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Scripture Reading: Luke 9:57-62

Character Building: Self-Control (Part 8)



1.  Successfully building Bible character takes total commitment to faithfully follow Christ. Dedication to develop your character into the image of Christ is essential.

  a.  Make the decision to put on Christ wisely and deliberately, from faith, not impulse or ignorance, Lk 9:62 (Psa 78:8-9); Eccl 5:4; Prov 20:25.

  b.  Fearful warning against being lukewarm in faith, Rev 3:14-16.

  c.   Add self-control to your knowledge, 2 Pet 1:6.

2.  Self-control is a key element of character; the “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” (Merriam-Webster).

3.  cf. Col 3:12-13: Knowledge of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering and forbearance means nothing unless we use self-control to actually apply them in our lives. (cf. Gal 5:23)

4.  Ex: Forgiveness (3:14). Self-control must be part of our character:

  a.  Control to do what is right, and

  b.  Control to abstain from what is sinful, 1 Ths 5:21-22; 2 Tim 2:22; 1 Pet 2:11-12.



  -Self-control: “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites” (Thayer, 167). 

  A.  Needed because we can be Deceived (seduced and led astray):

    1.  By sin, Heb 3:12-13.

    2.  By those who do not know God, 1 Cor 15:33-34.

    3.  Into thinking we will not reap what we sow, Gal 6:7-8.

*  4.  Self-control necessary to resist temptation, Jas 1:14-15.

  B.  Needed because we can become Weary, thinking the Reward seems Far Off, Gal 6:9.

    1.  In contrast to the immediate (though temporary) pleasures of sin, Heb 11:25.

    2.  Salvation is closer day by day, Rom 13:11.

*  3.  Self-control necessary to do what is right, Jas 4:17.




  A.  Self-control over your Emotions, Eph 4:26.

     -A person who is slow to anger is wise, but the impulsive person shows himself to be foolish, Prov 14:29; 29:11.

  B.  Self-control over your Tongue, Jas 1:19-20.

    1.  Trait of maturity, Jas 3:2; cf. Prov 17:27-28 (29:20).

    2.  Whether it is crude jokes, profanity or gossip, tale-bearing, self-control will guard your tongue from sin (Eph 4:29; 5:4).

  C.  Self-control is necessary for Moral Purity, Tit 2:11-12.

    1.  Sexual purity, 1 Ths 4:3-5.

    2.  Modest clothing, 1 Tim 2:9-10.

    3.  Alcohol and drugs (“just say no”), Gal 5:21 (intemperate excesses).

    4.  Modern dance, 1 Pet 4:3. Indecent and inconsistent with a profession of godliness (1 Tim 2:10).

    5.  Gambling, 1 Tim 6:9-10.

  D.   Self-control over our Heart (motives, intent, will), Gal 5:24.



1.  Self-control is measured by our ability to conform ourselves with complete devotion to the will of Christ, Col 3:17.

2.  To be able to do “what we must do” (Col 3:13) as well as abstain from what we must not do (1 Pet 2:11).


Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  |  Part 7