Spiritual Edification: -Meaning & importance
Summery:- Spiritual Edification is an important topic repeatedly referred in the New Testament.
Do not be just satisfied with the experience of salvation. We need to grow, move forward.
God has just begun a good work, still much more to be done. We will consider it in four topics:-
1. The meaning. 2 The importance
3 Three area of edification. 4. The means of edification
“Why should you preach to the converted, preach to the unconverted” thundered a Christian ‘leader' recently. According to him, it seems once saved - born again- leave him alone. He will fend for himself! There are many Christians like him who do not take spiritual edification seriously. For them it is not an important matter at all.
That's not the Biblical teaching. Notice the words of Apostle Paul:-
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romasn.14:19
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another , just as you also are doing.” 1Thessalonians.5:11.
I. The meaning:-
What does it mean by edification? The word ‘edification' comes from a Latin word, ‘aedificare' which means, “build”. The idea therefore is, ‘to improve the mind or character of some one by teaching'.
Therefore, spiritual edification refers to the process in which a Christian is being built up to stand firm against every wind of doctrines as well as attacks from the evil one. Just like a structure being built with a strong foundation and quality materials by skilled workers, so that the building may be strong. A weak foundation always weakens the superstructure. If the materials used are of inferior quality, it affects the whole building gradually.
In the same manner the building up of a Christian's life and character is very important. The foundation must be strong; the materials must be of high quality. As far as a Christian is concerned the foundation is the word of God which is settled heaven for ever. Understanding the Bible accurately and systematically is essential to lay such a strong spiritual foundation. This process is called spiritual edification.
Spiritual growth also has similar idea but with little difference in the emphasis. Growth refers to the process in which a born again child of God getting matured day by day to become like Christ in his attitudes and life.
Both have to do with spiritual progress of a Christian by making use of the word of God. 1Peter.2:1, 2.
A clear picture of an edifying life is seen in Ephesians 4:12 on wards. “For the equipping of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking truth in love, may grow up in all things in to Him who is the head – Christ-….” Epehesians.4:12—16
The above portion refers to various aspects of a growing life: increasing in faith & knowledge, growing to the stature of Christ, to be stable at diverse wrong teachings etc.
Yes, a true Christian never stays static. He keeps growing, advancing forward, and becoming stronger every day. If there is no progress spiritually, such a life is abnormal as in the physical realm.
Is your life a growing one? Are you being built up daily in spiritual life? Can you say that you have become stronger and matured than the last days in relation to Christian faith and attitude? The Lord wants us to grow and be edified. Let us peruse spiritual edification and growth.