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Kaleo Church

Common Struggles of Men

As we examine the following scripture that deals directly with common sins of men it is important that we look at these in light of the Gospel. There is a temptation to read this and think, "I will work to change myself to become these things." But as we understand the Gospel, that we are saved by grace alone, we must we must also come to believe that it is the same Gospel of grace that teaches us to say no to sin. For example, if we struggle with lust, trying to fight the sin is already a losing battle.

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you."

Titus 2:11-15

Grace trains us to say no to lust and brings us to a life of self-control and godly lives in the present. The past grace of what Christ has done is presently applied to us and gives us a future hope as we look in eager expectation for the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Who did what? Gave himself for us to buy us back (redeem us) from all our lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own. This should make us zealous and excited for good works and we are called to declare these things to one another. Teaching and rebuking one another, we are not to disregard each other's authority in Christ.

Let's examine some common struggles which we need to bring "in-step" with the Gospel of grace (Galatians 2:14).

LUST & SEDUCTION

Proverbs 23:27: "For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well."

Proverbs 5:20-23: "Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray."

Proverbs 6:23: "For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress. 25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids. 26 For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. 27 Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?"

Discussion/Questions

We live next to beaches filled with people who wear swim suits that leave next to nothing to our imagination. But this is not the problem. The problem resides in our hearts. Our hearts are wicked. Even in the days of puritans, just a turn of the ankle being shown was all a man needed to be caught in lust. How do we deal with this? Does this mean we shouldn't go to the beach? How much skin is too much in a movie or on TV? What should you do if you are having a problem with porn? What does the Gospel have to do with lust and how does the Gospel deal with this sin?

We're told in one of the many "one another" passages that we're to, "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).

This is really significant. To exhort (parakaleo) means to give direction to someone, to come alongside, to shepherd one another.

This means that there should be others whom you're letting into your life in deep and profound ways daily. They should be so close to you that they can see the sins that you would normally hide. Why? Because these sins are deceitful and harden our hearts. They make us depressed and despondent. They cause us to live out of shame, fear, guilt, pride, and self-righteousness instead of grace. They cripple us and make us lame for mission since we're not experiencing grace through their deceitfulness.

These sins will never be seen until you let others into your private life and open up and share your flaws, sins, and temptations. You open up to give someone else a hunting license in your life to come in and tell you the Gospel and call (kaleo) you back to grace and away from sin.

FOOLS FOR FRIENDS

Proverbs 24:1: "Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; 2 For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking."

Proverbs 13:20: "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed."

Proverbs 9:6: "Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding."

Proverbs 16:28: "A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends."

Proverbs 22:24: "Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul."

Proverbs 11:12: "He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace."

Proverbs 20:18: "Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war."

Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

Proverbs 18:24: "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Discussion/Questions

Often we become like the people we spend the most time with. Who are you spending your time with? As you are with non-Christians, are you beginning to look more like them, or are they seeing a difference (Christ) in you? What are the criteria we should use in picking friends?

SINS OF THE MOUTH

Proverbs 11:13: "A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter."

Proverbs 12:18:
"There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment."

Proverbs 12:23:
"A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness."

Proverbs 17:19:
"He who loves transgression loves strife, And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction."

Proverbs 18:13:
"He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him."

Proverbs 12:22:
"Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight."

Proverbs 20:17: "Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel."

Proverbs 26:28:
"A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin."

Proverbs 10:11:
"The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked."

Proverbs 10:19: "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise."

Proverbs 10:32: "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse."

Proverbs 12:18: "There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health."

Proverbs 12:25: "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad."

Proverbs 13:3: "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction."

Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."

Proverbs 15:7: "The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so."

Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."

Proverbs 17:4:
"An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue."

Proverbs 17:27:
"He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit."

Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive."

Proverbs 18:21:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit."

Proverbs 25:11:
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, In settings of silver."

Discussion/Questions

From our lips come life and death. How can we balance speaking our opinions softly and being bold in Christ? As we are part of a church community, what do we do when people bring us 'concerns' about others? Do we tolerate gossip when the person is speaking poorly of someone else in our church? How do we to deal with this? What does the Gospel have to do with how we speak? How does the Gospel address this?

LAZINESS & MONEY

Proverbs 10:4: "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame."

Proverbs 12:11: "He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding."

Proverbs 12:27: "The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man's precious possession."

Proverbs 13:4:
"The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich."

Proverbs 6:6:
"Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise"

Proverbs 6:9:
"How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep-- 11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man."

Proverbs 10:4: "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame."

Proverbs 10:26: "As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy man to those who send him."

Proverbs 12:11:
"He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment."

Proverbs 15:27:
"A greedy man brings trouble to his family..."

Proverbs 1:16: "For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners."

Proverbs 3:9: "Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine."

Proverbs 11:24:
"There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty."

Proverbs 28:27:
"He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses."

Proverbs 12:24: "The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor."

Proverbs 12:27: "The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man's precious possession."

Proverbs 18:9:
"He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer."

Proverbs 19:15: "Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger."

Proverbs 19:24:
"A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again."

Discussion/Questions

As men, we are in Adam in that we have been cursed in our labor. Men often are the last to serve in Churches. How do we prepare men who are single to be a husband who can provide for their wife and children in San Diego where only 16% of people can afford a home? Nationally, the average tithe per week a person is about $13. If people understand the Gospel and what Christ paid for them, why are we so unwilling to be cheerful and sacrificial in giving? What does the Gospel have to say about our generosity? How does the Gospel deal with this?

FOOLISHNESS & WISDOM

Proverbs 1:3: "To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; 4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion-- 5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles."

Proverbs 5:1: "My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding"

Proverbs 8:1:
"Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?"

Proverbs 9:6: "Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding."

Proverbs 9:10: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Proverbs 10:23:
"To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom."

Proverbs 12:15:
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. 16 A fool's wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame."

Proverbs 12:23:
"A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness."

Proverbs 13:16: "Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly."

Proverbs 13:20:
"He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed."

Proverbs 14:16: "A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident."

Proverbs 15:14:
"The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness."

Proverbs 17:10:
"Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool."

Proverbs 17:16:
"Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it?"

Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive."

Proverbs 18:2:
"A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart."

Proverbs 19:1:
"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool."

Discussion/Questions

Often it is those who are foolish who speak the loudest, giving their opinions, while those who know wisdom by diligent study of God's Word are silent. If someone is in our church promoting worldly wisdom that is contradictory to Scripture, how do you handle this? What about a non-Christian at work? How can we seek after practical wisdom? What does this show us about our folly? How does the Gospel deal with our lack of wisdom?

PRIDE & HUMILITY

Proverbs 11:2: "When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom."

Proverbs 16:19:
"Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Proverbs 20:6: "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?"

Proverbs 25:27: "It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one's own glory is not glory."

Proverbs 29:23: "A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor."

Proverbs 8:13: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate."

Proverbs 13:10: "By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom."

Proverbs 15:25: "The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow."

Discussion/Questions

How would you define pride? As Christians, if we understand the Gospel, we should be the most humble, recognizing our sin before God. Unfortunately, we are often those who think they are 'better' than those who are not in Christ. We smugly look at non-Christians and point out in our hearts that we are better than these people. What does the Gospel have to say about pride and humility? How does the Gospel deal with this issue?

 

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