Series on the church of Christ
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:
THE WORK OF EDIFICATION
1. The church works (functions) as a corporate body on the local level, with three areas of work.
2. Edify - "To build;" " promoting the spiritual growth & development of character of believers, " (Vine); "to strengthen, more firmly establish, improve." - Col. 2:6-7 (cf. v. 4-5, 8, 10)
3. Work of promoting spiritual growth is clearly one of the missions of the local church! - 1 Cor. 14:26
I. THE EDIFICATION OF CHRISTIANS IS VITAL - Acts 14:21-22.
A. Edification Helps Us Withstand Temptation & Sin.
1. Eph. 4:11-15 - When we are strengthened in the faith we have stability of doctrine & security in Christ!
2. Heb. 5:13-14 - Spiritual maturity enhances our ability to tell good from evil - Helps us keep from sin!
3. Eph. 6:11 - We must grow in the armor of God (v. 13-17) to stand against Satan!
B. Edification Helps To Properly Develop Character - 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
1. Without character growth we become idle, barren & forgetful -- We stumble!
2. As we strengthen this "chain" we have security in Christ!
C. It Is Important To Edify (Strengthen & Encourage) Our Brethren - 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 (Christian) working is important if the body (church) is to grow & be strong!
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, & the proper elimination of conflicts (cf. Matt. 5:23-24).
b. Maturity seeks the other's good - Rom. 15:1-2.
3. For the salvation of Christians - 1 Pet. 2:1-2.
-Put away evil & grow in righteousness.
II. EDIFICATION IS INDIVIDUAL (Requires individual determination /
effort to achieve).
A. Only When The Individual Grows (Is Strengthened) Will The Church Be Edified - Col. 2:5-7; Eph. 4:16.
B. Note These Individual Admonitions Which Will, When Obeyed, Cause Personal Growth (Edification):
1. 2 Tim. 2:15 - Present yourself approved.
2. 2 Tim. 1:13 - Each must hold to sound words.
3. 2 Pet. 1:8 - These things must belong to each one.
C. We Will Not Be Able To Edify Others Unless We Strengthen Ourselves.
1. cf. Eph. 4:29 - Can't edify with speech unless it is pure!
2. Heb. 10:24-25 - Only when we have love & good works can we effectively provoke them in others!
III. EDIFICATION IS ALSO CONGREGATIONAL (Ways churches are to be
edifying their members).
A. Through Worship (Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 14:26).
1. Col. 3:16 - Singing.
2. 1 Cor. 11:27-30 - Proper observance of Lord's Supper.
3. We must be participants - Not spectators!
4. Edification is not achieved through sponsoring recreational activities, crafts, childcare, etc.- 11:34.
B. Through Bible Teaching - cf. Acts 20:28, 32.
1. cf. Classes - Teaching children & adults is vital - We must see its worth & contribute our part! - cf. Acts 11:23, 26
2. Teaching edifies only if we make use of it!
C. Through Proper Discipline - Rom. 16:17-18.
1. Removes those elements which destroy spiritual growth (1 Cor. 5:7).
2. Enemies of cross cannot edify the body of Christ!
D. By Encouraging Participation In Good Works, Thereby Promoting Love & Concern For Others - 1 Ths. 5:14-15.
1. Christ's blessing & strength is with the church that takes seriously its work of edification.
2. "Let all things be done for edification." - 1 Cor. 14:26 (Rom. 14:19)