I was reviewing some of my old sermon notes this morning and I came across one I preached to my youth group back home about three years ago. In it, I addressed the young men and I exhorted them in seven areas. These were my headings:
A young, godly man is marked by . . .
(1) his knowledge of the gospel — he knows, believes and trusts Christ as the only way to eternal life.
(2) his love for the Word of God — his life is dominated by the truth of what God has revealed.
(3) his pursuit of sexual purity — he is chaste in singleness or fully devoted in mind and body to his wife.
(4) how he redeems the time — he cuts time-wasting fluff and is a wise steward of the time God gives him.
(5) how he takes up responsibility — he eagerly takes on leadership and the burdens of life.
(6) how he disciplines himself — every area of his life is ordered and structured in order to be effective.
(7) how he sets an example for others to follow — his life, however imperfect, is a model of Christlike virtue and lifelong repentance and faith in Christ.
These are not seven steps on how to become a godly man but rather the fruit of those men who are already born of the Spirit and who, through holy sweat and effort, God is supernaturally transforming into the image of Christ (Phil. 2:12, 13; 2 Cor. 3:18). It is not perfection but progressive growth in each of these areas that mark godly men — men fruitful in service, powerful in their generation, and pleasing to Christ.