“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians.3:11)
Many people, especially Christians often think and erroneously believe that being a man has to do with physical appearance and strength, as well as other philosophical and scientific beliefs. This message will open our minds to what makes a man a real man. Meditate on these Bible verses before you read on. (1 Corinthians.16:3-14)
What the Intentions of This Message Are Not
- It is not the Yoruba notion “Die omokunrin ko to”, that you can’t help God, you need to go into diabolical means to survive.
- It is not by the physic one has.
- It is not by wealth a man has.
- It is not by the many women and children under your control or care.
- It is not by age.
- It’s not by not expressing your emotions (happy or sad).
- It’s not by excessive display of courage.
- It’s not by appearing neither flawless nor lacking weaknesses.
- It’s not being a male, though I’m addressing men.
Biblical Exposition on the Stages of a Man
I Cor. 13:11 talks about two stages of a man – physical & spiritual: Childhood and Adulthood. Childhood has its way of thinking and behavior. In this context, Apostle Paul says, when I was a child, my life was like this – I spoke, thought, and, reasoned as a child does. Now that I have grown up I put away childish things.
Limitations of Childhood
Galatians 4:1-3, Paul makes us see the limitations we could have as babes, minors, children, underage, etc (read). To be a man in this sense is talking about the level of Christian growth attained.
Display of Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual maturity is what makes you a man. This is why Apostle Paul says that there are some behaviors and characteristics that should no longer be heard among “men” that is if you have attained spiritual growth and maturity. (Ephesians 4:25-31;5:3-7 cf Colossians 3:5-9). In 1 Cor. 16-13-14, he said, (read).
Benefits of Spiritual Maturity
As we examine various passages of the Scripture, we see clearly that God wants His children to grow into maturity. Why, because maturity is necessary to enjoy the full fellowship God desires to have with His children.
When it comes to Christian leadership, it is also in our full maturity that God will accomplish His works on earth. The spiritually immature (babes and children) cannot lead others. A fifty-year-old man who recently converted remains a babe no matter how long he has been in the church.
Traits That Would Be Seen in a Mature Christian (a Man)
Love: For a Christian to be a real man, he should love his wife, children, church members, and everyone. Colossians 3: 14 recorded that “And all over these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. When you love people, you love God. (1Corinthians 16:14; Romans 12:10)
New life: A man in the Lord should have a life that has been constantly renewed. I am talking about a good life that is against the old way of life. Colossians 3: 10 says, “And have put on the new self (life), which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. ( 2 Corinthians. 5:17)
Holy living: To be holy and to be a man of integrity is a priority for all Christians. Every man is expected to portray this virtue, which is pursuing holiness always. It was recorded in the Bible that we should be holy as our Father in heaven is holy. Holy living is the key to a real man. (1 Peter.1:14-16).
Love the word, read, meditate, and teach: Every Christian man must love to read, meditate, and teach the word of God. Your wife and children must enjoy this. Also, the church members and people outside should testify to this that you are the lover of the word. (Joshua 1:8).
Forgiving spirit and mind: A good Christian or mature man does not revenge. He does not holoffensece for a long time. Only a weak man does it. A mature man will have a forgiving mind and take a step toward reconciliation. (Collossian.3:13)
A person of faith: A mature man is a man who has a strong faith in the Lord; a man who believes that God is enough for him and his family. Mathew 6: 30 says, “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Hebrew. 11:6).
Evidence of the fruit of the spirit: When we read through the book of Galatians, we shall examine the fruits of the spirit a mature man should have. They are the fruits that must be manifesting always in your life. If people test these fruits of the spirit on you, you are expected to pass. (Galatians. 5: 22-23).
Evidence of the gifts of the spirit: A mature Christian man must also have the gifts of the spirit that will distinguish him from an immature man. You are endowed with these gifts for the glory of God. (Romans. 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians. 12:1-11).
Being strong in the Lord with evidence of the full armor: Every mature man, Christian, must be strong in the Lord. You should be a man that worldly things can easily wipe off. (Ephesian.6:10-18).
A cheerful giver: A mature and Christian man must love to give cheerfully. The man who loves to pay tithes and offerings, help other people, give to other people, and so on. (2Corinthians. 9:7)
Desire to be a Christian worker with a servant leadership mind: A Christian leader is a servant leader. He should have this in mind. That is, we are co-laborers in the house of God. (Romans. 12:11; Ephesians. 4:11-14; Mathew 20:26-28)
Spiritual courage displayed with wisdom: A mature man must have and apply the wisdom of God. He must be the one who is always directed by the wisdom of God, not flesh and only worldly wisdom.(Daniel 11:32; I John 4:4)
Love to work to earn a living: A mature man must not be lazy. He must love to work and earn a living. (Romans12:11)
Take good care of your family by providing for your home: A real mature man is someone that can take care of and provide for his family (1Tim1 Timothy).
A good example to others: A mature and Christian man must set a good example to other people. He is someone whose lifestyle can be emulated by family and people outside. (1Timothy 4:12)
Life of contentment: A Christian man must be contented and satisfied with what God provided for him. He should not covet, be greedy, steal and cheat. (1Timothy 6:6)
Not a rebellious or divisive person: A mature and Christian man must not rebel and cause divisions in the church, meetings, and everywhere. (Titus 3:10)
Avoiding all vices: A mature Christian man must avoid any vice and evil which reflect old ways of life. He should deviate from stealing, adultery, fornication, drinking alcohol, beating up his wife, and so on.
It takes to be a man by the display of all evidence of spiritual maturity. It is not by what I say but by what I do. Therefore, all the above-mentioned traits (if not more) are what it takes to be a man – spiritually mature that is no more a babe.
This message was preached by Rev. Bayo Abraham at the Men Missionary Union (MMU) Meeting during the fourth quarter of Emmanuel Baptist Association in Session at Faith Foundation Baptist Church, Ibadan 2022
Revd Bayo Abraham