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June 17, 2013

Recently the Chapel Hill Bible Church’s Men’s Ministry has begun a weekly study seeking to unravel what it is to be authentic men for Christ in a world with values and views of this and other topics that are contrary to what Jesus calls us to in His Word. The material comes from Series 33 ( , a new study from Men’s Fraternity ( that explores through videos and discussion how we can emulate Jesus’ example in a world that has, at best, admired Him as an itinerant teacher, but denied His Deity. We are confronted every moment of each day with pressures to make us conform to what the world finds acceptable and we are compelled to either keep in step with the world or keep our ‘religion’ to ourselves.
Series 33’s intent is to teach us how to respond to the different forces at work in the world today and how to respond as Jesus would have us do; the title of the study comes from the 33 years that Messiah lived on this world and points to Him as our example as the second Adam who, unlike the first, did obey the Father’s will and completed the work He’d been given to do. My old friend Paul, in his masterful treatise on the Gospel in the book of Romans, speaks to this contrast between the first and second Adams (Romans 5:12-21) and addresses one area of Adam’s failure that many of us had not thought of previously; his complete passivity.
In the Genesis account, we see how God had made a perfect place for Adam and Eve to live filled with everything they would need to thrive. In this garden there was ample food and every comfort necessary for life and health; there was also only one ‘don’t’ in that place that they do not eat of the fruit of a particular tree while every other tree there was for their sustenance. This tree was what our enemy used to entice that first couple into disobedience.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6 ESV)

Note the part that I’ve emphasized; Adam was not somewhere else in the garden when Eve was confronted by the deceiver, he was standing there with her and let it happen! His passivity enabled Satan to speak lies to her that led them away from obedience to God’s will for them; just standing there and he didn’t even have any pockets in which to put his hands! Why? This failure on Adam’s part is played out in the lives of men today as we just float along. Does this mean that we are to be cruel despotic rulers over our families? Absolutely not; that is as much a lie of Satan as being passive. Our example is Jesus who led and taught His disciples with a gentleness that was amazing in light of His Deity. We are to be like Him, a shepherd that leads the flock of our family daily with gentleness and courage. The balance in being such a leader of our families will be difficult to accomplish, but as the author of Hebrews put it (Hebrews 12:2) we are to look to Jesus and with His help follow His lead.

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