The Power to Edify

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“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” (2 Corinthians 13:10)

The older English word “edification” is used to render the Greek oikodomos that pictures the building of a house. We still use the word edifice to describe a structure of some importance. Paul specifically said he had the power to edify in the above text and later called himself a “wise masterbuilder,” an architekton, who laid the foundation we would build on (1 Corinthians 3:10).

When Jesus used oikodomos to depict those who build their house on a rock (His Word) or the sand (ideas of men), He was painting a picture of how we should edify each other (Luke 6:48-49). Leadership gifts are to be used to perfect the saints in the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), using the living stones that will build the “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).

And like any good builder, the Christian carpenter has tools of the trade to assist the process. There are “things which make for peace” that must be employed (Romans 14:19). Most certainly love is a major tool (1 Corinthians 8:1), along with good communication that does not corrupt the building work (Ephesians 4:29).

Since “all things” are to be done so that the church is edified (1 Corinthians 14:26), it surely follows that “fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions” are not helpful (1 Timothy 1:4). Effective communication demands that those we speak to understand what is said, therefore a mysterious tongue does not publicly edify like prophecy does (1 Corinthians 14:2-4).

An edified church walks “in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:31). HMM III

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