The Death and Life of Manhood

Posted: March 21, 2018 by keystoneyouth in God's Greatest Invention
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God's Greates Invention Graphic

Attention Funnel: Hurdle Fails

Introduction:

  • Refresh from last week – How did we define what it means to be a man?
    • Men Lead, provide, and protect.
    • Jesus is the model man.
    • Men gladly sacrifice for others.
  • I hope you saw that picture and got excited about it. Guys I hope it gave you something you want to pursue. And Ladies, I hope it gave you something to encourage and expect in men.
  • But I also wonder if some of you weren’t sitting there thinking, “That’s great, but where are all these men at?” OR “That’s great, but why is it so difficult and hard to be that type of man?”
  • Genesis 3 provides the answer… it tells us that when sin enters the world, it directly effects everything… including manhood.
  • As a result of sin, men face certain hurdles that get in the way of being the type of man we described last week.
  • Tonight, I want to talk about what some of those hurdles might be and how God works to restore men and enable them to overcome those hurdles.

Big Idea: Guys face unique hurdles in their effort to live as godly men.

Passage: Ephesians 2:1-10; Genesis 3

Main Points:

  • Sin works to kill manhood.
  • God works to restore manhood.
  • Men work to become more like Jesus.

Sin works to kill manhood (2:1-3)

  • Sin brings death to everything.
  • Sin separates people from God and so works to kill them spiritually. And that death plays itself out differently in different areas of our lives.
  • But at the core there is always a distrust of God and his designs. We no longer believe his designs are best… and instead we pursue after our own passions and desires.
  • And so, this distrust of God and his designs works its way out into manhood and causes death. In other words, men start to stink.
  • Think about it… how do we know that something is dead? It starts to stink!
    • Bri and I lived in Lancaster City for several years. And the house that we lived in didn’t have Air-Conditioning. So when those 90 degree days hit over the summer, it got really hot in our house. To combat the heat, we had a couple window AC units. But they really didn’t get the job done. So we also had fans all throughout the house. There was one day where we started to realize that it stinks in our bedroom. And it just started to get worse and worse over the following few days. I’m constantly trying to figure out what the issue is, until finally I look into our fan, the fan that we have been running the past several nights, AND I SEE A DEAD MOUSE!
  • The death that that sin brings starts to stink up manhood because we pursue our own designs rather than his.
  • There are two big ways we end up doing this. Two big ways that sin works to kill manhood: Being passive or aggressive.
  • Notice how these two things flip the definition we gave for manhood last week on its head…
    • Instead of being responsible in leading and providing… men are passive.
    • Instead of being responsible in protecting… men become dangerous and aggressive.
    • This is what sin does… it takes God’s design or something and flips it on its head.
  • Apply: Let’s talk for a little bit what this might look like specifically. Because I think it’s easy for guys to just hear those things and say, “Nope, not me!”
  • Let’s start with passivity.
    • Men are passive when comfort becomes the main goal in their life.
      • If our main goal in life is to sit on the couch watch TV, play video games, and eat a bag of chips… that’s a problem.
      • Matt Chandler – “The more comfort you have the more you lack genuine biblical masculinity.”
    • Men are passive when they refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
      • “What about her!?” “It’s his fault!” “I only did that because my life is so hard.”
    • Men are passive when they lack self-control.
      • Just one more episode of Netflix, one more morning of sleeping in until 10:00, one more week of procrastinating.
    • What about aggression?
      • Men are aggressive when they view women as objects for their pleasure.
        • Pornography, one-night stands, dating just to get some action are all forms of this.
        • A big lie that is especially prevalent in high school and college (present in most rap songs) is that the more women you get the manlier you are. The more sex you have the more of a man you are, etc. THAT’S A LIE!
      • Men are aggressive if they respond with hostility and anger when people get in the way of what they want.
        • Yelling at parents because they said no, trashing a girl’s reputation because she turned you down, giving someone else the silent treatment because they didn’t give you what you wanted are all forms of aggression.
      • Men are aggressive when they instill fear in people to get respect.
        • Threatening people, bullying people, fighting people, all in an attempt to earn respect are aggressive.
      • Sin tempts men in both of these directions. What direction are you prone towards? Where do you see passivity or aggression in your own life?
      • Because until you start to see where sin is directly affecting you, you won’t be able to fight it.
      • Until you discover that you have cancer, the cancer will eat away at your body, but once you know that you have cancer, then you can start to fight it.

