The Big Idea: Adam failed. Jesus Nailed. Grace Prevailed.
The “four visions of the world” explained in our last lesson produce “five types of men.” Which one are you? Join us this week and learn the answer! We’ll delve into the chart Man in the Mirror uses around the world to explain these 5 types of men. By the time we’re done, you’ll better understand why every type of man needs the gospel every day. We’ll answer the question, “What do Christians believe?” and give you an opportunity to affirm what you believe.
The Journey to Biblical Manhood
Challenge Two: The Gospel
Session Two: The 5 Types of Men
Good morning, men. Please turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter 3, verse 21. As we begin, let’s go ahead and do a shout out to a group of guys. This is going to be a fun one, we’ve got some guys down in Jamaica called Men’s Force. They are led by Rudolph Briscoe. They are part of My Lord’s House International Church Spanish Town, Jamaica. Guys, that’s just west of Kingston, and I’ve been there, fellows of Men’s Force. Eight men, they’re joining us for the video Bible study on Sunday evenings at six, and they developed out of a Success That Matters seminar, which is a Man in the Mirror event, that they did last year. If you would join me in giving a warm and rousing international welcome to Men’s Force. One, two, three, hoorah. Welcome, men, we’re glad to have you with us.
All right, so we’re in this Journey to Biblical Manhood, we’re in challenge two. We are talking about The Gospel. Many of you are believers already, perhaps most of you are already believers, so why are we talking about the gospel still? Oh my goodness, that’s old news, we’ve done that before. Well, one of my favorite stories, which I’m sure I’ve told you before, was told to me by one of my seminary professors. There was a man out for a hike on a cold winter day. He came to a river. The river looked to be frozen over, but of course, he was unfamiliar with the river, and so rather than just stepping recklessly out onto the ice, he got down on his stomach and he began to inch his way out across the river.
Well, when he got to the middle of the river on his stomach, the ground began to tremble, and suddenly a wagon with four horses shot over the brow of the riverbank, and thundered across the river, and it disappeared over the crest on the other side. There he was laying on his stomach in the middle of the river feeling foolish. Well, it’s not unusual that he would have done that. What would have been odd is if he had walked up to this river not knowing much about it, not being familiar with it, and walked blithely across the river. The reason we’re going to be talking about the gospel is because the gospel is still so full of richness and depth, that our familiarity with it, and the response or the result that we get from our Christianity are so tied together, and we want to make sure that we have that familiarity. We’re doing these faith and life objectives.
The one we’re doing today is this second bullet. You have these cards on your tables online, you can download these of course. I think I have the old ones still up there from the first challenge. The second, you can read it. This morning, we’re going to be talking about the Five Types of Men, and we’re really looking at the issues of Christian doctrine here and so forth. If you would look in your Bibles, the first things first, what is the gospel? What is the gospel? “The wages of sin is death,” it says in Romans 6:23. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you only needed or wanted, or could handle one verse, one short, pithy statement of the gospel, there is no more clear place to find that in Romans 6:23. If you wanted a couple of more sentences to go with that, you go to Romans chapter 3, and beginning at verse 21. Let’s look at that together, because that’s where you’re turned.
Now, a righteousness from God. Everybody wants to lead a righteous life. We were looking at four visions of the world in the last message, and we talked about moving from secular, to moral, to religious, to Christianity. This idea of eventually wanting to have a moral life, that is a synonym for righteous. Moral and righteous are synonyms. Now a righteousness from God apart from the law, just looking at the law, even the moral law, just the 10 Commandments, let me ask you a question. If you have been able to keep all of the 10 Commandments since you professed faith in Christ, all of you who have been able to keep the 10 Commandments since you professed faith in Christ, would you please stand so we can honor you? We don’t need a righteousness that comes from the law, do we, men?
Now, a righteousness from God apart from the law has been made known to which the Law and the Prophets testify. The Old Testament, the law of the prophets, all testify to this new kind of righteousness. The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is the gospel. This is the gospel. We looked at four visions of the world last time, again, secular, moral, religious, and Christianity, and these four visions of the world produce five types of men. I want to go ahead and show you these five types of men, and you can find more on that in either one of these two books, Pastoring Men, which is for leaders and pastors, and No Man Left Behind, which is, if this is the big picture, then No Man Left Behind gives you the nuts and bolts about how to disciple men.
In those two books, you will find this graph of five types of men. Now, we call this the wide, deep continuum. You can see a continuum there, wide on the left, deep on the right, and then these five kinds of men. There are men who need Christ. Now, when we say need Christ, I guess that that is a conclusion. You could just say the natural man, and that would not be an extra conclusion, but since this is a Bible study, we’ll make the conclusion that all natural men need Christ. Men who need Christ, men who are cultural Christians, and then as you move deeper, men who are biblical Christians, and then men who is servant leaders. The man who needs Christ, because of his vision of the world, it’s all about me.
