Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. It is physical and emotional self-mastery, particularly in situations of intense provocation or temptation. It isn’t talked about alot and I surely can use more of it in my life. I can use a ton of it.
Paul reminds me “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22
It is worth pointing out while it is called “self-control”, it comes from the Holy Spirit. It is not something I can just will, on my own, to happen. But it is still self-control. I have to make choices.
Self-control affects the whole person including physical self-control. Self-control, in many cases, is about control of my physical being. My desires are brought under control of the Holy Spirit. They no longer run amuck.
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 (NASB) — Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Self-control is an issue of my heart. I must not be wishy-washy in my resolve. I must excerpt control of my will and bring it under submission to God’s desires.
1 Corinthians 7:36–38 (NASB) — But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
Self-control is an outcome of sanctification. We don’t hear much about sanctification in the church these days either. Is holiness out of style?
Our culture is in a full on assault of the holy, the sacred and being set aside from God. It is ridiculed.
What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy. … To sanctify is to literally “set apart for particular use in a special purpose or work and to make holy or sacred.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3–7 (NASB) — For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Master is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
Sanctification refers broadly to the concept of being set apart as sacred. In Gen 2:3, God “sanctified” the seventh day, meaning He set it apart as sacred. In Leviticus, Yahweh tells the entire people of Israel to maintain being sanctified (Lev 11:44–45). This aspect of the concept of sanctification is closely related to holiness and biblical regulations for maintaining purity.
Jesus had a lot to say about sanctification in John 17. In verse 16 the Master says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it,” and this is before His request: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (verse 17). Sanctification is a state of separation unto God; all believers enter into this state when they are born of God: “You are in the Messiah Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30, ESV). The sanctification mentioned in this verse is a once-for-ever separation of believers unto God. It is a work God performs, an intricate part of our salvation and our connection with the Messiah.