Edification is vitally important in the life of a Christian for several reasons:
1. Edification helps us grow in Christ and spiritual maturity
The Bible makes it clear that edification should be a core pursuit for believers. In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul explains that God gifted the church with pastors, teachers, and other leaders “for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Edification helps us become more like Christ, united in faith and maturity. Through sound biblical teaching and discipleship, our minds are renewed (Romans 12:2), we grow in wisdom and understanding of God’s truth (Colossians 1:9-10), and we become stable and steadfast in our faith (Colossians 2:6-7). As we are built up in Christ, we move toward spiritual maturity and Christlikeness.
2. Edification strengthens our roots so we can withstand trials and temptations
In Matthew 13, Jesus told the Parable of the Sower and explained that the seed sown on rocky ground represents those who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully, but since they have no root, they fall away when trouble or persecution comes because of the word. Being firmly rooted and established in Christ through edification helps us stand strong when difficulties arise (Ephesians 3:16-19). Regular scripture intake, prayer, worship, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines establish deep roots in Christ. As we are edified through sound teaching and discipleship, we develop spiritual stability and resilience to withstand whatever storms come our way.
3. Edification fuels our worship and brings glory to God
In John 4:23-24, Jesus declares that “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” As we are edified in God’s truth through His Word, our worship becomes more sincere, meaningful, and accurate. We gain a greater understanding of who God is, fueling our awe, love and worship of Him. And as we grow in maturity and Christlikeness, we will bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8), glorifying God and pointing others to Him. Our lives become living sacrifices of worship as we are transformed and edified in Christ (Romans 12:1-2). Edification fuels true worship that honors and glorifies God.
4. Edification equips us to serve and build up others
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes that all Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” As we are edified in God’s Word, we are thoroughly equipped for every good work God has prepared for us, including building up others. The more we grow in maturity and our faith is strengthened through edification, the more effective we can be in serving Christ and using our spiritual gifts to build up others in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16). It creates a beautiful cycle where our edification overflows to the edification of others.
5. Edification protects us from false teaching and deception
Edification helps us develop discernment and recognize false teaching that can shipwreck our faith. In Ephesians 4:14, Paul notes that immaturity and lack of understanding make us susceptible to cunning deceivers who distort God’s Word and lead us astray with false doctrine. But as we are built up in the truth of Christ, we can better discern truth from error and recognize deceptive philosophies that contradict the Bible (Colossians 2:6-8). We must continue living in the truth through which we were edified to avoid falling for counterfeits. Regular edification in sound doctrine protects us from spiritual deception.
6. Edification gives us hope, comfort and peace amid trouble
In Romans 15:4, Paul explains that “whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” As we are edified in God’s Word, we gain greater understanding of His sovereignty, promises and eternal perspective. This fills us with confident hope, abiding comfort and peace that surpasses understanding even when facing trials (Philippians 4:6-7). Edification allows Scripture to richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:16) so we can continually draw comfort, strength and hope from its truth. It gives us an anchor for the soul when life is uncertain (Hebrews 6:19).
7. Edification renews our minds and transforms our lives
Before coming to Christ, our minds are conformed to the patterns of this world. But edification in God’s Word powerfully renews our minds (Romans 12:2) and transforms us from the inside out as we embrace kingdom principles and God’s truth. We begin to view life through the lens of eternity rather than earthly perspectives. Our thoughts, words, and actions align more with Christ as our minds are saturated in Scripture and we put what we learn into practice through the Spirit’s help. Edification leads to real heart and life transformation.
8. Edification helps us put on the full armor of God
In Ephesians 6, Paul instructs believers to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm against the enemy’s schemes. This includes the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. As we are edified in Scripture, we are equipped with these spiritual armor pieces that enable us to resist temptation and stand strong in spiritual warfare. Edification in truth gives us the armor we need for victory.
9. Edification fans the flames of our spiritual gifts and calling
In 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Paul reminds Timothy to fan into flame the spiritual gift God gave him through the laying on of hands. As believers, God has given each of us unique spiritual gifts and a special calling in the body of Christ. But these gifts need to be continually stirred up and nurtured. Edification fans our giftings and calling into flame by strengthening our faith, equipping us for service, renewing our minds, providing Biblical insight into how to employ our gifts, and motivating us to use them for God’s glory. It helps us keep our spiritual gifts and calling burning bright for Christ.
10. Edification fuels our passion for evangelism and making disciples
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), Jesus commands His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. Our passion and effectiveness for participating in gospel mission grows as we are increasingly built up and established in Christ ourselves. Edification strengthens our ability to defend and properly communicate the reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15). It equips us handle God’s word accurately as we teach others (2 Timothy 2:15). And it gives us greater insight into the Scriptures we use to make wise the simple and lead people from darkness to light (Psalm 19:7, 119:130). Being edified fans our passion for reaching the lost.
11. Edification leads to a life of fruitfulness that glorifies God
In John 15, Jesus taught that He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from abiding in Him, we cannot bear fruit. But as we abide in Christ through building our lives on His Word, sound doctrine and spiritual nourishment, we bear much spiritual fruit that glorifies the Father. This fruit includes Christlike character, righteous living, ministry effectiveness, making disciples, praise and thanksgiving, and more. Edification enables us to lead abundantly fruitful lives that testify to the transformative power of the Gospel we preach.
12. Edification helps us run the race with endurance and keep the faith
The Christian life is compared to a marathon race that requires great endurance and perseverance to finish. Through edification, we are strengthened with power through God’s Spirit in our inner being (Ephesians 3:16). This empowers us to not grow weary or lose heart, but renew our strength like eagles as we wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31). Edification in sound doctrine provides training in righteousness that equips us to keep running the race with endurance and fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 4:6-8, 2 Timothy 4:7). It helps us finish the race strong.
In summary, edification is crucial for every Christian to grow in maturity and Christlikeness, develop spiritual resilience and discernment, fuel meaningful worship, effectively serve others with our gifts, renew our minds and lives for transformation, put on the armor of God, fan spiritual gifts into flame, participate in gospel mission, bear lasting fruit, and run the race with endurance to the end. Just as physical health requires nutritious food and exercise, so edification through God’s Word, prayer and discipleship provides essential spiritual nourishment for a healthy and thriving Christian life.