Temperance – the Fruit of the Spirit – Part Two

Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23

DATE: 8 Dec, 2002 PM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction


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

B.       The last one is Temperance


1.        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!

2.        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.       Review


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

2)       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!

3)       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!

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

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)

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

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

E.       Six Things to bring under Christ’s Control (Eph 2:1-3)


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)

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

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


 III.     Message


A.      The Biggest Issue – Alcoholic Drink


1.        Statistics


a.       Canadian Beer. There are over 120 brands of Canadian beer. The Canadian people drink over 16 billion pints of it every year ‑ enough to keep Niagara Falls spilling at full flow for ten minutes!

b.       French Alcoholics. Alcoholism kills almost 22,000 persons a year in France, the country which has more cases of cirrhosis' of the liver than any other in the world. Official statistics also show that the average Frenchman drinks 31 gallons of wine a year.

c.       "Drunkenness has killed more men than all of history's wars." ‑General Pershing

d.       The Trap Of Genius. Friedeman Bach, the most gifted son of the great German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, went to pieces through drink. Michael Haydn, younger brother of Joseph Haydn, and hardly less gifted, was ruined by drink, Franz Schubert became an inveterate wine drinker and died in his early thirties. Robert Schurnann's binge drinking led to a nervous breakdown. After the death of his wife, Rembrandt, then thirty‑six, became an alcoholic. Upton Sinclair said, "I call drink the greatest trap that life has set for the feet of genius!" ‑Sunday School Times


Minister Micheál Martin Launches National Alcohol Awareness campaign

"We Must Face Up To The Reality Of Our National Alcohol Problem."


The Minister announced his personal opposition to de-regulation of off-licenses and pubs saying, "whatever about the commercial merits of de-regulation, the public health risks are intolerable. Research tells us one inescapable truth - when alcohol is less easy to get hold of, consumption and alcohol-related problems go down. If we make alcohol more easily available through deregulation, then underage drinking and the myriad of problems that come with underage drinking are going to escalate. We cannot kid ourselves that this won’t happen" he said.

Announcing new figures that show that, in the year 1999 alone, alcohol related problems cost the country £1.7 billion he went on,"this figure doesn’t come near the emotional price we’re paying, the human suffering and distress caused every day, in every town and townland in this country, is unimaginable. It covers the healthcare costs and the costs of road accidents, crime and absenteeism."


Statistics quoted in the National Drugs Strategy relating to drugs and alcohol usage by young people and taken from a survey conducted in schools across Europe. These statistics indicate that:

Ø        53% of young people have tried an illegal drug (National Youth Council of Ireland, 1998)

Ø        2% of 15-16 year olds have used cannabis

Ø        22% have used solvents

Ø        89% have drunk alcohol

Ø        More than half of 9 to 11 year olds have tried alcohol and that for those under 14, the home is the most common source of supply.

Ø        Among 12 to 18 year olds, pubs, discos and the home are the three most commonly reported sources of alcohol supply.

Ø        Nearly one third of 15 to 16 year olds binge drink at least three times a month.

Ø        Irish teenagers are amongst the highest abusers of alcohol in Europe.

Ø        Between 1989 and 1999, alcohol consumption per capita in Ireland increased by 41%, while ten European Union Member States showed a decrease and three others showed a modest increase during the same period.

Ø        Alcohol is considered to be the main cause in the breakdown of approximately one third of all relationships in Ireland, according to the North Western Health Board (NWHB).

Ø        It also said that alcohol accounts for one quarter of all cases dealt with by marriage counselling services "and has far reaching consequences for Irish families".

Ø        In Ireland alcohol is estimated to be associated with at least 30% of all road accidents and 40% of all fatal accidents.

Ø        There are 33 victims of violent assault every day, according to Garda statistics.

Ø        Most assaults involve drunken 18-25-year-old males beating up other drunken 18-25-year-old males. Women feature less in attacks, but, say the police, can often be the most vicious. Women are more likely to use glass shards to cut and deliberately disfigure and deform their victim.

Ø        What is the link between alcohol and violence? Alcohol works by depressing the brain activity in its higher centre. This is the area that’s responsible for thinking, reasoning and judgement, and that acts as a restraint against certain behaviours. Too many pints or shorts lead to a decline in activity in this area. The result is that we are less able to think clearly and have less control over improper urges and behaviour.

Ø        Number of people charged with street crime under 1994 Public Order Act

1995 – 10,209

1996 – 16,386

1997 – 25,755

1998 – 27,945

2000 – 37,749





a.       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."

b.       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

c.       Beginning a second night's carousal in Babylon, Alexander the Great drank the health of every person individually. He called for Hercules' cup, which had a huge capacity. Filling it, he drank it all down, drinking to the Macedonian Preteas. He pledged to him again, and fell to the floor. A few days later, he was dead at the age of 32.

d.       Is Liquor A Disease? If it is‑


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

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

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

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

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

6)       It is the only disease that provokes crime;

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

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

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

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


e.       Two Costliest Drinks For Lincoln


1)       On the last day of Lincoln's life, the great emancipator said: "We have cleared up a colossal job. Slavery is abolished. After reconstruction the next great question will be the overthrow and suppression of the legalized liquor traffic:."

