For Edification

For Edification



Sunday 05/06/18 

Series: Kingdom Work

Message – For Edification

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For Edification

Now we mentioned this subject in relation to gifts in 1 Cor. 12-14, and we will revisit some of these briefly, but I want to climb to a 10,000’ perspective of the topic looking down so we can see more globally.

Were going to learn three things about edification today… :

Just three points…

  1. What is it?
  2. How important it is (Meaning, how much it should influence our thoughts and actions)
  3. In what ways it is accomplished?

There is a 4th reason we will address in two weeks, namely…

  1. It is one of the stewardships we all hold in common and its the basis’ upon which many of our actions will be judged when we appear before God at the judgement seat of Christ.

But for today let’s learn about these three, and let’s start with the familiar… turn with me to 1 Cor. 14. We are looking specifically at verses 1- 5, 12 & 26

1Cor. 14:1-5, “(1) Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.  (2) For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.  (3) But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.  (4) He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  (5) I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”

1Cor. 14:12 & 26, “(12) Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”

Skip to vs.

“(26)How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

Now as I’m sure you will remember, what edifies is JESUS!

When we looked at 1 Cor 12 & John 14-16 we saw that Jesus IS the Holy Spirit’s FAVORITE subject.

John 14-16 tells us that the Holy Spirit will lead us & guide us into the truth WHO IS Jesus by teaching us.

When we looked at 1 Cor. 12, we learned that the “spirituals” Paul did not want us to be ignorant about was what the Holy Spirit says WHEN He speaks, which was illustrated by Paul saying, “I don’t want you to be ignorant brethren about spirituals, therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

So we know the “subject” that edifices, is Jesus but…

  1. What IS edification?

In brief it means to build up a house or home. It means to establish and confirm it. So when used of God’s body or “house” it means the process by which the house is constructed and established.

Eph. 2:19-22,  

“(19) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  (20) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,  (21) in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,  (22) in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

1Cor. 3:9-10,  

“(9) For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.  (10)  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”

Each one of us have been charged by God to live for the “building up” of others in the body of Christ.”

We are already familiar with this from having read Eph. 4 earlier this year. Turn with me to it in Ephesians 4:11-16,

“(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,  (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,  (13)  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;  (14) that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,  (15) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (16) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Paul is NOT just talking about growing and establishing our siblings in Christ by Spiritual gifts here, he is talking about EVERYTHING WE DO as Christians.

Turn to 2Cor. 12:13-21,  

“(13) For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!  (14) Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.  

(15)  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.  (16) But be that as it may, I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you by cunning! (17) Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you?  (18) I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps? (19) Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.

(20)  For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults;  (21)  lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.”

So the edifying the scriptures are encouraging us to supply to one another is one which causes growth into Christ’s image.

2. How important it is (Meaning, how much it should influence our thoughts and actions)?

Like we read earlier concerning Paul being a wise master builder, those verses go on to say, “But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”

This is said in a style of warning… what you do builds or destroys your brother…Take heed… Be warned. See to it that you build in proportion to the foundation; and lays such things upon it as are becoming it, and suitable to it.

Heed the warning in 1 Cor. 8:7-12,

“7  However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8  But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. 9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12  But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”

Eph. 4:17-32,  

“(17) This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,  (18) having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;  (19) who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (20) But you have not so learned Christ, (21) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:  (22) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (23) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.  (25) Therefore, putting away lying, “LET EACH ONE OF YOU SPEAK TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR,” for we are members of one another.  (26)  “BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,  (27) nor give place to the devil. (28) Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  (29)  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  (30)  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  (31) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  (32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Rom. 14:13-21,

“(13) Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.  (14) I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  (15) Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.  (16)  Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;  (17) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  (18)  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.  (19) Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  (20)  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.  (21) It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”

3. In what ways is it accomplished?

Well we’ve already seen some ways but it IS interesting that this word “edify” in reference to the church occurs in 16 places in the New Testament and a full quarter of them appear in 1 Cor. 14, placing Spiritual Gifts at the head of the list.

But there is also the testimony and witness of our lives and doctrine:

1Tim. 1:3-11,

“(3) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  (4) nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.  (5)  Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,  (6) from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, (7) desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.  (8) But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, (9) knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  (10) for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

How we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ – helps to form Christ in them

Heb. 10:23-25,

“(23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  (24) And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  (25)  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Rom. 15:1-7,

“(1) We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  (2) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.  (3) For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.”  (4) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  (5) Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,  (6) that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (7) Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”

Php. 2:1-4,

“(1) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,  (2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  (3) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  (4)  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Be a safe place / seek you restore

James 5:16-20

16  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. 19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

Gal. 6:1-2,

“1  Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

In all of this you are building on the foundation of the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ…towards edification or destruction.

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 


I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!