This has been a great series here at Manual, and it is my attempt to now put an exclamation point on this series. Most often, we think of manhood in terms of holistic approaches and practical application for Christian living, but it is rooted deep within the confines of biblical theology that we find our foundation for manhood, as well as its end goal. Obviously, we begin with God himself—a prolegomena for manhood, as it were. God having the title “Father” says everything about how he has revealed himself to us. God is not a she. God is not a mother. God is Father. Period.
We then move through the stages of redemptive history, weaving the grand story of manhood through its chapters, as well.
Creation. Fall. Redemption. New Creation.
From Genesis to Revelation all telling the same story. It’s a story of manhood that finds itself in the big Story of redemption. This story finds its climax in the Person of Jesus, its current reality in the already/not yet, and its ultimate telos in the final chapter of New Creation when Jesus returns as the true Warrior-King, ushering every man (and woman) who has trusted in Christ for their salvation into their true state of manhood (and womanhood). What a glorious day this will be indeed!
As The Story Goes
Adam was the first true man, made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1-2).
Sin fractured our manhood (Gen. 3).
Jesus, the second Adam, lived—and obeyed—as the perfect man (Rom. 5).
Through salvation in Jesus, our manhood is progressively restored, but only partial (Heb. 2:8; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; Gal. 3:28).
Through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we press on in our sanctification, working in our joy to become more like him (Phil. 3:12).
Upon his returning, Jesus, then, ushers in the New Heavens and New Earth, raising our bodies, completely restoring our manhood, and making us sinless images of himself (1 Cor. 15:35-58; Rev. 19-21; Rom. 8:30; Phil. 3:21).
Where We Find Our Application
1. Live as if the “already/not yet” state of your manhood is a reality, because it is. Being “in Christ” means that you are “in union with Christ.” As a man, you are a co-heir with Christ, adopted into his family, and a son. You are not just an image-bearer anymore. You are a redeemed image-bearer. Christ has ushered in his Kingdom, but not yet in its fullness. Live as though Christ is King over his Kingdom… and yours. He is King over everything! He is King over your money. He is King over your computer screen. He is King over your thoughts. He is King over all of your titles, accomplishments, and accolades. Christ is King… already. Live like it.
2. Kill sin, or it will be killing you. As my hero John Owen has stated, “Kill sin, or it will be killing you.” Too often—and I see this all of the time—men flirt with sin in the things we watch, listen to, laugh at, and say. The New Creation implication on manhood is simple. Strive to kill sin. Work, as hard as you possibly can, to kill sin in your life. Get in God’s Word. Get in community with other believers. Commit yourself to the authority of a gospel-centered local church. Like a warrior going into battle, train yourself to go to war on sin.
As a man who desires other men to know Christ and to flourish in their manhood, the doctrine of New Creation excites me. It obviously excites me to see the promise to which our faith is pointing, but it fires me up to think of the man I will one day be, when Christ comes again. There is an excitement about the courageous pursuit of biblical manhood found in this doctrine. It is indeed a warrior-like pursuit. It takes courage to live counter-culturally in our world today. It takes courage to live as though the Kingdom is already ushered in but not yet in its totality. It takes courage to see the “Christian pursuit” of manhood not as passive or weak, but as the most exciting venture and journey that a man can take in this lifetime.
It is to this pursuit I urge you and challenge you to commit your life. It is exciting. It is real. It is authentic. It is warrior-like. And at the end of the day—at the end of the Last Day—God will usher in a manhood that is beyond anything our fallible and sin-stricken minds can fathom at this point. It is a manhood that will truly be in the “likeness” and “image” of our King.
And that’s worth putting an exclamation point on!
BIO: Greg serves as an elder and family ministries pastor at Foothills Church in Knoxville, TN. He is the author of Reformational Manhood: Creating a Culture of Gospel-Centered Warriors (soon-to-be released) and is the Lead Editor of CBMW Manual. Greg received a M.Div. in Biblical and Theological Studies from SBTS and a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Boyce College.
He is married to the lovely Grace and is the father of Cora and Iver. An outdoor, CrossFit, and basketball enthusiast, he sleeps outside as often as he can.
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