Edifying #7

Wednesday, July 11, 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?

According to Romans 16:25-26, God uses a three-fold method to “stablish” us the Church the Body of Christ. Without Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), without his epistles (Romans through Philemon), and without the Bible in light of that Pauline revelation, we will not be spiritually stabilized.

Paul ordered Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 1: “[3] As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, [4] Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” Those teaching “other doctrine” are legalists, law advocates (verses 5-11). They do not embrace God’s grace, fully and freely, but rather mix law and grace, which thereby abolishes grace. They are not “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Grace is all that God does for us through Christ’s finished crosswork. However, law is our performance to please God. These systems cannot mix; otherwise, confusion and frustration will result. So many professing believers have failed to keep pure grace as their operating system. Consequently, their spiritual lives have been greatly weakened or totally destroyed (cf. 2 Peter 3:15,16). Since they lack a proper view of the Scriptures, they cannot understand those words of God. Non-dispensational Bible study has rendered them impotent. They need to be edified, built up!

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7). “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:20-22). They need to be taught the Scriptures according to Pauline edification! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does the Bible contain a contradiction about Solomon’s molten sea?

Edifying #6

Tuesday, July 10, 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 Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). “Godly edifying” (1 Timothy 1:4) is brought about by “the word of [God’s] grace”—the principles of grace the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ revealed directly to Paul.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ephesians 3:1,2). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If the information is not God’s Word rightly divided—the grace message, Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—then it is contrary to God’s will for us Gentiles. Such faulty teaching will not lead to “edifying” (spiritual building up) but rather extensive spiritual weakening and/or utter destruction.

When we ponder the rank Biblical illiteracyabsolute confusion—in the worldwide “Christian” community, it is obvious that precious few use the Bible dispensationally. Most preachers have failed miserably (!!) in “the work of the ministry.” Most churches and seminaries have not (!!) produced “perfected saints.” The Pauline design for the edification of the believer has not (!!) been followed; therefore, we see very few strong, skilled Christians.

Romans chapter 16: “[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….” Paul’s Gospel is important, Paul’s epistles are significant, and all other Scripture in light of Pauline revelation is critical.

We summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Edifying #5

Monday, July 9, 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?

First Corinthians chapter 3: “[9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. [10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. [11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

The recurring issue is building an edifice or structure. God the Holy Spirit attaches a warning—take heedor beware (verse 10)—as to how we as individuals build doctrine in ourselves. If His curriculum is not followed, there will be a faulty house of doctrine in our souls, and thus a loss of reward at the (future) Judgment Seat of Christ. Rather than gold, silver, and precious stones; we have used wood, hay, and stubble (junk information!). Second Corinthians 5:9,10: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Acts 20:32 tells us: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up [edify], and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Grace edification, “godly edifying,” is of tantamount importance….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is 1 Corinthians 12:3 talking about?

Edifying #4

Sunday, July 8, 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?

Dear friend, it probably amazes you to meet people who have allegedly read the Bible for many years and who still have little to no understanding of it. They may even claim to be Christians but somehow—strangely enough—they do not think and behave very Christian-like. What happened to them to make them thus? How could they be so close to the truth and yet, at the same time, end up so misled and confused? Could we, in some way, help them get on the right path? Is there any way we can avoid this deception ourselves?

Let us think of an illustration of you intending to build a house. You do not care what materials you use; you just want a structure. Therefore, you collect bits of plastic, some grass, wooden beams, a truckload of gravel, scraps of metal, and other assorted goods, and randomly orient and attach them. It does not matter what you are doing, or to what end you are working, so long as you are busy “building” a “house.” Work, work, work!

You are screaming, “Brother Shawn, this is all so absurd! How silly it is to be so careless in selecting supplies and how stupid it is to assemble all that junk together!” Oh, dear friend, how glad I am to have gotten your attention! Indeed, it is madness! In reality, whether they know it or not, this is how frivolous most professing Christians are concerning their spiritual health. How cautious they are to not eat garbage lying on the streets, but how irresponsible they are in what they feed their souls! To them, one religious system is “as good as any other,” one teaching is as “Christian” as the other. Indeed, their physical health seems to them to be far more important than their spiritual health. It does not bother them to expose themselves to various and sundry spiritual trash.

They need godly edifying!” God’s design, not man’s, must be followed if they are to grow strong….

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Edifying #3

Saturday, July 7, 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?

In today’s Scripture, the Greek word for “edifying” is oikodome (oikos meaning “house, temple;” doma is “to build, as in an edifice”). Notice “edification” is the process of constructing, or encouraging growth. For instance, Matthew 24:1 and Mark 13:1-2 highlight the “buildings” of the Temple complex. Here are literal, material structures in which the LORD God was to dwell. The physical Temple that King Solomon “built” is referenced in Acts 7:47.

The Bible also speaks of metaphorical construction (invisible edifices). For example, 1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Ephesians 2:21-22 says: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (There is a related word, oikodomeo, rendered various ways in our King James Bible—“build,” “edify,” “builder,” “build up,” “be in building,” “embolden.” However, time and space do not allow us to delve into this any further. Just notice the connections.)

God aims to have the Church the Body of Christ “edified,” or built up (today’s Scripture). “Perfected” (or spiritually mature) saints do “the work of the ministry,” and that will result in “the edifying of the Body of Christ.” Verse 16 continues: “From whom [Christ] 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.” The Body of Christ edifies itself. Its members build in each other an unseen structure that God Himself desires, the Body of Christ thus becoming the expression of His life. Refer back to Ephesians 2:21-22 (above) if necessary.

First Timothy 1:4 instructs church leaders: “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” Let us see what godly edifying” entails….

Edifying #2

Friday, July 6, 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 purpose of ministry in the Bible is to “edify.” To better understand this verb, we will survey parallel verses. When Paul spoke of his apostolic office, his right as God’s spokesman to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), he said: “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed” (2 Corinthians 10:8). “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).

One way to grasp spiritual truths is to compare and contrast. In the above verses, we see two contrary ideas—“edification… not destruction.” Whatever “edification” is, it is the exact opposite of “destruction.” Later, we will return to fine-tune our definition. For now, we look at instances of edification in the Scriptures. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19). “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (Romans 15:2).

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort…. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying…. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church…. 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 Corinthians 14:3,5,12,26). “Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying (2 Corinthians 12:19).

Rather than destroying, we are building….

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….