2 December 2018 PM – 2 Peter 1:6 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: Many Christians struggle with over-eating, filthy thoughts, addictions, pornography, evil habits, an unkind tongue, anger, lustful desires, manipulating others, selfishness, worldly dress, alcohol, and countless other sinful desires. It is clear that temperance is lacking in many lives. This evening we are going to see how God wants to give us the temperance that we desperately need.
Transition: As we examine God’s command to add temperance to our faith, virtue and knowledge, I want us to answer three helpful questions.
1. What is temperance?
a. What does the Greek word mean?
1) Temperance is self-control, self-mastery or dominion over self.
2) Commentators shed helpful light on the meaning of this word.
a) The word was used of the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites. (Wuest)
b) John Brown says it refers “not merely to moderation in the indulgence of the appetites, but self-command.” (Everett)
c) It means self-government in harmony with the will of God, i.e., practical holiness. (Godbey)
b. How does the Bible use the word “temperance”?
1) Other than in our text, we find this word two times.
a) (Acts 24:25) “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Here Paul used the word in witnessing to identify man’s lack of ability to control his sinful appetites.
b) (Galatians 5:23) “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” It is a fruit of the Spirit.
2) We also find the verb form or this word twice.
a) (1 Corinthians 7:9) “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”
b) (1 Corinthians 9:25) “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” In these verses, it is controlling lusts.
3) We find the root form of this word once.
a) (Titus 1:8) “But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;”
b) It is a needed Christian quality.
O Putting this data together, we learn that temperance is self-mastery over all desires and passions, especially sensual appetites, to bring all that we do into harmony with the will of God.
2. How can we be temperate?
a. We must know its source of strength.
1) The sinful desires of our flesh are POWERFUL! This is especially true of sensual desires. (Ephesians 6:12) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Fleshly lusts war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
2) Resolutions are not strong enough to produce this self-control. We learn that every time we make a New Year’s resolution and then fail to keep it. Vows, promises, and inner determination all lack strength, even when formed in a sincere heart.
3) There is a sense in which temperance is NOT self-control because we can never fully control the sinful flesh ourselves.
4) The only power strong enough to give us temperance is the power of the Holy Spirit. Temperance is a fruit that only He can produce in your life. (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
b. We must yield to the Holy Spirit.
1) The Holy Spirit has the omnipotent power to give us self-mastery or self-control.
2) If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. He longs to guide you and give you victory over sin. However, He can only do this as you yield to him. (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
3) How can you yield to Him?
a) Sin grieves the Holy Spirit, so confess and forsake all known sin.
b) Spend quality time with the Lord every day allowing Him to teach you from His Word and then worship Him in prayer.
c) Seek to fear God and keep His commandments. You cannot disobey God and expect the Holy Spirit to empower you. It just will not happen.
d) Seek to walk hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit all during your day, yielding to Him when He prompts or convicts you.
e) Your part of yielding also includes fleeing youthful lusts (2Ti 2:22), submitting to God and resisting the devil (Jas 4:7), not yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (Ro 6:13), abstain from fleshly lusts (1Pe 2:11), and putting on the whole armour of God (Eph 6:10-18). We must learn to say NO to the desires of the flesh.
O Just as we must feed, water, and care for a fruit tree before it will produce fruit, so we must nurture our relationship with the Holy Spirit and fully obey Him before He will be able to produce His fruit of temperance in our lives.
3. How will temperance aid knowledge?
a. Let us review what we have learned so far.
1) Adding virtue to faith is the practical application that produces excellence of character and morals.
2) Adding knowledge to virtue enables us to know how to bring our virtue in line with the character, mind and will of God.
b. Here is how adding temperance will aid knowledge.
1) God has given every true Christian a new nature, but he still has his sinful nature that is at war with the new divine nature.
a) The apostle Paul said, (Romans 7:19) “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:23) “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Paul still struggled with a sin nature.
b) (Galatians 5:17) “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
2) We need temperance or self-mastery to overpower the influence of our sinful flesh. That is God’s plan.
3) Adding temperance to knowledge will govern our nature so that we will be able to apply the knowledge we gain about Christ and bring our virtue in line with the character, mind and will of God.
Conclusion: Is your life clearly marked by temperance or is it fruitless and carnal due to lack of self-control? Remember, God gave you all that you need to live a victorious Christian life the moment you trusted Christ. He gave you grace and peace, divine power, and a divine nature. You are fully equipped. Now you must do your part. Review 2. B. 3) above.
Song: Yield Not to Temptation – 364