Spirit-Filled Fruit Baskets – Day 25


Self-control is one of the hardest things some people have to struggle against.  I could be argued that a lack of temperance is near the top of the list of the things that keep people from reaching their potential.

The Bible has a lot to say about self control: its importance and its purpose.  Today, we are going to look at the purpose of temperance.


As Christians, we are to be a people under control of ourselves physically.  We should add to that the truth that we are also to be a people under the control of the Holy Spirit.  However, I believe it is important to note that a mark of Spirit-fulness is a self-controlled individual.  Those who say that the mark of the Holy Spirit is chaos are not doing justice to the Sciptures.  Spirit fulness is not being completely robbed of your ability to control your body.  It is rather being empowered to control yourself and conduct yourself in an appropriate fashion.

Consider the two following passages:

1 Corinthians 14:32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophetsFor God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

In both of these passages, the subject of Spirit-fulness is being discussed.  Notice that in both passages, Spirit-fulness is contrasted against the idea of a lack of control and a prevalence of disorder.

In Corinth, there were those being disorderly in the church, who claimed they had no control over their actions because they were being filled by the Spirit.  “Not so” says Paul.  The spirit of the prophet remains subject to (under the control of) the prophet.  You cannot blame your disorder on the Holy Spirit.

In his letter the Ephesians, Paul contrasts drunkenness with Spirit fullness.  One (drunkeness) leads to excess.  The other (Spirit-fullness) leads to orderly worship and conduct.

It is not only the manner of influence, but the outward manifestation of that influence which is different.

God does not tell us to relinquish practical control of our bodies to Him.  By that I mean that we are still to consciously control our bodies, even while we present them as living sacrifices to God.

The Apostle Paul was a man under self-control, who was also Spirit-filled.

1 Corinthians 9:27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

He was being guided by the Holy Spirit, but was in full control of his physical body.

Submission to God is not a giving up of mechanical control.

Because of this fact, the Apostle Paul had some specific rules regarding temperance in his own life. Read the following verses carefully:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Paul did not live his life asking, “Well…what’s wrong with it?”

He realized the purpose for which he was to be living, and the Person (Christ) to whom he was to be in submission.

Anything which had the potential of exercising power of his life was set aside, or placed under strict control.

Not every activity is good for every individual.

Habits, addictions, pleasures: they all have the power to potentially control us.

The Christian who desires to exercise temperance will recognize those areas of danger, and act purposely to bring them under control.

For some, that may mean complete abstinence.  For some that may mean not allowing themselves to go beyond a certain point, even if they desire it.

Practically speaking, for example, if you are prone to overeating, you may need to limit yourself to the portion size, even if you still feel hungry.  In some cases, you may need to avoid pie altogether if you cannot stop with one slice.

The point is, that whether it is sugar, recreation, television, napping…whatever; we are to be in control of our actions, and not have our actions and desire be in control of us.

Now…this is next to impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit.  That is why He bears this fruit in our lives.  He empowers us to do what needs to be done.  He helps us.  He guides us.  He gives us the strength that we do not have naturally.

I will say it again.  A Spirit-filled Christian is a Christian under control.

How would you apply this to your own life today?

Spirit-Filled Fruit Baskets – Day 11


In our discussion of joy, we talked about the joy that is ours through Holy Spirit’s witness to the reality of our salvation.  Peace is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit that involves this witness.  That will be our focus today.

The world knows they have no peace.  That is because man is born at odds with his Creator.  Only Christ can bring peace to the human heart.


Let’s start with several passages of Scripture:

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 52:7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Luke 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Acts 10:36  The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Man is born in sin.  This fact is very clear in Scripture.  The world rejects this teaching, but that does not make it less true.

One of the results of this sin nature is that mankind is constantly at odds with each other.  The real problem, however, is that man is in rebellion against God, and that impacts all his other relationships.

Think of it like this.  Often when you and I have a problem with someone, we take our anger and frustration out on those around us.  Our problem is not of their making, but they are closest at hand, and so they feel the force of our frustration.

Often we lash out at the ones nearest to us, because we cannot get the one we are truly angry with.  Have you ever done that?

Man is in rebellion against God.  He cannot bridge the gap, and he cannot get rid of the feelings of enmity.  So, in that state of mind he goes out into the world and take out his frustration and sin on the rest of the world.

All sin is an act of disobedience against God.  However, most of our sins affect others as well.  Greed is rebellion against the law of God, but it hurts others around us.  Hatred is rebellion against God, but it hurts other around us.

Sin, and the curse of sin, is the underlying problem with the world today.  Everything else is a symptom.  Isn’t it a curious that the actual problem is the one thing the world refuses to discuss?

God knew of this problem, and he had a plan.  Romans 5 tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Why did he do that?  He did it to open the way of peace and reconciliation to God.  This was the message of Christmas.  God was declaring the way of peace. A way back to God through His Son.

The Resurrection proved that Christ was the Saviour who could reconcile us to God and give us peace.

The Holy Spirit, dwelling in the believer, produces this fruit of peace that we may enjoy.  A knowledge of the truth that we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Now, we are free from sin, and Christ in us can help us to live in obedience to God.  This internal peace, then, can effect every relationship around us.  Men at peace with God, will be at peace with one another.  This will never be complete until Heaven, but we can have a foretaste of it now, in our own lives.

Do you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?  Are you enjoying the fruit of peace?  Peace with God?  Is that peace effecting your relationships?

Heavenly Father,  I thank you that when I didn’t even know I needed you, You had a plan.  Thank you for sending your Son to die for me, and open the way of peace with You.  Thank you that you were in Christ, reconciling the world unto yourself.  I pray that every day, I may enjoy the fruit of peace from the Holy Spirit, who dwells in me.  Let that peace, which is with You, overflow and impact every relationship I have.  In Jesus name, amen.