God works to restore manhood (vs. 4-9)

  • Normally if something is dead… we get rid of it.
    • This past week I set two mousetraps in our attic and the next day they both had dead mice in them. I immediately took them outside and got rid of them.
  • The incredible thing about God is that where he finds death, he works to bring it back to life.
  • This is true when it comes to manhood.
  • God restores men to what they were meant to be by giving them life in Christ.
    • Guys, if we want to be men… the first step towards becoming men is acknowledging we can’t do it on our own.
  • For men, the way we become true men is we look to Jesus… it’s what he has done for us that matters.
  • Ladies, you need to know something about guys… it’s something you probably already actually know:
  • Guys like to brag and show-off.
    • It’s why sometimes we try really hard to be funny.
    • It’s why sometimes we try to do things that will impress you.
      • Friend jumping over a cart and ending up flat on his face.
    • It’s why we post videos of us flexing or working out, or we just drop the fact that we work out into every possible conversation.
      • “You want to go watch a movie Friday night? Yeah, I would be down for that… I worked out tonight so I’m good.
    • Here’s the deal… guys brag and show-off to try to prove that they are good enough. Guys brag and show-off to try to prove they are worthy.
  • But Ladies here’s something you might not know about us that you also need to know:
  • A lot of guys are really insecure. And all that bragging and bravado and joking is just a cover-up for the insecurity we feel.
  • See a lot of guys feel the shame and guilt of not measuring up.
  • Either of not measuring up to the culture’s definition of a man – we are not ripped and toned guys who ladies instinctively flock to.
  • Or of not measuring up to God’s definition of a man. We feel the weight of falling so far short of what it means to be a godly man.
    • We’ve tried to work hard and to be a leader… but we’ve failed and been berated or made fun of.
    • We’ve tried to change… and we screwed up yet again.
    • We’ve tried to fight against pornography and objectifying women and we fell to temptation for the hundredth time.
    • And this leaves us feeling like failures – our inner voice and perhaps some outward voices keep saying, “I’m such a failure, I can’t do anything right. I can’t believe I blew it again!”
  • On the one hand, we brag about how manly we are in attempt to measure up… on the other hand we wallow in guilt, shame, and despair for not measuring up.
  • Guys, neither of these are God’s design for manhood. And we need to fight to kill both of them.
    • I tend to be more of a lover then a fighter or killer. It’s why I gave up deer huntingJ It’s also why I can’t seem to bring myself to kill the family of groundhogs that shows up every spring on our property. Last year one of the groundhogs ended up near the front of our house. And I’m trying to chase it around and get it back out to the shed. I finally got it pinned in a corner at our deck, but I just still couldn’t bring myself to kill it. Luckily my father-in-law was there and he’s a real manJ. He grabbed a shovel went out to the bushes and with one quick smack, killed the groundhog.
  • Guys, we need a shovel that we can smack down on top of bragging AND shame and guilt.
  • The gospel is that shovel.
  • It’s the weapon that crushes bragging because it says it’s not what we’ve done that makes us men, but what Jesus has done for us.
  • It’s the weapon that crushes shame and guilt because it says our sin and failures don’t define us – what Jesus has done for us defines us, and he took on all our sin and failures.
  • Guys, when you are feeling boastful like you are a better man then everyone else – go to the shed and pull out your gospel shovel.
  • Guys, when you are feeling shameful and guilty – because you screwed up again – head to the garage and break out your gospel shovel.
  • Men kill bragging and guilt/shame with the gospel.

Men work to become more like Jesus (vs. 10).

  • As men, we walk in the good works that God has already prepared for us.
  • In other words, we walk towards becoming more godly men… better leaders, providers, protectors, gladly sacrificing for other people… following after Jesus as our model.
  • It’s only God power and his Holy Spirit living in us that makes this work possible. We need to depend on him every step we take.
  • And we will never reach perfection on this side of heaven. But the goal is not perfection (remember the Commercial Big Mac vs. the Real Big Mac).
  • We are already perfect in Jesus… we just work to make our lives match up more and more with that reality. And that’s often going to be a slow, difficult process.
    • Several weeks ago a guy by the name of Roger Bannister died. He was the first person to run a sub four-minute mile. While he was chasing after this feat there were also two other men who were attempting to capture the title first. There were races where they shaved off a large amount of time, but often it was only tiny increments – 1 second, .5 seconds. Or there were races when their time ended up being slower than previous races. They worked incredibly hard and often only saw small improvements or no improvement at all. This is often how it is in our pursuit of being better men.
  • God knows that we are going to fail as men. He knows we are going to fall down. He knows that growth in becoming a man is going to be a long journey.
  • But are we at least taking steps in the right direction?
  • Guys, if you have a hurdle in your life that seems particularly difficult – i.e. pornography, you need to know that it’s going to be a journey. You need to fight to believe the gospel. You need to ask God to help you get back up after each failure. You need to ask other people for help in the battle. And slowly but surely will head in the right direction.

So What??

  • Guys – Where is the stench of death most prevalent in your life – being passive or being aggressive? How?
  • Guys – Fight bragging and shame with the gospel.
  • Guys – One step at a time in the direction of Jesus.
  • Girls, don’t expect us to be perfect. Because we are going to fail. But do expect us to be moving in the right direction. And if we are not, tell us to grow up.
  • Girls, please encourage us. We need you. We need you to encourage us when we do something well. We need you to provide encouragement when we are beating ourselves up and seem down.
  • Girls, please be patient with us. We need you to show us grace and patience when we fail, and to point us back in the direction of Jesus again.

 

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