solid faith in Jesus Christ. Then as we let Him live His life through us, we begin to show that moral excellence, that virtue, in our day to day living that pleases God and shows the world that we belong to God. We learn, we come to know things about God, about ourselves, and about others and the world around us and put that knowledge to use as we add knowledge—life knowledge—to our moral excellence. Now, God wants to build self control into our lives. The Greek word for self-control is “egkrateian” which is also translated temperance. It means I can contain my lusts, passions, emotions, even words. It’s the kind of self control that helps you decide to not pull that trigger when everything screams “he’s a dirty sleazebag that doesn’t deserve to live. Shoot him!!” It’s the kind of self control that keeps us from mouthing off to someone that really deserves it. It’s the kind of self control that an athlete maintains over his body. Paul described what that kind of self control means in 1 Corinthians 9 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. An athlete works hard to bring his body under control. He watches what he eats, works out, gets the rest he needs so he can win the race or the game. In the same way, Paul says we need to bring our bodies under control, have self-discipline so we can run the race God sets out before us. Look at 1 Corinthians 6 12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Who or what is in control? Does my body control me, or do I control my body? Do I live to eat, or eat to live? Those habits, or things I like to do…do they take charge of my life, or do I control them? When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we gave our lives to Him, that meant our entire lives, including our physical bodies. What do I bring into my mind? What TV programs and movies do I watch? What is the message of the music I listen to? What books and magazines do I read and pictures do I look at? Now that is especially true for sexual immorality 1 Thessalonians 4 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; And then see 1 Corinthians 6 again: 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! God wants us to have control over our emotions. Proverbs 25 28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit. We have all seen the coverage of the riots; we have all heard about the man who just completely looses it and beats his wife to death. We see the unbridled emotional reaction of the losers in the last election. And then there is the tongue—what we say. God puts it concisely in James 3: 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. If we can control what we say, and always say the right thing, we can control our entire bodies. Jesus gave us a hint on how to control what comes out of our mouths in Luke 6 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. If we can control what goes into our hearts, our minds, our thoughts, then we can gain some control over what comes out of our mouths. Now. See the difference between the person whose body controls him, and the person who has self control over his body through the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. May God bless us richly as we learn to add self-control to our lives.