“…until we all…become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” Ephesians 4:13-14.
God’s plan is for each believer to grow into a balanced, mature son of God (see Romans 8:14,28-30). But maturity needs a standard. We are not called to “measure ourselves by ourselves” (2 Corinthians 10:12). No, the measure of our growth is “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
“…And I pray that you…may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:17,19 (see also Colossians 2:9-10).
The Nature of God
“And [God] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation’” Exodus 34:6-7.
God is not only perfect in His nature and character, He is also perfectly balanced. He is a holy God (1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 6:1-3), yet also a God of love (Psalm 145:17; 1 John 4:8). He is a God of patience (Romans 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9), yet is also a God of justice (Isaiah 5:16) and a God of faithfulness (1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 10:23). He is a God who demonstrates His righteous anger (Psalm 7:11), yet is also a God full of mercy and compassion (Isaiah 55:7; Lamentations 3:22-23). God’s nature remains unchanged (Malachi 3:6) but every part of it is in perfect balance with every other part.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you” Psalm 89:14 (see also 85:10-11; Jeremiah 9:23-24).
The nature of God is the measuring line of our maturity. We are told to be:
- Loving like God (1 John 4:11-12; 2 Thess.3:5).
- Holy like God (1 Peter 1:15-16).
- Faithful like God (Psalm 18:25).
- Patient like God (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12).
- Merciful like God (Luke 6:36; James 3:17).
- Forgiving like God (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13).
- Balanced like God (Matthew 5:48).
The Bible uses the word “godliness” to describe being balanced like God. Godliness means being like God in thought, word and behavior. It means showing His love as well as His holiness, His justice as well as His mercy.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” 2 Peter 1:3 (see also verses 5-8; Titus 1:1; 2:12; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 6:11).
What Balance is Not
Balance is not compromise. Compromise is based not on a desire to please God, but to please and accommodate man. In contrast to compromise, God’s principles always stand firm (1 Peter 1:24-25). For this reason God hates:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth” Rev.3:15-16.
Lukewarmness is one of the worst forms of compromise, for it affects our relationship with God. It is a rejection of God’s love that brings more hurt to His heart than even fully turning one’s back on Him. John states uncompromisingly:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” 1 John 2:15 (see also 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” James 1:6-8.
Double-mindedness is a hindrance to spiritual growth. God does not want us to constantly swing from one direction to another. He wants our eyes to be fixed firmly upon Himself.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2.
Jesus declared, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). Just as our physical body needs a focal point to keep its balance, so Jesus is the focal point for our spiritual balance. He is the focus of all truth in God’s word (John 5:39). We are walking in balance only when we have the Lord Jesus as our focal point.
The Key to Balance
“…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” Colossians 3:12-14.
The key to the balance of God’s nature is found in love. True love takes the attention off ourselves and puts it onto other people. This kind of love acts like a balancing wheel for all other aspects of God’s nature:
- Knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).
- Power (Nahum 1:2-7; 1 Cor.13:1-2; 2 Tim.1:7).
- Holiness (Nehemiah 9:17-21).
- Faith (Galatians 5:6).
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” Eph.4:15 (see also verse 24).
Christian growth means growing in the likeness of God’s nature. As we grow in our understanding of God’s nature, the Holy Spirit works to conform us to that nature (Romans 8:29).
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Col.1:10 (see also 1:25-28).