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Six Qualities of Biblical Manhood

Biblical manhood (pursuing godliness while retaining masculinity) is missing in the church, and the need for more godly men is necessary for the transformation of churches and families. We need men to lead, protect and provide both physically and spiritually.

Paul gives six virtues that men of God should pursue: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness (1 Tim 6:11b). The imperative “pursue” is also a present tense command. Every day we must follow after the above-mentioned virtues that flow from our union with Christ. So, holiness is not just about abstaining from certain actions; it is about pursuing God, like a deer panting for water (Ps 42:1). Do not just say no to sin; say yes to God.

Follow After Righteousness

Righteousness means to possess a right relationship with God and people. Paul is not talking about imputed righteousness (the righteousness we receive at our justification). He is talking about practical righteousness. The man of God should hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt 5:6). He will live with honesty before God and honesty before people. Be right with God, and be fair and just in your dealings with people.

Follow After Godliness

This virtue is closely related to righteousness. Godliness begins with a worshiping heart. Men of God love God and serve Him with a reverent fear (Heb 12:28). Consequently, men of God do not play around with sin; they kill sin. Again, the preacher must first pursue holiness before preaching it. John Flavel said, “Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others than to mortify one sin in ourselves.” Make sure you are a clean vessel. M’Cheyne’s words are challenging:

Do not forget the culture of the inner man—I mean of the heart. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword, His instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.

Follow After Faith

The man of God must trust God. We live by faith. MacArthur said, “To live a life of faith … is to live in a state of relaxed desperation. The man of God is desperate, because of the tremendous weight of responsibility his ministry entails, yet he is relaxed because of his confidence in the sovereignty of God.” A high view of God is absolutely necessary for faithfulness and longevity in ministry.

Follow After Love

Instead of the youthful displays of bickering, impatience and contentiousness, the man of God must love. Obviously, you have to care sincerely for people if you are going to pastor them. Of course, there are times when you want to strike a blow, but you must refrain and remember the love that God had for you when you were unlovely. Set your people an example of genuine love for the body of Christ. Love them enough to wash their feet and love them enough to tell them the truth. Demonstrate a deep concern for the poor and the unreached peoples of the world, as well.

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Tony Merida serves as the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, NC and as the Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Kimberly, with whom he has five children. Tony is the co-author of Orphanology, and the author of Faithful Preaching and Proclaiming Jesus. He travels and speaks all over the world at various events, especially pastor’s conferences, orphan care events, and youth & collegiate conferences.