I just spent the night sitting with a co-worker/friend whose house had burned to the ground with everything they own still in it. My friend, his wife, and son made it out alive. However, there were 4 members of this family. Their four year old daughter did not make it out. This was truly a sobering experience.
The apostle Paul told the Roman brethren, “For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but as to think soberly…” (Romans 12:3). When beginning to preach, a wise preacher by the name of Ronnie Hinds always said the word “sober[ly]” is thinking about things the “way they really are.” Is that not what God is trying to impress upon us as He tells us “not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought…”? In reality, we are the created and not the creator! Continue reading » Seeing Soberly…Reality
The word “teetotaler” means someone who abstains completely from alcoholic beverages. The Bible calls on Christians to be teetotalers. Continue reading » Teetotalers
One of the wonderful effects of faith in the life of Christian is that emotional equilibrium is often added where imbalance and extremism had dwelt before. The Bible is amazingly balanced, recommending a life of moderation, but on the bases of two extreme positions. Faith is never to be moderated in favor of a lukewarm approach to God and there is no middle ground between Heaven and Hell for such a person to enjoy.
Still, we want to establish a place between worry and indifference, between pessimism and fantasy, between totally negative and only positive. This is true in our daily lives, our personalities and the preaching and teaching that we do together.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Balance
In contrast to the works of the flesh described by Paul in Galatians 5:19-21, the fruit of the spirit in verses 22-23 stands out as character traits all Christians must have. It is these things that Paul said, “against such there is no law.” In other words, there is nothing to condemn such a one who practices the virtues mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Contrasted here, are the works of verses 19-21 which would and do condemn men, and which are characteristics that ought not be in anyone’s life. Paul’s style of writing often uses such means of teaching, i.e., the contrasting of two opposing lifestyles, and showing which one the Christian ought to possess. He often tells men what not to do, and then will follow that with what God expects of them. We find this in Colossians 3:5-14. It is also apparent in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (4:22-32). It is fascinating to consider Paul’s style of teaching. As we consider what Paul (by the power of the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 7:40b, 14:37) had to say concerning the fruit of the spirit, let us consider the characteristic of temperance, or self-control.
Definition Of Temperance
Many times, people think of the word “temperance” only in connection with alcohol. One might remember the “temperance” movement of the 20th Century, where this nation succeeded in outlawing all alcohol from legal consumption for a time. (Note: I said “legal consumption.” It is clear there were many who illegally brewed and sold their alcohol.) In fact, in the town near where I grew up, the main street through town is named “Temperance Street.” It was called such because originally in that town, there were no establishments allowed on that street which sold alcohol. (This rule has since changed dramatically over the years.) Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control (Temperance)