Brothers, it is a privilege just to be here, let alone to be speaking to you. And as Jeremy mentioned, I want to speak to you this weekend on the subject of emotions. And I’ve labeled these messages “Manly Emotions,” but that requires a little bit of clarification. I don’t intend to speak to you about male emotions vs. female emotions. Because the Bible doesn’t really deal with male vs. female emotions. In fact, the Bible for the most part is generic. It doesn’t talk about female fruit of the Holy Spirit and male fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit for all of us is love, joy, peace, patience… There’s not a list of male sins and female sins. Right? The deeds of the flesh are immorality, impurity, sensuality for all of us. I mean, it’s true, the Bible does assign certain roles to men that do not belong to women and vice versa. Men are to be leaders in their home and in the church, and not women. Last time I checked, women alone can bear children and have responsibility for that. And there are some sins that are more peculiar to men than to women: sexual lust – you recognize that? Some sins more peculiar to women than men: perhaps gossip. But for the most part, the Bible is generic when it comes to ethics, morality, virtue, and conduct… it is not gender distinctive. It is generic.
So why am I calling it “Manly Emotions?” Well, first of all, because it’s a men’s retreat. Secondly, because I’ll be aiming my applications at you who are men and boys. And thirdly, because I think you as men are less likely than women to see yourself as emotional beings. In fact, when I was talking to one of the GCC at San Antonio elders about calling this “Manly Emotions,” – I won’t name who that was – he said to me, yeah, it’s kind of like an oxymoron. You know what an oxymoron is, right? Words that seem to contradict, like jumbo shrimp. It’s an oxymoron. And he said manly emotions, it’s almost like an oxymoron. We don’t think of manly and emotions as going together. But I’m here to tell you this weekend that they do go together – big time.
And the final reason I’m comfortable calling this “Manly Emotions,” is because what we will see is that our pattern for our emotional life is the God-man, Jesus Christ. And so, manly emotions. Let’s begin by just asking some preliminary questions. What do we mean by emotions? Well, when we think of our souls or our hearts – biblical terms for the inner person – what do we think of? We think of our intellect, our minds. We have a rational faculty. We think of our wills, our volition. We have this volitional faculty. And we think of our emotions. What are they? The Civil War era theologian Robert Dabney said that “emotions are the temperature of the soul.” One pastor – Pastor Albert Martin – said “emotions are the felt sensibilities of the soul.” And there’s a connection between our emotions, our feelings and our thoughts. Octavius Winslow in his book “The Sympathy of Christ,” says, “emotion is always attached to some conception formed by the intellectual faculties. Man is so constituted that the conception of certain objects is accompanied with emotion,” or as we would say that certain conceptions are emotional. Certain thoughts, certain ideas evoke emotions. So if I mention certain words to you, or to other people, they will evoke some emotions. If I say in this day and age, “Donald Trump,” it’s going to evoke some emotions depending on which side of the aisle, right? Either disgust and anger or perhaps some sense of delight, finally somebody’s going to drain the swamp or make America great. But Donald Trump will not register in a neutral way in many people’s minds, right? And somebody taking a polygraph test would probably record the emotion. If I say “dentist” to some people, that’s going to evoke some emotion, right? If I say to my son Jeremy, “Ginger,” or if I say the name of your wife, it’s going to evoke some feeling – hopefully good feelings. So emotions and thoughts are connected in that our thoughts evoke emotions.
Why are emotions important? Emotions add enjoyment to life. Octavius Winslow says, “The Author of our nature, in making the conception of certain objects emotional has added vastly to man’s capacity of enjoyment.” Without feelings, life would be pretty dull, wouldn’t it? We’d all be walking around like Mr. Spock’s of Star Trek, and life would be very black and white. But emotions add color to life. One pastor – Albert Martin – looked at the Genesis account, and tried to read into it, probably accurately, the emotions that our first parents would have felt… (incomplete thought).
