Man of God – Anatomy & Physiology

Posted: 01/26/2011 in Musings, Running the Race, Sermons/Bible Study Revelations

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(1 Tim 6:11-12)

As I wrote a few days ago, I was asked by a good friend if I thought that he was a “man of God”, which led to the question:

What does it mean to be a
“man of God”?

Like I said before, this seemingly simple question has proved rather difficult to address. My original plan was to grab a cup of coffee and my journal and pound out an inventory that I see as common among the Christian men in my life I admire, those I would give such a title.

I say it was my original plan because over the past week, on two separate occasions, men who I have always thought as being solid, who follow hard after God with all their heart, soul. mind & strength, revealed a number of things that made me pause.

It wasn’t so much that either had gotten wrapped up in things that the Bible is really clear about, but both saw it as being trivial. It was as though the decisions they made were unfortunate, but only because to be a “good Christian” people would expect them to stop.

The actions and attitudes of a person serve as a great window into their heart: into what they hold as important and what they believe.

The lure, no, the lie of religion is that by cleaning up the outside and by being seen a a “good person” even as a “good Christian” that your merit is attained. I wanted to answer the question of “what does it mean to be a “man of God?” by creating a list of what a “man of God” looks like and what a “man of God” does. I would love to have a checklist and a guide, to make this process all about making myself look good, but I am becoming so much more aware that being a “man of God” is a matter of the heart.

This isn’t a new development, during Jesus’ earthly ministry there were a group of men who would have been at the top of anyone’s list when identifying “men of God.” They knew the God’s word, they didn’t miss church and they found great pride in observing every last command of the law. Actually the twenty-third chapter of Matthew deals exclusively with these men, although it is far from complimentary.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
(Matthew 23:27-28)

If the strategy to become a man of God is to adhere to a list of rules, at end of the day the result will be whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.

The goal of this question is something entirely different, because within a Godly man, instead of dead bones, there is life. The difference between the Pharisee and the Godly man stems from understanding that no matter how hard any of us try, we will never be able to fulfill and complete this list of rules.

It is ONLY through the cross, through what Jesus accomplished, that anyone has the right OR the ability to be called a man of God.

Jesus calls us into is a relationship where we are justifed before God and are whitewashed, clothed in the spotless garments of Christ’s righteousness (Rev 7:13-14). Not only are we seen as righteous, but God begins a process of changing our hearts to become more and more like him, taking what was dead and raising it to new life. Paul captured it so well in his letter to the Philippians:

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, NOT having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:8-11… emphasis added)

So… what does it mean to be a
“man of God”?

Knowing that this is about a work of God within a man’s heart, instead of synthesizing a list, I am going to explore the “Anatomy & Physiology” of a “man of God” by looking at:

  1. ANATOMY: The nature and characteristics of God which are a result of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
    (The Fruit of the Spirit)
  2. PHYSIOLOGY: How we see these characteristics within “men of God” in the Bible.
    (Moses, Samuel, David, Timothy…).

Any thoughts?

  1. Michael Miller – you are not allowed to like your own post. Arrogant! Gosh!

  2. […] Man of God – Anatomy & Physiology […]

  3. Jordan says:

    I like this post, Mike, and am excited to read what you post next about being a man of God.

    P.S. Haha. I almost “liked” my comment on your previous post about fellowship at The Crossing, but then I thought someone would say the same thing, “you liked your own post?” =)

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