Thursday, 17 November 2011

Being Men in Christ Part 1

At the weekend I had the privilege of speaking to the men from Leeds Met CU House party on the topic Being Men in Christ.  I'm going to blog through what we looked.  So here's the first part:

Which of these questions do you think is most important and why?
  1. What is biblical manliness?
  2. What is success?
  3. How do I deal with guilt feelings?
  4. What is male sexuality and is purity possible?
  5. What is Christian leadership and how is it developed?
  6. What are the basic disciples of a Christian man?
  7. What ministry skills need to be developed and how?
  8. What is biblical business/study conduct?
  9. What is integrity and how is it developed?
Many of these questions all flow from the question of integrity, what does it mean to be a biblical man who lives his life with integrity?  'How do we deal with pride?' is another question which we ought to ask and seek a biblical answer to.

Fundamental to answering all of these questions is understanding our identity, what it means to be men in Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-8
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—"

Our identity is found not in what we were but in what we now are in Christ.  We were dead in our sin and transgressions utterly unable to do anything to redeem or save ourselves until God in his great love made us alive with Christ.  In Christ we are made alive and from this act of grace our identity is transformed.  We are not just made alive but saved, raised and seated in the heavenly realms and we are given a kingdom purpose to live out our new identity displaying the riches of his grace.  We are no longer what we werwe but we are something new!

Everything about us is transformed we are totally different, our identity is not in the world or in the worlds ideas of what manliness means but it is in Christ.  This means that we do not look to the TV or films, media, or society for our definition of manhood and our identity but we look to the Bible to learn what it means to be in Christ.  Our experience of God's grace and love in Christ now transforms us totally as it permeates every part of our being, thinking, responding and reacting.

We are going to look particularly at the transformation being in Christ makes to our understanding on family, sex and discipleship.

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