Hold on, let me just back up. Let’s start with where did emotions begin. We’re going to talk about the origination, the disruption, and the restoration of our emotions. Or, where did emotions begin? What messed them up? And what is the fix for our emotions? Our emotions began with creation. Emotions are hard-wired into us as men and women made in the image of God. They’re part of our spiritual DNA as the creatures of God. Winslow says that, “emotions are an essential element of our humanity.” And we might look at the Genesis account just in our minds – I’m not going to turn you there, to consider the emotions that our first parents might have felt as they came forth from the hand of God. God creates Adam. And He says to him, you may eat freely from any tree of the garden. Imagine the emotion of wonderment, of delight, as Adam looked over that unfallen creation and it would have been like a kid in a candy store, right? Have at it! Anything you want! He was free to enjoy. There would have been wonderment. There would have been delight. On the other hand, when God said, but of this tree you may not eat – the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will die. Imagine the emotion of fear, holy fear and trepidation in Adam’s heart. And then Adam is naming the animals, but he’s not finding one suitable to him. There would have been a sense of incompleteness, a sense of loneliness. God knew that. The first thing He pronounced “not good” was it is not good that the man should be alone.
Well, you know God remedied that. He took his rib, made a woman. We have recorded in Genesis the words, “this is now bone of my bone…” How do you think Adam said that? This is now bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh… I think I’ll call her woman – isha, because she’s taken out of ish. I don’t think so, right? When he set eyes on that woman, that creature, who was like him, but blessedly unlike him, he would have been filled with delight. She is now bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh. Imagine the delight when he saw that creature that had been made specifically for him. But the first actual mention of an emotion in Genesis prior to the fall is when Eve looked upon the forbidden tree and it says that it was “a delight to her eyes.” But we are by nature emotional beings. It’s part of the soul that God created. Rational, volitional, and emotional. We have feelings.
To me, one of the modern proofs that we are emotional beings is the invention of emoji’s or emoticons. You know what they are, right? The little faces. We have moved away from face-to-face, voice-to-voice communication in our day, right? And we’re communicating by text and by Facebook and by email. But man is so unavoidably emotional that he’s got to figure out a way to express emotions even when he’s not doing it with his voice and with his face. And so we invent these little emoji’s. These little smiling faces or different expressions or clapping hands or thumbs up. Because man wants to convey emotion to his thoughts.
So, we are made as emotional beings. Emotions began with our creation. What went wrong? How did our emotions get messed up? Consider the disruption of our emotions in the fall. We know that tragically our first parents defected from God. They disobeyed God. And they took of that forbidden fruit. They chose to believe another voice, another counselor, rather than the good Creator who had only done them good and given them good gifts. And that fall of man into sin affected us in the totality of our being. When we Calvinists talk about total depravity, we don’t say that man is as bad as he can be, but that every part of man has been affected and infected by sin. Our minds have been infected. What theologians call the noetic effects of sin, because of the Greek word for mind – nous. And so the Bible says we are darkened in our understanding. Romans 3 says there is none who understands. Our minds are affected by the fall. Our wills are affected by the fall. Romans 3 goes on to say there is none who seeks God. Of our own volition, we cannot seek and find God.
As we’re celebrating the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation, the two works that Luther esteemed most and wanted preserved: his shorter catechism and his “Bondage of the Will,” in which he makes clear that our wills are in bondage to our sinful nature. We cannot choose God. Our wills are fallen. Apart from God’s regenerating grace, we cannot choose God. But our emotions have been affected by the fall as well. Consider the Genesis account as you know it. What happened after Adam and Eve sinned? God comes looking for Adam in the garden. Where is Adam? He’s hiding behind the bushes. He’s trying to hide behind fig leaves. All of a sudden, instead of loving God and drawing near to God, he has an unholy fear of God. He has an aversion to God. He’s trying to avoid God. Why? Because guilt and shame have encroached upon his soul. And then, when God says, have you eaten of the tree of which I told you not to eat? Remember what Adam does. The woman you gave me… what emotion is there? Resentment. It’s not my fault – it’s her fault! Really, it’s Your fault, because You gave me the woman! And so we have this unholy emotion of resentment; blaming God.
We come into chapter 4 and you see Cain and Abel. And you see Cain making his sacrifice that God rejects, and his countenance is fallen. What emotion? You have anger. You have depression. You have jealousy of Abel. And then he rises up and kills Abel. And then you see him so stressed, and he says this punishment is too great for me to bear. You see the emotion of self-pity. And so sinful emotions enter the picture. I want to consider with you three ways that emotions have been affected by the fall. And they are these: Our emotions have been constricted. Our emotions have been corrupted. And our emotions often come to control us.
