Faithlife Sermons

Let Men be Men

Advancing God's purposes through manhood and womanhood.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:31
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Part one of a two part series on masculinity and femininity.

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​Introduction to the series

Perhaps some of the Danvers Statement here or after the next section.
What is our goal in these two sermons on manhood and womanhood?
At the bare minimum to help start a conversation about manhood and womanhood for some, and to inform an ongoing conversation for others. But ultimately, we what CrossWay to join God in bringing
(Excerpt from the Danvers Statement on purposes)
healing to persons and relationships injured by an inadequate grasp of God’s will concerning manhood and womanhood,
to help both men and women realize their full ministry potential through a true understanding and practice of their God-given roles,
and to promote the spread of the gospel among all peoples by fostering a Biblical wholeness in relationships that will attract a fractured world."
And we believe the power to do this comes from God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
PRAY
For today we will limit ourselves to seeking God’s mind on three questions.
What is manhood?
How do we embrace manhood?
Why does it matter?

What is Manhood?

Maleness + Masculinity = Manhood

At it’s basic level manhood can be thought of in two parts. Maleness (being a man) and Masculinity (acting like a man).

Maleness

is

Male parts + Male traits + Male sense = MALENESS

Psalm 119:73 ESV
73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Psalm 139:13 ESV
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Job 10:9a ESV
9 Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust?
Isaiah 49:5 ESV
5 And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—
So then, since God is the Grand-designer of the sexes anything that contributes to our understanding of maleness and femaleness will be governed by natural theology or natural revelation. When the bible speaks to issues of gender, it assumes a great deal. That’s because outside of abnormal circumstances, a persons gender, in most cases, is very evident. To be plain, men have men parts.
However, it is not just by the parts that maleness is perceived. In every culture throughout all generations, societies have borne witness to culturally conditioned characteristics that are coupled with God-given realities of maleness or femaleness. Simply put, every culture recognizes that there is a male way to look, walk, and talk as perceived by these societies. And when men express themselves in this way, they are identified as male. Conversely, when a male does not express himself in this way it is considered unnatural or strange. Look how this principle is demonstrated in
1 Corinthians 11:14 ESV
14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,
Thinking about this verse in it’s context we at least must hear the Apostle Paul saying two things
It isn’t right for men to act like women: and
Society influences the norms of masculine and feminine expression.
All I’m trying to demonstrate here is that societies everywhere in every generation have shared common views on what masculine and feminine traits are.
So thus far we have considered maleness from a biological perspective and a sociological perspective. A man has male parts assigned by God at conception, and expresses himself in accordance with masculine traits that have been excepted by every society down through the ages.
There is a third and final perspective. Jonathan Parnell in the book titled, “Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood,” says that “…according to one’s personal interaction with the world, males will typically perceive themselves as such. They embrace the biological and societal witness to their gender identity. Males feel male. They sense maleness in their makeup and conform to the societal perception of how that should look. In most cases, males interpret the normative perspective of male anatomy and the situational perspective of gender labels to mean, existentially, in profoundly common terms, “I am a man.” In other words, most men recognize male parts, accept male behavior, and have a innate sense that, “I am a man.”
Perhaps you are thinking, “James, maleness seems pretty obvious. Why did you take all that time and effort to simply come around and say, men have male parts, male behavior, and a sense that they are in fact male” Well, perhaps it is obvious for you and me. But it is not for some who are working through gender issues in 2018. Our present society leans toward flattening gender distinctions. There are parts of the professing church who have decided that the differences between men and women, heterosexual and homosexual have been created by a male chauvinistic church and society. If we are going to love our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, and straight friends and neighbors, then we must to be prepared listen to them. And in listening learn how to apply the biblical principles governing manhood and womanhood to their specific circumstance. But this sermon is not about gender issues it is about understanding God’s goodness and purposes for manhood.
Say something about the subjectivenss of the societal behaviors and the self-awareness.
****Invite feedback today after the sermon and next Sunday during the college lunch.****
I said in the beginning that manhood is two parts. Maleness (being a man) and Masculinity (acting like a man).
Then let’s consider masculinity.

