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The Art of Biblical Manliness

William Ellis  •  Ministerio Las Americas Chicago
Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Recently, there has been a revival of sorts regarding all kinds of things which one might call “manly”.
The “Art of Manliness” has come to regard anything which might be considered a manly pursuit.
It includes things like: Grooming a beard, Tying a necktie, Giving a proper handshake, Building a campfire, Sharpening a pocketknife.
There are books, websites, videos and countless blog articles all devoted to this resurgence of all things “manly".

If—

If—
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Be Strong and Show Yourself a Man

1 Kings 2:1–4 ESV

When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

The words show yourself a man in hebrew mean something like “become what it means to be an exceptional man.”
The original word show helps us, though, because it puts the emphasis on the idea of doing, of demonstrating or living out the characteristics of manhood. The focus of David’s words is upon the doing, upon being sure to “show” the behaviour of a genuine man.
1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Manly Men Doing Manly Things

TRUE MANHOOD COMES FROM DOING MANLY DEEDS!
Ultimately you know who a man is and what he believes by what he does. Action is character. Manhood is action.
When the Lord was preparing Job to answer His questions, he admonished him to “Dress for action, like a man.” (Job 38:3)
Job 38:3 ESV

Dress for action like a man;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.

God told Job to get ready for His questions. (Brace yourself like a man; cf. 40:7, is lit., “gird up your loins like a man,” geḇer, “strong man,” that is, tuck your outer robe-like garment into your sash-belt as a man does before taking on a strenuous task such as running or fighting in a battle, Ex. 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46.) Job was to be alert so he could answer God intelligently. This is a striking reversal of Job’s words to God, “Let the Almighty answer me” (31:35). Job the plaintiff had now become the defendant!
Roy B. Zuck, “Job,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 767.

Real Men are Strong

1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Strength of Character Trumps Physique

1 Timothy 4:7–8 ESV

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

2 Peter 1:5–10 ANT

For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),

And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),

And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

Men Wanted for an Adventure

A newspaper ad for a fishing expedition...
MEN WANTED - for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton 4 Burlington st.
"The history of a man's relationship with God is the story of how God calls him out, takes him on a journey, and gives him his true name. Most of us have thought it was the story of how God sits on his throne waiting to whack a man broadside when he steps out of line. Not so. He created Adam for adventure, battle, and beauty; he created us for a unique place in his story and he is committed to bringing us back to the original design. So God calls Abram out from Ur of the Chaldeas to a land he has never seen, to the frontier, and along the way Abram gets a new name. He becomes Abraham. God takes Jacob off into Mesopotamia somewhere to learn things he has to learn and cannot learn at his mother's side. When he rides back into town, he has a limp and a new name as well."
"Even if your father did his job, he can only take you partway. There comes a time when you have to leave all that is familiar and go on into the unknown with God."
"Saul was a guy who really thought he understood the story and very much liked the part he had written for himself. He was the hero of his own little miniseries, Saul the Avenger. After that little matter on the Damascus road he becomes Paul; and rather than heading back into all of the old and familiar ways, he is led out into Arabia for three years to learn directly from God. Jesus shows us that initiation can happen even when we've lost our father or grandfather. He's the carpenter's son, which means Joseph was able to help him in the early days of his journey. But when we meet the young man Jesus, Joseph is out of the picture. Jesus has a new teacher-his true Father -- and it is from him he must learn who he really is and what he's really made of."
-- John Eldredge in "Wild at Heart", pp 103-104
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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