The Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

Jesus, in mosaic, dressed in blue and gold andholding a Bible in hus left hand. His right hand is raised at elbow height in blessing.
A mosaic of Jesus

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 4

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

This passage can be seen as parallel to the ones at the beginning and end of the book of Revelation where Jesus is called the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, only in plain language rather than in the picture style of Revelation. But the other difference is that Alpha and Omega is wide-ranging, from the beginning to the end of creation, at this point it is personal, Jesus is the founder and perfector of our faith, some translations say author and finisher. The start of our faith is Jesus and the end of our faith is Jesus.

Biblical manhood.

This is where I lose half my audience, I’m going to talk about biblical manhood.

Biblical manhood talks about acting like several people in the Bible like Caleb, Joshua David and Jesus. Yes, Jesus is tagged along at the end of a list of warrior heroes as if he were also a warrior. This is how the Bible sums up Jesus.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 ESVUK

Jesus was not a warrior.

  1. He gave up his position in heaven and humbled himself to become human.
  2. He even gave up his human rights to be a servant of the people.
  3. He even subdued himself to his enemies and allowed them to murder him.
  4. He has been rewarded because of his humility to humans.

Now compare that to so called Biblical manhood, who say the main points are:

  1. Humility before his God,
  2. Control of his appetites,
  3. Protecting his family,
  4. Providing for his family,
  5. Leading his family.

The problem with this idea of Biblical manhood is that it is models not on Jesus Christ who won the victory by being humble towards other humans, including women and children, but on the warrior king David. David followed God but was flawed, to the point of making sure one of his military leaders. Uriah. went on a suicide mission just so that he could have his wife, Bathsheba. Even after Urial had died there is no evidence that Bathsheba consented to be with David. Using that as a model is it any wonder Christian men have a problem with sexual sin?

The model of manhood that takes David or other warriors as the chief example is not ‘Biblical Manhood’ but toxic manhood, based on the arrogance that men (i.e. themselves) should be protectors, providers and leaders, and while it does show humility to God there is no mention of humility to each other. They quote Ephesians 5:25-32:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle.

Ephesians 5:25-32, translation unknown, taken from a Biblical Manhood web page.

The way of Jesus was to submit. Jesus won the victory by submission. Submission to the Father to become human, submission to humans to be a servant, submission to his enemies to be killed. Submission is the way of Jesus. That is how Husbands should treat their wives, by submission. Not to let her henpeck you, the instruction to wives in verse 22 is to submit to their husbands. But a verse earlier says submit to one another. That is the way we should be going. Yes, wives should submit, but husbands are to submit like Christ submitted.

Jesus, the one who submitted, taught a new way, one of submission not about being dominant. It is this Jesus that is the founder and perfector, the beginning and end of our faith. May we grow to be like him.

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