“...gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

// 2 Timothy 1:7

Self-mastery (or self-control, as we generally call it) is a fruit of the Spirit. Period. But what does that mean? And why does Paul append “against such there is no law” to the end of his list of the fruits of the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit moved into us with an express purpose of teaching and empowering us to master ourselves. The word in Greek that Peter uses here, egkrateia, actually means “dominion within.” So, to put it succinctly, the Spirit of God empowers us to master ourselves. It’s been said that Jesus is Lord over the Church and the Holy Spirit is Lord within the Church. So, when we put all of these strands of thought together, a beautiful truth emerges: the Holy Spirit indwells us for the express purpose of giving us dominion over ourselves, a dominion that comes from yielding to His dominion in us.

See, in the Holy Spirit abides the kingdom [see Romans 14:17], or the domain of the King, and His job in our hearts is to make that kingdom real to us and to expand the rule of the King within us. To know Jesus is to gain control of your inner life, to finally rule your own heart and mind through the power of the Spirit. When God made us, He told us to have dominion [see Genesis 1:26], and part of that is to master our own hearts well, the way He does: with love, joy, peace, diligence, etc.

Paul adds that there is no law against these fruit. We might say it differently today: there is no prohibition or limitation. God does not put a limit or cap on how far you can develop in any fruit of the Spirit, especially self-mastery. We have unending ability to grow in learning to govern ourselves, because the Spirit will always be willing to expand the inner life we walk in, whilst empowering us to govern it well.

Only the Spirit can empower us to master ourselves. Only He can teach us the valuable lessons we need so we can rule in all situations and circumstances around us with “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”! Internally and externally, we can rule with those valuable virtues of God’s heart, bringing glory to God and hallowing (praising, honoring) His Name in the earth.

// Samuel Nicolosi