Temperance – the Fruit of the Spirit – Part One

Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23

DATE: 8 Dec, 2002 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction


A.      There are NINE fruits placed in the life of the believer at salvation.


1.        On the very day you got saved, the Holy Spirit indwelt you (1Cor 6:19).

2.        On that day, God put His Holy Spirit in you and there He will remain.

3.        But He doesn’t sit idly by. He does two things


a.       Changes you from the inside out – Praise God!

b.       Exchanges your old works, with something he calls FRUIT!


B.       These are God’s replacements for the seventeen WORKS of the flesh as listed in Gal 5:19-21.

C.       The fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of my personal walk and relationship with Jesus Christ in His word – it’s not complicated. It just takes effort and focus (Gal 5:25) on your part! God help us ALL to have personal love-life with the God of this Book, that is a relationship instead of a religion!

D.      So far, we have studied the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, faith, Meekness

E.       None of these are not natural in our lives – not like anything this world has to offer – but completely supernatural!

F.       This message will focus on the last fruit of the Holy Spirit: Temperance!

G.       These 9 fruit are grouped into three directions


1.        The first three are for the believer

2.        The second three are given by God for others

3.        The last three are given to me to use towards God!


H.      Temperance is vital for me to demonstrate to God that HE is in control, and not my flesh! It is the proof that Jesus is MY Lord – my BOSS!

I.         Many of the problems that Christians get into, are caused by lack of being temperate and practicing NOT self-control, but Christ-control. Discipline is an important, but often neglected, part of the Christian life. Many broken friendships, and many harsh words come, as a result of not learning how to be temperate. Too many Christians take the attitude that they cannot control their temper, their thoughts, or their actions. This is simply not true. With God's Holy Spirit help we can practice temperance.


II.       Message


A.      The Biblical Meaning of Temperance (Mt 11:29)


1.        Biblical Meaning


a.       It means being able to master your own desires and passions – to not be puppeteered by your peers, by the world’s fads, or by your own desires and passions!

b.       It is an INTERNAL restraint, as opposed to having to have an external restraint (i.e., JAIL, or chains, or infinite laws to regulate our actions). Look at 1Cor 9:24-27


1)       Like in olympics and athletics


a)       To win a race, the runner, as with athletes has to be under control – not staying up till all hours, eating junk food, and sleeping most of the day

b)       There is regimentation, and control of diet, and sleeping patterns


2)       The best athletes are under the control of their coaches in all things

3)       Same in the military – a soldier goes to boot camp to become accustomed to being under someone elses strict control – so that they can WIN the war!

4)       So should it be so as Christians! If we want to win OUR crowns, and win our battles!


c.       So it means, Under control, cool, calm, balanced

d.       More than SELF-control, self-discipline – pity the translators of the new “bibles” making it SELF control! Keep it TEMPERANCE – I will explain why temperance is a much better word in a minute

e.       It is the bringing of all of you, under the sovereign control of Jesus Christ (Mt 16:24; Rom 12:1,2)

f.        Sober (1Pet 1:13) – not under any other control than Christ! As in either DRUNK or SOBER (fully aware, and under control)

g.       Abstinence – the ability to say “No Thank You!” Even when your flesh says, OH PLEASE!


2.        Opposites of Temperance


a.       Being out of control

b.       Being intoxicated, Drunk, or if on drugs, HIGH

c.       Excessiveness, superfluity – over-abundance

d.       Gluttony – like when there is a glut of oil on the markets

e.       Violent, wrathful, losing your temper

f.        These are the opposites of Temperance


3.        What’s wrong with SELF control?


a.       Trying to bring SELF under the control of SELF is just like the Garda investigating abuses in the Garda, and policing itself!


1)       If you did succeed in controlling your self, you would only boast about it – pride is OUT with God

2)       If you did not succeed (more likely), you would only end up with guilt, and embarrassment, and regrets)

3)       Self cannot ever satisfy!

4)       All people who attempt to abstain from any sin is doomed to fail, just as if you tried to abstain from food, or even air – it will ultimately bring about your ruin, not salvation!

5)       What we need is a PERSON moving into our life who can ENABLE us to live above our failures and defeats!


b.       Bringing SELF under the control of another self is a little more safe, but not sufficient to glorify God, and not sufficient to succeed either


1)       RC church promoted self denial, but under bishops and cannons, and archbishops – only lead to abuse

2)       Many people seek to have dictators over them – see Europe before WWII – so many wanted fascist leaders!

3)       Many people seek cultic religions because they want someone to CONTROL their lives for them

4)       Athletes hire expensive personal coaches to help them stay under control, but it only obtains corruptible crowns


c.       Bringing SELF under Jesus Christ, is the only way to win over the addictions, and powers that have destroyed humanity for the past 6,000 years!