2)       That evening, the assassin Mr. Booth stopped in a saloon, filled himself with liquor to nerve himself for his planned tragedy. That night Lincoln's bodyguard left the theater for a drink of liquor at the same saloon. While he was away Booth shot Lincoln. Those two drinks might be the most costly drinks in American history.


f.        One of the best social arguments against the use of alcohol is in the words of Lady Nancy Astor: "When I have a good time, I want to know about it."

g.       Senator Mark Hatfield in the US has been seen time and time again, when he goes to social functions where hard liquor and wines are served, he turns his glass upside down. His testimony and influence against drinking has profound effect.

h.       Even President Bush is a teetotaller – knowing firsthand the ruin of alcohol in his own life as a college student. At banquets, he drinks water!

i.         Thomas Edison On Alcohol.


1)       Thomas Alva Edison might well be called the "Founding Father" of most of our modem electrical conveniences.

2)       One of the most interesting and instructive things about Edison is what he said about alcohol beverage: "To put alcohol into the human body is like putting sand in the bearings of an engine. I am a total abstainer from alcoholic liquor. I always thought I had a better use for my head." We are glad he did‑otherwise, we might still be using coal oil lamps! ‑Pulpit Helps


j.         The Little Baby's Shoes


1)       So depraved and de-humanized by drink was Melvin Trotter that he sneaked into the room where his baby lay in a little white casket, and removed the little white shoes from its feet. He went to a saloon, plopped the little shoes down on the counter and said, "Give me a drink! I'm dying for a drink!"

2)       However, not every spark of humanness had died in the sordid soul of the saloon keeper, because he said, "Here's a drink, but you go and put those shoes back on the feet of your dead baby!" Sometime thereafter this slave of alcohol came to know Jesus Christ. Let Trotter tell what happened:

3)       "There was not anything that I knew about that I had not gone through. I had taken cure after cure. I had taken everything known to science, and had made resolution after resolution. But just one glimpse of Jesus Christ, and I have never wanted a drink from that instant to this!" ‑Walter B. Knight


Father Mathew’s Crusade, by John F. Quinn

Chronicles the Irish temperance movement

For centuries, the Irish have been famed, and often derided, for their attachment to alcohol. Yet in the 1830s and 1840s, Ireland became a temperance stronghold. The man almost singlehandedly responsible for this surprising transformation was Father Theobald Mathew (1790–1856), a popular Franciscan friar. Over a ten-year period, seven million Irish men, women, and children took the pledge at his hands, while hundreds of public houses were forced to shut their doors or switch to selling coffee and tea.


B.       Our Victory


1.        NOT in resolutions, and self-help efforts (Mt 12:43-45)

a.       All it does it make you 7 times worse than before

b.       More full of self-righteousness, or more regrets

2.        Not even in drinking in moderation - The Lie about Drinking in “Moderation


a.       Nobody can “handle” fermented liquor in moderation unless the following conditions can be met:


1)       You have to first give a person a drink, which violates Hab 2:15. Read it and see that it is wicked to give a friend a drink (Isa 5:22)!

2)       The person has to first drink “to excess” to find out where their limit is - this then violates the first rule of “drink” because you have to get yourself “drunk” to know when enough is enough!

3)       The person then has to keep drinking in order to develop and maintain their tolerance of drink, so that they can handle more and more without getting drunk.


b.       All of this is just a balancing-act that God never intended the Christian to get into. The Christian stays clear of things that can hinder their ability to serve their Lord!


Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1Thes 5:22)


c.       Moderation is anybody’s guess because a person does not usually know when they have exceeded their own personal limit of drink until someone else sees it, or they kill someone on the highway!

d.       Alcoholic drink affects a person's alertness, and yet the apostle Peter says in 1Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"

e.       God expects a Christian to stop drinking completely at salvation (1Cor 6:9-11)


1)       Or else a drug addict can use drugs if in moderation

2)       Or an adulterer can commit adultery and be unfaithful to his wife or her husband, if it is kept in moderation

3)       Or a murderer can just limit his or her murders to a rare event


f.        None of the above people “shall inherit the kingdom of God.” And so the Bible continues, “And such _______ some of you: but ye are ______ (cleansed from the sins), but ye are ___________, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1Cor 6:11). Christians in Corinth had at some time in the past been sinful in one or more of the above areas, but NOW, because of Jesus Christ saving them, they are different - they surely WERE that way, but are NOW washed, sanctified, and justified by Christ - and they were not supposed to try and “cut back” on adultery, idolatry, thievery, homosexuality, or drunkenness. They were supposed to stop all of it completely, and live for Jesus Christ - the One who saved them "______ their sins" (Mt 1:21), not saved them to be able to remain IN their sins.


3.        Talking about LIFE (Eph 2:8-13; John 10:10) not a dead religion – more abundant than:


a.       Drugs

b.       Drink

c.       Debt

d.       Lust

e.       Constant cycles of defeat and disappointments


4.        Already provided (1Cor 15:57,58)

5.        By the Son of God (John 8:32,36) – pretty FREE isn’t it?!

6.        Received all by faith in the work of God (Col 2:9-15)

7.        The blood of Jesus Christ can purge out all the failures, and make your life both clean, and full of REAL life (Heb 9:13,14)


IV.    Conclusion


A.      In the US, a preacher named Billy Sunday, brought about the voluntary prohibition of the sale of alcohol for almost 10 years before it was snuck back into the law books. He led over 2,000,000 grown men and women to Jesus Christ, and helped produce the last great revival this world has seen since! He did it on the following premise:


1.        That the Christian cannot simply live with one foot in, and one foot out of a clean and holy life

2.        That all of the Christian’s life is to be submitted to the word of God

3.        That the only way to change a person’s life is by surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, instead of only the saving Grace of Jesus Christ

4.        That lasting change is possible, if all Christians get under the authority of God and His word!


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

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

D.      A good example of Temperance - Daniel

E.       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)


F.       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!


G.       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


H.      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!

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