The Fruit of the Spirit: "Temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23)
1. The fruit of the Spirit consists of the 9 special characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23. 2. Today we are concluding this series of lessons with a study of the 9th characteristic: "temperance."
I. LET US FIRST DEFINE "TEMPERANCE"
A. Temperance: "the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites." B. "Temperance" is also known as "self-control."
II. THE BIBLE TEACHES CHRISTIANS TO PRACTICE "TEMPERANCE"
A. We learn from Acts 24:24-25 that temperance is part of "the faith in Christ." 1. Paul was speaking to Felix about "the faith in Christ." 2. As he did so, Paul showed Felix that he would have to practice temperance to be a Christian. 3. God's people must also practice temperance to be ready for the coming judgment. B. According to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Christians must practice temperance just as athletes must be temperate. 1. Athletes practice temperance to win "a corruptible crown." 2. We must practice temperance to finish the Christian race so we may receive an "incorruptible" crown. 3. Temperance involves bringing our bodies into subjection to the Lord's will. C. All Christians must practice temperance, but the Scriptures make special reference to: 1. the older men (Titus 2:1-2) 2. men who serve as elders (Titus 1:5-9). D. Temperance is one of the Christian graces (2 Peter 1:5-7). 1. We learn from vs.8-11 how important these graces are. 2. (vs.9) One who lacks temperance is blind. 3. (vs.10) Temperance will help a Christian to avoid falling away.
III. THE BIBLE SHOWS US HOW OTHERS HAVE PRACTICED TEMPERANCE
A. (Genesis 39:7-12) Joseph refused to commit adultery with Potiphar's wife. B. (Daniel 1:8-16) Daniel refused to defile himself by eating the king's food and drinking his wine. C. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus refused to give in to Satan's temptations. D. One of the keys to practicing temperance is hiding God's Word in the heart (Psalm 119:11).
1. Temperance involves putting the works of the flesh to death. 2. Those who belong to Christ are to have already done this (Galatians 5:24). 3. Christians are to continue doing this (Colossians 3:5-10). 4. If we are truly allowing the Spirit to direct us through His Word, we will develop these characteristics and we will continually grow in them.