In continuing our series on Ephesians, we have moved out of the first three chapters which talk about who we are in Christ and into the last three which talk about how we should behave in light of our identity in Christ. The point is that transformation must take place in the lives of believers.

Opening Scripture

Ephesians 5:27 says this:

“so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

It is clear that Jesus’ vision for the church is a church transformed. This should also be our vision.

Ephesians 4:1-3 sets the tone for the rest of the letter and tells us what transformation should look like. In order for us to see this kind of transformation, we must figure out what the problems are and then resolve to fix them.
One of the greatest hindrances to the church today is men. To put it simply, we have a man problem.

Manhood has taken a hit in our society. The following statistics help paint the picture of just how dim it looks:

–  61% of homes in the US are fatherless.
–  90% of runaways come from fatherless homes.
–  82% of men in prison grew up without a father in the house.

Further, religious practices of the father determine the direction of his family:

–  In families where a child is the first one to receive Christ, 3.5% of the time the rest of the family will become believers.
–  In families where the wife is the first to become a Christian, 17% of the time the rest of the family will become   believers, but;
–  In families where the husband is the first to become a Christian, over 85% of the time the rest of the family will become believers.

The last verse of the last book in the Old Testament says this:

“and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6

The curse plaguing manhood today is caused by a lack of fathers, so the question we should be asking is “how do we break the curse?”

The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 16:13. Paul says “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

If we are going to break the curse, we must begin the new year by “acting like men.” What does that look like?

1. It means engaging in regular fellowship with other Christian men. We need guys in our lives who will speak the truth in love.

2. We must be accountable to other men. Where do you go for encouragement? Do you go the world, or do you go to other Christian men? It’s our job as men to seek out those to whom we can be accountable and give them permission to enter our lives.

2 Timothy 4:10 is one of the saddest scriptures in the Bible. It speaks of Demas, who is said to have fallen in love with the present world and deserted Paul. Don’t be a Demas. Don’t pull back and begin to love the world.

3.  We also have a responsibility to young people in the church who do not have fathers. For the Kingdom’s sake, those who are mature as believing men should pour into those who are not.

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Close

We end with Ephesians 4:1-3 – The characteristics listed here are descriptors of what it means to “act like a man.”
–  Humility
–  Gentleness
–  Patience
–  Diligent to maintain unity

Do these characteristics describe you? If you asked your wife if these words described you, what would she say?

Today, at the beginning of this new year, I am calling you out for a commitment to act like a man.

We have some events just for men coming up that will help you begin to have regular fellowship and accountability with other men.

–  January 24th from 8-10am in the Box will be our January Men’s Breakfast.
–  This Wednesday we start Men’s Discipleship back up. That is from 6:30-7:30am in the Veranda.
–  Our Men’s Retreat is March 5-7th.
–  Intense Men will be from March 12-14th.

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Discussion Questions:

What are some ways the world/society defines manhood?

How does the Bible define manhood?

Who are those people in your life that you are accountable to?

In what area of “acting like a man” do you need prayer the most?

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