“His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature.
“For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are your and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
The word egkrateia – self-control occurs four times in the New Testament.
- In Galatians 5:22-23 in listing of the fruit of the Spirit
- In Acts 24:25 that we looked at yesterday
- And twice in our text above
The Greek word for self-control means mastery, self-control, self-mastery, self-restraint.
Self-control comes into play when everything in our fiber wants to do something and every counsel in scripture tells us not to. That’s when self-control, self-mastery, self-restraint matters.
Here’s the thing about self-control. The word itself in English gives the impression that it is the self that does the self-controlling. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The key to self-control does not lie in ourselves. We don’t have the power or the ability. That’s why we struggle so much. Left to ourselves, we are going to do what we think is right in our own eyes and what feels right to us.
The key to self-control is in surrendering. The key to self-control, self-mastery, self-restraint is in surrendering to the presence, rule, and guidance of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. When we surrender, that’s when we exercise self-control, self-mastery, self-restraint. And when we surrender, it is Christ and his power which enables us to exercise self-control.
Scriptures tell us, “For the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Christ is our strength. Christ is our hope. Christ is our power.