Masculinity

Let’s look to 1 Cor. 16:13-14 to help us get a sense of masculinity.
1 Corinthians 16:13–14 ESV
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
The phrase “act like men” is a provocative phrase in that raises two questions that must be answered before you can understand the meaning of the verse. They are
What is a man?
How do they act?
Now I believe Paul assumes that the reader knows what a man is and so do we because just spent 5 or so minutes answering that question. A man is a male by God’s design. Question 2 asks how do they act and how they act, I want to suggest, defines for us what masculinity is.
When you look at the passage you find the phrase, act like men, in the middle flanked on each side by descriptors of what it means to act like men. So then, to act like men, in the context of the verse, means to be watchful, to stand firm in the faith, and to be strong. The apostle Paul goes on to say, in verse 14, that love must undergird all three commands. This mandate to “play the man” certainly has far-reaching purposes as it looks back over the entire book but in the immediate context the apostle Paul is saying let love be the impulse of the heart behind your watchfulness for the church and your families. Let love be the empowering force that gives you strength to stand firm in the faith for the Christ that you love. True masculinity is not negligent in watchfulness; wishy-washy in doctrine; not timid against the adversaries and certainly not deficient of love. We see then that masculinity is more than how a man should act; it’s an expression of a man’s love. This call to love certainly is not unique to men. Jesus calls both men and women alike to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength and to love you neighbor as yourself. The question of masculinity (and femininity) gets at how that looks distinctive to gender. For masculinity, the distinguishing feature is self-sacrificing leadership.

So then, we can say that Masculinity is gladly assuming sacrificial responsibility.

When we couple our understanding of maleness with this description of masculinity, we can say that ...

True manhood is... Man’s response to God’s calling for men to gladly assume sacrificial responsibility.

There are three things I want you to remember about this definition that lead us to answering our second question.

How do I embrace manhood?

1. Manhood is a response

Our working definition states that “true manhood is a response...” This response derives from our God-given male identity. There is not a second option. We either respond in humble obedience to God’s design or we respond in arrogant rebellion. No one decides not to respond. Since God has designed every male for manhood we will need to make ourselves into something that we are not. God’s design for men reveals a great deal of God will for men.

2. Manhood is glad

The gladness found in manhood is directly related to why manhood matters. At times manhood can be a great burden and, as we will see in a moment, a heavy responsibility. However, when the burden of that responsibility is coupled with faith in a sovereign God who has designed me to reflect His image and designed the responsibility to do the image shaping, I can embrace it all the more knowing that I will experience grace upon grace and His all sufficient love as I gladly shoulder that responsibility.

3. Manhood is responsibility

Manhood is responsibility. More specifically it is sacrificial responsibility which is another way saying manhood is about leadership. Eph. 5:22-33 is very clear in that just as Christ lead’s, protect’s, and provide’s for the church, men are to do the same for the women and children within our home and even society at large. The role of leadership in the home and the church has been given to men because God has given them distinct gifts for it. This call to lead - this charge to take responsibility - will be accompanied by sacrifice. Those who step out, to blaze the trail, and defend the cause will suffer loss, but is only temporal loss. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

How do I embrace manhood? By looking to Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith and first embracing Him as Lord and Savior. He is the man. He has already laid a path for us to follow. He has blazed the trail, perfected the work of manhood, and the power for us to follow Him is already given to us by the Holy Spirit.

This is partly how Romans 6:4 will get worked out in our live.
Romans 6:4 ESV
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
So after embracing Christ, embrace God’s call upon your life as a man and respond. Passivity will not be tolerated. It is either obedience or rebellion. You embrace life in Christ for yourself and those around you. Our path will be much like Jesus’ in that we will be called to lay down our lives for others and in particularly for women and children. The leadership mantle in the home and the church is distinctly our’s as men to carry. Not because women can’t as though they are inferior to men or incapable of leadership. No, it because the God of creation has ordained that men can and must lead and that women, with their often superior intellect, come alongside men, and together fulfilling God’s creation mandate to them both to rule the His creation. Men, brothers, we must lead.
Secondly, the gladness and joy in this labor will only come as we catch a glimpse of God’s glory, His purposes in the world, and with the eyes of faith fix our eyes on the hope held out for the world in Christ. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Consider Hebrews 12:2.
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
What we learn here is that Jesus understood something about God’s purposes in regards to His immediate suffering that allowed enabled Him suffer joyfully. Jesus could see beyond the temporal pain of His hope filled faith in His father’s eternal faithfulness. Beloved this our walk of faith and it is particularly ours as men.

How do you embrace manhood?

By responding to God’s calling to gladly assume sacrificial responsibility.
We’ve already touched on this. But allow me to this. Manhood brings with it a happy labor but it is a labor defined by sacrificial responsibility. I’ll illustrate it this way.
When Paul, Dennis, and myself express our desire to serve this church as your pastors/elders. We in a very real way said, we sense God’s calling upon our lives to be responsible for the spiritual direction of this church, the spiritual well-ness of this church, the doctrinal soundness of this church, and the orderly governance of this church. Now this does not mean that you are off the hook. You who are members of CrossWay do bear these same responsibilities one to another. But pastors/elders here at CrossWay own this responsibility in a way that God does not require of you. For us to carryout our God given duties as Jesus’ under-shepherds to you, it will require a sacrifice of that we are and have. Please, don’t pity us. Christ has not asked us to literally lay down our lives for you, yet. Ours is a happy labor, but should it ever be required, may God help us to lay down even our very lives.
Men your sacrificial responsibility in your own spheres of life are no different.

Why does it matter?

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