In this message, we will examine the last in the list of the nine “fruits of the Spirit”—“temperance” or as most translations render it: “self control”. (This is how the Greek dictionary defines it: Gk. ἐγκράτεια; [engkrateia]: “self control (“especially continence, temperance.”) As is usually the case, it is difficult to find the ideal English word to answer to the Greek word the Holy Spirit led Paul to use in the original. Temperance certainly conveys some of the idea but in modern usage we primarily use the word temperance in connection with abstinence from alcohol. On the other hand I will show you why there is a problem with using the words, “self-control” and how that could distort the fundamental idea God is teaching us.
We will see why God saved this manifestation of the Holy Spirit for last and how the Scripture gives us a great model by which to conceptualize what God will do in our lives if we are to allow Him to develop this vital fruit of the Spirit in us.