Edification vs Building
Last week we discussed edification and its duties. We saw how it is used to build one another up and how it is used to teach each other. The goal of edification is to become more like Messiah by making applicable, the Torah in our lives. It is what is used to shape us. Today, we focus a bit deeper, we turn our focus to seeing how edification gets broken up when it comes to how we teach others. We need to understand that edification is about learning, reproof, admonishing, training and tutoring our brethren. Doing these things are a part of building, however, there is more to it. Remember last week I gave an analogy of the building of a house to that of our physical body? Well, that’s what edification accomplishes. It builds our walk but what about our spirit? Edification, as important as it is, does not build the spirit-man within us, it only trains it. We need to focus in on this today and see the differences that way when we go out there in the world to make disciples, we can discern what is needed, edification or spiritual building. Let’s get right into it shall we?
As we learned last week, edifying and building go hand in hand but there is a difference between the two. For example, my wife is beautiful and when we met she was just as beautiful, but she had some issues. There were drugs, alcohol and other things that were not accepted by me for us to remain together. Let me mention that I wasn’t perfect either, so my wife doesn’t get disgruntled for pointing her out. Anyways, we started to build a relationship that obviously started with edification. Even though this isn’t biblical edification, it is still the same process, different scenario. I started teaching her the things she needed to stop for our relationship to work. The alcohol had to stop, pill popping needed to cease, and other things had to change to build trust. So, my wife starts changing all these things to help build our relationship. All of this is fine, and she was edified by me, but she isn’t doing anything else just being in a relationship and stopping the bad stuff. In this example, we will stop the progress here and I will say that the following statements are not true but only for example. She never continued in her progress, she was making me happy. She was getting beautified, staying sober and spending time with me but that was it. There were no other changes made to further her growth. She stalled in her place feeling comfortable and complacent. In this example, I have edified her enough to where she would be praised and admirable to others. This is pure edification. There was no building in this. As we apply this to the building of the body of Messiah through edification, I have only accomplished a portion of the job in my wife. I stopped there just as she has stopped.
This is where things get muddy. Speaking of my wife, I have helped her conformed to be a beautiful and delightful human being, but I never showed her how to grow and continue to change or even help others change from her experiences. This is what our focus is going to be on today. Beyond edification and into building. When we edify one another, we need to remember to make that be an edification that will move the edified to continue beyond a relationship with the Father, reading their bibles, having fellowship and ready to change for the Scriptures. We need to them to continue to grow and spread the Gospel and this changing process to others, to build our church, the body of Messiah.
18 “And I also say to you that you are Kĕpha, and on this rock I shall build My assembly, and the gates of She’ol shall not overcome it.
1 Peter 2:4-5
4 Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious –
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.
As we can see here, the church isn’t that of a building made of rock, wood and steel but of that made of flesh, bone and blood. We are the church and we are the house of Yah. We can edify each other and use that edification to build in us a spirit man that lives for the Father but we need to be building the church. Edification needs to be utilized to bring about the desire to make disciples not only to make you a better follower.
Let me pose this question to you. If you are edifying and building someone up to be a builder of the church, would you not be trying your best to be a good example? In turn, your walk would be getting molded to fit the mold that Messiah has given us by what you are doing in the person you are edifying. Now this is only a portion of building up, there is so much more that we can go into which we will do later.
Back to the topic, edification is a great tool to start someone on their journey. This is all good and fine, but it also needs to be used to give this person the opportunity to fulfill the commission that we are given. Let’s look at that.
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature.
To do this, one needs to be edified in knowing the Word, how to walk it and how to live it. There are rules that we live by called the Torah and many of these rules are for our protection but it’s also for being built up by truth. This is the hard part. When someone is edified and are doing the basics but nothing more, they are not built completely, and they aren’t leading someone new to what the truth is and how to live it. They literally just live a saved by grace through faith, the law is dead belief. They don’t listen to the truth and now they are a stumbling block instead of a building block in the body of Messiah. So how does this work. Let’s look at an analogy to show it.