Let’s take up the first. Our emotions, as a result of sin, have become constricted, or restricted. They are stunted. They are underdeveloped. Underexpressed. Sometimes, cauterized like a nerve that doesn’t feel anything because it’s been burned at the nerve ending. Our cognitive faculties may sometimes be well developed, but our emotional faculties stunted. And as I thought about that, I thought of Mr. Incredible.
Anybody ever see the movie “The Incredibles?” We don’t go to many movies because there aren’t a lot of movies worth going to, so I end up going to these cartoon movies that are at least innocent. So I confess, we went to see “The Incredibles.” So we have Mr. Incredible. And he’s got this massive torso, this huge chest, big deltoids, huge biceps, and he’s got these little spindly legs, right? And I think of that – our rational faculties can be well developed like his upper torso and our emotions underdeveloped, underexpressed like Mr. Incredible’s little spindly legs. We might call it the Mr. Spock syndrome where certain emotions are just not expressed. They’ve been neutered. They’ve been neutralized. Like they’ve been given a shot of Novocaine.
Octavius Winslow says, “Because of sin, we think less profoundly, reason the less accurately, feel the less intensely.” Our feelings are often diminished by the fall into sin. Consider with me some ways that our emotions are constricted or restricted. There are certain cultures that are restricted in their emotions; certain cultures that view the ideal as the stiff upper lip. You know? We are to be rather restrained and stoical in our emotions. The stiff upper lip. Very common in American culture and some of your cultures is that the ideal man is a strong, silent type. The old Marlboro Man… cool, calm, and detached from his emotions. Emotions are effeminate. They’re for women only. And so we need to maintain as men a stoical distance from any emotions. That’s another way that certain emotions are restricted. It’s not manly. It’s not manly to cry. It’s not manly to weep. And there’s a restriction on certain emotions.
In some cases, the constriction of our emotions is the result of certain church cultures. Maybe you’ve been exposed to them. I think of one circle of churches where you always have to be happy. You always have to flash, as someone said years ago, a 32 tooth salute. You always have to be smiling. How’s everything? Everything’s fine. And you can’t share honestly about struggles in your life. Everything’s got to be happy, happy, happy! And certain emotions are restricted. They’re off limits in these church circles. I think of another circle of churches where you always have to be amped up. You always have to be bubbling with effervescence and ebullient joy. Otherwise, you’re not filled with the Spirit. And certain emotions of sobriety and seriousness would render you not Spirit-filled.
But let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. There are certain church cultures where the height of spirituality is to be serious, somber, dour, almost morose. And any expression of exuberance and joy would label you irreverent and spiritually immature. Instead of emotions being amped, they’re supposed to be damped. In all those church cultures, certain emotions are constricted. In some cases, brothers, the constriction of emotions is the result of a defiled or even seared conscience. You’re aware that the Bible speaks in 1 Timothy 4 of the possibility of having one’s conscience seared as with a branding iron, so that your conscience no longer responds to anything. And you think of certain criminals, certain murderers – maybe you’ve seen them on TV or heard about them. They’ve committed horrific crimes. Murder. Mass murder. And they sit there in the trial completely blank. Their horrific crimes are rehearsed and people are horrified, and they sit there completely expressionless. The sentence is given. Death – although rare, but maybe not so in Texas, or life in prison. Expressionless, emotionless. No sense of remorse. No sense of guilt. No sense of shame.
What has happened? They have trampled upon their conscience so many times, it has become seared with a branding iron. And they feel nothing. And then, finally, in some cases our emotions can be constricted as the result of terrible trauma. There are people who have been horribly abused, sexually, physically, psychologically… and as a defense mechanism, have come to be emotionally numb. Diane Langburg, who wrote, “Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” has counseled abused women for 40 years, says in her book, of one sexual abuse victim that she labels “Mika” and she profiles “Mika” throughout the book – not her real name I’m sure. But a real person. “Mika will find herself perpetually withdrawing from others despite a longing for intimacy. She will often feel detached from others – distant and different. Her range of emotions will be severely restricted. And when people ask her how she feels, she will often respond with a non-descriptive term such as upset. As a child who was repeatedly abused and helpless to stop it, she learned psychological ways of going away. Survivors speak of zoning out, going inside themselves, distancing or blanking out. Because nothing else worked, this defense often generalizes to all aversive and anxiety-provoking experiences later in life.” In other words, to feel would be overwhelming.
