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Act Like Men

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God's kind of man is not defined by physical strength. God's kind of man is defined by the spritiual strength that comes by living by the example of Christ.

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What Does it Take To Be A Real Man?

What does it take to be a real man? Many in our culture today equate manhood with strength.
Sports Illustrated once did a profile on a champion arm wrestler named Dave Patton. According to the article Patton hadn’t lost an arm-wrestling match in some twelve years. He weighed a mere 160 pounds but easily defeated men twice his size.
Patton trained obsessively. He did exactly 756 bicep curls per session, pushing his pain threshold to the outer limits. For fun he ventured onto the streets of Manhattan, set up a table, and challenged all comers to a prize of one thousand dollars to whoever could beat him. No one of any size ever had.
In the article Tom Junod describes the feats of strength of other men.
Moe Baker of Bristol, Connecticut, … not only had 18-inch forearms but could also jump straight out of a 55-gallon drum without ever touching the sides. Cleve Dean, a 600-pound hog farmer from Georgia, was a he-man, too, because he could pick up a full-grown sow under each arm and walk around.… And the legendary Mac Batchlor, from Los Angeles, was a he-man because he could fold four bottle caps in half simply by placing them on his fingers and closing his fist.
Strength is necessary to be a man…you don’t want to have to give up your man card by losing an arm wrestling match with your wife or your girlfriend, that is why I never have one…not sure who would win…so I just don’t do it!
But is physical strength where its at?
Depends on who you ask?
Some men - yes
Some women - yes
Have we ever stopped to consider how God defines manhood? Don’t you think it would be a good thing to pause on this Father’s Day to examine what the Creator of men has to say about this topic?
I am so glad you are thinking like I am…you should be scared…but I am glad.
I really hope this morning that you track with me on this because I believe biblical manhood and biblical womanhood are under attack in our culture and even under attack in the church.
We dealt with this to some degree on Mother’s Day by examining the Scriptures to identify and honor all women who choose to be godly…in a culture right now that wants to objectify women and mistreat them, bully them, and abuse them, the men of the church ought to be leading the way out of that despicable sinful condition.
It doesn’t matter how much physical strength a man possesses, the only way to lead our culture out of that is for men to experience genuine heart change…the heart change that only comes through a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB95
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The man of God is someone who has been impacted by the gospel and he allows the power of the gospel to change how he thinks, and change how he acts…he is going to seize the opportunities God gives him to impact those around him for God’s glory.

Matthew 5:16 NASB95
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
To be God’s Kind of Man, our focus is not on our wants or needs, it is not found in our physical strength...it is found in our spiritual strength.
When we talk about having spiritual strength it means that you are willing to stand with courage to make the tough decisions of what is right before God regardless of what others around you think or do.

Main Point: The Man of God must strive to be God’s Kind of Man.

3 Traits of God’s Kind of Man

God’s Kind of Man Stands Strong Against Opposition

Ephesians 6:12 NASB95
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB95
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

He is actively fighting the fight of faith.

Notice the four commands Paul gives here…none of them are passive in nature…they all communicate an active participation in a spiritual war.
Be on the alert
Stand firm in the faith
Act like men
Be strong
All of the terms here and in Ephesians 6:12 call us to a life of spiritual warfare. In a world that is hostile towards God and righteousness, the man of God must be aware of the spiritual darkness around him and actively fight against it.
By definition, the English word alert means quick to notice and respond to potential danger or problemsthe Greek word means to stay awake, to keep watch.
The man of God must not fall asleep to the spiritual battle within his own heart and the hearts of those around him and he must be quick to respond to the spiritual dangers that attack his own heart and those of his family.
Act like men is a translation of a word that means to be courageous, to conduct oneself in a courageous way, to act manly in contrast to acting like children.
The man of God is going to put off childish ways of thinking and acting and put on the courage and maturity that displays the life change they experienced in Christ.

