On the Importance of Men and Discipleship
“Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:45
We believe God loves the world. He created it, and with it, us. But the world is far from His design and intention. It is full of sin and all its friends: death, destruction, and dysfunction, on personal, relational, and social levels.
The events of last week in Santa Fe, TX come just three months after the tragedy in Parkland, FL but both only go to show this to be true. Sadly, it seems that we are not even that shocked anymore that such a tragedy could happen, seeing as it hits our collective radars fairly frequently these days.
Comedian Michael Ian Black provided what I think is an insightful commentary on not just the horrible event in Florida at the time, but also a sober reminder about the situation in Texas, where a teenager took the lives of his classmates. When one student was asked about possible motive, he indicated that the shooter had been teased and bullied in school, only not from students, but from teachers there. School is hard enough with teenagers acting immature because, well, they are (we all were at that age). But what excuse is there for grown men and women, adults, people paid to educate and provide a place for children to learn and mature in safety, who inflict chronic and pervasive harm on those under their care?
He helps identify one of the underlying issues that help make these tragedies reoccur.
In this thread of tweets, Black has identified that men generally speaking do not know what it means to be a man, what role or purpose we are to have in society, or how to express our masculinity in life-giving and affirming ways.
Not only do we have a problem that we all feel as men, but we can’t even have the conversation! What hope is there?
But it was this statement that grabbed my attention (and the attention of Twitterverse as a whole). He is absolutely correct in identifying the source of the problem.
“Boys are broken.” Yes.
But not just boys.
Everything is broken!
Death. Destruction. Dysfunction. These are normal ways of describing life as we experience it now. And not only is it killing us, we hate it.
We all experience life this way. But what happened? Why did things get this way for us, our relationships, and our world?
It is this way because of a man.
Adam, the first man, chose to reject living under God’s Word back in the Garden of Eden and in this way he rebelled against his Creator. All of creation was bound together with Adam, so as he fell from his position of grace, all things and everyone descending from him fell with him.
And yet, God’s heart, His love for His world never changed. He still loved the world He created, even though it fails to love and honor Him in return.
What does God do about this love for a world that is far from Him in every way?
He sends a man.
He sends His Son, Jesus Christ, to become a man, so that man can finally and fully be redeemed out of sin and into righteousness (the state of being right, approved).
He became a man, so that man can be restored out of brokenness and into the image and likeness of God Himself (the state of being who we were meant to be originally).
He became man, so that man can be renewed out of guilt, shame, and bondage to sin and all it’s friends (death, destruction, dysfunction), and walk instead in new life as new creations (the state of becoming more like Christ, living a resurrected life in all of life).
He became the man when God His Father vindicated His sacrificial death and perfect life by raising Him up from the dead and seating Him at His right hand, reigning and ruling over all things, and leading His people to be agents of His new creation world in the present.
And now that man, that perfect man who is redeeming, restoring, and renewing all things to Himself sends out men to live as redeemed people, restored sinners, and renewed saints for the sake of the world around them.
Men continue to be the method God uses to reach the world and make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.
The church will succeed in its mission when men are redeemed by Christ, restored to His fellowship, and renewed in His image, and live out His life for the sake of others – every man, woman, and child, starting at home and moving out to the rest of the world.
Men live in and out strength when they live for the sake of others.
It is true of Jesus.
And it’s no less true for men today.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
Growing as Men at Christ Church
Men, how are you growing in Christ-likeness?
How are you looking out not only for your own interests but also the interests of others?
Who are you serving with your life?
Who are you helping know and experience more of the life-giving Jesus than the sin-stained Adam in this world?
If we have been given the gift of God’s grace in Christ, it is to help others know and become disciples of Jesus, who do the same for others, until God’s kingdom has come on Earth as it is in heaven.
Everywhere God has placed you is an opportunity to bring Jesus and with Him, Heaven, into this hell-torn world.
Men, let’s get after it.