So brothers, I ask you. How is your emotional life? Are you constricted and restricted in your emotions? Are you one who is able to show the full range of emotions as given to you by God? Or are there areas where your emotions are restricted? Has the world pressed you into its mold so that your view of manhood is taken more from worldly society than from the Bible and Jesus? So certain emotions, you think, are off limits to you as a man. Hopefully, this weekend, we’ll see differently as we study the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you constricted in certain emotions that you write off as effeminate because of the influence of the world over you? Or has a church culture pressed you into its mold where you’ve been in a church where everything has to be happy, happy, happy, and you have to flash a phony smile all the time and certain other emotions are damped? Or, and some of you come from a background probably where you were supposed to be frothy and giddy all the time, and this was a sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. And any somberness would be off limits. Or, have you been in an environment where the ideal is to be somber and morose? My wife calls that furrowed-brow Christianity. I come from that background. The furrowed brow. Where there’s not a lot of joy, a lot of exuberance. Have you been pressed into a mold by some church culture? Or have you been deeply traumatized?
I don’t doubt in a group of men this size that some of you have been abused in your youth as boys, sexually, physically, psychologically. And as a defense mechanism you have shut down feeling because if you felt, it would overwhelm you. It would kill you. Or are there any of you here who are in danger of treading dangerously upon your conscience and heading in the direction of numbing yourself to guilt and shame? Because you’re running roughshod over your conscience. Please be aware – it’s possible to so sin against conscience that you sear it with a branding iron and you will feel nothing, and you will be in a state of reprobation beyond recovery. And I think as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, we do well to remember Luther’s words, at the Diet of Worms, as he was defending his books before Charles the Fifth, and remember among other things, we’re not sure if he said, “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me, Amen.” I hope he said that. But we don’t know if he said that. They were not recorded. But these words were. He basically said that I can’t deny what I’ve written. I can’t recant unless you show me from the Scriptures that it’s wrong, “For it is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against the conscience.”
Well, brothers, however your emotions may be constricted as a result of sin, I hope this weekend will bring some healing truth from God to your emotional life. But not only are our emotions constricted by the fall, they are corrupted by the fall. By the fall, we’ve turned to our own way. And we’ve turned away from God. And we’ve turned to a sinful way. And as you know, we turn to that way from birth. I was shaped in iniquity. In sin did my mother conceive me. They go astray from birth speaking lies. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of the child. The rod of correction will drive it far from him. We are corrupted. We are depraved from conception, let alone birth. And as I said before, total depravity doesn’t mean we’re as bad as we can be; but it does mean that the polluted water of sin has flooded into every compartment of our souls – and our thinking, our willing, and our emotions are perverted. They’re corrupted. They’re misguided. They’re misaligned with God and with good, so that we often love what is evil and we hate what is good. Remember how Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” As a result of sin, we delight in evil and we despise good.
Here are some biblical examples of loving evil. Proverbs 2:14 speaks of those who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil. That’s corrupted emotion isn’t it? Proverbs 10:23 – “Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool.” We all enjoy sports of various kinds right? I love to fish. Oh, I enjoy fishing. Peter’s here – he enjoys fishing. You guys enjoy hunting, shooting… Sport is something you delight in. Well, for some people, doing wickedness is like sport to a fool. They think about it. They plan better ways to do it and be successful in it. Wickedness. The man who killed 58 in Las Vegas and wounded over 500 – it was sport to him. He planned this thing out. He planned how to bring that arsenal of weapons into that hotel room. How to put the bump stock on and turn a semi-automatic into a virtual machine gun. He must have taken delight – it was sport to him to do that. So perverted are we in our emotions. Jesus speaks in John 3 of men loving the darkness rather than the light.