Then men who are cultural Christians, those are men who are either nominal Christians, that doesn’t mean they’re not real Christians, but they’re nominal, they’re tepid, they’re lukewarm, they’re trying to have their cake and eat it too. They’re seeking a god or gods that they want, not necessarily the God who is. They’re not getting the same result from their faith that perhaps they would like to have, or they see some other men are having, and that’s because it’s about me and God. Then when a man actually engages in a full, total, complete surrender of his life to the Lordship of Jesus, and really is seeking now to become a biblical Christian, that flips. It’s about God and me. Then, as a man continues to grow, and not only becomes a disciple or a biblical Christian, and he progresses in this and has the vision to become not only a disciple, but a disciple making disciple, and to serve others, he becomes this idea of a servant leader.
Now, instead of being God and me, it’s God and others. This is a progression. It doesn’t mean that you don’t toggle back and forth, but it’s a general progression. The fifth kind of man we call the hurting man, and that is because it covers the entire continuum because any one of these groups of men could be hurting. Here I’ve told you before in the past, and in the pull that I did, of all the men at our Bible study, only four men said they didn’t have a major problem. Then I asked, “How many of you four men were lying?” And one man said, “Yes, I was lying. We actually only had three men who don’t have some kind of a major problem. Almost all of us have some kind of a major problem that we’re struggling with, but you can still have a major problem and not be hurting.
There are men who have just been pushed over the edge and are hurting, and that’s probably about half of us on any given day. These men can be men, they could be hurting because they don’t have Christ in their life, but they can also be hurting because they do have Christ in their life, but they’re not walking with Him. They don’t really understand how the gospel applies, not only to their salvation, but to their sanctification. That was my problem, one of my problems, one of my many problems, but I knew that I was saved by faith, but I figured that it was up to me to prove that God had made a mistake. From a sanctification standpoint, it was like saved by grace, and then sanctified by works. I felt like my righteousness, I needed to prove that I was worthy of this imputed righteousness of Jesus that had been given to me, that I needed to prove to God that I was worthy of having been given this you see. This is a confusion, and that was part of my culture of Christianity. These are the five types of men.
Now, let’s talk about why all five types of men need the gospel every day. I think that the one question that best captures what needs to be asked and answered today is this question, why do all of us need this gospel every day? Well, we’ve already talked about righteousness and law. Think about three pairs, three couplets if you will. You have righteousness and sin, and one reason that we need to have the gospel preached to ourselves every day is the idea of just keeping straight in our minds that we are sinful men. It’s to self-examine our lives, it’s to lead a life of repentance from sin. We want to be righteous, we want this righteousness, but we don’t just want it positionally, because Jesus is – we actually want to live that out phenomenalogically. That was off the top of my head, I don’t know where that came from, phenomenalogically.
Anyway, existentially, we actually want to be living the righteous lives that we have in Christ. The way to do that is to examine our lives. To bring ourselves into the presence of Jesus, and invite Him to examine our hearts into the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Father, to invite the Lord to examine our hearts to see if there be any sinful way in us. Then to gladly and willingly confess that, and with joy, receive the forgiveness that can only be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You become a Christian, and then you keep sinning. Because we are in a battle, the flesh wars against the spirit, the spirit against the flesh, so you do not do what you want. Becoming a Christian, you don’t go into a clean room that is antiseptic. You’re left in the world. They’re of these four visions, the secular vision of the world, the moral vision, the religious, and the Christian vision of the world.
Well, guess what? God, because He’s interested in reaching people who are secular, who are moral, and only religious and not yet Christian, because He’s interested in reaching those people, He leaves us out there with them in that suit, and sometimes, if we’re not careful, well, even if we are careful, those visions of the world will pollute our vision of the world. We need to lead lives of self-examination. Lives of self-examination. That’s one couplet is just the righteousness and sin, and then the next is justice and mercy. Is there anybody here who, at the end of yesterday, actually wanted to get what you deserved? You see people in these other visions of the world fighting for their rights, and fighting for their injustices, their mistreatments, and the way that they’ve been taken advantage of. Do you really want justice? You can see why these different types of men are getting different results, but we don’t want justice. We want mercy.
