Quit You Like Men (Part 2)

V. Scripture enjoins men to be men. A. The Philistines understood the importance of manliness. 1SAM 4:9. 1. Mind that the Philistines were afraid. 1SAM 4:7. 2. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear---not absence of fear.” (Mark Twain) 3. If unbelieving, idolatrous Philistines could overcome fear and wax valiant in fight, how much more should men of faith in the living God do so? HEB 11:34. a. wax: To change by growth or increase, to become, turn. (Sometimes used with reference to a sudden or immediate change.) b. One may not be valiant before the fight but IN fight. 4. Courage is not poured out of a bottle. a. Alcohol will reduce inhibition but also corrupt discretion, and discretion is often the better part of valour. Faith says there is a time to measure risk and escape the sword. LUK 14:31-32; HEB 11:34. b. The bottle is what men rely upon to blank out their difficulties rather than face them with God's help. PRO 31:6-7. B. God wearied of Samuel's protracted emotionalism over Saul and told him to get on with the program. 1SAM 16:1. 1. Samuel was deeply invested in Saul. Samuel was the one who had anointed him as Israel's first king, counseled him, coached him, corrected him. 2. With Saul's failure, could not Samuel's credibility as a discerning judge be in question? 3. David was similarly over-invested emotionally in his rebel son Absalom. 2SAM 18:33-19:4. 4. Emotional ties to others that are stronger than duty to God must be set aside. MAT 10:37. 5. The rule of one's spirit is a mark of true valour. PRO 16:32. C. God told Job to gird up his loins like a man. JOB 38:3; 40:7. 1. To gird one's loins means “to prepare (oneself) for action; to brace up (oneself) for, to, or to do something. Often with up.” 2. Consider all that Job had suffered. Yet God still called him to face Him in a manly manner. Quit You Like Men 3-2-14 Page 5 D. Saints are to “...quit you like men, be strong” (1CO 16:13). Mind that this is an order for all saints. Godly women are also called to manly fortitude in this holy war against sin. E. Saints are to be as men in their understanding. 1CO 13:11; 14:20. 1. These verses are meaningless if there is not an assumed level of maturity in manhood. 2. One of the weaknesses of our culture is protracted immaturity, particularly amongst males who are still thinking and acting like adolescents long into their adult life. F. The gospel is to be declared with boldness. EPH 6:19-20; ACT 13:46. 1. Christ spoke with authority. MAR 1:22. 2. God has no love for lightness in ministry. JER 23:32; ZEP 3:4. 3. The man of God is to be gentle and meek in teaching men. 2TI 2:24-25. a. This he is to do rather than strive according to the flesh (vs. 23-24). He is not to foment profitless argumentation. b. One may be critical and judgmental yet meek. ZEP 2:3; NUM 12:3. VI. An important attribute of manliness is decisiveness. Effective leaders know that indecision or making no decision because of the possibility of an error, or falling apart because of a decision that was wrong are fatal traits in leadership. A. “Decisiveness is the willingness to make decisions, even in the face of complexity or uncertainty. When we are decisive, we weigh the information that is available to us and we use our judgement to choose among the possibilities. It is easier to be decisive when we are clear about our values and goals. Decisiveness means taking the risk that we may be wrong, but knowing that perfect clarity is rarely available and indecision can be costly. It also means taking responsibility for the outcome of the decision. Together, research, analysis and decisiveness get great things done.” (Anon.) B. When Joshua was distressed over a humiliation because of a decision he had made, God reproved him. JOS 7:7-10. C. Sometimes our indecision is simply owing to the fact that we can't bear the thought of making a potential mistake because our image would be tarnished by that. 1. This is essentially a pride issue. We are plainly told to eschew pride and to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. ROM 12:3. 2. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” (Voltaire) 3. Life is full of decisions that have to be made. Let not the fear of an imperfect decision prevent the making of a decision. Waverers are not in control. JAM 1:6. D. “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” (Theodore Roosevelt) VII. Caution must be exercised to not define manliness by false standards. A. The world has all kinds of warped definitions of manliness, such as: 1. physical strength and size. 2. anatomical endowment. 3. prowess in sports. 4. sexual conquests. 5. financial superiority. 6. material possessions. B. When one concludes these things are the mark of a true man, he not only goes down the path of godless carnality and vanity, he also sets himself up for disappointment, self- loathing and anger over not “measuring up.” Quit You Like Men 3-2-14 Page 6 1. Bitterness against God or parents can develop in someone who feels they have been “short-changed” in areas of false manliness. ISA 45:9-10. 2. Disproportionate amounts of time end up being spent on achieving a false sense of success or manliness, thus robbing valuable time needed for genuine concerns. 1CO 7:29; EPH 5:15-17. C. King Saul is a textbook example of measuring worth by the wrong standards and of failure in true manliness. 1. Saul had an impressive physique. 1SAM 9:2. a. But physical size or strength is not the measure of a real man. b. It is what is in the heart that really matters. 1SAM 16:7. 2. Saul was the big guy with feet of clay. His way of handling things was frequently unmanly. a. He was prone to abandoning principle for pragmatism or popularity. 1SAM 13:11-12; 15:20-21. b. He made rash leadership decisions. 1SAM 14:24. c. He governed by poll instead of principle. 1SAM 15:24. d. He shifted blame when rebuked. 1SAM 15:24. e. Instead of acknowledging the justice of God's verdict against him, he: (1) became jealous of someone better than himself. 1SAM 18:8, 12. (2) became paranoid and imagined loved ones as enemies. 1SAM 18:11; 20:30; 22:13. (3) transferred his own self-destruction to the destruction of others. 1SAM 22:16. (4) hypocritically resorted to the occult. 1SAM 28:3, 7. (5) took the coward's way out of pressure. 1SAM 31:4. 3. Underlying Saul's weaknesses was a basic lack of faith that God would not support him in a righteous cause, or that God's way was really right after all. VIII. David's charge to Solomon gives a valuable insight into what being a real man is all about. 1KI 2:2-3. IX. Likewise, God's description of Job as a perfect man provides further insight. JOB 1:1. X. The best way to be a real man is conformity to Jesus Christ, the model man. EPH 4:13. A. The great goal of the gospel is to present men perfect in Him. COL 1:28. B. A survey of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ shows us that being a real man means such things as: 1. commitment to duty. JOH 4:34; PHIL 2:8. 2. shouldering responsibility. 1PE 2:24. 3. not flinching from principle. MAT 4:3-4. 4. being trustworthy in all things. HEB 3:2. 5. commanding one's household. JOH 14:15 c/w GEN 18:19; JOS 24:15. 6. saying “No” to self-interests when necessary. MAT 26:39. 7. saying “No” to family when necessary. MAT 12:47-48. 8. providing for family. JOH 19:27 c/w 1TI 5:8. 9. delegating authority. MAR 13:34 c/w PRO 31:31. 10. not sacrificing the future on the altar of the immediate. HEB 12:2. C. Christ further showed us that manliness involves courage, candidness, bluntness, physical Quit You Like Men 3-2-14 Page 7 fitness, control of appetites, compassion, emotion (anger, weeping, etc.), decisiveness and faith. D. Christ was a man of both steel and velvet. E. If a man would be truly a man, he must be pointed to Christ. ROM 13:14; PHIL 3:14-15. Quit You Like Men 3-2-14 Page 8
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