Read Romans 6:10-22

How can we control our passions that lead to defeat?


To try to excuse or justify our weaknesses because of failure in the past is not the answer. Facing up to them is the most important step.

So, confess the weakness to the Lord. Admit to yourself that you have no control over your sinful nature and desperately need God’s help to overcome the passion.

Paul faced himself after describing the conflict between the old and new nature. He did not avoid it, but said, Ro 7:24, Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death.” Verse 25, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”


Make a conscious, willful decision to obey His commands. He is the Son of God and has the authority to demand it of us. When we are truly willing to follow Him, there can be no room for our own selfish emotions.

John 14:15, “If ye love me keep my commandments.”

John l5: 14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you.”

Paul told the Roman believers in Romans 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God.”

Obeying the Lord involves the will. We must decide to obey in all things. Realize that we are responsible for our own behavior.



Romans 6:10-22

“A father shouted in anger at his frightened son. His anger increased, and finally, pounding him with his fist, he knocked him to the floor unconscious.”

“At a motel, a nervous man signed the register ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith.’ His attraction to his best friend’s wife was about to result in a shameful, adulterous relationship.”

Tragically such headlines do not occur only in newspapers and television, but all too often in real life, and respectable homes. Too often those of us who claim to be Christians are involved in terrible events such as these. In fact, many born-again believers have called out to God over and over again for relief from powerful, passionate emotions.

These emotions lead to outbreaks in violent temper, jealousy, greed and lustful thoughts and deeds.

Emotions that God built into us for good, when distorted by sin, are all too often channeled into deeds that are destructive.  Our natural appetite for food or drink becomes gluttony; the proper sexual drive becomes adultery, and the desire to succeed often leads to selfishness and pride.

I believe that victory over these passions is possible, because we are not dealing with some mystic power, or uncontrollable force, or weakness to which we have to surrender.

As believers we are on the battleground with Satan, the enemy of our souls, and we are in a constant struggle with him, as well as with our old nature. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that sins of passion such as anger, jealousy, greed, pride, can be overcome by the Christian who sincerely wants to be victorious over any immorality.



Jeremiah 18;1-11.

The vessel can shrink because of marring, teaching us that we can shrink in our Christian life because of sin.


The question in this message is, “How can we escape the discouragement, despair and depression of life after it is marred?” Examples of ruin in the Bible are meant to encourage, not discourage us. When the clay was marred it did not become worthless, because the potter still had a use for it. God still has a purpose for you! He still wants to work with you!  Don’t continue to resist, because it will lead to destruction in the end.

Your life can still be useful, satisfying, worthwhile, and of great value.  No matter how far you have gone into sin, God can still make you useful and be pleased with your life.

Lesson: A vessel is good for only one thing – to contain something, but there are some requirements for the vessel to be used as a container:

  • It must be clean.
  • It must be empty.

God can make or reshape your life and mine, and only He can bring it to perfection; because He is the Potter, we are the clay, sin is the marring and the wheel is our life.

Someday all vessels will be finished by THE POTTER’S HAND!


The clay resisted the potter’s hand. Don’t resist God’s hand, because He is a God of a fresh start, and He never writes anybody off, but is patient and longsuffering with us.


The two most important questions in our Bible studies are: how and why? Clay is not worth much because it is just dirt.  Diamonds are just lumps of coal, but are valuable and beautiful because they have been proven. God did not say we are diamonds, but that we are clay, just clumps of dirt, but look at what God can make out of dirt. Clay is cheap, but the potter can make it something which is priceless, worthwhile, useful and beautiful.

  • Clay can yield to the hands of the potter.
  • Clay can be pliable and be made over again, not so with a beautiful diamond.

We may be clay, but the Potter can make something beautiful out of us. On the other hand, He can put a useless vessel on the shelf. The clay cannot be molded into something beautiful without putting pressure on it; the same is true with us.

How we respond to the pressure will determine what kind of vessels we will become. Clay must have a potter and the potter must have some clay to shape. God spends much time on His vessels, so allow Him to work on you.


This is important for us to understand: if the potter finds something in the vessel that resists, he has to remove the impurity and make the vessel again. The tragedy is that our potential is limited and can be greatly reduced if we resist. We throw a lot of things away in our lives when we resist the Potter. The vessel can shrink because of marring, teaching us that we can shrink in our Christian life because of sin.



There are four very obvious and important lessons we need to see in this portion of Scripture:


  • God, as the Potter, has a plan for each of us.
  • He has a goal and a finish line in mind for each of us.
  • Most Christians doubt His plan.
  • Some Christians ignore His plan.
  • Some Christians submit to His plan.

His plan is always the best, and He never fails to give His best to those who leave the choice up to Him. The Christian who waits for God’s best is truly blessed.

  • The Potter wants us to prosper in His plan.

This is really a wonderful blessing for the Christian who is willing to allow God to shape his or her life. Love is always building; if we love, we will want to build up our own lives, the lives of others, and our ministries.

The difference between success and failure is shown by the account of the prodigal son: first he said, “Father give me,” and when he came back he said, “Father make me.”

  • The potter is patient.

The clay resisted the potter’s hand. Don’t resist God’s hand, because He is a God of a fresh start, and He never writes anybody off, but is patient and longsuffering with us.



Please read Jeremiah 18:1-11 again.

Jeremiah went to the potter’s house not to preach a sermon, but to receive a sermon. This was not a sermon to hear, but a sermon to see from God Himself.

Matthew Henry said, “Those who had a sermon need not study them, if given by Divine Inspiration.”

There is a national and a personal application to what Jeremiah saw:

  • He applies it to the person verses 1-4.
  • He applies it to the nation in verses 5-9.

The first thing Jeremiah saw was the potter making a vessel, and something caused it to be marred. So “he made it again.”

God is saying that we are like clay in the potter’s hand, and like the clay, we resisted, but God is a God of a second chance and opportunity – “He made it again.”

According to verse eight, God may even repent (change His mind) concerning His judgment upon the nation, if they will turn from evil.

On the other hand, God may also repent of the good with which He would bless them according to verse ten. God is saying to the nation and to us as individuals, “I am trying to make something great out of you.”

God can make something beautiful out of clay, and God can make something beautiful out of the Christian who is pliable.

Jeremiah was quick to do what God said in verse two, and look at what he did in verse three, “Then I went down to the potter’s house.”  That’s a real working faith:

  • Obedience is essential in order to hear the voice of God.
  • God speaks to us through the routine things in life.



This is only the introduction to one of the most important topics for anyone who is or is seeking to be a faithful man or woman of God. Please follow me for the next week and I would appreciate your testimony or input on the subject at the end of the study. Email me at hnikoley@gmail.com

Jeremiah 18:1-11 

Verses 1-3, “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.”

Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at the Milton H. Berry Institute in Los Angeles, a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the rest room. Milton Berry followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw Will Rogers leaning against the wall, sobbing like a child. He closed the door, and in a few minutes, Rogers appeared back on the platform, as jovial as before.

If you want to learn what a person is really like, ask three questions: What makes him laugh? What makes him angry? What makes him weep? These are fairly good tests of character that are especially appropriate for Christian leaders. I hear people saying, “We need angry leaders today!” or “The time has come to practice militant Christianity!” Perhaps, but “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

What we need today is not anger but anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city. The difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It’s easy to get angry, especially at somebody else’s sins; but it’s not easy to look at sin, our own included, and weep over it. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, pp. 75-76.