“A Message of Edification”
II Corinthians 13:7-10
- The word “edify” is mentioned 3 times only in the New Testament … Romans 14:19, I Corinthians 10:23, and I Thessalonians 5:11.
- The word “edification” is used 4 times… Rom. 15:2, I Cor. 14:3, II Cor. 10:8, and II Cor. 13:10.
- I want us to pay attention to II Corinthians 13:10.. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
- This verse gives us the purpose of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.
- In my next sermon on the series on “The Nature of the Church” it is about “Edification.”
- It should be our Christian nature to edify one another… so this morning I plan to take a letter of Paul’s that he had written to the church at Corinth and use it for your edification.
- 1 Corinthians 14:3…But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
- Since God has elected me to be the prophesier to SBBC, I will do as God tells us through the mouth of Paul in this letter.
A) Edifying with daily prayer
- II Corinthians 13:7…Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
- I need to pray for you as you do pray for me… DAILY!
- WHY should I pray for you daily? So that you would do nothing bad, nothing evil, nothing sinful. WHY would I pray for that?
- Because when you do sin/evil, God will bring that sin/evil to a preacher’s attention and he will preach on it with “sharpness.”
- Many times we pray for one another’s physical needs. Rarely do we pray for one another’s spiritual needs.
- PRAYER is a source for healing. Some take medicine, drugs, alcohol, and even therapy for healing.
- Praying for people with physical and spiritual needs is a prescription for healing. PRAYER can edify. A pastor should pray for his sheep that God has entrusted to him.
- Prayer is contact with God. A direct hotline to the lead physical and spiritual healer/doctor.
B) Edifying with words
- The words of every Christian should be done with “edification.”
- II Corinthians 13:10…Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
- The objective of every Christian (Christ-like person) should be to lift up (edify) the brethren, not tear them down (destruction).
- Edification should build up, not tear down a person.
- To build up is to make something of nothing. To erect something or someone useful or beneficial to others.
- We can build up or tear down with our words.
- Our words are of God or the devil. Good or bad, building or destroying people.
- Get this now… we are to build up the brethren (brothers and sisters in Christ) and not the people who have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
- WHY not build up the unsaved? Because it is a source of pride in their heart that they take it, where as a child of God takes it as a cleanser to be of use in helping others to be cleansed of all unrighteousness.
A) With sharpness
- Surely you remember that the word “exhorting” means to arouse with words of advice strongly in warning.
- I get sick to my stomach at people who say something like “Preachers aren’t supposed to preach and hurt people’s feelings or make them feel guilty.”
- REALLY? Look at what Paul says in II Corinthians 13:10…Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
- Paul is writing this letter from a prison cell.
- Because he said … “Therefore I write these things being absent,”
- Then he writes “…lest being present I should use sharpness,”
- The word “lest” means “for fear that,” or “I’m afraid that.”
- He is basically saying “I am writing to you about these things so that I do not have to exercise my authority when I am with you by using “sharpness.”
- Paul, as do many pastors, evangelists, and teachers of the word often have to use “sharpness” in a disciplinary action to get people to do what they are supposed to do.
- The word “sharpness” here means to preach harshly, to the point of causing people to be convicted by the word of God, by piercing to the heart of God’s people with painful rebuke.
- It bothers me to see preachers of the word of God preach like they are afraid to hurt people’s feelings, or step on people’s toes, and God forbid we make people angry with us.
- Paul was my kind of preacher, my kind of man’s man. Paul went about everything like he was killing snakes, hard, fast, mean, and vicious.
- Some would say “That’s not edifying.”
- Through harsh words comes the source to solve problems.
- Paul’s desire (as is the desire of every preacher of the word) was for people to read his letters and help solve the problems they were having.
- Paul’s harsh preach was meant to edify and exhort! For building not destroying.
B) By building up not destroying
- Sometimes a minister/preacher of the Word must tear down before he can build up. (See Jeremiah 1:7-10)
- The world does not understand that. I don’t understand why they do not get it. It is basic principles in life…
- To reconstruct or improve a building you must tear it down or destroy the bad parts to make improvement.
- A farmer/gardener must remove dead limbs or weeds to make improvements or to help seeds to get good results from that which is planted..
- A doctor must cut open a body and remove the cancer or problem which causes pain before the person or body can start t feel better.
- The bad must be removed in order for the new to exist and function properly.
- Paul had to tear down the wrong/bad thinking of the Corinthians before he could build them up.
- When a child of God hears harsh words they will take it as a disciplinary rebuke. When a person who is not a Christian hears harsh words they take offense and think of it as an insult upon their person.
- This is why people of the world do not understand the attitude of Christ and the preaching of Jesus when he asked us to be “meek.” To be “meek” is to be disciplined, in self control of your behavior and attitude.
A) With words of truth
- Now look into our text of II Corinthians 13:8…For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
- The Corinthian church had a very negative attitude. Paul had to destroy that attitude with THE TRUTH.
- What was the truth?
- Look at verse 9) For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
- Commentator Warren Wiersbe said this…
- It is much simpler and less expensive to build a new structure on unimproved land than to tear down walls and try to remodel an old building.
- Likewise, it is much easier to take a new believer and teach them the Word than it is to change the wrong thinking of an older saint.
- Wrong ideas can “hold out” against the truth for a long time, until the Spirit of God demolishes the walls in the mind.
- When Paul said “this also we wish,” he was referring to the Corinthian church being “strong” spiritually. They weren’t “strong” spiritually and they weren’t a church of “perfection.”
- “…the word of truth” is God’s words. God’s Word (the Bible) is a truth that can rightly divide and conquers the soul.
B) Comfort with action
- Look now at verse 11) Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
- “farewell” (chairō in the Greek) meaning “grace, or rejoice” a common form of greeting in that day.
- “Be perfect” relates to Paul’s prayer in II Cor. 13:9 carrying the idea to “Be mature, be restored or fitted for life.”
- “…be of good comfort” means to be encouraged. In spite of all their sins and problems, they had every right to be encouraged.
- “…be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
- You talk about comforting words… You can be a sinner but when you repent of those sins then you “…can be of one mind” and you can “live in peace,” because you know that “…the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
- ACTION; 12) Greet one another with an holy kiss. 13) All the saints salute you. 14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
- Comfort comes with action, which comes from a perfect heart in Christ Jesus!