4 Marks of the man of God

my father

John MacArthur spoke on the 4 marks of the man of God some years ago and last year I stumbled upon it while reading through various blogs. I immediately read his entire talk and was encouraged. I sent it to a handful of men in my life; my dad, my two brothers, friends, etc.

The 4 marks are:

1. What he flees from
2. What he follows after
3. What he fights for
4. What he’s faithful to

Here are some questions that I sent each of the men that I talked to about this and challenged them to think and journal about what his looks like for them. I also use this list while meeting and dating someone new. These are the first four things that I ask him about. #5 is “How long have you lived away from your mother?” Ladies, I’ve found this to be a very important question! :)

1. Does he flee from the enemy or from accountability to God?
2. Does he follow after the heart of God or society’s views of a “real man”?
3. Does he fight for his family? His marriage? Good communication? Time for himself?
4. Is he faithful to both God and others? Is he faithful to his own words and actions? Does he live authentically and in community?

First Timothy, chapter 6, as you well know, the Apostle Paul writing to Timothy, passing the mantle to him to take over for the great Apostle, Timothy who is gifted to preach and teach, who has functioned and will continue to function as a pastor of a local congregation. He will have influence over many others who will be under his teaching and preaching. He will no doubt be used by God to raise up many others as the one who was himself raised up under the tutelage of Paul. He needs to have an understanding of the essential elements of being effective both ministry and life.

In 2 Timothy 2:17, Paul refers to THE man of God, referring not just to Timothy but to all who fall into that category. All Scripture inspired by God, profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness, that THE man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. Twice this expression is used in the New Testament, man of God. Once to refer to Timothy, and once to refer to all those who fall into that category who are equipped as a man of God by the Scripture.

Now just exactly what does this phrase mean? Maybe if we just took a very simple approach to it and said it means, “God’s man” That is to say, a man who belongs personally to God, a man whom God in the truest and highest sense owns or possesses. This is not a man who belongs to the world. This is not a man who belongs to the culture. This is not a man who belongs even to the church. This is God’s man. This is the man who personally belongs to God. This is a very unique title, this is not generic. This is a very technical title drawn out of the Old Testament. And while it only appears twice in the New Testament, it appears in excess of 70 times in the Old Testament, God’s man, the man of God. It is said of Moses that he was the man of God. It is said of the prophet who spoke for God to Eli, the high priest, predicting judgment on his family. Samuel is called the man of God. Numerous of the prophets are called the man of God, Elijah, Elisha. David is called God’s man. It is a technical term so much so that in every single usage of that phrase it applies to someone who spoke the Word of God, someone who was a spokesman for God. It is a technical term, a man of God is someone uniquely called to proclaim the Word of God. In this case, it is Timothy.

I took the time to send out an email this morning to a handful of men in my life that I am greatly encouraged by, as I see them becoming men of God. I encourage you to let the Godly men in your own life know that they are a blessing to you.

Who in your life do you consider a man of God? Men, are you striving for this?


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