Ephesians 4:13: Be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
We can measure our height and weight. But how can we measure our spirit? How can we gauge the maturity of our faith? Paul doesn’t give us a scale to let us know when we’ve arrived at the “full and complete standard of Christ.” Perhaps that’s because most of us never get there in this lifetime. Paul himself confesses in another letter, “I don’t mean to
say that I have already. . . reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me” (Philippians 3:12).
What Paul does give us is a list of spiritual characteristics. It’s actually a bit like description of the scenery we can expect on the highway of holiness. If we see certain good characteristics along the way, we can know we’re headed in the right direction. But if we see the bad characteristics he describes, we’re headed into trouble.
Paul’s list for keeping us on track:
- Stop telling lies.
- Don’t let anger control you.
- Give generously to others.
- Don’t use foul or abusive language.
- Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, and forgiving.
- Stay away from sexual immorality and obscene jokes.
- Don’t get drunk.
- Instead, fill yourself with God’s Spirit, and sing his praises.