Will The Real Men Please Stand Up

Bible Book: Ezekiel  22 : 30
Subject: Men; Baptist Men; Real Men

Turn with me to Ezekiel 22. This entire chapter leads us to God’s ultimate conclusion in verse 30. Review with me the words of Jehovah God to His chosen people. “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one." (Exekiel 22:30)

Today we look at men and their walk with God. For me in my capacity as a pastor, I ask this, “From the perspective of our Lord, what is the best way to do this?” Maybe we should copy some of the dumb men television commercials and play for entertainment. Maybe we should gently stroke their egos with shallow compliments or maybe we should placate them high sounding words.

Or maybe, just maybe, we should take stock of what this culture has done and continues to do to masculinity and finally put out a call to all males to “be men”, real men. It is time in this country to sound out a call to return to manhood, to return to masculinity, and be all that God wants you to be. Today, I’d like to start a revolution, which I hope will develop into an evolution for all men. I submit that, at the very least, we need this type of movement to counteract the trends of recent years with respect to us men. For too long, we have placed a guilt trip on men because they are rough, driven, or hide their emotions. Men don’t respond like women, doesn’t think like women, don’t talk like women, or even understand women. So, the prevailing attitude seems to be, men must be weird.

Men today, this is a message to you and me. Trust me, in the preparation of this message, I’ve already heard it, lived it, and Know that I needed this message for my life. 2 Warnings: This Message Can Change Your Life!

In the 1960’s there was a game show entitled “To Tell the Truth.” In that show, 3 people introduced themselves by the same name. One of these three was in fact the person he claimed to be. The celebrity panel was allowed to ask questions and guess who was, indeed, the “Real” person? At end the show, the announcer asked, “Will the Real ‘Jerry Watts’ please stand up?” Our Second Warning Is This: At the end I will ask, “Will The Real Men Please Stand Up!”

If I am to ask the real men to stand we must have a common understanding of what constitutes a “real man?” Now, consider that thought for just a second and ask yourself a question: “Who among us can give a clear definition to a real man?”

The truth is most of us Think we know what being a man is all about, but we just cannot find the right words to DEFINE what a man is. Honestly, how can we become what we can’t even define?

Furthermore, how can we develop our young boys into men, if we don’t have a description of manhood?

A person does not have to be a “rocket scientist” to realize that this country, this culture, and the church is in desperate need of some real men. That is, men who clearly, completely, and even courageously understand that, as a men they are made by the hand of God, in the image of God, with the divine responsibility given to them by God himself to chart the course or life for their families, their culture, and their world. This morning I want call every man who hears this message to become a man given to Biblical manhood.

Admittedly, our concept of manhood flawed. It seems to range somewhere between the Archie Bunkers of yesteryear and “Raymond (Everybody loves Raymond)” of today. There are problems with the models. First, God did not create us to be bigoted, male chauvinists, “know it alls” who belittled our wives, children, and anyone who disagrees with us. Next, God also did not create men to be the dummies of the house who possess the intelligence of a Junior High kid, who without his very perceptive woman, has little possibility of handling the smallest things in life. Truthfully, until we Biblically define exactly what a man is, we have little hope of becoming real men and producing real men.

Many books have been written which speak to this very issue for men. For the last 6 months a small group of men in this church have met every Wednesday evening to discover God’s authentic manhood. It is called “Men’s Fraternity.” Not too many days ago I read a book entitled, “Why Men Hate Going To Church.” Writing the forward to the book, “No More Christian Nice Guy”, Dr. Laura Schlessinger (a woman) says, “I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to remind men that they are men. It’s not about biology, it’s about strength, will, honor, courage, leadership, sacrifice, compassion & love.”

So where do we find a definition, a description, or a display of manhood? Where do we find the man that God was searching for in Ezekiel? I submit, we can find this man in the Bible and more clearly, in the life of Jesus. Jesus. Let’s look at 3 pictures of Jesus.

