Edification: The Church in Relation to Self

Lesson 1997?
Tags: Church; Edification
Excerpted from An Introduction to Local Church Ministry
Related Resources: Growth: A New Testament Overview

The Bible commands Christians to build themselves up, that is, to take initiative and responsibility in the matter of spiritual health and growth.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20-21).

Furthermore, the activities of the local church—in particular its public gatherings—are to be conducted so that everything that is done is spiritually constructive.

“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Cor 14.26).

“The edification of the church . . . is concerned primarily with the building and developing of the community itself in the life of faith (Eph 4:16; Jude 20; 1 Co 14:26). The goal of the edification is that each member might grow to maturity in all things in Christ (Eph 4:13-16; cf. 2 Pe 3:18).” Saucy, Robert L. The Church in God’s Program. Chicago: Moody Press, 1972, p. 95.

“As each member receives edification through the pastoral ministry, he in turn passes it on to his fellow believer. Thus, every member ‘maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love’ (Eph 4:16b).” Saucy, Robert L. The Church in God’s Program. Chicago: Moody Press, 1972, p. 96.

Thus edification is the church’s chief objective in relation to itself. God receives glory when the local church demonstrates concern for building up its members in Christ and the Word of God.