That’s why we need to think about the gospel even more after … Not more, but a lot after we become Christians because if we don’t, we will miss the idea of how much we need mercy. We need mercy. We need the mercy of Jesus Christ and His gospel all the time. The third couplet, so righteousness and sin, justice of mercy, and then pride and humility. Pride and humility. Listen. Listen, listen. If you’re a Christian and you’re becoming more righteous, you are becoming more righteous. You are becoming more moral. Here’s the problem, here’s the problem, and here’s why we need the gospel every day. Why all types of men need the gospel all the time. Because the more righteous you become, there is a tendency to start thinking that you are actually better than other people. That you are superior.
Listen, if your vision of the world, if your Christianity, your version of Christianity has brought you to the point where you feel superior to other people, you need the gospel. You need the gospel. The gospel of Jesus leads us to a point of not superiority, but humility. Overwhelming gratitude. I can’t believe that God has allowed me to live this way. This is all my New Year’s resolutions, they’re all true. I’m actually becoming the man that I wanted to be. Instead of feeling superior about it, or proud, we’re humbled by it. When we bring ourselves into the presence of the gospel of Jesus, just understand that it’s a life of repentance. Or godly sorrow. Repentance means godly sorrow. A lot of people are sorry, yeah, they’re sorry that they got caught, but a lot of people who are Christians are sorry because they really are filled with a sorrow that they have grieved the Holy Spirit. This is why all five types of men need the gospel all the time, every day.
Now, this is a challenge about the gospel, and so what I want to do is I want to give you a big idea today that I think was one that you might actually be able to remember. How many of you can remember last week’s big idea? You see what I mean? Okay. This might be one that you can actually remember. The reason I’m putting it in this way to you is because I think if you can remember this, then you can preach this gospel to yourself every day, and it will help you with a problem of righteousness and sin, pride and humility, and whatever the other one I just said. Here’s the big idea for the day, Adam failed, Jesus nailed, grace prevailed. All have sinned, it said in the text we just looked at, it says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Adam is the Hebrew word for man. Man failed. Adam failed. Then, in spite of that sinfulness, Jesus Christ, it says in our text, “we’re justified freely by him through the redemption that came through Christ.” He voluntarily gave his life. Not only, he didn’t just die a human body, but there is a spiritual element to that too. In other words, he experienced the forsakenness and the abandonment of God. It is not something that’s easy to comprehend as a Christian, but if you will go back to your days before Christ, and if you can remember the utter, complete, devastating despair of feeling alone, and not only alone, not only alone in your community, but alone in the cosmos. You look out into the stars, and you don’t, and you feel completely, infinitely alone. If you can remember that. Jesus felt that. Jesus experienced that. He was forsaken by God. In the Apostles Creed, it says he descended into hell.
What does that mean? Well, you’ve heard me say I’m not interested in trying to engage in theological debates which have, for centuries, remained unresolved as though somehow I, today, Pat Morley, am suddenly going to figure all that out. The world is going to be of one mind on this. There is a lot of different talk about what that means in the Apostles Creed he descended into hell, but certainly, certainly it can’t mean anything less than Jesus having experienced, spiritually, what it means to be forsaken by the Father.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” All right, that much is clear. Then grace prevailed. Grace prevailed. It says, “There is no difference, all have sinned, fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace. By his grace, kindness. His utter kindness.” Yes, you’ve failed yesterday, but because Jesus was nailed, today, grace can prevail you see.
The way that we don’t start thinking we’re better than we ought to be, better than we are, is by examining our lives and realizing that we are still, every day, doing things which grieve the Holy Spirit. Bringing ourselves into the presence of the gospel of Jesus, and this is a nice way to review that. Adam failed, Jesus nailed, grace prevailed. All right, so what do Christians believe? First of all, they believe the Bible. Christians believe the Bible. The Bible’s long. It’s the equivalent of about twelve 220-page nonfiction books. If you read the Bible through in a year, you’re actually reading the equivalent of 12 regular, nonfiction books. It’s a long book. Because of that, there have been creeds, and catechisms, and theologies that have been developed. I was trying to think, what is the best way that I could help us just make sure that we have – when we’re talking about the gospel, that we have the essence of that in a way that would create the least amount of a dispute?
What I settled on is the Apostles Creed, it’s the earliest Creed, we don’t really know much about it, and then I said, “Well, okay, every denomination, every group has their own version of the Apostles Creed. I said, “Well, how am I going to solve that? Well, I know what I’ll do. I’ll just go to the Billy Graham website, because he’s like the Protestant pope, and so everybody respects Billy Graham.” Your group may have a little bit different wording here and there and so forth, but those different wordings of the Apostles Creed, it’s not exactly like, but it’s not dissimilar to different versions of the Bible, taking the original text and wording it a little differently. The Apostles Creed, and you should have copies of this of half sheets on your page, and this is worthy, it’s worthy of reconsidering.
