Edification - To Build Up
Ephesians 4:29 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.
Edification is the Greek word oikodome or oikodomeo.
Oikodome comes from the root words: oikos meaning house; and doma meaning rooftop. It is a figurative word which means "to build up to the roof" or simply "to build up."
Corrupt is the Greek word sapros which means rotten.
Communication is the Greek word logos which means words.
In Matthew 7:17-18 the word sapros is used of a rotten tree that produces hurtful fruit. As believers we are not to let rotten words that are hurtful to other believers proceed out of our mouths. Rather we are to speak words that build each other up and minister grace to the hearers.
Edification of the Church
Speaking In Tongues is one of three speaking manifestations of holy spirit which God has made available to those born again believers for the expressed purpose of edification.
Speaking in tongues builds up the individual believer and is an important aspect of walking according to the Word of God. However, when fellowshipping with the church (ekklesia - the called out) edification of others is the primary responsibility of the believer.
- 1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;...
- 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
- 1 Corinthians 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Speaking In Tongues with Interpretation is a speaking manifestation of holy spirit that God has made available to each believer for edification of the church. Tongues with Interpretation edifys the other believers because an edifying message from God is delivered to the church (called out) in their own language and is thus understood.
Prophecy is a speaking manifestation of holy spirit that God has made available to each believer for edification of the church. Like Tongues with Interpretation, Prophecy edifys the other believers because an edifying message from God is delivered to the church (called out) in their own language and is thus understood.
- 1 Corinthians 14:5b ...except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
- 1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Actions that Edify
In Romans and Corinthians the Word of God presents doctrine and reproof regarding our liberty in Christ. We have the freedom to act in a variety of ways, but our actions should be focused on those things which build each other up in the Word and that "no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."
- Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
- Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
- 1 Corinthians 8:1,10 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (God's love in action) edifieth. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened (edified in the wrong way) to eat those things which are offered to idols;
- 1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Ministries to Edify the Body of Christ
Ephesians 4:8-12 ...When he (Jesus Christ) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men....And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints (the believers), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Ministries are gifts to the church (the body of Christ) given to build it up. Paul had the ministry of an Apostle and the power or authority that goes with that responsibility. Paul had been given that authority for the expressed purpose of edification. Ministries are set in the church to build it up - not to tear it down.
- 2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction,...
- 2 Corinthians 13:10 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Published to the Web July 1996