Peter wrote, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:5-8).
According to Peter self-control is an essential part of growing deeper in faith and knowledge in Jesus Christ. Yet, sinful humans do not possess self-control naturally. As sinful creatures we have no desire to exercise self-control or to discipline our thoughts and actions. To us, the idea of control brings to mind of God’s Law, which we rebel against because it makes demands that conflict with our self-centered desires. According to the Law, our arrogant thoughts and prideful actions must be destroyed. Self-control means putting to death those sinful desires so our lives honor Christ and serve our neighbors. However, we do not have the power to put the Law’s commands into effect.
So how can we possibly exert self-control? Controlling our sinful actions and desires becomes possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23) given to us so we can know the truth of Scripture: Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sin. The Spirit brings us to Christ’s cross, and when our sin is exposed the Spirit applies the gift of self-control to our hearts and minds.
The Spirit convicts us of our sin, so we can repent of it, mortify it and be sanctified by the truth. Through Christ we are redeemed from sin, reconciled to God and regenerated by the Spirit. In this process, we continue to grow deeper in faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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Godnesia: Keeping God in Mind Each Day http://amzn.to/2GSquOD