Edification

  • “To edify” means, literally, “to build.”  Almost all the occasions of this Greek word are translated by one of those two English words.
  • “Let all things be done for edification.” For the statement to make sense, we must have a picture in our heads of what sort of building is intended.
  • What do the contexts surrounding the uses of “edify” or “build” in the New Testament tell us about what picture God expects us to see?

Concerning physical buildings:

Matthew 7:24, Luke 6:48  I liken him to the wise man who builds his house upon the rock.

Matthew 7:26, Luke 6:49  like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

Matthew 21:33, Mark 12:1  planted a vineyard…built a tower.

Matthew 23:29, Luke 11:47 – 48  …you build the tombs of the prophets…

Matthew 24:1, Mark 13:1 – 2  His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the Temple.

Matthew 27:40, 26:61, Mark 15:29, 14:58, John 2:20  You who would destroy the Temple and build it in three days…

Luke 4:29  to the brow of the hill on which their city was built.

Luke 7:5  for he loves our nation and built us a synagogue.

Luke 12:18  I will tear down my barns and build greater.

Luke 14:28, 30  intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost

Luke 17:28  The drank; they bought; they planted; they built.

Acts 7:47, 49  but Solomon built Him a house

Acts 7:49  “What house will you build for me,” says the Lord.

Concerning non-physical buildings:

Matthew 16:18  Upon this rock I will build My church

2 Corinthians 5:1  We have a building from God, a house not made with hands

Concerning figurative buildings:

Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7  The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone

Acts 15:16  I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David…

Romans 15:20  lest I should build on another man’s foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:10 – 14  as a wise master builder, I have laid a foundation…

Galatians 2:18  If I build again those things which I destroyed

The context that give the building materials for the church (the faithful individuals):

Acts 9:31   Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.  And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.  (Materials: walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit)

Acts 20:32  the word of His grace which is able to build you up  (Materials: the word of His grace)

Romans 14:19  Therefore, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  (Materials: v17, righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit)

Romans 15:2  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.  (Materials: please the weak, like-mindedness, receiving one another)

1 Corinthians 3:9  You are God’s building  (Materials: Jesus, good teaching)

1 Corinthians 8:1  Knowledge puffs up; love edifies.  (Materials: considering the understanding of others)

1 Corinthians 8:10  Will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?  (Poor materials: misapplied understanding)

1 Corinthians 10:23   All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful, but not all things edify.  (Materials: that which leads to singleness of purpose)

1 Corinthians 14:3 – 5  that the church may be edified (Materials: sensible instruction)

1 Corinthians 14:12  Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.  (Materials: doing what is humanly impossible in order to build faith in others)

1 Corinthians 14:17  but the other is not edified (Materials: sensible teaching)

1 Corinthians 14:26  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.  (Materials: Sharing knowledge in order to build faith in others)

2 Corinthians 10:8  our authority which he Lord gave for edification, not for your destruction (Materials: apostles’ teaching)

2 Corinthians 13:10  that the Lord has given me for edification not for destruction (Materials: apostles’ teaching)

Ephesians 2:20 – 22  in Whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple  (Materials: Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets)

Ephesians 4:16  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.  (Materials: the teaching of fellow Christians)

Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  (Materials: speech that is full of grace)

Colossians 2:7  rooted and built up in Him  (Materials: faith, thanksgiving, sensible teaching)

1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (Materials: teaching about Judgment Day)

1 Timothy 1:4  godly edification which is in faith (Materials: sensible teaching)

1 Peter 2:5  You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house  (Materials: faithful priests and spiritual sacrifices)

Jude 20  building yourselves up on your most holy faith…  (Materials: the love of God, mercy of Jesus, compassion, fear)

Summary of materials that build the Temple of God:

  • The most repeated building material is sensibility.
  • A common thread is the work of the Holy Spirit in us
  • The teaching of the apostles
  • Selflessness
  • Thanksgiving
  • Faith
  • Singlemindedness
  • Compassion
  • Fear for the lost