The principle here is that the man of God is not content to be disengaged from the battle that is raging around him. He takes a “hands on” approach to fight against sin and leads the way out for those around him to follow.

He understands the urgency of his day.

1 Chronicles 12:32 NASB95
Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.
Ephesians 5:15–17 NASB95
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The writer of Chronicles was describing the men that surrounded David and their contributions to the kingdom…every leader needs men around him who are discerning of their times and able to provide godly wisdom of what ought to be done…last week I challenged you to consider stepping up to fill the voids left behind if Jesus were to delay his coming for another 100 years…filing the voids to be the next generation of deacons and pastors…will you be the kind of man who could provide godly, biblical wisdom to his pastor or co-laborer?
Paul warns us to be careful how we walk…our walk must be one of wisdom and understanding of what it takes to please God and the importance of doing so. There should be no doubt in those who observe the man of God that he is a child of God.
Men are you discerning the day in which you live and how this culture has the potential to negatively impact your spouse and your children, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers?…you must recognize how urgent it is for all those around you to know the truth about God, Jesus, their eternal destiny {Gospel}Do you see the urgency of our time and are you making the most of those opportunities to impact your world for Christ?

He doesn’t shrink back when the opposition increases.

Hebrews 10:38–39 NASB95
But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
It is interesting to note here that the writer of Hebrews uses two forms of the word for shrink back.
In v. 38 — he uses a form of the word that conveys the idea of withdrawing, avoiding, hesitating
In v. 39 — he uses a form of the word that conveys ceasing

God does not find any pleasure in the man who withdraws, ceases or even hesitates from living by faith, who shrinks back…so to to keep from shrinking back you must walk by faith.

By quoting Hab. 2:4 the writer of Hebrews makes the point that the man of God walks by faith and not by sight…walking by faith allows you to stay steady when everything around you is falling apart…walking by faith gives you the courage to stay right when others around you stray…walking by faith means you have a confidence in God and His promises and in the imminent return of Jesus and so you refuse to withdraw...
When he walks by sight instead of faith, the man of God opens himself up to the temptation to retreat when life gets hard...The point he is making here is that the true believer, the true man of God is not going to be characterized by retreating when times get tough…
The writer here uses a voice in the original language that indicates this drawing back is done for himselfhe is selfish who draws back…he chooses his own will instead of God’s…the man of God must be willing to sacrifice his wants so that he can do what God wants.
Drawing back is senseless. The action in drawing back indicates a basic selfishness. Indeed, the middle voice used in verse 38 shows that the drawing back is done for himself (that is, the one who draws back). That indicates doing the action for his own motives and not for God. Every man must be careful that his actions are not self-willed. He should be diligent in determining God’s will for his life. After that, the life of faith will enable him to do that will of God, which is what the epistle was teaching the Hebrew Christians. Service to God involves a self-sacrifice which brings great joy to the faithful. Crowson, M. (2000). The Epistle to the Hebrews (pp. 128–129). Nashville, TN: Randall House Publications.
I want to pause for just a moment a make a few points of application...
Men — Get engaged in the battle…there is a battle raging for your mind and heart to draw it away from God, and you need to engage in that battle with urgency, there is a battle raging for the hearts and minds of your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your friends, your co-workers…someone needs to lead the charge for them…to show them the truth and the impact living by faith can make.
in some degree this is why our culture is like it is…biblical dads are missing and not engaged in the spiritual battles, they have abandoned their posts and left the women and children to fight it themselves…the examples of men worthy to follow are dwindling because men are not following Christ the way they ought.
Why is it men that in most churches across our country the kid’s Sunday School classes are taught by the ladies? Why is it we can find men teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic, but we can’t get them to teach for eternity? Children from all ages need to see men who are actively engaged in teaching the Word of God...
if you are actively engaged....thank you, I praise God for you, don’t give up, even when those around you are not engaged you keep moving forward, you keep leading the way.
Ladies —Praise God for the man in your life who is like this...you need to understand the responsibilities he has to lead you and protect you in this spiritual warfare, and you need to pray for him, you need to be his Joshua and Hur, who when Moses’ arms were tired they held them up…
if the man in your life is not doing this, pray that he would, encourage him to respond in faith by you choosing to live by faith…make him want what you have...
all ladies, you need to thank God for the men in this church who are willing to be on the front lines fighting the battles, who are striving to be godly examples, and to provide the wisdom we need to see God’s direction for our church.
None of us are perfect, we get that...but we all, to a man, have a love for God and his people and we are doing what we believe God wants us to do to be the church He desires us to be…can we do more, sure…be patient with us…pray for us...
As your pastor, I am thankful for the men God has surrounded me with that realize we are in a spiritual war and they help me see things from various view points, they are standing in the gaps for you trying to lead you by example…when was the last time you went out of your way to encourage the men of this church who are doing that? (have Leadership Team stand)
Young people — you need to give your dad a break! I understand that your dad is not perfect by any means…but you need to recognize the fierceness of this spiritual war and the weight of responsibility your father carries, you need to do your part to lighten his load by loving him in spite of his faults and failures and stop being rebellious to his leadership…whether you like or not, God has placed him as an authority over you…and unless your father asks you to violate Scripture and sin, you have a God-given responsibility to obey him, whether you think he is right or not. You need to praise God for the godly father in your life who is fighting that battle…
and if your father is not like that, then pray for him, help him see the difference Jesus makes in your life…make him want what you have…let him see Jesus is real by observing your walk of faith.
The second trait of God’s Kind of Man is