What I’ve discovered about myself is that sometimes it gets so deep into the woods and I lose sight of the forest. Well, this is the forest. This is the big picture of what Christians believe. If somebody ever said to you, “Well, what do you believe?” You start flipping through your Bible, at least in your mind, thinking, “Well, what do I believe?” Well, guess what, this is what you believe.
We’re going to have an opportunity to read this together at the very, very end of the day, but I believe in God the Father. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the virgin birth. Suffered, crucified, dead, buried, there’s that phrase, “He descended into hell.” By the way, you should know that that phrase, he descended into hell, is not in the most early versions of the Apostles Creed, so somehow it got added, may be in the third, fourth century, something like that.
This is, by the way, probably a first or second century Creed, so it’s a very, very early Creed. Third day, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits with the Father at his right hand, and is going to come again. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic church. Probably most of you know, but in case somebody doesn’t know, when it says the holy Catholic Church, the word Catholic is the holy universal church in all of its different iterations. Then the community of the saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the body, and everlasting life. This is what Christians believe. Got it? That’s what you believe if you’re Christian.
Now, in short, you could say, “Adam failed, Jesus nailed, grace prevailed.” That works also. That’s another summary. A little shorter. My summary – it’s actually Dwight L Moody’s summary – he was once being interviewed by pastors and so forth, and somebody said, “Well, what is your Creed?” He said, “Isaiah 53.” That seemed to satisfy everybody. You can look at Isaiah 53, it’s the story of the suffering servant. There’s nothing in his human appearance that made him attractive and all of that. I like that one myself. Something to just keep in mind about the Apostles Creed, and why Christianity gets a little difficult after you become a Christian. I alluded to it, talked a little bit about it last message if you weren’t here, about the idea of futility, and how futility is really the chief tool by which God sovereignly draws us to Himself of our own free will.
Here’s how it works. You say the Apostles Creed, you affirm that this is what you believe. Here’s my experience, and see if this isn’t your experience too. When I say things to God that I really want to mean, He helps me to mean them. You see? This is what sanctification is. It’s for the Christian, as well as the non-Christian you see, that when we say things to God that we really want to mean, like the Apostles Creed, then he wants to help us to mean them. That’s why he allows sufferings and futilities to come into our lives, Romans 5:3-5, and we rejoice also in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character. Character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Sufferings are part of the process by which God is helping us to believe what we say believe.
The final thing I want us to just touch on is what do you believe? What is it that you believe? Much of this has to do with familiarity. The familiarity with the river for example. Last time I talked about how you can ride in the car, but you don’t need to know how the engine works. We’ve all heard that analogy I’m sure before, or thought it. That’s true. The more familiar you become with the operation of the car, the more comfortable you become in general. There is another area where this applies, and that’s the world of RVs. I’ve lived my whole life working out of my head. I think a thought, I have an idea, and then I put it into motion. Well, in the world of camping, you have to be cognizant of physics. You can’t just think something, you can’t just say, “Well, I could fit this camper into that spot. I don’t care if there’s a tree over there or not. I can fit it in.”
Well, guess what? I’ve got a $10,000 evidence that that is not true. A $10,000 evidence that you can’t just think it into the spot. You actually have to be aware of physics. Unfortunately, I’m the guy who has trouble getting the lid off of a peanut butter jar. I am just not mechanical. I’m just not mechanical. All of this is very anxiety-producing for me. I have hitching the trailer to the car anxiety. I have black water drainage anxiety, sewer anxiety. I have electrical anxiety. I have, “Oh, what’s that sound? What’s that sound? I’ve never heard that sound before.” I have been a nervous wreck because of what? Unfamiliarity. The more familiar though that I have become within two years now, the more I’ve been at it, the more familiar I have become, and the more comfortable I am becoming.
Now, if I was mechanically inclined, I would be becoming familiar at a much more rapid pace. You might not be predisposed to spiritual things, to really grasping spiritual things, or you might be predisposed to really grasping spiritual things. Whether you are predisposed or not predisposed naturally to spiritual things, what will give you confidence, and what will give you this sense of familiarity is experience with the gospel. That is preaching the gospel to yourself every day, understanding that no matter which type of man you are, where you are, that we all need the gospel, and we need it every day. The big idea today, Adam failed, Jesus nailed, grace prevailed.
Now, what I want you to do is I want you to take some time here until about eight till and answer these questions as a group, and then I’ll come back up and we’ll just have some group interaction, give you a chance to tell the rest of the group some of the answers that you came up with. All right, let’s turn and discuss the questions.