11 “As an eagle stirs up its nest, Flutters over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Bearing them on its wings.
In this verse the mother bird tears up the delicate home to uncover sharp thistles that convey uneasiness to the eaglets. As a result of distress, the eaglets leave the home and figure out how to fly. The mother builds up her young by consistently driving them out of the home and getting them until the point that they wind up flying. Hawks were never intended to remain in the home, nor were we.
We need to be edified in many ways to make us smooth like the vessel that was shown during our praise section. There are four types of builders out there that uses edification to help us be built and at the same time, teaches us how to pass it on. They are developers, designers, disturbers and discerners. Starting with developers, these are the people that come into your life and bring out the best in you. They encourage and admonish you with the intent of helping you reach your full potential in the body of Messiah. Allowing you to become the best believer you can be.
Next are the edifiers that are the designers. We will in general consider designers an individual, hands-on mentor. The Latin and Greek characterize them more as “counselors” or “savvy men.” Yeshua was an ace at this, the best of the best, the perfect designer. He served thousands, prepared hundreds, equipped twelve, and had a private fellowship with three men. The designer guides us in our marriage, child raising, congregations, civil association, business insight, or any zone where we require a model. Developers or mentors may live close or far, be colleagues or outsiders, or may even be dead. They “structure” our lives through Scripture, books, tapes, articles, devotionals or workshops. They help us integrate our walk while living this life in the world. To be prepared to grow into what we were called to be.
Moving on to the third one, we tackle the disturber or the one who likes to shake things up in our life. These people tend to cause us to look deeper into what we are, what we believe, whether we are doing the right or wrong things. These types pose questions that make question our motivations and ambitions and to see if they are in line with scripture and the Father. They tend to call believers out for their actions, they can move us out of our comfort zones so that we can embrace a righteous change in our lives. They are important to in our lives because the can propel us to reach higher points in our belief. They keep the walk a walk and not a complacent whirlpool of repetitious actions.
Finally, in this list we move on to the one that seems to have died off, the discerner. In a lifetime of connections, maybe a few individuals will assume this fundamental job since it requires common helplessness. They tend to be known as accountability partners, discerners bring the endowment of spiritual light into our lives. They know how to talk truth in affection. They know how to admonish and reprimand, trying to keep their partner destined for the right, narrow path. They are also vulnerable—these genuine companions who will stroll into a life while every other person is exiting. The discerner are the people that are needed to be there for those when others won’t. These are the ones that pick us up when we fall. Lick our spiritual wounds when we were the cause for the wound. These are vital but far and few in-between. It’s difficult to find true discerning people that will be a true friend.
6 The wounds of a loved one are true, But the kisses of an enemy are profuse.
As stated above all these types of believers have a singular job that is performed. This job sometimes makes who they are working with feel a little hurt or wounded but these wounds are good, but they are created by the mentee not the mentor. This is commonly misunderstood by most people. Proverbs is telling us that while our friends may cause a wound by holding accountability or trying to change something that is unrighteous in us, this is a faithful wound. However, like with many teachers, the kiss or the approval of an enemy for your actions are deceitful and truly cause a wound that you’re unaware of.
Knowing who will be a discerner in your life can be quite a daunting task. They are hard to find but when we think we found one, we should be slow in choosing them. Once chosen, if we are faced in a situation to leave them, we must be even slower in doing so. They really are rare to have in this era.
So, we covered the types of builders of the church that know how to use edification. How to turn edification from just learning and teaching into spiritual and physically building the body of Messiah. Once this joy from these people have taken place in your life, believe me, you will want to spread that joy.
Finally we are going to cover 9 ways to help you in not only finding your type but also how to instill that as we work to bring more disciples to the kingdom of Yah.