I. The Corrupt Picture Of Jesus

There are many, if not most today, who have a totally inaccurate or corrupted view of the type of man Jesus was. Some will think of those who say, “He’s not virgin born,” “He’s not the Son of God,” or “He didn’t rise from the dead.” While these views of Jesus are indeed corrupt and non-Biblical, these are views largely held outside of the church. The truly corrupt view comes from inside the church. For years we sang the great ole spiritual, “Sweet Little Jesus boy.” Certainly, as a baby (as all babies  are) Jesus was a sweet child. Guess what, He grew into a man. Somehow, we refuse to let Him out of the manger. In the previously mentioned book, “No More Christian Nice Guy”, Paul Coughlin entitles chapter 2, “Jesus the bearded woman.” He opens this chapter with a couple of quotes. First, he quotes Charles Spurgeon, “There has got abroad a notion somehow, that if you become a Christian you must sink your manliness and turn milksop.” He then quotes a woman. She is Dorothy Sayers, “We have efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”

I submit to you that this corrupted picture of Jesus as being the “ultimate nice guy” is the very thing which turns the average man “off” to becoming and being a believer in Jesus. Truth is, the average man is already fighting for his masculinity and the thought of being a part of a belief system which divests him of whatever he has left is not something he’s about to embrace.

This corrupt picture of Jesus logically leads to a corrupted picture of manhood. For instance, it is a modern day thought that women are more spiritual than men. This is generally accepted as truth. Yet, there exist not one scripture to support this belief and it defies logic. God made both the masculine & feminine hearts to be spiritual.

A point in fact is this, men express their faith and their spirituality differently than do women. The heart of Jesus, once again, is our example.

II. The Correct Picture Of Jesus

(Disclaimer; I understand that this message is going to go against the grain of what many of “Us” have been taught all of our lives, me included. If you care to take issue, that’s fine. But we’ll investigate based on the Bible and not on our previous learning experiences.)

As we begin this thought, I am reminded of the story told to be true from days of prohibition. The women temperance league was a huge player in the movement. At the conclusion of one rally, it is reported that a man said to the leader, “Don’t you know that Jesus turned the water into wine?” She responded, “Yea, but I’d thought a lot more of Him, if He hadn’t.” Somehow, we can make a personal decision not to be changed by truth and at that point, we cease becoming like Christ. Christ Jesus was molded and shaped by truth. He stood on truth. Yes, He often exercised grace, but He never compromised truth.

Consider some truths about Jesus which can apply to us and help us become Godly, Biblical, and real men.

A. Jesus Lost His Cool

Jesus was not above losing His cool on matters of significance. John 2:13-17 gives the story of Jesus cleansing the temple. Candidly, we tend to gloss over the fact that He took a whip to these who were desecrating the house of God. The real issue is found in verse 17 where it says, “It is written.” The man Jesus, was all about protecting the word & workings of God.” Do you know this is the call of a man? To be on guard at all times.

B. Jesus Pointed Out Sinners

Jesus was not above pointing out sin and sinners. He backed down from no one. For the sake of time, let’s consider one example. In Matthew 22, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other leaders (in other words, the entire ministerial association) are attempting to test, try and trap Jesus with questions of “doctrine.” After answering their questions, we read His response in chapter 23. He calls repeatedly calls them hypocrites, blind fools, snakes, vipers, and the like. Truthfully, if we study and get inside the emotion of Jesus at this point, we might say, “HE wasn’t even acting ‘Christian’”.

C. Jesus Showed Emotion

Jesus was not above showing emotion. After catching the emotion of His words in the first 36 verses of this chapter, read verses 37 and following. You can find both the tender & tough.

He’s tender when He says, “How often I wanted to gather you,” and He’s tough with, “you were not willing, so you are left desolate.” Given an honest study of His life, Jesus exhibited all kinds of emotions, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, excitement, and so on. Men, it is very godly and manly to display emotions the way in which Jesus did. How did He know this? His divinity?

D. Jesus Stood On Eternal Truth

Jesus always stood on eternal truth. From the time of His recorded temptations all through His life, His response to whatever came His way was based on His knowledge of eternity. Men, what truth do we stand on? Better yet, what truth have we been “taught” to stand on? Our heritage, our daddy’s values, our mom’s concepts? Here is the shame on us; most of us have spent so little time on knowing eternal truth, that our knowledge of this truth is shaky at best. The reason Jesus could lose His cool and not sin was because He knew what was righteous & what was not.

