“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness..” – Romans 8:10
2 days ago I attended a service being held at a wake my mom told me to drive her to. It was Pastor Fianza who spoke after a good number of praise songs sung, and boy, did he leave an impact.
He spoke about the certainty of salvation through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone on top of some of the other usual things that pastors spoke about during wakes. The one thing that really struck me, however, was actually in the form of one line he said:
“Kayong mga young people, maghapon kayong nakatitig lang sa Facebook… Wala kayong self-control (You young people, looking at Facebook all afternoon… You have no self-control.).”
Though he spoke about salvation, he took it a step further. He made it a point to tell everyone that everything we do in this life has its repercussions in eternity, and that those of us who believe should not just stop at salvation but to grow in the faith that Christ has established in each and every one of us who call Him our Savior.
According to 2 Peter 1:5-7 we are to be diligent in adding to our faith “virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control”… and I’ll stop there for now.
My mother always got on all of our backs as a family when it came to self-control. Whenever we would pray, mom would pray for the fruits of the Holy Spirit to manifest in us: love, peace, patience, joy, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. She would run through all these items but when it came to self-control she took some time to really say ‘self-control in everything – in eating, in spending, etc.’
I liked that one particular line Pastor Fianza had to say regarding Facebook and self-control in the sense that he did not say that whoever was doing that was addicted to it (and therefore implying that those of us who do this are victims). No, he said we lacked self-control. Now, according to the Word I mentioned in 2 Peter, the apostle mentions that virtue and knowledge are necessary for proper self-control to be established and exercised. I agree with that, but I would like to stress that if we are to have any self-control at all, it is all preceded with faith. This is the relationship between faith and self-control.
So instead of looking at Facebook all afternoon (in this case, all evening), those of us who are in Christ must remember that we are dead to this desire of the flesh, and that by the Spirit we are alive because of His righteousness.
I prayed a few hours back in our car while I was waiting for my mom. I prayed for the Lord to continue revealing Himself and His goodness to me. What came to mind by His grace was pretty straightforward –
You are able to love because God loved you first.
You are able to do because of all that Christ did for you first.
When my mom was finished with all she did, I simply told her, “I will ‘do’, because of all the Christ did for me.”
So here I am now, typing this message for all to see. We are to be virtuous, we are to learn, we are to control ourselves – we are not to have self-control just as a reactive trait but a proactive one as well – but it all starts with the faith that began the moment we truly believed that Jesus Christ is our Savior.
To quote a point that Christian apologetic William Lane Craig makes, “We cannot be good without God.”
….I hope this makes sense. Shalom.
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