The people of God are to be known by their love, their light, and their being the salt of the earth (John 13:35; Matthew 5:13-16). How we conduct ourselves says much about our spiritual health. What we are really desiring to pursue in this life, God says, has much to do with our relationship with Him. Consider the words of Paul to the church in Rome in Romans 14:19, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
Edification is a by-product of good spiritual health. We must pursue edification. Other translations use the word, “mutual upbuilding” or “the building up of one another.”
Consider three areas where edification must be pursued:
In worship – This is the admonishment of passages like Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 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.” The second half of verse 25 is a positive admonishment to Christians to exhort one another. Exhort means that we encourage and entreat others through our assembling to worship. So, every time we who are Christians choose to obey God by assembling with the saints, we choose the vital function of edification. Each aspect of our worship is to strengthen our relationship with God, but also serves to edify others.
In Christian association – In 1 Corinthians 15:33 Paul said that evil company will corrupt good habits. We are around and associate with people of the world daily, and that is why edification through Christian association is so important to building up a local congregation. Paul encouraged the Christians in Thessalonica to continue to be with one another and build up one another through close association with each other (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11). Who understands the intimate struggles and temptations of living for Christ better than our fellow Christians? I once saw this question posed… “Is there any room in a congregation for Christian strangers? Absolutely not!
In words and actions – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer,” (Psalm 19:14). Consider these questions that were seen recently: Can I harm your reputation? It’s so easy with my words. Can I ease your burden? Oh how easy, with my words. Can I tear you down? Very easily with my words. Can I build you up? Just as easily, with my words. Though we can do much harm with our words and actions, the opposite is very true – we can do so much good and provide so much edification with our words and actions.
Our worship, association with our brethren, and words and actions have much to do with our pursuit of edification. Let us truly be in pursuit of building up others and striving never to tear down – it is a reflection of our spiritual health!