Jimmy Draper said self-control is an oxymoron.
“We do not have self-control,” said Draper, president emeritus of Lifeway. “The Israelites had the Ten Commandments and couldn’t keep them. Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, and nobody could live up to it.”
But that’s not the point, he shared during his pastoral talk at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference on June 12.
“The control that is self-control is actually the control of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “We are filled with the Spirit when we’re saved.”
God never intended for His people to have to figure things out, Draper said. “The Holy Spirit will produce in us the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is not ours, but it’s His. It cannot be bought, earned or produced by us. His presence is required for us to bear fruit.”
Self-control is listed last in the list of the fruit of the Spirit because it is a summary of all the other virtues mentioned, he said. “The fruit of the Spirit is vital for us. … The gifts of the Spirit equip us for ministry. The fruit of the Spirit qualifies us for ministry.”
It’s not about your abilities or capabilities, it’s about the Holy Spirit producing what only He can produce in us, Draper said. “So Paul challenges us to walk with the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, keep in touch with the Spirit — then you’ll have Godly character, and character really does matter.”
To view more photos from Draper’s talk, click here.