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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:11-16

Bible Authority, Part 13

The Work of the Local Church: Edification

 

Intro.

1.  The church functions as a corporate body on the local level (three areas of work: edify, evangelize, relief needy saints).
2.  Edify: “To build”; “…promoting the spiritual growth and development of character of believers…” (Vine) “to strengthen, more firmly establish, improve”,
Col. 2:6-7 (2:4-5, 8, 10).
3.  Work of promoting spiritual growth is clearly one of the missions of the local church,
1 Cor. 14:26.

4.  God’s tool for edification is His word, Acts 20:32; 1 Pet. 2:2. (Not games and gimmicks, not social, political agendas, etc.)

 

I.  THE EDIFICATION OF CHRISTIANS IS VITAL, Acts 14:21-22.
  A.  Edification Helps Us Withstand Temptation and Sin.
    1.  When we are strengthened in the faith we have stability of doctrine and security in Christ,
Eph. 4:11-16.
    2.  Spiritual maturity enhances our ability to tell good from evil – Helps us keep from sin.
Heb. 5:13-14.
    3.  We must grow in use of the armor of God to stand against Satan,
Eph. 6:11 (13-17).
  B.  Edification Helps to Develop Godly Character,
2 Pet. 1:5-11.
    1.  Without character growth we become idle, barren and forgetful – we stumble.
    2.  As we strengthen this “chain” we have security in Christ.
  C.  Very Important to Edify (Strengthen, Encourage) Each Other,
1 Ths. 5:11; 2 Cor. 12:19.
    1.  For the growth of the church,
Eph. 4:16.
      a.  Each joint Christian) is important.
      b.  Each part of the body (each Christian) working is important for the body (the church) to grow and be strong,
1 Cor. 12:18-20.
      c.  The strong ones will be edifying the weak (here is the practical application,
Gal. 6:1-2). 
    2.  For harmony in the church,
Rom. 14:19.
      a.  Spiritual growth promotes harmony, and the proper elimination of conflicts (cf.
Matt. 5:23-24).
      b.  Maturity seeks the other’s good.
    3.  For the salvation of Christians,
1 Pet. 2:1-2.
       -Put away evil and grow in righteousness.

 

II.  EDIFICATION IS INDIVIDUAL (requires individual determination and effort to achieve).
  A.  The Church is Edified when the Individual Christians Grow (are strengthened),
Col. 2:5-7; Eph. 4:16.
  B.  Individual Admonitions that will Promote Personal Growth (edification):
    1.  Present yourself approved,
2 Tim. 2:15.
    2.  Each must hold to sound words,
2 Tim. 1:13.
    3.  These things must belong to each one,
2 Pet. 1:8.
  C.  We Must Strengthen Ourselves to be Able to Help Others Grow.
    1.  Cannot edify with impure speech,
Eph. 4:29.
    2.  Only when we have love and good works can we effectively provoke them in others,
Heb. 10:24-25.

 

III.  EDIFICATION AS A WORK OF THE LOCAL CHURCH. (Congregational: Ways local churches edify members) Acts 9:31
  A.  Through Worship Assemblies,
Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 14:26.
    1.  Singing,
Col. 3:16.
    2.  Come together to eat the Lord’s supper,
1 Cor. 11:27-32.
    3.  We must be participants, not spectators.
    4.  Edification is not achieved through recreational activities, crafts, childcare, etc.,
1 Cor. 11:34.
  B.  Through Bible Teaching, cf.
Acts 20:28, 32.

    1.  Preaching, Acts 20:7.

    2.  Classes: Teaching children and adults is vital - We must see its worth and contribute our part, cf. Acts 11:23, 26; 20:20.
    3.  Teaching edifies only if we actually use it.
  C.  Through Disciplining Sin,
1 Cor. 5:4-7; Rom. 16:17-19.
    1.  Remove what destroys spiritual growth – sin.
    2.  Enemies of cross cannot edify the body of Christ,
Phil. 3:17-19.
  D.  By Encouraging Brethren to Do Good and Promote Love (Mutual Concern),
1 Ths. 5:14-15; Gal. 6:10.

 

Conclusion

1.  Christ will bless and strengthen the church that takes seriously its work of edification.
2.  “Let all things be done for edification.”
1 Cor. 14:26 (Rom. 14:19)