“How Can I Get This Thing Under Control?” (Learning Self-Control)


“How Can I Get This Thing Under Control?” (Learning Self-Control)

Pastor Jim Lowe III

Sunday Morning,  9:30am Stream

08/07/22 (1st Sunday Message)


{All scriptures are NIV84 unless stated}



Today’s Title:

“How Can I Get This Thing Under Control?” (Learning To Control Self)


Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.


Today we talk about self-control.


This is the last fruit of the Spirit mentioned…but each is equally important.




Because EACH of the fruits of the spirit deal with self.


Love - to access and control your ability to “feel for others” - The Good Samaritan


Joy - learning to take control of your thoughts so you have access to the “joy of the Lord.” - “Knowing for every dark night there’s a bright morning”.


Peace - your ability to be at a place of “shalom” even in trials. - Jesus and the Disciples on the water.


Patience - learning to wait on the Lord.  Not letting anxiety get to you.


Kindness - controlling your actions towards others to show kindness…to even go out of your way.


Goodness - doing good things!  Rather it involves other or not…do the right thing even within yourself.  Do good, not evil!


Faithfulness - Your ability to rely on God’s power.  Keeping your attention and trust in Him. “Even when you feel you are alone…God will be with you.”  “You might be in the fire…but God will meet you there!”


Gentleness - Controlling your actions and words concerning other people.  We are representatives for Christ…and WE have to make sure to meet people where they are.  We were told to make Disciples…not run people away.  “People can hate you because of Christ, but don’t let them hate Christ because of you.”


Even with each of these dealing with a form of “control…”


What is self control about?


Having Self-Control Is The Ability To “Control Self”


Makes sense.


Most of the time we talk about this in terms of “controlling” our sin.


We talk about the ability to deny self.


Lots of times they’ll deal with sexual things.


Our thoughts, our actions.


But it means more than that.


Let’s talk about 2 things Self-Control means.


Self-Control Means:

1.The Ability To Prevent Yourself From Doing Some Things

2. The Ability To Will Yourself To Do Things You Should Do


Let’s talk about the first:


1.The Ability To Prevent Yourself From Doing Some Things


From doing what things?


The stuff we shouldn’t be doing.


The things we sometimes WANT to do…but know we shouldn’t.


This is addressed to everyone.


Let’s Be Clear:


We ALL Should Be Working On Something, Because We ALL Deal With Something! 


What do we deal with??


This is a message about dealing with US.




Well we can always start with a question:


What’s The First Sin That Comes To Mind When I Say “Self-Control?”


This isn’t the time to look at your neighbor.


This is talking about SELF Control.


This is talking about the lying…sleeping around…the foul mouths…the lustful thoughts…the stealing…the quick to anger…the quick to offend…the judgmental…that and MUCH MORE.


But we’re working on it right???


Here’s a definition for self-control.


Self-Control: The Thing We Expect Everyone Else To Have But Us


The modern day story of the woman caught in the act of adultery.


So how do we deal with it?


A good starting place is continuing the scripture in Galatians.


Galatians 5:24

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.


Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature.


Those who belong to Christ have put to death the sinful nature.


What Does This Mean?


The sinful nature is best described as what we WERE before we met Christ.


Romans 6:1-2

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?


Shall we go on sinning so grace may increase?


This is saying since we’ve been forgiven for past and future sins…


Let’s just keep it going!


“We don’t have a get out of hell free card!”


You “live” with your family…


You should no longer “LIVE” with sin.


If Our Bodies Are A “House,”


The bible tells us our body is a building…


1 Corinthians 6:19

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;


Our body is a temple…sooooo


If Our Bodies Are A House, Who Lives There With You?


I’m not talking about your spouse.


Does Jesus live at your house?


Or does Jesus have to leave and go home at the end of the day?


Does Jesus live there?  Or does sin??


Romans 6:6-7

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.


We have been “freed” from sin.


It no longer controls us.


It no longer “masters” us.


Even in the scripture earlier:


Romans 6:1

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?


This is asking shall we keep doing the same stuff we did before like it’s okay?


For example:

If you used to sleep around before you met Christ…can you continue the weekend fun KNOWING God will forgive you?


Of course not.


God’s Grace Gives Forgiveness For Sin, Not A License To Do It!


So what does this mean in relation to sin?


It does NOT mean we live WITHOUT It…


because we are human…


we will always be working to control ourselves…


  sometimes we will succeed


  sometimes we will fail.


But it DOES mean that we should NOT live with sin.


Who lives with you?


It should be Christ…


1 Thessalonians 5:6

6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.


We don’t belong to those things any more.


We have to control them.


We can’t just give into them.


“We don’t belong to the night.”


“We belong to the day”


We Have To Love God More Than We Love Our Mess!


We have to change our way of thinking that we are to seek God…not ourselves.


Self-control is learning to change “who lives with us.”


Self-Control Is NOT About Being Sinless. It Is About Learning Control So We “Sin-Less!”


Why not “sinless?”


There is one perfect God.


There is ONE without sin.


The problem can be when we set “no sin” as the standard…


Failure hits so much harder…




If you do the same sin every day at the same time.


If you can stop…STOP!


Proverbs 26:11 (English Septuagint)

11 As a dog when he comes upon his own vomit and becomes detestable, 

so is a fool who in his own wickedness returns to his own sin.


If You Can Control It, It’s Foolish To Keep Doing It!


But sometimes we get in deep.


Cold turkey may not work for everyone.


Not everyone can jump off the ladder.


Some of us have to climb down.


Even If It Takes A While, Make The Decision To Start Letting Some Things Go!


Titus 2:11-12 (MSG)

Gods readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvations available for everyone! Were being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life.


We are being shown how to do better…


We are being shown how to live for God…


…or better let God live with us.


Learning Control Is Difficult, But God Will Help Us!


1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.


When the temptation comes…


look for the way out.


God will provide it.


You don’t HAVE to give in to anything.


2.To Will Yourself To Do Things You Should Do


Remember, controlling self is literally taking control of YOU.


Not just to stop doing things…but to do some things also.


Self-Control Makes Us Get Up In The Morning When We Don’t Feel Like It


It can be easy to stay in bed in the morning…but we KNOW we have to get up…so we will ourself to do so.


Self-Control Makes Us Set Goals And Stick To Them


Self-control wills us to stay on the course for God.


Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


It’s not just throwing off the sin…


It’s making the decision to run and keep running!


James 1:12

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


Persevering under trial!


Standing the test!!


You have to MAKE yourself stay the course!


Galatians 6:9

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Don’t become tired…




You will reap a harvest.


Self-Control Pushes You Forward When You Want To Give Up


God gave us this ability.

2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


This is a fruit of the spirit!


We Are Stronger Than We Think Because Of Our Connection To Christ!


If any man is in me…


He will bear much fruit.


Self-Control Is Part Of The Process!


2 Peter 1:5-7

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.


Make efforts to add to your faith…your belief:


being good…and to that learning…




start controlling yourselves better than you were.


and after that…


learning to control yourselves for longer periods of time…


Self control has to start early!


Self-Control Can HURT!


1 Corinthians 9:25-27

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


We are in strict training!


We need to do what it takes to win the prize.


Don’t Let Self Get In The Way Of Winning…Start Getting It Under Control!



1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.





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