9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged, for יהוה your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
When we are dealing with others we need not only to be one to help them get better but also to encourage them that it is the Father that gives them the strength and courage to change things that are difficult. Encouragement or the lack of, can be a major fault in a believer’s walk. More often than many want to acknowledge, believers who stumble are afraid to admit their mistakes in fear of condemnation or shunning. This comes from a practice that the church has been doing to people that don’t conform quickly or refuse to acknowledge that a sin is a sin. In effect of action, they give up on the person. Keep this in context as I am talking about believers not unbelievers or sinners. Sometimes, personal issues can take time to overcome and always beating down a person for mistakes can cause retraction from the faith. It is our job to point it out, but we also need to encourage. This is also applicable to many different things such as spreading the Gospel, speaking to others about the Messiah, sending a believer to show another brother or sister their error in an appropriate manner. This is essential in the action of building the church. We must do this right and with the understanding that comes from the Father.
Be quick to forgive
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you hold whatever against anyone, forgive, so that your Father in the heavens shall also forgive you your trespasses.
As we are believers amongst each other even when we are alone, we need to learn how to forgive. We should not take too much time learning how to forgive quickly. Being a believer means that you understand that when you pray, you should not only be asking for forgiveness but also be forgiving those who you feel have wronged you. This isn’t an everyday walk out this is forgiveness. We are not promised tomorrow so if I have unsettled forgiveness issues and I can’t settle it before I pass away, the Father may not forgive me. Being able to do this helps you deal with the people you are mentoring or helping in their walk when they offend you or wrong you for one reason or another. When you hold on to your bitterness, it can affect the person you are trying to reach out to. You could be angry or short tempered with them due to your anger or bitterness from your unforgiveness. An imperative character trait that we all need to learn how to do.
5 Trust in יהוה with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
When we lean on our own understanding, we can mislead others who come for help. Sometimes we need to listen to get the understanding of others so that we can apply the Father’s understanding in each situation. If we do not listen and just push towards whatever we think they need, the person can seem like you are not listening at all. Don’t think about a reply while listening, just listen. Sometimes a person doesn’t need an answer. Sometimes they just need an ear. We need to ask intelligent question and be careful of what we say so we don’t come off a condemning in our answer. We need to handle situations delicately, even if the other person isn’t making this process easy for you to accomplish.
29 Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers.
Probably the most common issue in any congregation amongst the body of Messiah. This is especially prevalent amongst the women. I have a phrase when it seems like I am seeing this happen. I state the term Chatty Kathy’s. This is because all they are doing is chatting about something else spreading some form of a rumor or speaking ill of someone. When someone comes to you with a secret, keep it. When you speak this stuff out, it can hurt someone. Not only will you hurt them, but you will also lose their confidence especially if you were helping them.
9 And what you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, practise these, and the Elohim of peace shall be with you.
Knowledge held back is an attack against our brethren. When sharing is so easy in today’s world, it should be second nature to share it but keep one thing in mind. Do not share just anything that you feel is nice. Make sure that what you are sharing is true and meaningful to the persons walk. We have such a short life that we should make what we share be impactful. So many thinks that ministry is about getting the Word out or sharing good things and sayings. Really, it’s about building the body so share things that help build the body and not so much on things that can cause strife because it is a trivial topic. For example, what name is the right name? This is a fruitless debate and causes distraction.
1 Peter 5:5
5 In the same way, you younger ones, be subject to elders. And gird yourselves with humility toward one another, for “Elohim resists the proud, but gives favour to the humble.”
28 And we know that all matters work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, is not puffed up,
5 does not behave indecently, does not seek its own, is not provoked, reckons not the evil,
6 does not rejoice over the unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth,
7 it covers all, believes all, expects all, endures all.
Everything we have gone over today is what we need to practice to bring building the body of Messiah to fruition. To many people worry and make ministry about outreach and building congregations. Bringing in money or being popular amongst a people. Our walk is about spreading the Gospel which is the Good News, not to just have people hear it but to bring others to the knowledge of Messiah so they can convert to this faith and become disciples. Going to a homeless shelter and donating items feels good and does accomplish parts of things we are told to do but when we focus on that, taking our eyes off the main goal building the family through the Great Commission, we fail at the main goal. We get distracted. Going out for disciples isn’t all that fun or easy but it’s the original job we were called to do. Do we have any questions?