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The Art of Biblical Manliness

William Ellis  •  Ministerio Las Americas Chicago
Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts | Handout
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".
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.
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)
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.
"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
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