Okay, at the end of my article "The Behavior of Born Again Women" I said I would do a version for men! Well, here it is...finally. The first article has been read 208 times in the nearly five months it has been on this site. I hope many women read the article and found it helpful. If any disagreed with anything in the piece (as far as my explanation of a particular scripture) then that is your right to do so!
God set up specific guidelines and spiritual instruction for born again women to abide by but unfortunately, not enough are following them. And too many have a liberal, feminist worldview and the moment you point these scriptures out to them, they erupt like you just called them a dirty name. I had a few do that to me after I told them about the article. As a matter of fact, their responses border on rebellion with God's Word because if born again women and men were reading the New Testament like they should be, they would know how God wants them to behave!
And nothing that is said in either article (like scripture commentary) is said to impose some legalistic rules or anything like that on born again men or women. All the scriptures listed or explained in both articles are there also for you to pray over and ask Jesus to expose in your heart any unscriptural views on how God wants you to abide in him as a born again son or daughter.
Now, no man is perfect and though a man may be a born again believer the only one perfect in him is Christ Jesus, for the man still struggles against the flesh! The flesh wants to do its own thing, which is NOT what Jesus wants us to do.
"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." (Romans 7:15 KJV)
Basically what Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles said there was that he wants to do right but ends up doing what is wrong. In verse 20, Paul expounds verse 15 this way:
"Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7:20)
The entire content of chapter seven is devoted to Paul talking about wanting to do right but ending up doing what is wrong, along with issues of the flesh and sin. Paul, though saved, still struggled with the flesh's desire to do its will as ALL men do! But remember this men, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we HAVE an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
Let's go over the guidelines for men who hold a leadership position in the church body, like deacons, bishops and so on. We'll look at deacons first. Go to Philippians 1:1:
"Paul and Timotheus (Timothy), the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."
At the time Philippians was written there were elders, bishops, ministers and deacons; people that were of great spiritual discipline and maturity, authorized to lead the local churches in Philippi. Now, just what kind of man does one have to be according to God's Word to be a deacon and a bishop? Why don't we find out.
But first let me point out something really cool. According to the subscript at the end of 2 Timothy it reads, "The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the FIRST bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the SECOND time." Not only do we learn that Timothy was the first bishop of the church in Ephesus, but that Paul saw and spoke with Nero not only once, but twice! Here is another subscript from Titus, "It was written to Titus, ordained the FIRST bishop of the church of the Cretians (the island of Crete), from Nicopolis of Macedonia."
Okay, now let's see what it takes to be a bishop first. Go to 1 Timothy 3:1-13:
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of ONE wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children IN subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know NOT how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."
I'm going to pause right there because from verse 8 to 13 Paul talks about deacons and I want to cover everything mentioned about bishops first. Go ahead and look at Titus 1:7-9:
"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; NOT selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men (or good things), sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
You should already be getting the hint as to what kind of man one has to be in order to be a bishop. Almost the entire content of Titus discloses what it takes to be a leader in the Christian church of any kind. If any man reading this does not fully meet these requirements, then you should pray to God and ask Jesus to reveal what may be in you that is keeping you from possibly becoming a bishop, deacon, minister, elder or pastor.
Of course God himself will let you know if he wants you to be a church leader in the first place. It is after all a position of great responsibility. You will be a person in charge of a local portion of God's flock so it is nothing to just jump into lightly. Now let's go back to 1 Timothy 3 and see what Paul says a deacon should be like, starting at verse 8:
"Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless"
Verse 12: "Let the deacons be the husbands of ONE wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."
The pedigree of a man that is saved in Christ Jesus must be one of righteousness through Christ Jesus. It's pretty much like asking for perfection, but not by the perfection of men! Let Christ rule in you and he will guide you where he wants you to be through his perfection!
Here are some more guidelines for a born again man found in Titus 2:
"Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
For yet another great perspective on what type of men God uses and calls, go to 1 Corinthians 1:25-27:
"The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."
God used mere fishermen to preach the single greatest message the world would ever hear. God isn't the least bit concerned with the wise of the world, those who think of themselves above others or think their knowledge will get them everywhere in the world. Knowledge means nothing without God's knowledge, for his is all there really is! Just look at verse 19 (same book and chapter):
"For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
I know it is easy for me to sit here and say to you to let God's wisdom be your wisdom, that is to rely on his guidance and strength and knowledge. Remember believers: it is never YOU that is doing the work, it is Jesus doing the work into you and through you. Just like my writing gift (for an example). God put this gift into me to edify him and bring him glory for the work it will cause in others in building you up in the spirit. He is the one putting these things in me and working them through me and all I am doing is writing it down. After I put these articles on Faith Writers, he blesses them and blows them up by drawing people to them. Each article will serve a purpose he has put into it to minister to anyone going through a particular issue in their life I will have written about, because he did the work in me!
I hope that all makes sense. Too many men put forth their own beguilings, their own wisdom of the flesh, corruptible minds that distort the gospel of Christ or don't even preach the gospel at all.
The church now more than ever needs godly men to step up big time and be good examples to the younger generation of believers and equally as important we need husbands to step up and set an example unto their wives. Consider these verses:
Ephesians 5:23, 25
For the husband IS the head of the wife, even as Christ IS the head of the church: and he IS the saviour of the body. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
Husbands, love your wives, and be NOT bitter against them.
1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
By the proof of scripture, we see how God has laid out instructions for how he wants his children to behave and present themselves. While we struggle against the flesh, devil and the world, we can only try to abide by them, as Christ is doing the righteous work in us. Everything we do is ultimately for him, for Jesus Christ! Men have a role to play and so too do women in the kingdom of God.
Jesus has laid out the ultimate pattern to follow in behavior and speech and being humble and then these patterns were explored and explained further by Paul in his letters. I encourage all born again men (including myself) to review what has been said here and pray for a word from God to reveal his pattern of behavior to you as found in the scriptures. If God calls you to a church leader office, it would definitely be prudent for you to review these things and see where you are spiritually in your walk with Jesus and see what you need to work on to fill the godly mold as a born again man.