Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three Characteristics of a real man

The other a day a good friend of mine asked me, “What three characteristics does a man need to have in order to be considered a real man?” After thinking about how I answered the question, I decided to delve a little deeper into the three characteristics I chose to give as my answer.  A real man is regenerate, responsible, and repentant.

A real man is regenerate. A dead man is no man, and without Jesus there is no life. This means that a real man has been raised from his death in sin into life with Christ by the grace of God through faith. This regeneration of the heart marks a change in who we belong to and who we desire to serve, God or Satan. When someone is dead in sin, they are a son of the devil. John 8:44 says, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” This is an interesting point Jesus makes. We joke about kids turning into their parents because it is true. It is also true spiritually. If someone is not saved then their father is the devil, and they will continue to show the characteristics of their father. The same is true for those who have been brought to life by Christ and have been adopted into his family. Men who have God the Father as their father will also, through the process of sanctification, become more like their father. John 1:12-13 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

A real man is responsible. Being responsible means there is someone to be responsible to. Because of this, it is important to describe what kind of responsibility I am talking about when I say, “A real man is responsible.” Unregenerate people can be responsible to their family by providing for them, responsible at their work place by doing good work and completing their goals with excellence. While these are all good things, this is not the responsibility I am talking about. A real man is responsible to God.  Are women responsible to God? Yes, but it is not the same. Romans 14:12 says, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” All people, men and women, are responsible first to God. But in saying this, God called out to Adam in Genesis 3:9 because he is the one responsible and he is the one who has to answer for his wife and family. God made man to work and keep the garden in Genesis 2:15. That sounds like a big responsibility! When a man is not responsible to God, he falls into sin. This responsibility to God will also overflow into other things in life such as being a good husband (Ephesians 5:25), a good father (Ephesians 6:4), providing for family (1 Timothy 5:8), and many other things.  

A real man is repentant. Repentance requires humility. A real man is willing to see his mistakes and failures, call them as they are, repent of them, and move on from them to live as a man more like Christ. Keeping in repentance is actually a way to produce fruit (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8). Also, a man who is living a life of continual repentance is more apt to stay humble than get prideful. A repentant man is more able to seek out wisdom from older and wiser men, and is willing to listen. A repentant man is more willing to be shown how he is wrong and how he needs to change to be more like Christ.

My prayer is of thankfulness that I have been saved by the grace of God, and that I will be led by the Spirit to be a more responsible and more repentant man in the future by the power and grace given by the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

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