Encourage One Another
Category : General
1 Thessalonians 5: 11 (KJV)
11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do
When Handel’s oratorio of the Messiah had won the admiration of many of the great, Lord Kinnoul took occasion to pay him some compliments on the noble entertainment he had given the town. “My lord,” said the composer, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them: I wish to make them better.” It is to be feared that many speech-makers at public meetings could not say as much; and yet how dare any of us waste the time of our fellow immortals in mere amusing talk! If we have nothing to speak to edification, how much better to hold our tongue. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
These words are an exhortation to the whole church of Thessalonica, to comfort and edify one another. Though the ministry is appointed to this by especial office, yet private Christians are to practice it to one another; the former doth it in way of authority, the latter in a way of charity.
Edify one another.’ All metaphorical words tend to lose their light and color, and the figure to get faint, in popular understanding. We all know that ‘edifice’ means a building; we do not all realize that ‘edify’ means to build up . And it is a great misfortune that our Authorized Version, in accordance with the somewhat doubtful principle on which its translators proceeded, varies the rendering of the one Greek word so as to hide the frequent recurrence of it in the apostolic teaching. The metaphor that underlies it is the notion of building up a structure. The Christian idea of the structure to be built up is that it is a temple. I wish in this sermon to try to bring out some of the manifold lessons and truths that lie in this great figure, as applied to the Christian life.
Let us always remember that we are all builders; building up–what? Character, ourselves. But what sort of a thing is it that we are building? As was noted, some of us pigsties, in which gross, swinish lusts wallow in filth; some of us shops; some of us laboratories, studies, museums; some of us amorphous structures that cannot be described. But the Christian man is to be building himself up into a temple of God. The aim which should ever burn clear before us, and preside over even our smallest actions, is that which lies in this misused old word, ‘edify’ yourselves.
With that said, let us rest assured that, in all times and circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous; let us lay this to heart; and with this consideration comfort and edify each other in all trials and difficulties.
Have a great and God filled day!