Christian Manhood

Read: Genesis 18:1-19

Text: "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." (Gen. 18:19)

Theme: Christian men are vital to the health and success of society, of the home, and of the church, and we need to stand up and be counted as Christian men.


Introduction:

I heard that some society of psychiatrists or psychologists published the result of their recent study which concluded that fatherhood is superfluous, unnecessary, and in many cases even dangerous to the development of a child. I've heard more than one person, when commenting on this study, draw the conclusion even further and apply it to men in general, and not just fathers.

In his enthusiastic foreword to Robert Lewis's book, Raising a Modern-Day Knight, Stu Weber writes: "Our culture is in deep trouble, and at the heart of its trouble is its loss of a vision for manhood. If it's difficult for you and me as adult males to maintain our masculine balance in this gender-neutral' culture, imagine what it must be like for our sons, who are growing up in an increasingly feminized world."

Manhood, to many in our society today, is a joke, a disease, and a problem to be stamped out by training men to become aware of their more "politically correct" and socially acceptable "feminine side."

God disagrees.

Christian men are vital to the health and success of society, of the home, and of the church, and we need to stand up and be counted as Christian men.

Why is America declining from it's one-time greatness? I submit it's because there are few George Washingtons, few Abraham Lincolns, and few Billy Sundays today to stand up and thunder their message across the plains of this nation.

Why are our homes falling apart, filled with immorality and "dysfunctional" situations of every ilk? I submit it's because men have been silenced in homes. It is not "proper" for men to lead, they are to be silent and let women run the show. Hence, homes are falling apart.

Why are our churches powerless today? Why are so many churches populated with defeated people who simply go through the motions, not even sure why they do it? I submit, it's because men have stayed home, and men have sat down, and men have abdicated their calling to stand up and fulfill the role God wants them to fulfill.

There are 2 verses I want us to consider tonight as we think through the subject of "Christian Manhood:"

"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." Gen. 18:19
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

As we consider these 2 verses, let us draw 2 points from them:


I. Christian manhood is about Christianity.

DEF. - A Christian is a follower of Christ. (Mine)

"For I know him..." Gen. 18:19
"... we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

A. You must be born again.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31

1. I wonder how many men today have a relationship with God like Abraham or Joshua? (Abraham was called the "friend of God." James 2:23)

2. I wonder how many men in our churches today are there because they've always been there, and they don't really know when they entered into a personal relationship with Christ.

ILLUS. I previously attended another church in this area, and recall a service where a noted evangelist preached a hard message on salvation, challenging the crowd to examine their faith whether or not it was true. Several of the deacons trusted Christ that night.

ILLUS. While I was attending Midwestern Baptist College in pursuit of my degree and ministry, more than one young "preacher boy" realized he was not yet saved and trusted Christ.

ILLUS. I can't remember his name, but I read recently of a famous preacher of days gone by who was actually saved in the middle of his own sermon!

Paul said, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." (2 Cor. 13:5)
B. And you must be growing as a believer.
1. Faithful to church
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Heb. 10:24-25

ILLUS. We know this to be true, and yet increasingly churches are forced to plan services around the other trivial activities of their members. For example, many churches, perhaps including this one, have no services on Super Bowl Sunday.

A Christian man will be faithful to church because he loves church, because he wants to be in church. Such is the character of the Christian man.

2. Faithful to personal Bible study.
Do you read the Bible?
Do you love the Bible?

QUOTE (Tom Malone, Sr.) "God says this word is living. I love it. It loves me back. I press it. It oozes blood. I listen to it. I hear it breathe. This book is a living book."

ILLUS. Joe Fortna, my Greek instructor in college, did something on the first day of class that I'll never forget - he told the class to stand, pick up their Greek Grammar, hold it in front of them, and kiss it! The purpose was to point out our need to love our Greek Grammar! Oh that we loved the Bible so.

ILLUS. My first Bible - a Living Bible. I keep it because it is such an illustration of the love for the Word that I had when I was first saved. I was told by someone that I should underline verses that were important to me, or that particularly spoke to my heart. I chuckle now as I thumb through that Bible and see that entire pages are underlined in red!

ILLUS. Recently in this church, I asked a question from the pulpit, "How many of you have read your Bible through from cover to cover. Now, I know people may not have heard me, and perhaps thought the question rhetorical, but the fact is only a handful raised their hands. Bible reading and Bible study is a lost form of worship to some of us.

QUOTE (Tevye, in Fiddler on the Roof) "I would read the Holy Book with the learned men seven hours everyday... if I were a wealthy man."

A Christian man will be faithful to personal Bible reading and study because he loves God's Word, because he wants to be in God's Word. Such is the character of the Christian man.

