Self-Control: New Testament List

Self-control is very popular in the world, but the focus is completely on the self and its desires and power. Stroll through the self-help section of most any book store. Self-control does not mean that we have the ability to transform our lives for God by our own power. If this were possible, then the law or a motivational seminar would have been sufficient motivation for us to change our lives. White-knuckle obedience only leads to frustration and failure. Self-control is not a “you can fix your own problems” attitude or a justification for legalism. It is impossible for our lives to substantially change without God working in us by his Spirit.

Through this fruit the Lord gives us the strength to reject sin and arrange our daily lives around his word. Self-control implies a certain measure of decision and effort where we begin to cooperate with God’s work in our lives. By the Lord’s own presence we receive the power and guidance that enables us to do what God desires, and then reject sinful options.

The promise in these passages is that we can receive and experience self-control from God in the fabric of our daily lives.

Self-control (egkrateia) This is the noun Paul uses for self-control in his fruit of the Spirit list. It can also be translated as temperance, abstinence, or continence.

Acts 24:25

Galatians 5:23

2 Peter 1:6 – 2 times

Self-controlled (egkrates)This word also means mastering, controlling, restraining, strong, robust, controlling one’s self, or master of oneself.

Titus 1:8


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