And then there’s examples of the converse. Hating good. In our emotional fallenness, we hate good. Jesus said the world hated Me before it hates you. God comes to earth – incarnate in Jesus Christ – perfect goodness, perfect purity, perfect love… and the world hates Him. When man gets a chance to get his hands on God, he kills Him. Talk about perverse emotions. Here are some examples of corrupted emotions. The book of James. He talks about certain ones being spiritual adulterers – friendship with the world. And then he says to these who are befriending the world, “be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.” What is he saying? You’re rejoicing, you’re happy, but you ought to mourn. Again, misguided, corrupted emotions. They’re taking delight in worldliness, and they really ought to mourn. In 1 Corinthians 5, there’s a man living in immorality of such a king that it’s not even practiced among the Gentiles. And what does Paul say to them? “You have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead.” They’re boasting of their tolerance – that we can tolerate such a man in our midst. And he says you are misguided. You need to mourn over the fact that this man is in your midst. Drive out the wicked man from among you. Misguided, corrupted, perverted emotions.
But then, conversely, so we have people happy when they should be sad. Here’s an example of somebody who is sad when he should be happy. The rich, young ruler comes to Jesus, and he says, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus tells him, “Go sell all that you have, give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow Me.” But the text says that he went away sorrowful. He was saddened and he went away grieving. How should he have responded? Like the man who sees the treasure in the field, and he sells everything he has to buy the field to get the treasure. He should have rejoiced! I can get eternal life! Jesus just told me how. He should have rejoiced in that. But he went away sad when he should have been rejoicing.
Brothers, our emotions are corrupted, perverted, turned upside down, because of sin. You look at the New Testament catalogs of sin, and they’re filled with corrupted, perverted, sinful emotions. Romans 1:27 “Men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another.” Homosexual lust. Romans 1:28 and following, haters of God, unloving, unmerciful… the deeds of the flesh, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envying… Ephesians 4: deceitful lusts 2 Timothy 3: “In the last days, men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, unloving, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Perverted, corrupted emotions. How has sin corrupted your emotions? What do you love that you ought to hate? What do you delight in that you ought to despise? And are you despising something that you ought to delight in?
But a third way that sin has affected our emotions is our emotions can become controlling; can come to control us. Emotions were never meant to control us. Emotions were intended to be the cart – not the horse. Your problem may not be that your emotions are stifled and cauterized in some area, but that your emotions are like a runaway train. They’re out of control. Your emotions tend to control you. They’re not intended to be the locomotive. They are to be pulled by our reasoning. Our emotions are to be subordinate to our rational faculty, to our thinking. Think of some biblical examples where emotions are on the throne. The book of Proverbs talks about passion, anger. Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city that is broken into and without walls, is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Here is passion – the passion likely of anger run wild with no restraint. Proverbs 22:24 says, “Do not associate with a man given to anger.” In Acts 7, the Jews were so incensed by Stephen’s message, they cried with a loud voice, they covered their ears, they rushed at him with one impulse, drove him out of the city and stoned him to death. Uncontrolled emotional rage. An example of our day of controlling emotions is road rage.
This past July, only about 25 miles or so from our home, a young woman just graduated from high school was merging from two lanes into one with a red pickup truck. Here’s the news account: “‘As Bianca was merging down from two lanes to one, there was a man in a red pickup truck also merging down, and they jockeyed for position, and he wasn’t happy. So, he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head,’ Hogan, the district attorney said.” Beautiful young high school graduate. A guy pulled out a shotgun and killed her on the spot. Because he wasn’t happy with how things were going in merging into one lane.
David was guilty of overwhelming grief when his son Absalom was killed. Absalom had rebelled against David, tried to overthrow the kingdom. It’s proper that David grieved over the death of his son, but he was so overwhelmed with grief that even Joab had to come and rebuke him. David, you’ve got a kingdom to be concerned about. And you’re too absorbed in your own grief. And Joab had to give David perspective. We see the Israelites overwhelmed with fear after the twelve spies are sent into the land, and Joshua and Caleb come out and say we can take them; we can believe God, go in and conquer the land. But the 10 came out with a negative report. The people are strong, the cities are fortified. They’re of great size. The Nephilim are there. We’re like grasshoppers in their sight. And the people got so worked up with fear that God had to judge them by wandering for 40 years in the wilderness. The emotion of fear had overwhelmed them.
