I was inspired to do this teaching because of the value of edification and encouragement toward one another. It’s true that “what you say is what you get” and that there is power in the words that we choose to speak, whether negative or positive.
You’ve likely heard this quote:
Watch your thoughts; for they become words. Watch your words; for they become actions. Watch your actions; for they become habits. Watch your habits; for they become character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny.-Frank Outlaw
This quote begins with the concept of “thoughts” but there is one before that; the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The words of our mouth begin with what we hold in our heart, followed by how we decide to think. Our conversation toward and about one another reflects what is in our heart.
Romans 12:4-5 – For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: [the same function] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
According to the Word, we are to edify one another as members in particular. We are all different, but there are many things about each of us that deserve edification, most especially our shared love for God.
Luke 6:36-38 – Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
The take away from this section of scripture goes back to what we hold in our hearts. It also covers the concept of giving and receiving. What we give out into the world, will always return to us. It’s important we are giving edifying, life giving words, thoughts, and actions outwardly in our lives.
God blesses what we give. When we give of our time, God blesses us with efficiency of time. When we give of our talents, He blesses us with more ability. When we edify one another, we are edified. When we give love, it is returned to us 100-fold.
This is the law of sowing and reaping and it works every time. (II Corinthians 9:6)
I looked up this word “edify” and it is found 11 times in 11 different verses in the New Testament:
We will look at each one of these and see how it applies to our lives.
Romans 14:19 – Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
“Follow after Peace” That sounds to me like a continual process. This must also mean that following after peace is not always easy. It takes a concerted effort on our part to live this way.
1 Corinthians 10:23 – All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient [not advisable, not recommended]: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Paul is referring to the things which were not against the law, but were not a blessing either. (Some examples today would be; gambling money away while a family suffers, a woman wearing very revealing clothing when not appropriate to do so, or a church leader drinking too much alcohol.) The things Paul is alluding to here were not against the law, but they probably did not edify, and in fact may have distracted and caused unnecessary problems. The same is true in our day and time.
God edifies us by way of the Holy Spirit and our manifestation of the gift He gave us. The evidence and proof of eternal life is found in the operation of the manifestations of Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Word of Prophecy as noted in 1 Corinthians 14:
1 Corinthians 14:4-5 – He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
When we speak in tongues, it edifies us. When speaking in tongues is brought forth publicly in a group setting it is always to be interpreted by the speaker so that others may be edified. God gives both the tongues and the interpretation to the person operating this manifestation. God also provides a word of prophecy (which is either the foretelling of future events, or declaring of God’s love for us) as the manifestation is operated by the believer for the benefit of the people present.
We are edified as we speak in tongues in our private prayer life and the Church is edified during a believer’s meeting when the manifestations are interpreted. God provides everything we need to operate these, and all 9 manifestations (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
1 Corinthians 14:12 – Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts [spiritual matters] seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
This scripture encourages us to develop our ability to manifest Holy Spirit in order to edify the household. We are to be zealous for spiritual matters!
1 Corinthians 14:26 – How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Still referring to the manifestations, we are encouraged to all be eager and prepared to manifest at all times. Verse 27 goes on to say that we are to have at least two or three people in order to have a public meeting including the manifestations.
2 Corinthians 12:19 – Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
God instructs us to do all things for the purpose of edifying.
Ephesians 4:11-12 – And he [God] gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the [purpose of] perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The gift ministries listed in verse 11 are for the purpose of perfecting the saints, moving the Word, and edifying the body. These are gifts from God to the people. These are not gifts given to the individual. Each of us can be any and all of them at different times in our lives and God gave the ability of each of these to all who are born again.
Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
God has called us to speak the truth – with love in our hearts. We don’t do it because it’s necessarily easy or fun. We do it because it is what God wants.
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.
It’s like the classic movie “Bambi” when the character named Thumper said “If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothin’ at all”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
This is a fitting scripture to close this teaching. Now here is a practical way to put your edification to good use.
Make a concerted effort for the next days and weeks to edify and speak words of encouragement.
God Bless You!
From a July 2009 Teaching
[brackets indicate my comments]
All scriptures from the KJV version of the Bible unless otherwise noted