As believers in the Body of Christ, we want to help each other grow spiritually. One way to do this is by edifying, or building up, one another. God, through His Word, not only exhorts us to do this, but He gives us practical keys on how to do it. As we explore these keys, we’ll see how we as God’s children can endeavor to edify one another every day.
I Thessalonians 5:11:
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
The Greek word translated “edify” in this verse is oikodomeō, which can mean either to literally build something or to figuratively build up or establish. Here in I Thessalonians 5:11, the figurative usage applies. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament expounds on this usage: “to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness.” When we edify other believers, we are building them up and helping them grow spiritually.
God’s Word exhorts believers to edify one another time and again.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
We in the household share in edifying each other. These verses show us that building up someone is associated with comforting one another, pursuing peace, and pleasing our neighbor for good.
Now that we’ve seen that we are to edify one another, let’s look at how we do it. One way we are able to edify others is by showing God’s love one to another.
I Corinthians 8:1:
…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
“Charity” here is the active love of God we manifest toward others by the renewed mind. Manifesting this love one to another edifies.
Another way to edify one another is by way of our words.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
When we speak “that which is good to the use of edifying,” we minister grace, divine favor. Instead of speaking corrupt—bad, putrid, and rotten—words, we speak words that build believing and dispel doubt, worry, and fear. These words could be as simple as reminding someone of their spiritual ability in Christ—what they have available to them in the new birth.
We can also edify one another by operating the worship manifestations. In I Corinthians 14 we learn that the worship manifestations of speaking in tongues with interpretation of tongues and prophecy build up the fellowship of believers by exhortation and comfort.
I Corinthians 14:3-5,12:
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
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.
By operating the worship manifestations decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40) in our fellowships and believers’ meetings, we can build up our fellow believers.
There are many ways that we can edify our fellow believers. By showing God’s love, by speaking words that build believing, or by properly operating the worship manifestations in a fellowship, we can build up the Body of Christ every day. Let’s continue to edify, to build up, one another and help each other grow spiritually.