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Manhood and Womanhood: "Going Public" with Holiness

Gavin Peacock

In Isa. 43:6-7 God says: “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made”

Men and women were created for God’s glory. That’s our ultimate purpose. But what is the glory of God? Listen to John Piper:

“I believe the glory of God is the going public of his infinite worth. I define the holiness of God as the infinite value of God, the infinite intrinsic worth of God. And when that goes public in creation, the heavens are telling the glory of God, and human beings are manifesting his glory, because we're created in his image, and we're trusting his promises so that we make him look gloriously trustworthy.”

In other words, the glory of God is the “going public” of his holiness.

Issues of manhood, womanhood and marriage are key issues in our day because they are primarily about the glory of God. This is crucial to grasp. Many people think that it is important to recover biblical manhood and womanhood because of the breakdown in families and absent fathers and escalating divorce. That’s true, but that’s the horizontal effect. It’s primarily about God’s glory. That’s what makes it so important; it’s a vertical issue.

Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). However, man was created male and female, equal in personhood but different by divine design and different in particular roles. And the purpose is to image forth or “go public” with God’s holiness. As we image forth something about God’s triune holy character specifically as men and as women, we tell the truth about who he is. This is ultimately how we glorify him. When you see your maleness and femaleness tied to the ultimate goal of God’s glory, then the roles have infinite value. As a consequence, the difference in roles is not burdensome but beautiful.

Therefore, biblical manhood and womanhood is a question of holiness because we are created specifically male and female to image forth something of his intrinsic worth in our masculinity and femininity. And when we “go public” in the world and trust God’s vision for us as men and women, then we fulfill our roles and glorify God. As new creations, our manhood and womanhood has been redeemed by Christ and he has equipped us by his Spirit and by the Word and with the church to become the men and women that we were created to be.

What it is to be a man and not a woman, and what it is to be a woman and not a man is tied to the very glory of God.