God’s Kind of Man Loves and Leads His Family

Turn with me to Ephesians 5 & 6

He loves his wife with purpose.

Ephesians 5:25 NASB95
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
This is a command men, it is not an option…it does not depend upon whether she is lovable or not...
I once had a man say to me in counseling that when his wife is more lovable he would then love her…WRONG ANSWER
Remember how God loved you when you were unlovable...
Romans 5:8 NASB95
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The supreme responsibility you have with your wife is not to be her authority, but to love her with the same love that Jesus has for his church.

That kind of love is unreserved, selfless, and sacrificial
Jesus gave everything he had, including his own life for the sake of the church.
That is the standard for the husband’s love for his wife.
Ephesians 5:26–27 NASB95
so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
The purpose of your love is to sanctify, cleanse and purify her.
Yes, she is responsible for her own spiritual condition, but you also bear responsibility for her condition…you are to be so concerned for her spiritual welfare that you cannot bear the thought of anything sinful in her life…your desire for her is to see her become like Christ and you do everything possible to lead her there.
You cannot lead her to some place you have never been and on a path to which you are not walking…in other words if you are not being sanctified by the Word, you cannot demand or expect her to be sanctified by the Word.
You fulfill that purpose by continuing to teach her and lead her in her understanding of God through His Word.

The principle here is that our marriages ought to reflect the relationship between Jesus and His church.

Jesus doesn’t abandon His people when they don’t do what He wants them to do…He loves them anyway and continues to reach to them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
He doesn’t disengage when there is conflict, he doesn’t stop sanctifying, he doesn’t stop loving, he doesn’t give up.
This side of the heaven the church will always be imperfect because it is composed of imperfect people…yet Jesus keeps loving, keeps sanctifying, keeps interceding for her...
Our marriages ought to reflect the truth that Jesus knew how imperfect the church would be yet he was willing to do everything needed to set her apart and make her righteous.

He leads his family by accepting the responsibility to parent his children.

Ephesians 6:4 NASB95
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The man of God recognizes the importance of raising the next generation to love and honor God and he doesn’t neglect that responsibility or pawn it off on someone else, especially his wife.

