All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV)
Christian men are builders. As Jude 20 says, they build themselves “up in [their] most holy faith”. As the apostle Paul commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, they “build one another up” among their brothers and sisters in Christ. And as he explains in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, they need to build their churches upon the foundation of Jesus Christ that the apostles laid, using eternal materials that will stand the test of the day of judgment.
But what does it take to be a Christian man who builds himself, his brothers and sisters, and his church, to be more like the perfect Man — Christ? The answer can be found in the acronym BUILDERS. It describes a Christian man who is building according to God’s Word:
Good Builders are Bold
The first quality that’s needed to be a good builder is boldness. We sometimes hear a form of this word used to describe food with “bold flavor”. This means that it has a lot of flavor, and it doesn’t take very sensitive taste buds to taste it. Manly boldness is similar. When a man is bold, he’s outspoken and plain in his speech. You usually don’t have to ask him what he means by what he’s saying because he lays it right out. When a Christian man is bold, he’s outspoken about God’s Word, and its teaching.
Why does a good builder need to be bold? Because the main way that good builders build themselves and others is by communicating God’s Word. That’s why Jude 20 commands Christians to build themselves “on [their] most holy faith”. This “most holy faith” is revealed in God’s Word. Paul describes this building process of the church like this, in Ephesians 4:15-16:
“. . . speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Notice that the main way that the church “builds itself up” is by “speaking the truth”. This requires boldness of speech.
The main reason that speaking the truth demands boldness is because it’s the message of God. As such, it ought not to be hidden or concealed in any way, but spoken plainly. Paul describes this duty in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, where he says,
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
The ministry that Paul had was that of building the church, and all Christian men have the same one. They need to be like Paul, and “refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word”. Instead, they need to “commend [themselves] to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” “by the open statement of the truth”.
Bold Men Love God’s Word
How do good builders build their boldness? The first way is by loving God’s Word. If you want to be able to speak God’s Word plainly and directly, then you need to have an intense love for it. The apostle Peter commands this in 1 Peter 2:2, where he says,
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk [of the Word], that by it you may grow up into salvation . . .”
But how do you build an increasing love for God’s Word? By remembering that it’s all about your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul said,
“Him [Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Col. 1:28)
“. . . all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” (2 Cor. 1:20a)
If Christ was the One whom Paul proclaimed, and he proclaimed God’s Word, it follows that God’s Word is all about Christ. And if all God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ, and those promises are found in God’s Word, then it follows that those promises are about Christ. If you study God’s Word as the Book about Jesus, then you’ll grow in your love for it as you learn more about Him. When you have the opportunity to share God’s Word, then you’ll be more likely to be passionate about it, because it’s about your Lord.
Bold Men Fear the Lord
There’s an enemy that faces many Christian men who are put in the position of sharing God’s Word — being afraid of others. This is an enemy because, as Proverbs 29:25 says,
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
If you’re afraid of sharing the truth with someone, then you’re going to be tempted to change it in some way, or leave some of it out. But that’s the opposite of boldness — that’s cowardice. Thankfully, this verse in Proverbs provides the remedy for fearing others: trusting in the Lord.
But what would make you trust in the Lord? Fearing Him. The Lord Himself teaches this in Luke 12:4-5a, where he says,
“‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.’”
This fear doesn’t refer to a fear of punishment, but fear of who God is. If you know that the Lord is the Ruler of all things, the One who redeemed you, and will perfectly redeem you and the universe, but will also punish all His enemies, then you will be in awe of Him, and revere Him in worshipful fear. And if you remember that the Lord knows exactly what you say, and how you say it, then you will share God’s Word the way He wants you to, even if it might result in your audience mistreating you in some way.
Bold Men Love Others More than Themselves
Another quality that bold men have is that they love those they communicate with more than themselves. If you’re afraid that the person you need to share the truth with is going to reject you because of the truth, then you’re loving yourself more than that person. That person needs to understand the truth, and if you decide to withhold some of it, or to share it in a way that they can’t understand, you’re not loving them, but yourself.
Paul teaches Christians to love others more than themselves in Philippians 2:3, which says,
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
If you “count others more significant” than yourself, then you’re going to care more about what they need, then what you want. So, if someone needs to learn the truth from you, and you consider them more important than you, then you’ll share all the truth they need to hear in the clearest way possible. Doing this is an act of love, as Paul implies in Galatians 4:16, where he asks,
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
The answer is “no”. It’s loving to tell someone the truth they need to hear.
Brothers, Be Bold
If you’re a Christian man reading this, then the Lord wants you to be a good builder of yourself and others. That means that you need to be bold in your speech. You need to tell others what they need to know in a way that they can understand.
So, do you love the truth and God’s Word enough to share it plainly?
Do you fear the Lord when you need to share the truth with someone, so you don’t fear what they’ll think of you?
Do you love others more than yourself when you share the truth with them, so you share it boldly?
If you want help with becoming bolder, and a better builder of your life, then please consider participating in the 3rd annual BTWN Builders Summit on November 12-14.
The Builders Summit is a 3 day, 2 night gathering of Christian men who want to build one another up to become more like Christ. There will be excellent Bible teaching by gifted Bible teachers (2 graduates of The Master’s Seminary and 4 BTWN podcasters), lots of fellowship during meal times, helpful activities, and free time for more fellowship. Check out all the details and register at builderssummit.org.