Edification (οἰκοδομή) describes the act of building up and is especially focused on improving the mind and understanding. In Scripture, it is used to describe the building of the temple along with the edification of those within the Church; both are illustrating the act of building.

Edification is an important aspect of our relationship among the saints. Christ commanded us to love other saints in the New Commandment, John 13:34. This is a unique relationship that those of the Church are to have for each other and through our love, others will see that we are Christ’s disciples, John 13:35. One aspect of this love is how we edify others. Within the assembly, those who are strong in the faith support the weak ones. When it comes to how we live out our faith in what we eat and the days that we honor, we are to be respectful of each other’s decisions, pursuing peace so that we build each other up, Romans 14:19. One who is strong in the faith will build up those who are weak, not pleasing themselves, but bearing their weaknesses so that we all can through support, encouragement, fellowship, and learning together, be strengthened in our understanding of the faith, Romans 15:1-2.

When it comes to the manifestation of Spiritual gifts within the assembly, edification should be the main point. When the Church was young and did not have its full revelation, those with the gift of prophecy could edify the saints, where those with the gift of tongues would only edify themselves, for the speaking of tongues is a gift given for a sign to the unbeliever and therefore should not be used among the saints, where the gift of prophecy is for the saints, 1 Corinthians 14:3-5. Now that we have the full revelation of Scripture and prophesying has ceased, 1 Corinthians 13:8, the focus of all the active Spiritual gifts today are for the building up of those in the assembly, not an individual. Let us not be ignorant concerning Spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:1, and do all things for the edification of others within the assembly, 1 Corinthians 14:26.  Especially those who have authority in the assembly. Just as Paul stated with his authority, it was given to build up, not for destruction, 2 Corinthians 13:10.

We of the Church are part of a building for God, 1 Corinthians 3:9. Together in Christ, we are built up into the Holy of Holies where God dwells, Ephesians 2:20-22. Christ gave gifts to the Church, especially those with the gift of Pastor even teacher, for the edification of the assembly for the purpose of equipping them for a work of the ministry until we come to a oneness of the faith where we will no longer be tossed around by every wind of teaching by the trickery of men, Ephesians 4:12; rather, speaking the truth in love and maturing in Christ we will all be supplied and built up together in love, Ephesians 4:16.

Let us consider what we are doing and how it is strengthening others within the assembly, especially those who are weaker in the faith. The weaker one is not to judge the stronger one and the stronger is not to despise the weaker, but both are to edify each other. Even our speech should be for the edification of others, not allowing rotten things to come out of our mouths, but that which is beneficial and meets the needs for building up other saints, Ephesians 4:29.

Let all things be done for the building up of others to improve their minds and understanding, especially in the faith, so that we all mature as we are together being edified by true love, which always seeks the best for the ones loved.