The Royal Order of Edifiers 8/10/03

Ephesians 4:29

Jesus Christ said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

In a world that tears people down Jesus builds them up.

If Jesus is your Savior let Him control you as your Master. If He is your Master model Him. Scripture says, “It is enough that a servant should be as his master.”

Acts 10:38 gives a succinct summary of the life of Christ: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good…”

There is your prototype, your templet for life. Pattern your life after Him. “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (I John 2:6).

Jesus seized every opportunity to build people up. Jesus was an edifier. In the word edification the root word for edifice can be heard. An edifice is a building. The process of edifying is the mission of building up.

He edified little children by telling His disciples to let the little children come to Him.

He edified the woman caught in adultery by saying, “Neither do I condemn you. God and sin no more.”

He edified Peter, who denied Him. After the resurrection when they encountered each other Christ ask one question three times, “Do you love Me?” Peter’s affirmation resulted in Christ edifying him by giving him an assignment, “Go feed my sheep.”

He edified one involved in His execution. On the road to Damascus Saul was stricken blind and the voice of Christ was heard to give him instructions to go into Damascus where someone would tell him what to do. Christ sent Ananias to him who put his hand on him and said, “Brother Saul….” In that simple statement Paul was edified.

Even on the eve of His execution He
comprehended the mood of His disciples and said to
them, “Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe
in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

If Jesus is your exemplar then do as He did.

Are you a people builder? Or, are you a member of Satan’s demolition crew.

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a hove-heave-ho they swung a beam
and a side wall fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled?
The kind you would hire if you wanted to build?”
He replied, “No indeed,
common labor is all I need,
For I can wreck in a day or two
What it takes a builder a year to do.
I thought to myself as I walked away,
Which of these roles am I trying to play.
Am I worker who builds with care
Carefully measuring life by the rule and square.
Or, am I content to walk the town
Content with the job of tearing down.”

Are you a wrecker or a builder? When people see you coming do they fell, “Wow! Here comes an edifier!” Or, do they look for a back door? You know the kind of person, they brighten up a room just by walking out of it.

Let me be a bit personal for the sake of you pastor and staff. Sunday is a special day of ministry for them. Don’t burden them on this day with complaints and criticism. If an issue is important enough to be called to their attention deal with it professionally and call the office on a week day. Don’t burden the pastor before a worship service by laying some weighty matter on him. Build him up. Assure him of prayer. Edify him.

Apply that same principle to every person you meet here on the premiss.

From nature comes an admirable example of edification. Have you ever notices how geese fly in a “V?” Do you know why? They don’t know how to make a “G.”

Have you ever noticed one side of that “V” is longer than the other. Do you know why? It has more geese in it.

That “V” is aerodynamically lead. The lead goose emergences the greatest wind resistance. The formation reduces the wind resistance experienced by all other by 40%. All that honking we hear is goose talk. They are saying, “Go get ‘um. You’re the man, Atta boy. You rock.” They are edifying the lead goose. They also rotate when the lead goose gets tired he rotates to the back of the formation and another takes the lead. He joins the others in edifying the new lead.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when people walk away from a contact with you feel edified, built up?

Jesus Christ said, “You shall be My witnesses….”

Your speech makes you a good or a poor witness. As His ambassador what you say and do reflects on Him. Ideally, it should be a commendation of Him to all who encounter you.

Are you a member of Satan’s demolition crew or Christ’s developmental school.

I am on a recruiting mission today. I am looking for people who will sign up to be members of “THE ROYAL ORDER OF EDIFIERS.”

Ephesians 4: 12 notes God gives to the church people “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body.”

The church is spoken of as “the body of Christ.” Be a body builder.

Our text gives two requirements for membership.

I. A NEGATIVE “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”

Perhaps by translating the Greek word for “corrupt” “toxic” we might better understand it.

Does your speech ever get you in trouble? Down in Cajun country near Lafayette a stranger walked into a roadside café and said, “That Bill Clinton is a horse.” A local popped him knocking him down and out. When he recovered he apologized saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t realize this was Clinton country.” The local said, “It ain’t, it’s horse country.”

You need not only be careful what you say but where you say it. Solomon wisely said, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble” (Proverbs 21: 23)

An ageless axiom states: “Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.”

We are very adapt at exonerating and exempting ourselves. Therefore, I pray the words of this message will slip by the defenses of your mind and explode with reason therein.

The Scripture warns against slander. The Greek word translated slander literally means “devils,” or “diabolical.” There is no characteristic so unbecoming of a Christian as to deserve the title “devilish” as that of a slanderer.

The word means a gossip, defamer, one who smears, back-bites, or slurs another.

In the vibrant book of James (3:3 -10) is found this exhortation.

As an adolescent my Mom gave me a little hand written note which I kept in my wallet until I wore it out. It contained this great truth that has influenced my life: “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

Scripture urges us not to answer a fool according to his folly.

Let all corrupt speech die under the holy breath of God.

II. A POSITIVE We are to speak “what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Vs. 29)

This is an appeal to let your tongue be sacred to what edifies.


Be careful in talking to or about youth. Build them up. Infants have confidence in their parents, grandparents, and others close to them. What they hear influences them dramatically. They tend to want to live up to what those they love say about them. If they hear negatives they come to believe them.”You are stupid” results in stupid conduct. “You are a bad boy” consequents in bad behavior.

One prisoner abused as a child wrote this haunting poem:
“Please stop the hurt
I’ve suffered from my birth.
Please stop the pain
And teach me love again.

Our life together is too dear
For your love to be replaced by fear.
You say you love me every day,
But you hit me when things don’t go your way.

I’m lost, lonely, scared, and sad
I tremble at the thought of making you mad.
My love is yours, but at times you’re so cold,
If life’s like this, take me before I grow old.”

Conversely, positive reinforcement results in good behavior.

One of the four things noted earlier that do not come back is “the neglected opportunity.” Don’t miss an opportunity to build up someone —– anyone.

You build people up by encouraging them to be their best and do their best at everything.

God does not require us to be the best at anything. He desires us to do our best at everything. Build people up to become and be their best for Christ. Christ did it.

He did it for little children by instructing His disciples to let them come to Him.

He did it for the woman caught in adultery by telling her she was forgiven and go and sin no more.

He did it for Simon Peter after Peter’s denial by giving him the assignment to feed His sheep.

After the resurrection He did it for one of His accusers, Saul, on the road to Damascus by telling him where to go to get help.

It is enough for a disciple that he be as his Master. The church is called “the body of Christ.” Let’s be body builders.

One wonderful way to do this is by relating Scripture. Many have been edified by the simple verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Exhort with the truth: “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Who is the person you know who needs edifying most? It might well be yourself. You can build up yourself by reminding yourself of these and other great Bible promises.

You motivate someone when you give them a motive for their needed attitude or action. A motive is an urge within that incites action. When you build up a person you are giving them hope that produces proper action.

Motivating people is easy compared to keeping them from de-motivating you. Use the Scripture as your shield.

I talked to a widow recently who had not spent a night alone in their home since she and her husband moved in. He knew she was afraid to stay alone at night and had been her companion every night of their married life. At the time of his death she was all alone. She edified herself with the Scripture, “What time I am afraid I will trust in Him.” She has and told me her fears vanished. She edified herself with the Word of God.

Edify yourself and others with this truth: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).

Jesus Christ offers you this edifying invitation:
“Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
To the lost He appeals, “He that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).