Edifying #1

Thursday, July 5, 2018

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “edifying” mean here?

The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Jesus Christ gave spiritual gifts to the early members of the Church the Body of Christ (verses 7-10). Such supernaturally-imparted gifts would bring Christians to spiritual maturity, an increasingly better understanding of God’s Word to them and His will for them. However, those gifts were necessary only until there was complete revelation from God (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Once 2 Timothy—Paul’s final Book and actually the last Bible Book overall (Colossians 1:24-27; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)—was written, the completed Bible canon (66 Books) would work in God’s people to spiritually mature them.

Stated another way, God gave spiritual gifts, and eventually a completed Bible, to “perfect the saints” (today’s Scripture). Perfected saints—matured Christians—can then do “the work of the ministry.” The work of the ministry results in “the edifying of the body of Christ.” In one quick glimpse, we appreciate the order as we read the context.

“[11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: [14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Now, we focus on what “edifying” entails….