3. Faithful to personal prayer.
ILLUS. READ Job. 1:5

ILLUS. How many of us are like the little boy who, when asked by his pastor if he prayed every day, replied, "No, not every day. Some days I don't want anything."

QUOTE - (Robert Murry McCheyne?) "A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more."

A Christian man will be faithful to personal prayer because he loves prayer, because he knows the power of prayer. Such is the character of the Christian man.

4. All these things should be in you and increasing! 
ILLUS. I heard a young woman on Christian radio giving the testimony of her salvation. She was just recently converted to Christ, and her joy was infectious as she told how every day was better than the one before, and she never knew that you could have such a personal and vibrant relationship with Christ... It made me think of when my salvation was new and fresh, and how I longed to read the Bible... how I used to attend all night prayer meetings at my church... how I volunteered for bus ministry, Sunday School teaching, choir, janitorial duty, anything I could just to be doing something for God. I was on fire! Do you remember when it was like that? IT SHOULD STILL BE LIKE THAT, AND INCREASING!

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:" 1 Thes. 3:12

"And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;" 1 Thes. 4:10

II. Christian manhood is about Manhood.

DEF. - "The state of being a man or adult male person; manly character or qualities; virility..." (New Websters)

".. as for me..." Joshua 24:15

"... he will command..." Gen. 18:19

NOTE - I don't know about you, but I find those 2 phrases very convicting, and extremely difficult to live.

A. Manhood requires STANDING.

1. A Christian man will stand for Christ of his own initiative (I.e. without being told, without being propped up).
ILLUS. One obvious shortcoming in children (and any father knows this) is that they can't seem to do anything, even the most obvious, without being told to do it! The trash is flowing onto the floor, but unless told repeatedly, my son will not think to carry it to the garage. The dishes are piled so high in the sink that in order to get a glass of water you have to use the little spray hose, but unless near violent persuasion is used, my daughter doesn't notice the dishes need put in the dishwasher!

2. A Christian man will stand for Christ before his family.

ILLUS. Job / Job's wife. He stood even when she disagreed with him for it. (Job 2:9-10)

ILLUS. Lot - didn't stand for God before his family, and his wife and kids learned to love the world rather than to love God. (Gen. 19:14, 26)

ILLUS. Children today are very good at making dad feel old-fashioned and oppressive for demanding a level of conduct in their lives. It's hard to stand sometimes, but a Christian man must.

B. Manhood requires STANDING AGAINST THE MAJORITY, IF NEED BE.

ILLUS. Joshua and Caleb stood against the crowd. (Numbers 14:1-10)

ILLUS. Pilate, illustrating just the opposite of the Christian man, caved into the loud voices around him. (Luke 23:22-24)

ILLUS. While my wife and I lived in Pontiac, Michigan, attending Bible College, God gave us our son. The hospital in which he was born had a nice custom of serving a candlelit dinner to the families who had babies. There were several couples who were there at the same time as us, and we were given a nice meal together. When time came to sit down at the table, my wife looked at me and the message was clear in her eyes, "Are you going to pray before we eat?" I somehow communicated to her that we didn't want to make a scene but should each pray silently, and proceeded to scratch my eyebrows like we Christians do when we're ashamed to be seen praying and thanking God for the blessings of our food. No sooner was I done when the last couple came into the room, sat down, took one look at the bountiful food, bowed their heads, and the young man prayed and thanked God for his food, his new baby, and these wonderful people with whom he could share this meal. I have never been more ashamed of myself.

C. Manhood requires STANDING ALONE WHEN NECESSARY.
ILLUS. Elijah on Carmel (1 Kings 18:21-22 - Note that he wasn't alone, but he thought he was, and still he stood for God.)

ILLUS. It was not that long ago that the awe-inspiring pictures of events in China at Tianemen Square were seen everywhere. Perhaps the best picture of taking a stand alone was that of the young student standing bolding in front of a multi-ton tank.


Conclusion:

Some in the world may hold the idea of "manhood" in low esteem, and "Christian manhood" even lower, but rest assured God is not in that number.

Theme: Christian men are vital to the health and success of society, of the home, and of the church, and we need to stand up and be counted as Christian men.

Are you striving to live life as a Christian man?

Can you say, as Joshua said, "as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

Would God say the same about you that He said about His friend Abraham, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD...." Gen. 18:19

May God help us to be Christian men, striving for the ideal set forth by these two wonderful examples in God's word.

For as one man said, "Someday - somewhere, I shall see what my life has come to mean to those who have watched me live." (Daniel B. Brose)


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.