-The Biblical Man- Masculinity Masculinity starts with… Maturity • Proverbs is a book written by older men (particularly a father) to younger men (particularly a son) for the purposes of raising up mature, responsible, masculine men. • Throughout the Bible, young men are being called by God to grow into spiritual maturity and usefulness, earlier than most of us think. • The entire book of Proverbs is designed to help this early fruitfulness happen. The book begins like this: “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel . . . to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth” (Proverbs 1:1, 4). • The Bible does not believe that wisdom is only for the aged. Wisdom comes from God’s word mainly and from life-experience secondarily. Therefore, we should pray earnestly and work diligently to become men who are blessed with wisdom, discretion and maturity early in life. The Marks of Manhood – Dr. Albert Mohler A 1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children. • Proficient in the disciplines of the Christian life, including prayer and serious Bible study. Able to teach and lead as the head of his home. 2. Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father. • Unless called to celibacy for Gospel service, he aims for marriage and fatherhood. True masculinity is not about having masculine characteristics, it’s about being responsible in every aspect of the life God has called you to. 3. Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money. • Not a lover of money, attracted to material goods, or prone to economic carelessness, slothfulness, self-centeredness, or laziness. Develops a Christ-like work ethic. 4. Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family. A • Unless afflicted by injury or illness, the man should develop the stature, strength and confidence that marks recognizable manhood, and he must be ready to put it all on the line to defend his family. 5. Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God’s purposes. • Avoids pornography, fornication and all forms of sexual corruption, and understands the danger of lust. He has put accountability measures in place to honor God with his body. 6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as an example of righteousness. • Not reckless or irresponsible, but always striving to think, act and live like Christ, imaging God correctly to bring His light to the dark places of this world. Able to reason morally, and translate Biblical principles into godly living. 7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions. A • Able to apply godly discernment to his decisions, and lead his family in a way the brings glory to God, stays faithful to His word, and is open to scrutiny. 8. Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important. • Develops a consistent Biblical worldview, and is able to interpret and evaluate across the spectrum of religion, politics, entertainment, education, etc., and is able to defend Biblical truth in front of his peers. 9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others. • Has “emotional intelligence” (EQ), compassion, humility and self-control coupled with emotional strength, constancy and steadfastness. He is in tune with the hearts and minds of his wife and children. 10. Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society. A • Actively involved in his neighborhood and community, well respected by others. Not divisive and separatistic, but missionally engaged in the world, bringing salt and light. 11. Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man. • Able to convey God’s truth to others, and speak in front of large groups. Not all will be experts in this, but the man must be able to take his ground, frame his words and make his case. 12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire. • Has the courage, bravery and audacity required to face real-life challenges, defend and protect others, and take a stand under hostile fire, relationally and spiritually. Not silent, not like Adam, but able to stand as an example of Christ to others. A to lead at some level 13. Biblical maturity sufficient in the church. • Able to lead, teach and serve sacrificially. Pray before others, present the Gospel, and stand in the gap when a leader is needed. Churches fail because men lack biblical maturity. All of the previous marks of manhood are prerequisites for this level of maturity, for a man to take his place as a leader in the local church. God appoints specific officers who are specially gifted and publicly called, but we must all fulfill some leadership responsibility within the life of the church. Public or private, large or small, every man has a role in God’s story. Men and Masculinity A • Books of the Bible written primarily for Men: • Proverbs • Ecclesiastes • 1st and 2nd Timothy • Titus • The author of every book of the Bible is a Man • Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Our “Fathers” in the Faith • God is our “Father” (not our mother) • Jesus is the son (not daughter) of God, and He is our brother (not our sister or girlfriend) • “Patriarchy” is a bad word in today’s culture, the feminist revolution and gender politics helped to create the negative connotation • Much to the chagrin of staunch pacifists, Jesus often refers to the Church using military imagery and terminology, as an offensive force on the move, charging hills, and storming the gates of Hell. • Images of athletics and warfare are used repeatedly by the Apostle Paul to describe our role in the Church and the story of God. Current State of the Church: • Predominantly female: >60% • The least likely person to be in a church today is a young single man in the age group of 22-31 years old • Feminist theology, ecclesiology and Goddess Worship is infiltrating the Church (The Shack, The Secret, The Da Vinci Code, A New Earth) • Overly Effeminate Worship: “Prom songs to Jesus” (Over- realized “Bride” metaphor) Common Types of Men in Church: 1. Hostages: Men who get dragged to church by their wives and children. 2. Church Boys: Soft, Passive, Compliant Men who wear a lot of pastels. 3. Sexual Predators: Men who are just looking for better odds than at the bar. Typical Men’s Ministries: • Promise Keepers: “singing, crying and hugging” • Prosperity/Poverty Gospel, Health and Wealth, Name it and Claim it • “Instead of coming with a whip and driving out the money changers, Jesus helps us make money to spend on stuff.” • “Instead of heaving with grief and outrage over the death of Lazarus, Jesus is saying nice things to get us to distract ourselves from the brutal realities of sin and death in our broken world.” *The answer is not to create a Jesus that fits the stereotypes of today's masculinity. That is just more worldliness and should be repented of. Biblical Gender Distinctions: • We need to recover and celebrate genders distinctions instead of denying them • Men and Women are Equally made in the Image of God, but they are wonderfully different • We were made to fulfill different aspects of God’s image, brought together for Complimentarian oneness in covenantal marriage • Gender Confusion: women trying to be men, men trying to be women • Gender Wars: Feminism (women trying to rule over men), Chauvinism (men abusing their authority) Three Layers of Masculine Identity Man as Cultivator Man as Fighter Man as Teacher How Sin Twists Masculinity: 1. Abuse • Violence, Anger, Rage, Dominating, Verbal and Physical Abuse, Domination, Bullying • Proverbs 1:8-19, 3:29, 11:16-17, 14:16-17, 16:29, 19:26, 20:29, 24:1-2, 24:21-22, 28:15, 29:10 2. Avoidance • “The Silence of Adam” • Peter Pan syndrome, “Adultescence” • Proverbs 3:27, 12:24, 14:23, 23:20-21, 34:30-34, 29:3, 29:21 3. Abandonment • Can’t carry the weight of glory, can’t stick to his responsibilities, his priveleges • Proverbs 2, 11:3, 24:10, 27:8, 14:4 The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations • Don’t let cultural definitions of masculinity set low expectations for what you may accomplish for Christ. • Don’t postpone the burden and the blessing of fruitfulness in your life because you use the excuse of youth. • As we begin forming our lives, marriages and families around the purposes of Christ, reclaiming biblical manhood, and seeking wisdom and maturity through the Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit becomes paramount. Keep Shoveling - Proverbs 14:4 • It’s going to be a a struggle and a fight, to be sure. Life is messy, the ground is cursed, our flesh hinders us, and powers and principalities unseen war against us. • But through Christ and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, we find the strength to endure, the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible tasks set before us, and the fortitude to continue shoveling for God’s glory, our joy, and eternal legacy.
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