What does the Bible say about edification? Why is it so important for Christians?
The dictionary definition for edification is "improvement, instruction, or enlightenment, especially when morally or spiritually uplifting." Edification, then, is similar to spiritual growth. It is that which moves us forward in knowledge of and obedience to God. Second Peter 1:5-8 says, "For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." In essence, Peter is talking about edification.
As Christians we are expected to grow spiritually. Our knowledge of God should be ever-increasing, and our obedience to Him should be continually perfected. The Christian life is about "improvement." Not self-improvement or works-based improvement, but newness from God. In Christ we are new creations and we are being made new (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 3:12). We have been declared righteous and are becoming righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 1:6).
Christians are called to cooperate with God's work in them. We should be intentional about our edification, seeking to know God and to obey Him. We are told to build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Romans 14:19). We should seek to live at peace with others (Romans 12:8). We should monitor our thoughts and set our minds on things of God (Philippians 4:8). Above all, we should seek God and submit to His work in us. Edification is for the glory of God and the good of His people.
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