0214 ~ Edification
Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0214
The Bible stresses the need for us edify others and to be edified ourselves. The word “edify, edification” means “to construct, build up and to establish”. Whether we realize it or not, every one of us needs to experience being edified if we are to have victory in our day-to-day Christian life and experience. God has given us special ways by which we can not only edify ourselves, but also be used by Him to edify other people.
Let the Scripture speak: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). Here we see one of the reasons why it is so important that Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit and have the gift of speaking in other tongues. God has given the Gift of the Holy Spirit and, one of the evidences that we have received the Holy Spirit in our lives in a more real and powerful way, is through the ability to speak with other tongues. I was very privileged to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit as an 18 year-old (back in 1960) in the middle of a herd of cows at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. No human being was there to “talk me into something”. The Holy Spirit just poured out of me and I began speaking in other tongues as clearly as though I had been speaking them all my life. God then spoke clearly to me and told me He had called me to the ministry and that He would open doors right away for me to preach. And it happened. I have been preaching ever since. Praise the Lord!
Speaking in other tongues is God’s gift to us to enable us to edify ourselves; to enable us to build ourselves up in our most holy faith through praying in the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit includes praying in other tongues. It works. Many times over the years ~ when people and things have turned against me ~ I have found that to get out somewhere and pray in tongues out loud really does lift my spirit and brings about a positive result when naturally it would have been exactly the opposite. God knew what He was doing when He sent the Holy Spirit with the gift of speaking in other tongues. When we speak in other tongues it is our spirit communicating directly to God ~ and the devil does not know what we are saying. Hallelujah!
When it comes to our edifying other people, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are one of the most effective ways we have of doing that, especially the Gift of Prophecy. Again, let the Bible speak: “Pursue love, and desire (“go after”) spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (“a speaking forth prophetic declarations, exhortations, uttered while under divine influence, and referring either to the past, present, or future” – Bullinger’s). For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries (“secret or hidden truths”).But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation (“a calling near or for – to produce a particular effect”) and comfort (“a speaking near or with anyone, i.e. kindly, soothingly; implying persuasive power, and expressed with tenderness” – Bullinger’s) to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation (“unveiling and uncovering of facts and truths”), by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?” (1 Corinthians 14:1-6, NKJV).
The whole motivation of Christian ministry should be for the edification of people. When we understand the reasons why God has given to the Church the nine Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), then we should be seeking to be available for the Holy Spirit to reveal things and to use us to speak forth and impart into others what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. Consider this Scripture: “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel (“to be over and above, to excel in number or measure” – Bullinger’s; “to super-abound – in quantity or quality – be in excess, be superfluous – more than is required – to cause to super-abound or excel . . . enough and to spare, exceed, excel, increase, remain over and above – Strong’s)” (1 Corinthians 14:12). Meditate upon the meaning of the word “excel” because that is how we are to be motivated in our edifying of the church. We all need to ask ourselves these questions:
How zealous am I to exercise spiritual gifts?
Is my desire strong enough, or am I hiding behind excuses?
Am I seeking to excel in edifying others?
Remember, every Christian is called to exercise the Holy Spirit’s way of edifying people. When we are edifying people by the Holy Spirit’s way and giftings, then we are imparting a much more powerful way of lifting others up, constructing, building and establishing them more in the purposes of God for their lives. When we are being constructed, built up and established by the Holy Spirit Ministry, then we are going to be much stronger in our faith and walk with God than those who are not the recipients of such. God has given us clear instruction on how true Biblical edification happens ~ both for ourselves, personally; and how we can do it for others.
We all need to be receiving this kind of edification.
And we all need to be giving this kind of edification to others.
When we are not doing things God’s way, then we suffer the consequences. Consider these verses: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue (“go after”) the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:17-19). “Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, leading to edification” (Romans 15:2). Christian ministry is all about edification; constructing, building up and establishing people so they can function in their God-given calling. May we not lose sight of this very important part of being a true Christian. God bless you ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord God, I come to You in the Mighty Name of Jesus, and I ask You to help me to sincerely keep building myself up in the Holy Spirit, so that I can build others up in their lives. Help me to see how vital it is for me to be functioning in edifying others. Help me to keep You as the first love of my life. Please convict me of anything or anyone who comes between You and me, as I know I need to keep You as the first love of my life, and to be doing what You have called me to do. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name I sincerely pray these things, Amen.”