E. Jesus Applied Grace

Jesus always knew when to apply grace. I’m thinking of two women who encountered Jesus. Either one could have served as an object lesson for ungodly living. In John 4, Jesus reached out to the woman at the well with grace. It is interesting that in John 3 Jesus is recorded as saying, “For God  did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved.” Now, He comes face to face with a sinner, deserving of judgment and death, and He offers her grace. In John 8, Jesus is confronted with the woman caught in the very act of adultery. The religious leaders are at it again. (There exists the suggestion that the Reason it was only the woman brought to Jesus that the man was a member of the Religious Leaders) At any rate, can you imagine what Jesus must have been thinking as they unveiled the embarrassing and condemning story? He was obviously disturbed as He knelt down to write in the dirt. Certainly, He would not condone this sin, but He also saw through the motivation of the leaders. His answer? Take care of the accusers and extend grace to the sinner. “Go & sin no more.”

F. Jesus Had Strength

Jesus always knew where His strength came from. Men, this may be where we miss the boat. Too often we think we are “self-made.” So our arrogance gets the best of us. The result is that we become loners. In His example we know that Jesus got His strength from the Father. Mark 1:37 shows this to us.

Every time Jesus got an opportunity, He spent time in prayer. When He cast out the demon in Mark 9 He made it clear that our power, authority, and strength only comes by “Prayer & Fasting.”

Now we have looked at the corrupt and correct picture of Jesus. In the process we have verbalized some things which we may not have thought about before. Here’s the truth; Jesus is the epitome of a real man. So, to understand what a man is, let see;

III. The Complete Picture Of Jesus

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul compares Adam and Jesus. In fact, he refers to the first man Adam and the last Adam. So the question becomes, “Which man am I like?” Turn with me to Genesis 3.

There are many things to note if we are to understand this teaching. First, God created man first and gave to Him the responsibility to lead. The woman was created from the rib of Adam as someone suited exactly to his needs. One of Adams responsibilities was to protect her. That remains a male responsibility even today.

In Genesis 3, we find Adam bailing out on His responsibility. When the serpent came calling, Adam went passive. He was not on the other side of the garden, He was there with her. At the time she needed His leadership and strength, he abandoned his role as leader and protector. And not only that, he became the follower. Additionally, when God came calling and asking questions, Adams started a new game, “the blame game.” He began with “the woman.” Not my fault God, she did it, and in fact God (the blame shifts again), the woman You gave me. Now it was God’s fault. Not to be out done the woman follows her man’s lead, “it was the serpent.” That is why the fall of man is referred to as Adam’s sin. It is easy to identify his sin as passivity, not taking responsibility and leading, & not seeing the future of obedience versus disobedience.

In Matthew 26, we find Jesus demonstrating manhood to the fullest. In the garden, under tremendous emotional stress, weakened by not eating, Jesus faced the most difficult time in His life. What did He do? He prayed. He submitted to the Heavenly Father. When Judas came, what was Jesus’ response? When Peter took a sword to fight, what did Jesus do? How was His response different than Adams? Let see.

A. He Rejected Passivity

First, He rejected being passive. His prayer wasn’t, “Father, I’m out of here. This is too painful, too hard, or too much to ask.” He submitted to the role the Father ordained Him to perform.

B. He Accepted Responsibility

Next, He accepted His responsibility. His attitude was expressed in the “not my will, but thy will be done.” He accepted the fact that the call of the Father out ranked any personal or preferred desires He might have.

C. He Acted Courageously

Next, He led courageously. Peter, put away your sword. Now is not the time. His focus was on the bigger picture. In mind of Jesus, He was focused on the salvation of the world.

D. He Expected Victory

Finally, He expected God’s reward. Jesus had spent so much time with the Father in prayer that He instinctively knew that God’s way was best.

In these four truths we discover the Biblical definition of manhood.

A man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, and expects a greater reward (Victory), God’s reward.

We will never make this a reality in our lives without a personal walk with Jesus Christ. It won’t happen if our relationship to Christ is simply fellowshipping with the guys, high-fiving our friends, having a good time together, and playing horseshoes on the church grounds. Please listen, all these can be a part of a dynamic life for Christ, but - It must begin with a commitment to Christ. The requirement is to believe in Him, to become like Him, and to be bold for Him.

Let”s Pray.

No man leaving this service can plead ignorance. Now you know. You know the truth that Jesus is not really a “bearded woman.” You know that you do not have to lay down your masculinity to follow Christ. You know that God is not looking for good men, but for Godly men, who will repair the wall and stand in the Gap. Who is up to this challenge? Want to be a better dad? Want to be a better man? Will The Real Men Please Stand Up?