1 Corinthians 14:5
“I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”
One word is used in several different forms in 1 Corinthians 14, and that word is “edify.” God wants His church to be edified. However, when we think of the church, we often don’t consider ourselves the one who is supposed to do the edifying. We often think of the church as a whole instead of each individual member of the body. Your church that you attend is not the building, but it is the people. Every person in the church, and this includes you, make up your church. Therefore, when God says, “that the church may receive edifying,” He is saying that you are responsible to edify your church. In this verse, God is talking to every individual member of the church; thus, He is talking to you. Your responsibility as a member of God’s church is to edify those around you. Let me point out what you must do if you are going to edify your church.
First, you are to strengthen your church. You cannot edify or strengthen your church when you are not there. Being faithful to every service is critical to edifying the church. You can’t strengthen something when you are not there. Your church becomes stronger and more effective in its community when more of the church body is faithful to every service.
Second, you are to train your church. Edifying is training. Every believer has a responsibility to train other believers. In other words, just coming to church to fulfill your spiritual “obligation” is not enough. God wants every person to get involved in training others. You can’t train others when you are not there. Training is done by you showing others how to do the LORD’s work. In other words, the stronger is to train the weaker so that the weaker can become strong enough to train another weaker believer. One reason churches are not influencing their area for Christ is because a few believers are trying to train all the new believers instead of every believer training someone weaker than themselves. Soul winning is a key to training others. Even a newer believer can start training the newest believer how to reach others for Christ. You will never edify your church if you are not training others.
Third, you are to be uplifting to others. To “edify” means to uplift. You can’t be uplifting to people when you are always complaining or tearing down the church. My question for you is this, are you tearing down the church by having a critical spirit of everything the pastor or others are doing, or are you edifying your church by having a positive and uplifting spirit? Someone recently told me that the way they have made it through their tough times is by being in every church service. What if our church was filled with critics? This person would have never received the edification they needed to get through their tough times. Being critical or uplifting is a choice, and it reveals your heart. Be determined that when you go to church that you are going to be the one who lifts the spirits of others up with your encouraging spirit and positive attitude.
Fourth, you are to elevate your church. Let me ask you, do you help to bring your church up to another level of service, or do you lower your church’s ability to reach others for Christ? You can help to edify your church if you get involved in the church ministries so that your church can reach more people.