Like his 16th century namesake who spoke boldly and rightly in his time, Dr. Martin Luther King was bold and right when he preached these words on an Alabama bridge in A.D. 1965:
“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
Especially you who would be real men, read on…
The divine precept of male headship without female oppression was established primevally with our first parents, who each and equally had the weighty dignity of bearing the divine image. Looking carefully at the account of the great Lapse, Genesis chapter three, we see that unoppressive precept being ignored.
Though Eve first ate of the forbidden fruit, Scripture consistently attributes the entrance of sin into the once perfect world to her husband, her covenant head. Adam was right there at Eve’s side, but failed to protect his help mate from the enemy. He did not play the man like Bishop Latimer would encourage Master Ridley to do much later in history. Adam’s entire life up to that fatal moment had been passed in a blissful garden, and he had been given leave to fill his belly with a delightful variety of fruit at will…
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ ” (Genesis 2:16,17)
But the man succumbed. How unlike the second Adam, Jesus our Lord! Christ, the Man of sorrows, was hungry and thirsty in that howling wilderness into which the Holy Spirit had led Him forth to do battle with the ancient adversary. The Son of God was capable of turning that stone into hot, tasty, nutritious bread had that been pleasing to His Father. He Who turned water into wine could have whipped Himself up some butter to go with it. But He Whom we might reverently call the Alpha and Omega Male, though most sorely tempted, repelled all three attacks of the vicious and evil one.
Eve’s snowflake husband had caved after only one assault. Another precept, articulated by an Israelite shepherd who prophesied about a God Who roars and quoted by Dr. King, did not prevail on the day of the Fall of Man: “…let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24)
Adam did not stand up for what God Almighty declared to be right when the devil advocated autonomy. Adam the world’s first magistrate didn’t stand up for God’s standard of justice in that first tiny society of two. Like today’s cowardly compromisers of certain truths of God’s word which are hated by the unbelieving world (such as male headship), Adam didn’t take a stand for what is true. And so he, and all those over whom he is covenant head, DIED. For death is not the cessation of existence, but the only alternative to blessed communion with the Source of life. Those who are “in Adam” are born dead in trespasses and sins.
The second Adam is the prince of life, mighty to redeem His people from that state and its hell-deserving guilt. Dr. King had the honorific ‘Reverend’ because he called upon that Name above all names. By that Name many who once were dead in Adam already have received the free gift of forgiveness of sins and with it abundant and eternal life.
Are you with Him, men? Do you also call upon that great and glorious name, Jesus? Then these concluding apostolic words are for you:
“I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” (1 John 2:14)