Yes the wife (mother) is to participate in the parenting responsibility, but far too many dads have given over the entire concept of parenting to the moms…you dad must be an active parent…it is a shared responsibility.
The best way for you to do that is to employ the two avenues God gives you as their parent.
"in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Avenue #1 — Discipline
Avenue #2 — Instruction

Your children need to know what your goal is in parenting…to help them grow up to please and honor Christ.

that means you have to instruct them about Jesus…you can’t just expect them to gain that knowledge of Jesus through osmosis…you must take every opportunity you can to teach them the truth...
The word for instruct here is the word νουθεσία (nouthesia) which is also translated throughout the NT as admonish, warn, counsel…Which means that God’s kind of man will be a biblical counselor to this children.
Deuteronomy 6:5–7 NASB95
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
They need to be taught how to love God with all their heart, soul and might.
They need to be taught what it means to live for God and walk by faith...
Employing the avenue of discipline means you have to measure the corrective course of action that is appropriate to bring about that goal.
Your goal is not to modify their behavior and make little Pharisees, it is to impact their heart and make them little Christs.

Your job is to make sure they are growing up to be adults that don’t need your constant discipline anymore because they have developed biblical convictions for themselves.

Don’t drive your children to anger, despair and resentment with unreasonable demands and strictness.
In Paul’s day, the father had supreme authority over the family. When a baby was born into a Roman family, for example, it was brought out and laid before the father. If he picked it up, it meant he was accepting it into the home. But if he did not pick it up, it meant the child was rejected. It could be sold, given away, or even killed by exposure. No doubt a father’s love would overcome such monstrous acts, but these practices were legal in that day. Paul told the parents, “Don’t use your authority to abuse the child, but to encourage and build the child.” To the Colossians he wrote, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:21). So, the opposite of “provoke” is “encourage.” Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 54). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
The third trait of God’s Kind of Man is...

He pursues righteousness with everything he has.

Turn with me to 2 Peter 1:5-11

He doesn’t settle for indifference in his own life or the lives of his family — v. 5

Applying all diligence — means make every effort — employ maximum effort — God’s kind of man recognizes that Christ-likeness takes effort and discipline to come alongside everything that God has provided and put it into practice.
Supply give lavishly and generously…in Greek culture, this word was used for a choirmaster who was responsible for supplying everything that was needed for his choir…it never meant to equip with just enough to get by…it meant to supply lavishly for a noble performance…God has given us everything we need, now we must do our part to apply diligent devotion to personal righteousness
God’s kind of man keeps pressing forward, never content to maintain the status quo spiritually…he keeps leading his family to do the same.

He strives to live the godly life — v. 5-7

Peter gives us a list of characteristics that ought to be seen in every believers’s life…he is not suggesting we “add” these like we do beads on a string, but rather we recognize how each one helps build the other…they are all to be evident in our life...

He desires to be fruitful in his efforts — 8-11

The promise here is that when these qualities are present and increasing in the believer’s life, there is the manifestation of the “divine nature” within him…it is proof of life change.
When they are not present we become indistinguishable from an evildoer or the world around us.
Without them we are unable to discern our spiritual condition.
We forget about our positional sanctification
We have no assurance of our salvation therefore we live in doubt and fear.
When we do posses them we have confidence and security in our salvation and that keeps us from doubting and living in fear.

Lesson for Life — Be the Man God Wants and Intended You To Be

Men — you must be engaged in God’s program for you…as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a member of his church…where does your game need to be ratcheted up?
Ladies — how engaged are you in encouraging the men in your life to fulfill their God-given responsibilities…are you praying for them diligently, are you allowing them to lead you, are you holding up their arms as they stand in the gaps for you? Are you living the life of faith God calls you to so that by doing so you can possibly win them over?
Young people — are you rebelling against your father’s leadership and by doing so adding an unnecessary burden to their load of already difficult responsibilities, when was the last time you thanked your dad for fighting for you? Are you praying for your dad? Maybe you need to simply go up to your dad, put your arms around his neck and pray for him right there so he can hear you. He will never be the perfect dad this side of heaven…

Physical strength may define the world’s view of man, but God’s kind of man is defined by his spiritual strength to consistently think and act like his Savior.

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