Berean Studies / Ber04 - Temperance And Self-Control
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Single Click a triangle below to see the references CT Russell selected for the associated question. The study questions (with the references) are also included as an attached Adobe PDF file at the bottom of this page.
1. What is the importance of self-control?
2. Is self-control necessary in the interest of others?
3. Are we to be ‘temperate in all things’?
4. Does self-control imply purification of the thoughts and intents of the heart?
5. Does temperance or self-control apply to our language?
6. Does self-control extend to business affairs?
7. Why is temperance necessary in our eating and drinking?
8. Should we be temperate in our joys as well as in our sorrows?
9. Is it possible to be intemperate in studying the Scriptures and in attending religious meetings?
10. What is the relation of the ‘new will’ toward the control of the flesh?
11. What is the duty of the Church toward those ‘new creatures’ who are lacking in self-control?
12. Why is self-control an essential qualification in an Elder ?
Ti 1:7, 8; F251 ¶2; R2157 col. 1 ¶1; F249 ¶2; R2447 col. 2 ¶2; R2654 col. 1 ¶6
(Tit 1:7) For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
(Tit 1:8) But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
We read, "Let the elders that rule well be accounted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in word and doctrine." (1 Tim. 5:17,18) On the strength of these words the nominal church has built up a class of Ruling Elders; and has claimed for all elders a ruling or authoritative, if not a dictatorial, position amongst the brethren. Such a definition of "ruling" is contrary to all the presentations of the Scriptures on the subject. Timothy, occupying the position of a general overseer, or Elder, was instructed by the Apostle, saying, "Rebuke not an Elder, but exhort him as a brother," etc. "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle toward all men." Nothing here, certainly, would sanction an autocratic ruling, or dictatorial bearing--meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love, must be prominent qualifications of those recognized as elders. They must in every sense of the word be ensamples to the flock. If, therefore, they should be dictatorial, the example to the flock would be that all should be dictatorial; but if they should be meek, long-suffering, patient, gentle and loving, then the illustration to all would be in accordance therewith. A more literal rendering of the passage under consideration shows it to mean that honor should be given to the elders in proportion as they manifest faithfulness to the responsibilities of the service they have accepted. We might, therefore, render the passage thus: Let the prominent elders be accounted worthy of double honor, especially those bending down through hard work in preaching and teaching.
R2157 c1 p1
In the choice of leaders for meetings the "tongue" qualification, as here laid down should not be overlooked. The fiery tongued should not be chosen, but the meeker, the moderate, who "bridle" their tongues and endeavor carefully to "speak as the oracles of God" only. Such tongues constrain, while others more frequently wound and repel. The Word of the Lord is quick and powerful and sharp and cuts "to the heart" without bitter and acrimonious and uncharitable human expletives to enforce it. Hence the divine instruction that we "speak the truth in love."
They should be generous men, men of pure lives, having no more than one wife; and if they have children it should be noticed to what extent the parent has exercised a wholesome influence in his own family--for it should reasonably be judged that if he has been derelict in his duty toward his children, he probably would be unwise or derelict in his counsels and his general ministries amongst the Lord's children in the Ecclesia, the Church. He is not to be double-tongued or deceptive, not to be a brawler or a contentious person. He should be one of good reputation amongst those outside the Church: not that the world will ever love or rightly appreciate the saints, but that the world should, at least, be unable to point to anything derogatory to their character as respects honesty, uprightness, morality, truthfulness. There is no limitation made respecting the number of elders in a Church or Ecclesia.
R2447 c2 p2
The public servants of the Church are to some extent specially its "tongues," and what an influence they wield for good or for evil, in the blessing and upbuilding of the Lord's people, or for their injury--cursing! How necessary that all the tongue-servants of the Lord's Body be such, and such only, as are of his spirit! Their influence not only extends to those who are in the Church, but in considerable measure they are mouthpieces heard outside. And the same principle applies to every individual member of the Church, in his use of his member, his tongue. He may use it wisely or unwisely, with heavenly wisdom or with earthly wisdom. He may use it for strife, and tearing down the faith and character of the brethren, in overthrowing love and confidence, or he may use it in building up these graces of the spirit. How many have proved the truth of the Apostle's words, that the tongue has great possibilities, either for defiling the whole body, the Church, and setting on fire the course of nature, by stirring up the evil poisons and propensities of the fallen nature! How few amongst the Lord's people have conquered the tongue to the extent of bringing it into subjection to the will of God, that they may minister good, and only good, to all with whom they come in contact! Let us, dearly beloved, be fully resolved that by divine grace (promised to assist us) the present year shall witness great progress in our control of this most important member of our bodies, bringing the same into full subjection and obedience and service to the King of kings and Lord of lords--to him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
R2654 c1 p6
Where these speak, all of the body of Christ are to give attention to hear. Where these are silent, no one has authority to speak. And while an Elder should be chosen to the position of serving and feeding the flock because of special aptness to teach (to point out the instructions of our Lord and the apostles upon any subject), and while such an Elder should, therefore, in this way be specially helpful to the body of Christ in drawing the attention of all to the inspired authority of the Word, nevertheless any member of the body of Christ has the same privilege--not of exercising authority, but of calling the attention of his fellows to the Word of authority. The Apostle exhorts the Elders that so far from in any manner or degree exercising a lordly or authoritative position in the Church, they should rather be "ensamples to the flock." They should be examples in the matter of meekness, in the matter of patience, in the matter of brotherly kindness, in the matter of courtesy, so that the more any of the brethren would copy these Elders the more would the spirit of the Lord prevail in the flock, and the fruits and graces of the spirit be manifested. On the contrary, we know that if the Elder or leader of a little company of the Lord's people be self-assertive, dogmatic, imperious in manner, tone or look, the effect upon the company under his influence is to produce bickerings, rivalries, ambitions, strifes as to who is greatest, etc.
13. Why is it important that parents exercise self-control?
14. How can suggestion be applied in teaching children self-control?
15. How can we cultivate self-control?
16. What other most important grace will naturally be developed by attaining a large measure of self-control?