Okay, if I can get everybody’s attention, let us pray. I don’t think that’s going to keep working every week. All right, let us humble ourselves. Let’s just do a review of these questions, and so first one, on your own personal Journey to Biblical Manhood, which of the five types of men do you most identify with and why? What kind of answers did some of you come up with on that one?
We had a lot of experienced men in this group.
A lot of experienced men.
They all think that they’re between the two middle.
Between the two? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
All right, okay, good. So Biblical Christians wanting to be more and more like servant leaders, is that the idea? But already servant leaders, but wanting more of that. Good. Thank you for doing that by the way.
In a given day, we’re all of them.
Yeah. In a given day. Yeah, that is one of the problems with all systems of classification typologies, taxonomies, is that they’re all imperfect and so forth. There’s probably a, at rest, you’re probably more one of these types of men than another. Or if you’re hurting, of course, that’s a season where you’d be one of these other types of men. In a season of hurting, you’re not going to be hurting your whole life, although sometimes you can be hurting so bad you feel like it’s never going to end.
Anybody else have a comment? All right, that’s more, obviously, the personal reflection. These questions are always the same format. Reflection question to get the conversation going, a knowledge question, based on Scriptures, and then an application oriented question. If you’ll watch the pattern every week, when I’m putting the questions together, that’s what I do. I write a reflection question, a knowledge question, and an application question. For the knowledge question, do you have a favorite Scripture to support the declarations that are made in the Apostles Creed about what Christians believe?
Romans 10:9 and 10.
Romans 10:9 and 10.
Romans 10:9 and 10? Why don’t you be prepared to read these things, or say them?
Let’s see, Romans 10:9 and 10. “But if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The Scripture says, whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.”
So it’s actually a formula, so to speak, a biblical formula of how you can actually make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and be saved. It’s also a summary of the gospel as well. There’s so many summaries of the gospel, that’s a great one. I wish I would have thought of that so I could put it on the outline today. Anyway, great. Thank you. What else? Yeah?
John 3:16? All right. For those who don’t know that, it is what? For God …
For God so loved the world.
Yep. For God so loved the world, and so forth. Tim Tebow. Yeah?
You know, I’ve got a favorite expression. [inaudible 00:36:41], and that is Jesus wept.
That is the essence of who He is.
All right. Good. What else? Keith?
Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless his holy name.
Just to give my natural man and my spirit [inaudible 00:37:09].
Yeah, beautiful. Yeah. Last week we did that Psalm 118:24, this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. My wife and I have been doing that verse every day this week. Oh my gosh, I’m going to make that one of my regulars. That’s amazing. It just totally changes my perspective, like you talking about on Psalm 103. All right, good. It was said today, third question, it was said today that all five types of men need the gospel every day, and do you agree with that statement or not? What can happen if a man isn’t doing that, and what can happen if he is? What is some of the thoughts that you all came up with on that?
For me, I need to be reminded every day that it’s not about me.
You have to be reminded every day that it’s not about you.
I need the grace of God-
You’re not married then?
[inaudible 00:38:19] appreciate that. It’s so easy, I’m a performance type guy, and I always carry around with me the [inaudible 00:38:35] question, what do I have to do? American Church tends to tell people what they have to do, instead of saying “Well, no, it’s all about God.” My favorite verse, actually, in the Bible I think is that we are therefore predestined to be conformed in the image.
You and I were talking about that last week. Ephesians 1:11, yeah.
I figure, well, there is very little I can do to mess that up. I think if I just follow God to do it.
Yeah. Steve. What’s really interesting about this is that this performance-based Christianity that you’re talking about, that’s really, in the four visions of the world that we looked at in the previous message, that’s the religious vision of the world. Not the Christian vision of the world. This is very helpful for me, and it may be helpful for you, but all religions, except Christianity, are based on performance. You have to do something to either make God happy, or to avoid his wrath. Christianity is the only religion that is not based on performance. Well, actually it is based on performance, but it’s the performance of Jesus Christ. His performance is graciously given to us as a gift. It’s the only religion in the world that’s like that.
All right, and so, let’s do this Apostles Creed, let’s pray this together. You can read it from your half sheets, or you can read it from here. Let’s read this out loud, let’s make a declaration of what we believe. By the way, if you have not previously given your life to Jesus, oh, why don’t you just do that today? Why don’t you just pray this Apostles Creed, but instead of doing it out of wrote, why don’t you do this as an expression of what’s really in your heart? Let’s all of us do it as an expression of what’s really in our hearts.
Okay, let us begin. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only son our Lord who is conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, he descended into hell. The third day, He rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Thank you. That’ll do for today. Have a great weekend.