B.       Temperance is a Gift from God (2Tim 1:7)


1.        Fear drives us to react haphazardly, and out of control

2.        A sound-mind is the ability to choose who is in charge of each situation


a.       Is your problem causer going to control you? Your enemy

b.       Is your self going to control you? Only will create more problems

c.       Or, is your Saviour – He knows what to do, and will direct your steps (James 1:5)


C.       Temperance is Something that must be Worked at (2Pet 1:5,6)


1.        Like a garden needs a lot of work to produce vegetables, and fruits

2.        So also does the garden of your heart need to be constantly weeded, and nurtured so that THIS fruit can be added to your table at dinner time

3.        It comes with effort, time, patience, and Jesus!


D.      A good example of Temperance (Dan 1:8-16)


1.        Daniel and his three friends are tempted to live like the world (world’s music, world’s fashions, world’s attitudes, etc), but they choose to submit themselves to living like God told them to

2.        They did not react with their pride, but in surrender to God’s word, His will, His Law!

3.        They abstained from the king’s food – because it was everyday first used in the worship of demons, and therefore not to be eaten by God’s people!

4.        Notice that it is NOT moderation, but abstinence


a.       They did not CONTROL their participation

b.       They totally abstained from it


E.       Six Things to bring under Christ’s Control


1.        Your tongue (Pr 29:11; James 1:19; 3:10) It needs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Can you say that it is even 1% of the time?

2.        Your thoughts (2Cor 10:4-5; Gen 6) Bring them under the control of the word of God, and direction of the Holy Spirit of God – minute by minute

3.        Your temper/anger (Pr 16:32; 25:28) – this is what every one of you need – the only reason why Jesus is NOT in control of your anger is because you don’t WANT Him to take control – you wouldn’t get the revenge you so love – you wicked scumbag! AMEN! Amen! And AMEN!

4.        Your thirst – your passions, and desires (Rom 13:13,14)


a.       Check your sports addiction out with the Holy Spirit

b.       Check your soap opera, or serial addiction out with Him too

c.       Check your dating, and see if you can bring that relationship TOTALLY under the guidance of the Holy Spirit instead of the flesh


5.        Your trade – what is life-purpose, or career? Has it been brought to the feet of Jesus, and laid there to see what God would transform it into?

6.        Your tipple/alcohol (Eph 5:18; Acts 3:1-18)


a.       Notice the contrast with WINE – forget about whiskey, and Gin, and Irish Creams!

b.       The Christian will either struggle with drunkenness, or being filled with the Holy Spirit – you CANNOT mix the two

c.       Wine itself is MAN-MADE and instead of helping the sinner, it only accelerates his demise!


1)       The great Canadian physician Sir William Osler was lecturing one day on alcohol. “Is it true," asked a student, "that alcohol makes people able to do things better? "No," replied Sir William. "It just makes them less ashamed of doing them badly."

2)       Alcohol is not a cure for any disease in the world. Since alcohol cures no disease, it is not a medicine. It creates only an illusion of vigor which does not exist. ‑Dr. Howard Kelly

3)       Is Liquor A Disease? If it is‑


a)       It is the only disease that is contracted by an act of the will;

b)       It is the only disease that requires a license to propagate it;

c)       It is the only disease that is bottled and sold;

d)       It is the only disease that is spread by advertising;

e)       It is the only disease that produces a revenue for the government

f)        It is the only disease that provokes crime;

g)       It is the only disease that is habit‑forming;

h)       It is the only disease that is spread by advertising;

i)         It is the only disease without a germ or virus cause, and for which there is no human corrective medicine; and

j)         And the only disease that is given as a Christmas present.


7.        NONE of these six things needs to be in a Christian’s life, especially ALCOHOLIC drink!

8.        Any and ALL of them can be conquered the same way – through the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Acts 3:1-16).


III.     Conclusion


A.      Temperance is a Gift from God (2Tim 1:7)

B.       Temperance is Something that must be Worked at (2Pet 1:5,6)

C.       A good example of Temperance - Daniel

D.      Six Things to bring under Christ’s Control


1.        Your tongue

2.        Your thoughts

3.        Your temper/anger

4.        Your thirst – your passions, and desires (Rom 13:13,14)

5.        Your trade – your very life itself – what you do with it

6.        Your tipple/alcohol (Eph 5:18)


A.      The sinner’s dilemma – you are either going to:


1.        Continue as you are – struggling on, with little or no success, and honestly, no lasting success

2.        Or, surrender to the only person in this universe who can SAVE you, and FREE you from sin – if the Son therefore shall MAKE YOU FREE, ye shall be FREE INDEED!

3.        I invite you to surrender, repent, and call on the name of Jesus Christ to save you right now, and become LORD of your life!


B.       The Christian’s Resolve – Christ-Control instead of Out of Control


1.        Also begins with Surrender


a.       Of your will – what are the choices you make everyday that you struggle with? Surrender them to the NAME of Jesus Christ

b.       Of your self – that’s what DENYING yourself means. Being quite tired of your self, and ready for Jesus to be back in the driver’s seat!


2.        Continues with a holy resolve that Christ will be your Lord, day, after day, after day!

3.        What this world needs to see is a bunch of Christians who HAVE the victory, and LIVE it – but all under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit of God


C.       What’s it going to be? Another week of failures and disappointments, or a week of victory? You decide – by choosing who is in control of your life!

D.      Temperance – under the control of the Holy Spirit, as He has revealed in His word! Let’s ALL live it!