On Pentecost, a Chinese pastor preached about self-control, which is the ninth fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Jinsha Church in Tongzhou District, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, hosted a communion service on Sunday, June 5, the day of Pentecost. During the service, Rev. Qiu Cheng delivered a sermon on the topic of "the Ninth Fruit of the Holy Spirit – Temperance".
After the epidemic prevention and control verification and registration, the congregation entered the church. Rev. Qiu started to preach the sermon, citing Galatians 5:22-23 and other scriptures.
Mentioning Pentecost first, Rev. Qiu followed with a brief review of the first eight chapters of the sermon series titled "Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit" shared earlier. He told participants that this sermon on temperance or self-control was the last of the series which was preached coincidentally on Pentecost Sunday, hoping that the congregation could receive the anointing from the Holy Spirit on that special day.
Focusing on temperance, the pastor first explained its definition and the necessity and significance that Christians should live self-controlled, healthy lives (Titus 2:12), so much so that they should be known to the world by their “moderation” in all things (Philippians 4:5). Not only should there be constant temperance in what was not spiritually edifying, but in what seemed "right" as well. In daily life, we should not just act according to our own preferences, but to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which was taught in the Bible.
At the same time, the pastor emphasized that in our religious life, in addition to "the things that should be tempered", we should also have a good knowledge of “what Jehovah forbids".
As to the "forbidden things", beginning with "the seven things that the LORD hates" in Proverbs 6:16-19, Rev. Qiu elaborated on sins, such as "haughty eyes" and “a lying tongue”, that caused serious damage to personal spiritual growth, church development, the relationship between God and believers, and between church members.
Next, Qiu exhorted all believers to maintain a clear cognition and an attitude of prudent self-control at all times regarding what God forbids, so as not to “overstep the God-imposed boundaries”.
After sharing the things that should be resolutely forbidden, Rev. Qiu revisited the topic of "self-control" to explain that the "things requiring temperance" taught by God referred to what could be done within limits. More specifically, he talked about the subtle aspects of diet, staying up late, spending money, entertainment, and recreation, presenting the key and solution to living a temperate life.
Later, the pastor stressed that although Christians were not saved by their behaviors, they would be wrong by thinking that "actions were not important". As God required His every child to live out the life of Christ, churchgoers were requested to “exercise” themselves unto godliness, which included obeying the guidance of the Holy Spirit and bearing the fruit of self-control.
In the last part of his sermon, the senior pastor of the church summarized the topic of "Self-Control" of the day, as well as the entire "Fruits of the Holy Spirit" series of sermons.
He pointed out that self-control is one and the last of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. Despite every Christian having different gifts and spiritual conditions, they should bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Only a life that bore fruits could be powerful enough to impact other people, society, and even the world.
In the end, the pastor advised that believers always ask themselves, how many of the nine fruits had been borne in their lives? If no fruits were borne as they should, they must always return to God to repent earnestly with a contrite heart. For without repentance, we couldn’t be reborn, let alone reach the kingdom of God.
After the sermon, Rev. Qiu hosted the communion service.
- Translated by Shuya Wang