Matt Carter speaks on Genesis 3:1-9
Series: The Real Win
This series is the basis for a book Colt McCoy and I wrote together, The Real Win. It’s a three part series on Biblical Masculinity. We will discuss three things:
Years ago, my wife and I were watching the TV show Glee. There was an episode where a high school couple had sex before they were married. The girl was pregnant. The boy was freaking out and being a wimp. The girl looked at him and said, “Somewhere inside of that pee brain of yours is a man. I need you to access him right now.” That’s what we’re trying to do here. Somewhere inside half of us in this room is a man. More importantly, a biblical man. Our attempt through this series is to access those men and learn how to live in that.
Today we will discuss the Biblical call for man to lead.
As you read the Bible, you become aware that one of the roles God specifically calls the man to fulfill is leadership. God commands men to fulfill the role of leadership in marriage, in family and in the church. Scripture is very clear on this.
Here’s the problem. In my years as a pastor, I’ve observed the landscape of the body of Christ, specifically the men. Men are not doing a great job of fulfilling this role of leadership. Look at the ills of society; the deterioration of marriage, the dysfunctions of family (which then lead to the dysfunctions of adulthood) and the failing of the American church to make a significant impact on our culture. When you trace these ills back to a root cause, almost every single time, you will find a man standing there. A man who doesn’t know how to, or has refused to, lead biblically.
If God has called men to lead in the arena of marriage, family and the renewing of the church, and those things are failing, whose fault is it? Whose responsibility is it?
Scripture shows us the responsibility falls on the shoulders of men.
The First to Sin
Who was the first person to sin? Was it Eve or Adam?
Most people would say it was Eve. She bit into the fruit.
Yet, the person God holds responsible for that sin was not Eve, it was Adam. God had called Adam to lead that relationship. Adam watched it all happen and did nothing about it.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 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 3:1-6 (ESV)
Knuckle head Adam was right there watching it all happen. He was standing there, not saying a word, while this whole thing was falling apart. You would think it would hit Adam that his wife was talking to a snake and he would maybe beat the snake and save the whole thing. Or he would look at his wife and say, “Darling, stop. You are the greatest gift God has ever given me. But this snake is asking us to do something God has asked us not to do. We’re not going to do it,” then take her by the hand and lead her out of that situation. Whether due to laziness, cowardice or that he was caught up in the temptation too, he didn’t step up.
Adam was silent. He just stood there.
Because he did not lead, sin entered into his family. Death followed from him to everybody else who has ever lived.
He Calls Out to the Man
God called them into account. But He didn’t call out to Eve, the one who actually picked the fruit and ate it. He called out to Adam.
6 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. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:6-9 (ESV)
God knew where they are. He is omniscient, He knows everything. He is omnipresent, He’s everywhere at the same time. When He called out to the man, “Where are you?” He knew where they were. This was God’s way of calling them into account for the sin they just committed. He was saying, “Hey boy, where you at? We need to talk!”
Eve was deceived. She was the one who picked up the fruit and ate it. Yet, when God called them into account for their sin, He did not call out her name, but called out for the man.
From that moment, sin entered the picture and spread to every single human being, except Jesus, and death would reign until Jesus died on the cross.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Romans 5:12 (ESV)
The responsibility for all sin does not trace back to Eve, even though she did it first. It’s traced back to the man who didn’t know how to lead.
God did not call your wife to lead your marriage or to lead your family. He called you to. If those things are failing, just like Adam, God’s eyes are not on your wife, they are on you.
While we realize the eyes of God are on us men, let’s evaluate some of the ways sin manifests itself in our lives, where our lack of leadership shows up. Then let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our sins and pray for change.
All sins fall into one of two categories:
In the Old Testament, there were different sacrifices to be made depending on what type of sin you had committed. Sins of commission are the ones most of us think about when we think about sin; pornography, getting angry with your wife, lie, cheating on your taxes. It’s when you do something you’re not suppose to do. Sins of Omission are sneakier. These are things God calls us to do, but we don’t do. Jesus still had to die on the cross for these sins.
Examples of Sins of Omission:
Whatever women do, you do the opposite. Women are nurturing, you’re not. You’re the guy who never changes the baby’s diaper or does the 3AM feeding. He’s the one who would never go to a daddy-daughter dance. He doesn’t do the dishes, get drinks for the guests, clean or take care of sick kids. He’s not a servant leader in any form, leaving the serving to women.