You think of the Jews who plotted the death of Jesus. Controlled by the emotion of jealousy. They had proof positive that Lazarus had been raised from the dead. Rather than bowing down before the One Who raised him from the dead, they plotted the death of the One Who did it. So filled with jealousy they were. And they worked the crowd up into a lather and a frenzy to the point they cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Overwhelmed, controlled by the emotion of jealousy. One counselor has said that our culture is obsessed with emotions to the point where feelings define us.
Brothers, does this describe you? Is your issue not so much that your emotions are restricted and restrained, but that your emotions are too strong and they tend to control you. They run ahead of your reason. And they’re pulling the train. They’re pulling the cart. They’re in the driver’s seat. They’re on the throne. Hopefully, God will give you some balance this weekend. So we’ve talked about the origination of our emotions. They’re built into us; hard-wired into us by creation. The disruption of our emotions. The fall has affected our emotions in that they are constricted, restrained at times. And at other times, they are controlling us and they are corrupted.
What is the restoration of our emotions? Jesus Christ came into the world as the second Adam to reverse the effects of the fall. And that saving work begins with the great exchange. Removing the problem of our guilt and the penalty of our sin in the great exchange. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He (God) made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God. That’s the great exchange, right? Where we trade in our sin for the righteousness of Christ. When you believe in Jesus, God takes all of your sin and dumps it upon Jesus. He is punished for your sin, and then God takes the perfect record of Jesus’ righteousness, and credits it to you so that you are not merely not guilty, but positively righteous in the courtroom of Heaven. That’s the great exchange. But thankfully, God’s salvation doesn’t end there. It begins there, but it doesn’t end there. There’s not only a great exchange. There’s a great change beginning with regeneration. God imparts a new heart, a new nature, in a new birth, that makes us new creations. And then he continues that work in the process of sanctification.
And what is the language of sanctification? “Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 1 Peter 1:15 “But like the Holy One Who called you, be holy yourselves, also in all your behavior.” Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all men and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Ephesians 2 Having been saved by grace through faith, we’re created in Christ Jesus for good works. These are all sanctification verses, aren’t they?
But let’s look at each of those through the lens of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is perfect as the Father is perfect. Who is holy as God is holy. Who pursued sanctification so perfectly, that on His own merits, He was restored to the glory He had from eternity past. Who ran with perfect endurance the race set before Him. And Who better than anyone else lived a life of good works. The perfect embodiment of a life of good works. The Lord Jesus. And so another way of describing sanctification or holiness is to speak of likeness to Christ. God wants you to be sanctified. God wants you to be holy. That’s tantamount to saying God wants us to be like Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8, “For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” He says in Ephesians 5 walk in love, as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for you. Peter says you’ve been called for this purpose since Christ also suffered for you leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps. And John tells us in 1 John 2:6, “walk in the same manner as He walked.” To be holy, to be sanctified, is to be like Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the Apostle Paul says this, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You are to be sanctified – made holy – in the entirety of your soul. In your minds, in your will, and in your emotions. Jesus Christ, our Lord, is the perfect pattern for our emotional life.
And so in the remaining messages, we’re going to look at the emotions of Jesus as the pattern for us to follow. What are manly emotions? Whatever emotions Jesus displayed. He is our model. He is our pattern. And so for the remainder of our time, we’re just going to focus our gaze upon the beauty of Jesus Christ – particularly His emotional life. Our prayer being, Lord Jesus, help me to be like You. We want to think like Jesus. We want to act like Jesus. We want to react like Jesus. We want to interact like Jesus. And as Christian men, we ought to want to feel as Jesus felt. May God help us to see Jesus in the beauty, purity, and full spectrum of His human emotions. And by the grace and Spirit of God, become more like Him.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, thank You that You embody perfect humanity, everything that we are called to be. We pray that in our remaining time, You would help us to fix our eyes upon You and to learn of You as You have invited us to do. And as we behold You, may we become like You. We ask in Your name, Amen.