Empowering Men To Empower Men
“Empowering Men to Empower Men”
This past year has been a transitional period for Breathing Life International. We started off with the best of intentions wanting to be many things to as many people as possible, trying to impact this world for God.
At the end of the day, we were trying to become more than we were capable of. This caused some stress for our team as we had a hard time of really defining ourselves as and organization. Too broad; too hard to describe what we were trying to do in spite of our best intentions.
That said, it was decided this year to narrow our focus to what we know and what feel God has called us to and this is ministry to men.
The concept of New Breed came during a conversation I was having with one of my mentees at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. His name was Tony Anderson. About three weeks into our meeting Tony finally came to grips with why I was there (four years plus) doing what I was doing which is simply investing in the lives of the men there. He looked at me on day and said, “you’re a dying breed.” Then immediately stopped and said, “no check that, you’re a new breed!”
I was initially taken back by this but the more I thought about it the more I realized this is what we are called to be when we come to Christ. We are called to be a New Breed of men!
I shared this with the board of Breathing Life prior to our men’s camp called Labels vs Identity in April of 2018. It was exciting to see the response. It was clearly a focus and foundation we could build on as an organization and utilize the talents we have developed over the years when ministering to men. It was truly a narrowed focus we could all get behind that we would be able articulate as we continue forward.
So, what exactly is a New Breed of man?
In terms of our Christian faith, it’s a man that lives out his calling based on his new identity in Christ. In other words, how am I supposed to live based on who Jesus tells me I am. This is huge if you really unpack it and that’s what I want to do.
Looking at scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17 comes to mind. It says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” We are to be new creatures!
But how does this apply specifically to men who claim they are in Christ. I don’t know that we can accurately describe it one sentence or even one mission statement. Over the coming months, we intend to flush this out and see according to scripture what being a New Breed of men really looks like. This will drive and focus drive Breathing Life International and our desire to impact men through the power of relationship.
What is a New Breed man?
A New Breed Man Lives from a New Nature
First and foremost, a New Breed Man lives from a new nature. This nature is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says,
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Paul in this amazing verse teaches the great principle of regeneration. This regeneration is not like a lizard re growing it’s tail. It’s the transplanting of an entirely new person, nature, identity and heart into us. This means that we are not just forgiven, we are changed into a new creation and ultimately have a new nature! The old sinful nature is gone; a new holy and righteous nature is there instead.
This promise if for anyone who is in Christ; but, it’s not just a promise, it’s a new reality for those in Christ. We are not who we once were. It’s not just turning over a new leaf, getting our act together or trying harder to be better. Scripture tells us we died and were raised to a new life in Christ. Romans 6:5-7 says this;
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”
And here again is what The Apostle Paul has to say from Colossians 2:12-13;
“having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ!”
John says it this way in his gospel, 3:5-6;
“Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no on can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
John is saying, we have been reborn and this rebirth brought us into a new family: the family of God; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Paul further tells us that God put His Spirit in our hearts as a seal of His ownership of us and a guarantee of what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
Then, if that wasn’t enough, Paul tells us in Romans 8:14-17 that God’s own Spirit declares we are His children.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption and sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now, if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
We’ve gone from servants to friends to brothers. And Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers! (John 5:14 John 20:17 and Hebrews 8:10-12)
So, Who makes us a new creation and this New Breed of man? This is something only God Himself can do. (Ephesians 2:4-10; Colossians 2:13) Being a new creation is a gift from God received by faith. Being a new creation doesn’t mean that we are perfect in our behavior. It means that we are completely new on the inside because of what Christ did for us on the cross and that we are being changed in our living with others to be like Jesus by our Father. (Romans 8:29)
This life of a new creation; being a New Breed of man, is not something God does for us….but in us! Paul further tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off, the old man (the patterns of how we used to think and behave) and to put on the new man which is created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.
So, we must both receive the gift of being a new creation and then live the life of a New Breed man. Living as a New Breed of man is something God works in us, making us more like Jesus (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2) Further, it is a new way of thinking than changes how we behave and treat others. (Romans 8:5-6; Philippians 4:8)
All of this is God’s work in us and we must submit to it. At it’s very root, being a New Breed man reminds us of what God has done in us and for us, not what we can or should do for God.
Amazing to consider that when we accept Christ (regeneration) God the Father gives us a new nature. Our responsibility as a New Breed man is to live out from this new nature more of the time!
A New Breed Man Lives from a New Life Source
In the beginning, man was created to live in relationship with God. Genesis 1:26-27 says this; “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds of the sky, over the livestock and all wild animals and over all creature that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
When Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as mankind’s representative, he said, “no” to relationship with God and died as he’d been warned in Genesis 2:15-17. From then on, mankind has been living in death and Scripture uses darkness as a metaphor for death.
God does not want mankind to permanently live in death. Before the creation of the world, He put a plan in place to rescue us from the darkness of living in death and reconcile us into relationship with Him. To have relationship with God again, mankind needed a representative who did not live in death. We needed someone who had life.
Jesus, the Son of God, became a man and lived among us. (John 1:14; Philippians 2:8) Jesus described Himself as the bread of life in John 6:48, the resurrection and the life in John 11:25 and the Way, the Truth and the Life in John 14:6. The apostle John described Him as the Word of Life in 1 John 1:1-2 and true God and eternal life in 1 John 5:20. Jesus also said He is the light of the world and whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness but have the light of life. (John 8:12).
Scripture tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, we died with Him. Paul shares this principle in Galatians 2:20. Then, when He was laid in the grave so were we. (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12) And finally when He was raised to life, we were raised with Him. (Ephesians 2:6).
When we choose to believe in Him, we now have His life in us and forever live from that life. John shares the power of this eternal life in John 3:14-16 which says;
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Because of the work of Jesus on the cross we have crossed over from death to life! Our life is hidden with Christ in God and Christ is our life. (John 5:24; I John 3:14; Colossians 3:3-4)
Therefore, our Life Source as New Breed men is Jesus!
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