This is part three in a three part series.
In the third and final part to this series, we will discover a powerful weapon we have against the enemy: Self-control. If we could understand this fruit of the Spirit and make it more personal between us and God, the enemy would lose a lot of ground. Sometimes saying no, either to yourself or the devil can be the most liberated thing you can do!
There are battles taking place in the Spirit realm that could be potentially dangerous physically, mentally, or spiritually to us or to those around us. These battles are pulling us either in the direction of righteousness or sin. We can choose to give in and submit to past sins, or stand on God’s word and promises by simply saying no. That’s self-control!
Let’s take a look at a familiar passage of scripture about self-control:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
The word self-control in the Greek translates to “master oneself”. It’s interesting to note here in Galatians 5 that Apostle Paul inserts self-control last in the lineup of the nine fruits. Why do you think this is? Maybe it takes the first eight to possibly master oneself? I know it definitely takes love to accomplish anything!
What we can learn from the hyper-grace movement
It never lasts
We cannot continue sinning and believing we’re OK. Running back to the Cross and bypassing the power of the resurrection every time we need a life-line opens our hearts and minds up to be lead astray by the enemy. Greasy, slippery grace ultimately defines our character and actions. The instant gratification received is almost like a rush of adrenaline. Living on grace alone becomes so addictive that true repentance and forgiveness shifts the believer off center. Self-control helps you stay focused on your relationship with the Father.
There’s no room for faith
We know scripture tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Being a Christian and walking in the path of righteousness takes courage, but most important, it takes faith. We need to rely more on faith and the finished work of the sacrifice Jesus made through his life, death, and resurrection. Self-control when coupled with faith says “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NASB)
Hyper-grace affects our worship
When the power of the Cross and resurrection are reduced to casual elements associated with Christianity, we have a problem. Because leaders today are more concerned with empty chairs rather than empty souls, many songs about repentance, the Cross, and the Blood have been removed. The lawyer or business executive that visited a time or two may not come back if the worship is two edgy or convicting. Hyper-grace seeks to remove worshiping God in spirit and truth. If you’re in a place of relying repeatedly on grace why would you need to worship? This question arises frequently to believers because it’s anti-Christ in nature to think that you’re fine just the way you are, that you can stay the course without change. You can just work it out in the end.
We’ve only scratched the surface with this three part series. I trust that you’ve received some insight about the dangers of abusive grace. As mature Christians, we are called to continually “work out salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13)
Until next time, be blessed my friends in Jesus’ name,