Text: Ephesians 4:11-16                                       July 15, 2012.



1)   Wrong measurement in a school: A high school teacher found a student using a thermometer to measure a table, he was dumb-founded. In his 15 years of teaching, he had seen many sad and shocking situations of students did funny things but not as this one. He was amazed that this student could make it to high school without the knowledge of using different instruments to measure different thing.

2)   Wrong measurement in a church: Don¡¯t we sometimes do the same thing when we use some wrong measurements for spiritual quality? For example, do we assume that churches with biggest number of people are the most blessed by God? And do we even think that popular preachers of larger churches are more godly than preachers of small churches in obscure places? Don¡¯t we sometimes believe that people who occupy key positions in a church are spiritually more mature than regular members?



1)   We were created with spirit: ¡°The Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and the man became a living soul.¡± (Genesis 2:7) In recent years, there is a debate on the nature of man: is he a human being with the spirit of God in him or is he a spiritual being lives in the human body. Regardless whichever position you may take, one thing stands out: we have the spirit of God in us and that spirit comes from God. This is the most distinctive quality of human being different from the rest of God¡¯s creation. It is this spirit that lives in us generates in us the desire of spiritual things. Without the spirit, human beings may be just like all other animals.

2)   Our spirit connected with God: ¡°When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.¡± (Psalm 142:3) Men communicate with different people in different level and different way. We communicate to others mostly with our intellect. We communicate with love one with emotion. When we communicate with God, we do it with the spirit of God in us. So, our spiritual quality is vitally important when we communicate with God.

3)   Our spirit directs our life: ¡°Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.¡± (Psalm 51:10) ¡°Clean¡± can be translated as ¡°pure, clear¡±, and steadfast can also be translated as ¡°righteous, up-right¡±. It was in the moments of dull, unclean or unclear, the spirit of King David became unrighteous, that he committed a sin which has been the a black mark of his life. The carnal, or the flesh, of man is in constantly conflict with the spirit of God to control or direct our life. When the light of our spirit grows dim, it can¡¯t shine clear to direct the path of our life that is when we are in danger of sin.

4)   God loves a clean spirit: ¡°Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contami-nates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.¡± (2 Cor. 7:1) This is God¡¯s desire that we purify our body and spirit for paying reverence to God. If we truly desire a closer walk with God, we need to grow our spiritual quality, keep our body and spirit clean so our understanding of God will be clear and bright to follow his lead.



1)    We have dull spiritual insight: ¡°Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your body also is full of light. But when your eyes are bad, your body also is full of darkness.¡± (Luke 11:34) Jesus cautioned us the importance of keeping our spiritual eyes in good condition so we can discern right from wrong, good from bad. When our spiritual condition is dull, we tend to use wrong measurement to measure God, church, people or things around us. We just can¡¯t see the true light.

2)    We are blinded by the world: ¡°The god of this age has blinded the mind of the unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.¡± (2 Cor. 4:4) When we are deep in the culture and beliefs of the world, we tend to use world criteria to measure spiritual things and that is dead wrong. Even in Christian circles, many still use worldly standard to measure a church, a pastor, a brother or sister, a ministry or mission. The worldly culture has affected the perspective of many Christians and churches in determining goals, approach, ministry and even everyday running of a church. Too often, people of worldly status like education, title, money and power will be respected more and ascent higher in church leadership faster regardless of their spiritual quality.

3)    We follow blind church leaders: ¡°He also told them this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?¡± (Luke 6:6) There are blind leaders in denominations and churches, using wrong approach to lead their denomination and churches. Many of these people play the ¡°politically correct¡± games and disregard the teaching of God¡¯s word. They hungry for numbers and social acceptance more than for God and His leadership. People in those churches and denominations have no choice but being influenced to use wrong measurement of their churches.

4)    We follow the ¡°success¡± trend: If we use today¡¯s approach to measure the ministry results of Jesus and Paul during their life- time, they are far from being successful. They had few followers, no money, no record of any success. They did not build any huge church buildings, not baptized many believers, didn¡¯t raise huge amounts of funds, became famous of church or denominational leaders. They didn¡¯t have support from leaders of their people, government officials. Today, we are blinded to follow the success trend to measure spiritual quality of pastor or church leaders: how big is their congregation, how much church property they own, how big is their church budget and if they have doctoral degrees. All these are not bad or evil, but they are never the biblical measurements of spiritual quality of anyone. God never asks us to be successful, but he asked that we become more like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.



(Ephesians 4:11-16)