Add Self-Control

Add Self-ControlText: 2 Peter 1:5-11

Faith must be the foundation of all that we do. Yet there are various qualities we are to add to our faith. In this lesson, the trait we will focus on is self-control.

Define Self-Control

  • Greek word egkrateia – the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites (Thayer)
  • Self-control follows knowledge (2 Peter 1:5) and learning about righteousness (Acts 24:25) – it is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23)
  • Not fulfilling our desires in a way that is contrary to the will of God

What Self-Control Looks Like WITHOUT Faith

  • From a worldly perspective, self-control is a willingness to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain – there are many people in the world who do this in a number of ways
  • This will often lead to success in life (1 Corinthians 9:25) – diligent in work rather than giving in to laziness (Proverbs 14:23; 13:4); good steward of money/possessions to avoid hardship (Luke 15:13-14; Proverbs 10:15); avoid pitfalls of addiction and substance abuse (Proverbs 23:29-30, 35, 20-21)
  • Keeping religious laws that are not part of the law of Christ (Colossians 2:20-23) – this is A faith, but not THE faith

What Self-Control Looks Like WITH Faith

  • Add to your faith – faith is the foundation; the source of faith is the word of God (Romans 10:17); self-control must be based on this standard
  • We do not allow sin to master us (Genesis 4:7; Romans 6:12-14)
  • We do not allow non-sinful things to master us (1 Corinthians 6:12)
  • We will deny ourselves to follow Christ (Luke 9:23)

How to Add Self-Control to Our Faith

  • The word of God is the source of faith (Romans 10:17) – we must go to the word
  • Recognize the difference between right and wrong (2 Corinthians 13:7) – more than knowledge; this is about how it applies practically in our lives (1 Peter 1:13); it is possible to KNOW what is right, but not DO what is right (James 4:17)
  • Recognize that the pleasures of sin are passing (Hebrews 11:24-26) – press toward the goal (Philippians 3:14) by counting all things as loss for Christ (Philippians 3:7-8)
  • Focus on what you CAN do more than what you CANNOT do (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 5)
  • Look to Jesus and His example (Hebrews 12:1-2) – He was obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:8); deny self and follow Him (Luke 9:23)


  • We must have faith if we want to please God and be saved – but faith alone is not enough (James 2:24); a stagnant faith is not pleasing to God (2 Peter 1:8; Colossians 1:10)
  • We must grow in our faith – develop self-control so we can keep from sin and do what is right; put God’s will ahead of our own will

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on the Gospel, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Road Trip.