In a culture that misconstrues the definition of manhood, Christ provides the ultimate of what it means to become a man of greatness. Mark Batterson reviews two virtues of manhood that are referred to in the New Testament to help men understand who God created them to be. The first virtue is the virtue of will power.

“Will power, as it’s described in the New Testament, isn’t something that we produce on our own, it’s something that God does in us and through us. There are actually two words for power in the New Testament: one is dunamis and it’s the power to do things beyond your ability. That would be evident, for example, in the miracles that Jesus did.”

“Then there’s the second kind of power and it’s exousia, and it’s the power to not do something that’s within your power to do.”

Mark uses the example of Jesus on the cross to describe the difference between dunamis and exousia power.

“Jesus said that He could call on twelve legions of angels; He could have hit the eject button and saved Himself, but instead of exercising His dunamis, His power to do that, I believe he exercised His exousia.”

“That’s what kept Him nailed to that cross, because He wasn’t trying to overthrow Rome, He was trying to overthrow sin and death and the only way to do that was through the cross.”

Just because we are capable of doing something, it doesn’t mean that we should do it. Jesus understood this and He exercised His will power with our best interest in mind.

Mark says the next virtue men should aim to acquire is the virtue of moral courage.

“C.S. Lewis said, ‘Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.’  If you stop and think about it, it’s easy to love someone when they’re at their best, when things are going great. But when things aren’t going so great, that’s where it takes moral courage.”

“God set the example for us, ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). In other words, when we were at our worst, He was at His best. There you have tough love; loving people when they least expect it and least deserve it, but that takes courage.”

By exercising these virtues, you will be on your way to becoming the man and father that God created you to be.


Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. Mark is author of several books including Play the Man: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be.

The virtues of manhood

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