Sunday, August 2, 2015

Unavoidable: Mutual Edification

According to scripture, why does the church come together?

I challenge you to ask your Christian friends the above question. How do you think they will answer? My guess is that the vast majority will answer with the same response: to worship. This is fascinating and disheartening because their answer is wrong.

Why, then, does the body meet? According to the bible the purpose is mutual edification.

In I Corinthians 14:26 Paul writes,"How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification."

As the church comes together as a family, meeting simply, the goal is the edification (some translations use the term "building up") of the entire church. The end goal is the maturation in Christ of the whole group. Everyone benefits through interaction with everyone else.

The I Corinthians 14 passage as a whole deals with the issue of spiritual gifts (actually, that is the topic of chapters 12-14). In chapter 14, one of Paul's main points is that use of spiritual gifts is specifically for the purpose of the upbuilding of the body. Gifts are not for personal aggrandizement; rather, they exist to help others grow closer to Christ.

So then, why does the church gather? What's the point? It's an unavoidable truth that according to the bible the purpose is mutual edification. It's a sad thing that so few Christians know this.

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