1. Some special blessings are revealed in 2 Peter 1:1-11 that God has provided for the benefit of His people. a. (vs.3-4) He has provided what we need so we can be "partakers of the divine nature," including "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" and "exceeding great and precious promises." b. (vs.5-11) He has provided "the Christian graces" to prevent His people from falling. 2. The 7 characteristics listed in vs.5-7 are to be added with "all diligence." 3. Review: a. "Faith" is the foundation upon which these graces are to be added. b. "Virtue" [courage, the determination to do what is right] is the first grace. c. "Knowledge" [moral wisdom, such as seen in right living] is the second grace. 4. In this lesson we are concentrating on the third of the Christian graces: "temperance." Discussion: I. LET US DEFINE "TEMPERANCE"
A. Temperance: self-control, self-discipline, mastering the desires and passions, the ability to control one's own life. B. Some Bible characters who practiced "temperance" include: 1. Jesus [1 Peter 2:21-23 -- He abstained from sinful activities] 2. Paul [1 Corinthians 6:12; 8:13; 10:31-33 -- he abstained from activities that might have caused others to stumble]. C. The opposite is self-indulgence, as illustrated by Solomon (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). II. NUMEROUS PASSAGES TEACH US TO PRACTICE "TEMPERANCE"
A. (Matthew 16:24) Jesus commanded His followers to practice "self-denial." B. (Romans 12:1-3) We are to present ourselves as "living sacrifices" to God. C. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) We are to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits. D. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) Just as athletes practice "temperance," Christians must be temperate, as well. E. (Galatians 5:22-23) "Temperance" is part of "the fruit of the Spirit." F. (1 Thessalonians 5:22) We are to "abstain from all appearance of evil." G. (1 Peter 2:9-11) As "a royal priesthood" we are to abstain from things that "war against the soul." III. SOME SPECIFIC AREAS IN WHICH WE ARE TO PRACTICE "TEMPERANCE"
A. Our thoughts (Psalm 139:23-24; Philippians 4:8). B. Anger (Ephesians 4:26-27; James 1:19-20). C. The tongue (Ephesians 4:29; James 1:26; 3:2). D. Love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). Conclusion:
1. Exercising "temperance" is sometimes challenging because of sacrifices that must be made. 2. However, the Lord taught in Matthew 19:29 that He will bless us for the sacrifices that we make on His behalf.