This is thinking masculine leadership equals financial provision. We are called to provide for our families, but way too many of us think that’s where it ends. We think that what our children want is an Xbox and a trip to Disneyland, when what they really want is us. You’re the guy who thinks what your wife really wants is a 4500 sq. ft. house and a new car. When what she wants more is a guy that will pursue and cherish her emotionally and spiritually.
You’re the guy that leads with fear instead of tenderness. You lose your temper easily. You lead your family like a tyrant. When you’re not winning the argument, you use the volume of your voice or physical posture to win. You’re the guy who forgot it was the kindness of the Lord that led you to repentance and that your kindness will lead your wife to repentance, not your anger.
It’s your way or the highway. This is the man who doesn’t leave room for his wife’s wisdom or perspective to help direct and guide decisions. He’s so controlling over the lives of his children that it produces exasperation in their hearts. You don’t listen to your child’s point of view, because you’re too busy correcting that child. You’re home is a place of constant correction and critique instead of loving, gentle leadership and admonition. You’re the guy that keeps a record of wrongs and continually holds it over your wife’s head. You lead out of the letter of the law, instead of the gospel of grace.
You’re the guy who has never really grown up. Your mind, mouth, soul and level of maturity is in a perpetual state of adolescence. You’re the guy that dominates at Modern Warfare and fantasy football, but you have no clue how to keep your hands off your girlfriend or help her walk in holiness. You’re the guy that’s spurned on by the latest Francis Chan or Matt Chandler podcast, but you don’t have a functional, intimate walk with Jesus Christ. Whatever situation you’re in, when life begins to get difficult, you quit, because pain and discomfort is something to be avoided and not biblically embraced.
You’re the guy that’s absolutely dependable, but you’re emotionally absent from your wife and kids. You can’t remember the last time you told your wife she is the most gorgeous woman in the world. You’re kids don’t know what it’s like to crawl into your lap and fall asleep in your arms. Your wife can’t remember the last time that you, not your pastor, led her in an intimate walk with Jesus. There are a lot of women in this room right now that are spiritual widows. You’re with them physically, but spiritually they are all by themselves. We’ll talk about this next week.
You’re the guy that doesn’t seem real to the people around you, because you’re masquerading behind a mask of spirituality, without ever truly admitting your own faults and need for the gospel. You’re the guy that is struggling just like everyone else, but always has a hyper spiritual answer for the other guy. You critique everything, but lead nothing.
You’re the guy that’s wasting his life playing games. People love you, but nobody is following you, because you’re not going anywhere. You’re goals are more likely centered on your golf handicap or stock portfolio than the spiritual health of your wife and kids. You’re more likely to be found playing poker or hanging with your boys than pursuing and cherishing your wife. You’re a single guy who spends more time on the web or at the gym than you do serving the body of Christ. You’re the guy who sees needs around you, but dismisses them to pursue sports and dinner plans. You’re always willing to trade the significant and eternal for the fun and exciting.
If you have some of these things in you, know that it’s sin. Jesus had to die for those sins of omission. We think of sin as porn, lying and anger. But sin manifests itself in the things we’re not doing too. We need to lay bare our hearts and unpack these things so we can say, “Jesus, I see these hooks in my life and I need you to come and change me to be the man you’ve called me to be.”
I love you single guys here at the Austin Stone, but I am growing weary of watching women out-serve you in this church. Out-love you in the city. Out-risk you on the mission field. God did not stop calling young men to change the world in the Old Testament. Part of the purpose of this series is to challenge you to get in the fight and do it right now. Not when you’re forty.
Kevin Peck says, “As men, our wives and kids don’t get to choose who their leader is. You’re it.”
If you go to a church and don’t like the leader, you can always leave and go somewhere else. But your wife and kids have only you, their husband and father. If you’re dropping the ball and failing, they don’t have the choice of leaving to find another leader. The time to step up and say, “I need you Jesus to change me to be the man I’m called to be,” is right now.
If you read this list of sins and realize you’re committing some of them, you can respond a couple of ways.
Option one is despair, to give up. That is exactly what Satan wants you to do.
Option two is to say, “I’m going to do better, pull myself up by my boot straps and love my wife.” But you don’t have the power to do that.
The third option is to turn your eyes to Jesus, who is the only perfect man who has ever lived, and ask Him to give you the strength.
17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 (ESV)
Don’t ever forget this truth. The only hope you have to be the man God has called you to be is by His grace in your life. Don’t fall into despair. Don’t pull yourself up by your boot straps. Beg God to change you. Significant change comes from crying out to God, “I can’t do this, come and help me.”
They eyes of your wife, your children and the church are on you. Somewhere inside of you is a biblical man. Through the power of His Spirit and grace, let’s access him.