Edify One Another
Edify One Another
by David A. Padfield
At the close of Paul's first epistle to the saints at Thessalonica, he exhorts them to "edify one another" (5:11I). The word here translated "edify" is the Greek word oikodomeo. It is found thirty-nine times in the original text and all but eight times it is translated as "build" or "built." This is the same word that our Lord used in Matthew 7:24 when He spoke of the wise man who "built his house on the rock."
The idea that Paul had in mind was that Christians should "build" one another up in the faith. After defining the word, Thayer adds an additional comment. He says it is "the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, happiness."
One of the highest duties that a Christian has is to encourage others. In a world filled with pessimism, violence and despair, the need for encouragement is evident. While at work we become painfully aware of the defeatist attitude that has permeated the society in which we live. After a week of listening to the gripes and complaints of this sin-sick world, Christians should look forward to an isle of retreat on the Lord's day, A place where the name of God is blessed and not cursed, a place where we can enjoy those "seasons of refreshing" that flow down from the bountiful hand of the Father.
It is truly a shame that Christians do not spend more time in one another's company. The Hebrew writer tells us to "consider one another so as to stir up love and good works," after this command he tells us how this is to be done, i.e., "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another" (Heb. 10:24-25).
In Haggai 2:4, God told the people to get back to the work of rebuilding the temple. With this command God gave a word of encouragement, "For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts." Please pause and consider what it meant for those Jews to whom Haggai spoke, to know that the Lord was with them. Surely they could remember the stories of how Jehovah had been with their fathers as they passed through the Red Sea, how he had led them "by the hand" through all their wanderings in the wilderness, and now how He had released them from Babylonian captivity. Realizing their God was real and powerful, how could they question his guidance now?
As we run our race toward eternal glory, let us all learn the many virtues of encouragement and "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”