Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The illustration of virtue in Greek drama, Part 7. The baby wants the spectacular while the adult cultivates habits.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Self-control – accusative singular feminine noun – enkrateian – e*gkravteian = self-discipline or self-control. Self-discipline and self-control are based upon humility, and are a manifestation of basic virtue.
Egkrateia = “organized life.”

“Much to say” – adjective polus + noun logos = “much doctrine to communicate.”

Is it difficult to explain because he is not advanced or prepared to communicate it?

It is difficult to explain because his congregation had become undisciplined and slow.

“Dull of hearing” = you have been undisciplined concerning the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine.

When believers become undisciplined they become incapable of understanding advanced doctrine, and then they start yearning for the basics again.

They have horizontal dependencies.

This is a picture of a believer who has retrogressed back into spiritual infancy looking for a spiritual nursery to baby-sit them.

What characterizes these type of believers – they have horizontal dependencies which they have cultivated = they are more interested in fellowship with other believers than fellowship in the Word or learning doctrine.

1CO 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

2CO 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

PHI 2:1 Since therefore there is encouragement in Christ, since there is comfort from virtue-love, since there is fellowship of the Spirit, since there is tendernesses and compassions,

PHI 3:10 that I may come to know Him, and the power of [behind] His resurrection and the participation of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

PHM 1:6 and I pray that your fellowship with doctrine may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.

1JO 1:3b indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Practice – accusative singular feminine noun – hexin – e@xin = “habit.”

What are spiritual adults?
They are people who cultivate habits.

What kind of habits?
Perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.

The baby wants the spectacular while the adult cultivates habits.

Just like the marching around Jericho for seven days resulted in the falling down of the walls because God said it would work, JOS 6:3.

If the believer cultivates spiritual habits on a daily basis it will bring in fantastic rewards and blessings.

ISA 5:20 They call evil good, and good evil; they substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; they substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

HEB 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the habit of some, but gathering together for the purpose of encouragement.”

JOH 4:23-24 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The authority that you have over your own life is your very own volition and your right of self-determination or self-control.

1TI 4:7-8 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Godliness is simply a lifestyle for the “spiritual” believer.
Why does it say to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness?

It requires self-control and organization to execute the PPOG even if you have Bible doctrine as your number 1 priority.

1TI 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Exercise is used as an analogy to godliness because “exercise” requires self-control.

“Godliness” is the result of consistency in the perception of doctrine.

The one thing you have in this life as a believer which will be profitable for you for ever and ever and ever is “godliness or spiritual living.”

Self-control means:
a. Dedication
b. Commitment
c. Instruction
d. Discipline

1. Self-control
2. Assembling together
3. Concentrating on the teaching
4. Good manners
5. Silence
6. Not commenting
7. Not disturbing
8. Not moving-around
9. Objectivity
10. Persistence in spite of distraction.

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