Act like Men
The title of this lesson come from what Paul wrote the Corinthians in
ESV 1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. What I would like to do this mornings in focus in on the idea of acting like men and answer questions such as. What is involved in showing oneself to be a man especially a Christian man and what does it mean to be a real man?† I believe all of these questions can be answered from the NT where the men of God are instructed on how to conduct themselves.
The first thing I want to look at is how single men should conduct themselves. First lets take a look at the charge given to Timothy a single man of the day.
1 Timothy †Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
We learn from these words how a single man is to act. While it is true that Timothy was a minister I believe the same principles apply to all single Christian men in fact I will go even further as say that they apply to all Christian. Notice all the things that Timothy was to be example in. First he was to be an example in his word or his speech. It very important for men to watch what they say. There is always an open ear just waiting to hear your say something inappropriate that is why it is important for us to watch what we say. Paul says,
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Second Timothy was to be an example in his conduct or his behavior. A man is conduct himself in honorable way and not some lewd manner. Sometime you find men behaving in vulgar ways but a Christian man should not behave this way.
The third thing† Timothy was to be an† example in was in love. If a man is full of love he will not have any room for hate or angry words. So for a Christian man to conduct himself is way that is pleasing to God he must have love.
The last 3 things Timothy is to be a good example in is spirit, faith and purity. Every man should live their live is such a way that others around you can see that spirit of Christ is in you. In order for you to have the spirit of Christ it takes faith. A man needs to have faith in God. This last thing is very important to those that are single men and that is purity. A single man is one who needs to watch how he conducts himself around women and that he maintains pure thoughts. Lets take a look at What Paul tell Titus
Titus 2: 6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded,† 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,† 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
Here Paul gives very similar instructions to Titus. But as you see the whole idea behind this is that Christian men are to act is such as way that they will be† good examples to those around them.
The Bible teaches us that there is advantage to those who are single.
1 Corinthians But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord -- how he may please the Lord.† 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world -- how he may please his wife.
You see a single man has more time on his hands. He doesnít have a family to take care of and so a single man should use his extra time and energy for the lord. However, many times these men donít remain single and they get married and start a family. That brings to our second point.
How should a man act as a husband?
I think Paul describes it best in,
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,† 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,† 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.† 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.† 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
We learn from Paul that we are to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. Think about how deep a love that really is. To put this in to perspective lets take a look a few passages that show what Christ was willing to do for the church which is just another way of saying what he did for us since we make up the church.
Philippians 2 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,† 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,† 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.† 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
That is how much love the Jesus has for you and I. He was willing to give up his home in heaven to become a man and to live like one of us and be tempted like one us so that he could fully know how to help us in our time of need.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
You see Jesus was willing to give up all that he had so that we could be set free from our sin. He loved the us so much that he was willing to face the torture of the cross for our sakes. Notice what John says about his sacrifice.
Romans 5 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.† 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.† 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Because Jesus loved us so much he was willing to give his life for us and according to Acts 20:28 he purchased the church with his blood. That is how much Jesus loved the church and we as husbands are to have that same type of love for our wives. This means that we should be willing to love our wives with every ounce of our being. We are to love them as we love ourselves and to nurture them as we would want to be nurtured. As part of this great love that we are to have for our wives we are should also respect them and give them the attention and affection that they deserve.
1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.† 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.† 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Obviously we learn from this passage that there is an responsibility for both men and women to give attention and affection to one another. However, our main focus this morning is on the men. So we learn from the passage that there is great need for us as men to spend quality time with our wives. As good Christian men we need to recognize the importance of rendering attention and affection to our mate. I have known of married couples where the men donít spend much time with their wives in fact they try to do everything they can to avoid spending time with them. This is not what God had in mind when comes to a happy marriage. Sometime guys want to keep doing all the same things they did before they were married but sometimes the activities are to many and a sacrifice has to be made so that you can spend more time with wife and your kids. Based on what Paul has said if we continue on this path of neglect Satan is going have a better chance at tempting either the man or the women. Another thing we should do is found† in,
1 Peter 3:7† Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Another thing we are to do as husbands is to seek to understand our wives and honor them. Now notice very careful I said we are to seek to understand them I did not say that we will ever fully understand them because I just donít think that is possible and Iím sure the ladies may say the same thing about us as well. But as Christian† men we need to try to understand them and to honor them. Again, I have heard† of how some men will do nothing but belittle their wives and call them all kinds of mean names and believe that is wrong and certainly is not honoring them. So, we must be careful of how we treat our wives.†
Now lets take a look at how men should act as fathers.
Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
First lets deal with the phrase do not provoke your children to wrath. Now not all provoking is bad.
Hebrews And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
In this instance there a positive way that a person may provoke or stir someone up and certainly as fathers we want to provoke or stir our children up in such away that will lead them to righteousness. However, Paul is telling the men not provoke their children in such a way that will cause them to be angry or cause them to regret you being there parent. Paul goes on and tells us men what we are to do. He says that we are to train them up that is to fully teach them about Gods Word. This is one the responsibilities of a Christian man. He should be the spiritual leader of the house hold and should take an active part in teaching his children about the Lord. This is not new concept. God has always wanted the fathers to be involved in their children up bringing. For instance lets look at what the Bible says about Abraham in,
Genesis 18:19 "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."
You see even back as far as Abraham God had this
plan for the fathers. Its very important that we train our children up and use
discipline as necessary. God commanded the children of
Deuteronomy 6: " And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.† 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Every Christian man needs to understand the importance of this. We all need to have the attitude that Joshua did.
Joshua 24:15"And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Even after men are married and have children we are still to act like men when it comes to being a son. Paul tells† us in,
Ephesians 6:2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
As Christian men we should never get to the point where we treat our parents badly instead we are to honor them. We have a biblical example of where the Jews were trying to neglect their parents and Jesus made the understand very quickly that what they were doing was wrong. This is found in Mark 7 and what brings about the conversation is when the Jews start complaining to Jesus about his disciples eating with unwashed hands. Notice Jesus response,
Mark 7:6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.† 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'† 8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."† 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.† 10 "For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'† 11 "But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" -- ' (that is, a gift to God),† 12 "then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,† 13 "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."
These men were neglecting their responsibility as sons to take care of their parents in their old age and Jesus tells them that this man made tradition of theirs made the word of God of no effect. Another passage that makes is clear that Christian men are to take care of their parents is found in
1 Timothy 5:8 †But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
If fail to act like a man and take care of your own you are considered worse than unbeliever. Even Jesus did what he could from the cross to make sure that his mother would be taken care of after he was gone.
John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"† 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
John would now take care of his mother. Lets us never try to neglect our responsibility for taking care of our own.
Finally lets take a look a few things that are involved in acting like a man who is a servant of God.
First thing we will notice is that are many thing that we should purse and flee as Christian men according to,
1 Timothy 6: 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.† 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.† 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.† 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.† 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,† 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing,
This a great summary that all Christian men should follow. In an nutshell Paul is teaching us to flee from evil and worldly things but pursue after those things that will lead you to eternal life and the way we do that is by keeping all of Gods word without spot. You see a man of God will make every effort to be a true child of God.
Another thing that Christian man will do is find a work that he can do for the Lord. We have all been given an ability to do a service for the Lord and we should be willing to use it.
1 Peter As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.† 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
There are many more examples and scriptures I could use but I hope I have provided you with enough this morning to show you what it really means to act like a man. There is much more to being a man than being mucho. As a Christian man weather you are single, married, a father, or a son we all have a great responsibility in serving God and those around us with love. Real men love the lord and their family with all their heart.