A. Generally speaking, there is a process that leads to sin (James 1:13-16).
- There is first a desire for something you shouldn’t desire that you would then go on to fulfill (Ephesians 2:3).
- This is why abstaining from fleshly desires is important (I Peter 2:9-11).
- Crucify those sinful desires (Galatians 5:24).
- No longer seeking to provide fulfillment for them (Romans 13:13-14).
II. Body: Temperate (Titus 1:8).
A. This word appears once in the N.T. and means: “Strong in a thing (masterful), i.e. (figuratively and reflexively) self-controlled (in appetite, etc.): — temperate. Strong, robust; having power over, possessed of (a thing) mastering, controlling, curbing, restraining; controlling one's self, temperate, continent” (Strong’s # 1468).
- Having the ability to control, master, curb a desire (Proverbs 25:16).
- Bringing one’s flesh into subjection (I Corinthians 9:24-27).
- Being able to stay focused on the right things (Proverbs 4:25-27).
- When a city was in such a state, those walls needed rebuilt (Nehemiah 2:11-17).
- What is better than taking a city (Proverbs 16:32)?
- On the other hand, consider how that learning things such as controlling the untamable tongue enables you to control your whole body (James 3:1-18; cf. Proverbs 13:3 and James 1:26).
- You learn what’s important and what is not (I Timothy 6:6-12 and I John 2:15-17).
- You learn how to control your thinking properly (II Corinthians 10:1-5).
- Age is a factor (II Timothy 2:22 and Titus 2:2).
- If our desires cannot be controlled, the word of God will be ineffective on us (Mark 4:19).
- If self-control is a problem for any of us, we have to remove those things that cause conflict and redirect our minds (I Peter 2:1-2 and I Peter 4:1-2).
III. Conclusion: An elder ought to be capable of restraint as Daniel was (Daniel 1:8; cf. Proverbs 23:1-3).
© 1999-2019 Brian A. Yeager