P. O. BOX 3625 WARRI,
DELTA STATE, NIGERIA.
FOUR BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH EDIFICATION
1Cor 14: 1 – 6. Part
WHY THE GIFTS AND
“He is the one who gave these gifts
to the church: the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists and the Pastors and
Teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and
BUILD UP THE CHURCH, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our
faith and Knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the
Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ” Eph 4:11-13 TLB
“Since you are so eager to have
spiritual gifts, ask God for those that will be of real HELP TO THE ENTIRE CHURCH.”
1COR 14:12 TLB
In this series of study, we intend
to examine four basic principles that the Lord of Glory have put in place for
the building of the body of Christ, herein referred to as the church.
The word Edification (Gr. Oikodome) simply means – a structure, confirmation
(establishing), building, edify, edifying.
So What is The Primary Purpose of Gift?
Considering the above scriptures, we
discovered that though the body of Christ is one, this oneness does not destroy
our individuality. What we have rather is that the Holy Spirit has given some
gifts (Eph 4:11) and some special gifts to certain individuals for the very
purpose of building up the body of Christ locally or universally. So whether
you are part of the fivefold ministry or that you have some specific gifts of
the Holy Spirit, we are here to address the very singular reason why you are
called or why the Lord permits you to have whatever gift you are endowed with.
Let us understand that sin is simply
a mistaken identity or leaving undone what you ought to have done. Therefore if
you are part of the five fold ministry or that you have some specific gifts
such as speaking in tongues, word of knowledge, administration, singing etc and
you fail to be focused and directed strictly to the reason why you are who you
are, and that of course is to HELP BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST, then you are
sinning before the Lord who has called you and has endowed you with those
If you must put into consideration
the very reason why you are called, then you should be careful not to abuse
that privilege that is given to you by not effecting the cause of edifying the
body of Christ. Listen again. “…since you are so eager and ambitious to
possess spiritual gifts, endowments and manifestations of the (Holy) Spirit,
(concentrate on) striving to excel and to abound (in them) in ways that will
build up the Church” 1Cor 14: 12 AMP.
That is to say if you do not have
this goal in focus when manifesting your gift, the followings will happen:
- You may manifest your gift or calling for self
promotion and recognition. But that is not why you are called or given
your gifts. It is meant for the benefits of other people that they might
mature in Christ. To even manifest your gift or calling for the purpose of
making your self better as a focus does not meet up with the requirement
of the Lord – building the people.
- In your desire to be either known or recognized based
on your gift or calling, you will neglect the people, consider them of no
equal with you and so instead of developing and helping the people drawn
to you by the Lord for that purpose, you will be helping to destroy,
confuse, and make them to lose hope in the Saving grace of the Lord,
leading to retardation, from maturing into the stature of Christ. Again, in this you are failing either as
a gift carrier or a minister of Christ.
- It means, we must first of all ask and settle the
question of “why do we cry for the gifts of the Spirit”? Because, the
inability to properly answer and have this question settled at the back of
our mind before going into ministry
and operating the gifts will result in the abuse of gifts and function in
our calling, either by building empires for ourselves or the ministry will
turn to a money making venture.
- If the people’s lives and spiritual edification are not
uppermost in your life and thoughts in your quest for spiritual gifts and
calling, then you will not seek better ways to operate your gifts and
callings in order to better the lot of the people
- It also tells us that if in our operations either in
gifts or callings as ministers, the people are not just getting closer to
Christ, neither are they becoming Christ-like both in attitude and
knowledge, then wisdom demands that we do a work of self examination
whether we are truly instruments in the hands of the Lord or whether our
mode of operation is right. Don’t forget the key is that “Till we all come
in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God”. So we are
talking of everybody featuring at equal level of the Christ stature –
becoming sons, not having some as sons and others as slaves in the
Father’s house. This is why Paul
talked of “Travailing in birth pains until Christ be formed in you” Gal 4:
SOME INDICATORS OF A CHURCH UNDERGOING THE PROCESS OF EDIFICATION?
- Joy: One of the primary
signs of edification, individually or collectively is joy. The scripture
rightly indicated that joy is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5: 20 - 22) and
it is the strength of the believer (Neh 8:10). The word says if thou faint
in the day of adversity, thy strength (joy released by the Holy Spirit) is
small” (Prov 24: 10) In other
words, only those who are built up can withstand problems as they show
- Peace: In Isa 54: 13, the
word says “And all thy Children shall be taught of the Lord, and great
shall be the peace of thy children”. “And the work of righteousness shall
be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for
ever” For “Lord, thou will ordain peace for us; for thou also hast wrought
all our work in us” Isa 32:17; 26:12. So we found that one of the major
out workings of the ministry in the life of God’s people is peace through
our gifts. When the Prince of peace was born, the angelic announcement was
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Lk
2: 14). So when we truly communicate Christ to people, they ought to have
- Boldness: “For God hath not
given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love; and of a sound
mind” 2Tim 1:7. Those who are
getting built up in the spirit will come to a place where all that have to
do with fear, doubt and unbelief about the certainty and protection of
Christ are cast out. They Live with all assurance of the ever presence of
the Christ within. You just can’t intimidate a mature Christian, no matter
- Love: “He that loveth not,
knoweth not God, for God is love; …there is no fear in Love; but perfect
love casteth out fear; because fear
hath torment; He that feareth is not made perfect in Love” (I Jn.
4: 8, 18) Those who truly have
been built do not have fear of any sort.
To know God is Love, for we are the same as Him.
- Repentance: Practical change
resulting from divine discovery or wrong thoughts and walk in life through
the right imparted knowledge e.g. Nathan and David (2 Sam 12: 1+). Those
who listened to Peter on the day of Pentecost questioned out of a
repentance heart. “Men and brethren, what shall we do”? (Acts 2: 37) This is a clear sign of edification from
these ministries, not because they forced or coerced the people but they
saw and understood something.
- Seasoned words: (Col 4:6) This is one of the
major signs of a person’s edification, both in speech and in answer to
questions, that it may minister grace to the hearers (Eph 6: 24) . Watch
out for this in the way your people speak.
- Grace: They will be established in the faith
and receive grace to function in their giftings. (Rom 1: 7,
Phil 1: 7, Col 3: 16).
- One mind: Speaking the same
thing 1Cor 1: 10. In other words, all will have the same knowledge and understanding
and live same way.
OGAGA O. DAVID
DIVINE ENCOUNTER MINISTRIES INT'L
P.O BOX 3625, WARRI,
DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
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