Light Of His Word
The Sermons of Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church
Used By Permission
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS Temperance
Introduction: In the last message, we looked at several factors in the virtue of temperance. We saw the meaning of temperance. We saw the dictionary definition of temperance. It means being under control, cool, calm, and balanced. It is more than SELF-control, self-discipline. It is the bringing of all of you, under the sovereign control of Jesus Christ. I pity the translators of the new "bibles" making it SELF-control! Keep it TEMPERANCE. Let me give quickly why temperance is a better word. Trying to bring SELF under the control of SELF is just like the police investigating abuses within the police, and policing themselves. It does not work. If you did succeed in controlling your self, you would only boast about it. Pride is OUT with God. God hates pride. If you did not succeed (more likely that you will), you would only end up with guilt, and embarrassment, and regrets. Self cannot ever satisfy. 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. What we need is a PERSON moving into our life who can ENABLE us to live above our failures and defeats! That PERSON is the Lord Jesus.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
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. Some churches promoted self-denial, but under bishops and cannons, and archbishops. This usually will only lead to abuse. Many people seek to have dictators over them. Just look at Europe before World War II. So many wanted fascist leaders and we can see what that brought them.
Many people seek cultic religions because they want someone to CONTROL their lives for them. We could see this in the Jim Jones situation in the late 1970s and nine hundred and fourteen people putting themselves under that man and ended up committing suicide.
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! He has proved it over and over again through all these years.
We saw the movement of temperance. It is absolute control. It is not only absolute control; it is a joyful control. Temperance is married to joy. It does not produce an inward groan. If it is not a joyful control, we fight and fuss because we don't want to have the fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives. It is more than absolute control and a joyful control; it is divine control. What you find is impossible for you to control is possible for the Lord to control.
Then we tried to look at mastery of temperance and the six areas in which we need control. We did look at three of the six. I will give them quickly but no explanation for time’s sake.
1. We need temperance for our tongues.
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”
2. We need temperance for our thoughts.
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
3. We need temperance for our temper and anger.
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
we want to continue this thought with temperance and then move to other
IV. THE MASTERY WITH TEMPERANCE continued
D. Our thirst – This shows our need over our passions, and desires.
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
We need to check our sports addiction out with the Holy Spirit. Many folks are so addicted to sports that it affects their church attendance. Why are most of the major sporting events on Sunday? It is because we have very little self-control in our lives and that means that we would rather watch or go to a major sporting event than go to the house of God. Before I am branded as a fanatic, I have a few questions. Is there anything wrong with sports? There is nothing as long as it does not become a substitute for the Lord. Could you see Jesus missing church to go to a car race or watch a football or soccer game? We know the answer to that and it would be NO!
I have seen people who will spend lots of money for sporting events and not give hardly a dollar to the work of the Lord. That is an addiction. It must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit if we expect to do anything for the Lord.
This is just one of many “addictions” we may have. Each person needs to ask the Lord to reveal what is wrong in our lives.
E. Our 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?
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
When our jobs interfere with our Lord, it is time to ask the Lord give us the temperance to do what is right for Him. Some folks will do anything for the all mighty dollar and not think one moment on what the Lord wants them to do.
F. Our tipple/alcohol Ephesians 5:18
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”
Let us notice the contrast with WINE. This does not include forget about whiskey, beer or wine coolers. The Christian will either struggle with drunkenness, or being filled with the Holy Spirit – you cannot mix the two.
Wine itself is man-made and instead of helping the sinner, it only accelerates his demise! 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."
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 vigour, which does not exist. -Dr. Howard Kelly
Is Liquor A Disease? If it is, it is the only disease that is contracted by an act of the will. If it is, it is the only disease that requires a license to propagate it. If it is, it is the only disease that is bottled and sold. If it is, it is the only disease that is spread by advertising. If it is, it is the only disease that produces revenue for the government. If it is, it is the only disease that provokes crime. If it is, it is the only disease that is habit-forming. If it is, it is the only disease that is spread by advertising. If it is, it is the only disease without a germ or virus cause, and for which there is no human corrective medicine. If it is, it is the only disease that is given as a Christmas present.
Any and ALL of these problems can be conquered the same way. It is through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
This is victory that shows the might of the temperance from the Holy Spirit.
A. The temperance that we have is not found in resolutions, and self-help efforts.
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
All resolutions and self-help does it make you seven times worse than before you tried. It is more full of self-righteousness, or more regrets. It is not even found in drinking in moderation. The great Lie of the devil is all about Drinking in “Moderation”. 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 Habakkuk 2:15.
“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”
“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink”
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! A person told Seth that he needed to get drunk just one time so he could tell them the evil of drinking. I have two Greek words for that: “Baloney and Hogwash”. I have two or three generations of drunkards behind me. It was booze that caused my mother’s first marriage to fail. It was booze that put my self-father into an early grave at forty years old. I have seen the evils and explained the evils of liquor that my sons should never even want a drink.
Dr. Bob Jones Sr. was famous for this saying. “Do right until the stars fall. Do right. It is never right to do wrong in order for an opportunity to do right. Do Right!!!”
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. They are delusional. Drinking more and more just leads to more drinking and not a tolerance to booze.
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.”
Moderation is anybody’s guess because a person does not usually know when he or she have exceeded their own personal limit of drink until someone else sees it, or they kill someone on the highway!
Where does most drinking done in public? A bar is the obvious answer. Here is a poem.
A Bar to Heaven ~ A Door to Hell
A lifetime convict in Joliet Prison wrote the following poem:
"The saloon is sometimes called a bar,
A bar to Heaven, a door to hell,
Whoever named it, named it well.
A bar to manliness and wealth,
A door to want and broken health,
A bar to honor, pride and fame;
A door to grief and sin and shame,
A bar to hope, a bar to prayer,
A door to darkness and despair,
A bar to honored, useful life,
A door to brawling, senseless strife,
A bar to all that's true and brave,
A door to every drunkard's grave,
A bar to joys that home impart,
A door to tears and aching hearts,
A bar to Heaven, a door to hell,
Whoever named it, named it well!!
Alcoholic drink affects a person's alertness, and yet the apostle Peter says in 1st Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"
The Lord expects a Christian to stop drinking completely at salvation.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
If moderation was what the Lord expected, then a drug addict can use drugs if in moderation. Then an adulterer can commit adultery and be unfaithful to his wife or her husband, if it is kept in moderation. Then a murderer can just limit his or her murders to a rare event.
B. Temperance is found in the Holy Spirit fruit. We are talking about a real life.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
It is not a dead religion. It is more abundant than drugs, drink, debt, lust and constant cycles of defeat and disappointments.
This victory is already provided.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
This victory is by the Son of God.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
It is free and freeing. You received all by faith in the work of God.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The blood of Jesus Christ can purge out all the failures, and make your life both clean, and full of REAL life. Hebrews 9:13,14
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
many people mistake the life that you get from sin as a real life.
Real life is only found in the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: I have not gotten too much further today but we can see that real temperance comes from the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, it is not difficult to have real temperance; it is impossible.
May the Holy Spirit produce that fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
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