GOD’S BUILDING RESULTING IN MAN’S GROWING WITH THE GROWTH OF GOD
I hope that you can really see that if we intend to accomplish God’s eternal purpose by expressing God Himself and dealing with His enemy, we must allow God to build in us. We already said that God’s building depends on our spiritual growth, and our spiritual growth comes from the increase of God in us. Because God is constantly doing a constituting work in us, His element gradually increases in us. In this way we will have the growth in God, and this growth will be the building of God in us. Dear brothers and sisters, this is not too hard to understand. Since you have been saved for several years, you should ask yourself how much of God’s element has increased in you. How much of God’s element is in you today compared to three years ago? If there is no increase, you should know that you have not had much growth, and you have not experienced much building.
It is a regrettable thing that some Christians know a great many doctrines and have a good amount of Bible knowledge, yet they have only a very limited measure of the element of God in them. When you meet such a one, you sense that he is a poor person who is short of God within. Please remember that being enriched in biblical knowledge does not make you a rich person. Only the increase of God Himself in you can make you rich. A person may know the Scriptures quite well yet still be a light person. God alone is man’s weightiness. God is not only the richness but also the weightiness in man. Sometimes when you meet a believer, you have the feeling that he is so poor, light, superficial, and short of God. The more he talks about biblical doctrines, the more you feel that this person is destitute and as light as a feather. This indicates that he lacks God within. On the other hand, sometimes when you meet a believer, you sense that he is rich and weighty. When he speaks, even if it is just an ordinary sentence, it is still weighty. This is because he has a good measure of the element of God. Since he has been constituted with God, you sense that his thoughts are similar to God’s thoughts, and his thinking is rich, clear, and bright. You see that his will, emotion, perception, and the way he handles things are full of God. This is neither theory nor superstition. All those who have spiritual experience know that this is the spiritual reality and that God Himself is this reality.
GOD’S BUILDING RESULTING IN MAN HAVING THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST
We need to see that only the increase of God in us is the real growth, as shown in Colossians 2:19b, which says that we grow with the growth of God. As we grow up, eventually we will reach a certain stage and arrive at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
This statement, “until we all arrive…at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13), is rich in implication. When a person arrives at this stage, he is living before God and in God, just as Christ lives. He understands God’s desire, cares for God’s inward feelings, obeys God’s will, and walks according to God’s word.
A person with the measure of the stature of Christ does not loosely criticize or judge the church. Some brothers and sisters criticize and judge as soon as they experience something unpleasant. This is because they do not have the measure of the stature of Christ. Some brothers and sisters are unrestricted in their speaking, and their lips have never been circumcised. They constantly stir up disputes and engage in loose talk among the saints. They are just like telegram dispatchers and telephone operators. This is also because they do not have the measure of the stature of Christ.
In this matter we cannot pretend. You may be able to pretend for a brief period of time, but after a while you will be exposed. Frequently, when you meet someone, you may at first feel that he is so gentle, fine, and careful. You conclude that such a one is really a good brother or a good sister. But after you have been with him for a longer time, his condition of being short of the measure of the stature of Christ will be revealed. You will see that he is wilder than others are. He is unrestrained, like a wild horse or a wild donkey. He speaks, expresses his opinions, and does everything loosely. Then you realize that this person does not have the measure of the stature of Christ and is short of God within.
On the other hand, I have also seen someone who is very ingenuous, without any affectation, but the more you are with him, the more you feel that he is weighty. When others are unrestrained, he remains grave. When others are critical, he keeps silent. When others are arguing, saying this and that, he says, “Brothers and sisters, let us all go back to God and seek Him again.” This is one who genuinely has the measure of the stature of Christ. Today in the church we are not short of people who are zealous or well intentioned. Very often it is zeal or good intentions which do not issue from God’s building that ruin God’s work and damage the church the most. What the church lacks today is a group of people who have passed through God’s building work and have been constituted by God so that they have the measure of the stature of Christ. If in a locality there is a group of people who continually have the increase of the element of God as well as the increase of the measure of the stature of Christ, then God surely will have a way there. God will be able to express Himself and deal with His enemy through them.
(The Building Work of God, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)