Paul concludes his majestic treatise on the gospel of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans with a call for a renewed mind that is transformed by the gospel. He writes, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). In other words, the believer has an entirely different worldview because his thinking is liberated from the mold of this age (fallen world) by the lens of the gospel. This worldview transformation is the only way the believer can live out the will of God in daily life.
A worldview is how we frame the world and make sense out of everything we experience. God has not given Christians a set of detailed instructions for us to mindlessly follow. Rather, he has given us his word, gospel and Spirit to transform us. Taking “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10) involves redefining every category in life, including manhood. A Christian man must rethink the very meaning of his existence in the world as a man. Manhood is to be radically reoriented and framed according to the gospel deeply within a man’s heart. This gospel reorientation involves the most fundamental categories of a man’s life.
In Genesis 2, the Scripture teaches that God created man to live his life under his authority as a leader, provider, and protector, committed to God’s glory and human flourishing. Living out man’s purpose involved worshipping God, working for communal good, and family. After God’s image bearers join a satanic rebellion in Genesis 3, sin corrupted man’s thinking about all of the categories that are to frame his life. We now read about fallen man blaming others rather than leading, serving self rather than providing for others, and harming others rather than protecting them. No longer is the worship of God and service to the community primary in his thinking—he is.
Thus, every aspect of culture is corrupted by the reality of sin in the world, the community, the home, and the workplace. That is why the quest for redeemed manhood always drives us back to Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate example of what a true man looks like, but more importantly, he is our Lord and Savior. One mistake men often make, is to treat the problems in their life as though they are isolated matters, and the real issue lies outside of them. The starting point of a redeemed worldview is knowing the greatest danger to any man exists inside of him, not outside of him.
Every man must realize that of first importance in winning the spiritual battle of our lives involves framing his life according to biblical truth. Here are some suggested reminders to help a man frame his thinking (and his sons) in the battle for a renewed worldview:
- Today will I see myself as the owner of my life or as a steward of the life I’ve been given by my Creator and Savior?
- Will I worship Jesus as Lord today or will I serve my desires as Lord?
- I deserve the judgment of God, but I have salvation and live by the grace of Christ. Will I proceed today with a sense of entitlement or an awareness of grace?
- Will I add to the darkness of the fallen world by seeing others as the problem or will I shine the light of the gospel by seeing others as people to lovingly lead and serve?
- Will I see myself as most important today at the expense of others or will I think humbly and walk in line with the gospel by self-sacrificially providing for others?
- Today, will I think I am superior to others and am willing to harm them for my benefit, or will I know my own neediness and courageously protect others even if it is personally costly?
This article first appeared at David’s website and is posted here with his permission.
David E. Prince is the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church (Lexington, KY) and a professor of Christian preaching at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY). He holds degrees from Huntingdon College (B.A.), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). He played baseball in high school and college and coached high school baseball and football after college. Additionally, he and his wife, Judi, have eight children that they have worked diligently to disciple toward faith and maturity in Jesus Christ through the context of athletic competition.