In the New Testament, we are taught the importance of edification. But what does it mean to edify one another? I feel like this is a word we’ve lost in language progression. Yet, it’s a very important one to understand. Therefore, let’s look at what the word ‘edify’ means in Greek.
First off, let’s look at the definition from the 1828 Websters Dictionary.
“Edifying- Building up in christian knowledge; instructing; improving the mind.”
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Edify’ Mean In Greek?
oikodomeo- to contruct, edify.
Both of these words have the same meaning – construct or confirm.
Oikodomeo as a verb literally means to build a house. (Oikos – a house | domeo – to build) This word is used meaning “to build” in the following scriptures:
- Matthew 7:24
- Luke 4:29
- Luke 6:48
- John 2:20
“Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
– John 2:20
It can also be used as a noun to mean “the builders” or “the ones building” It’s found in these scriptures:
- Matthew 21:42
- Mark 12:10
- Luke 20:17
- Acts 4:11
- 1 Peter 2:7
“This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’”
– Acts 4:11
Edifying is also used in the spiritual sense, promoting spiritual growth and the development of the character of believers. This can be done by example or by teaching, which means it’s something that comes in time with work. In Acts 9:31 and 1 Corinthians 14:4, it’s used in regard to the local churches.
However, it can also be used to describe the actions of believers to one another (1 Corinthians 8:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Plus, this word can be used in speaking of one believer who builds himself up.
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Peter 2:4-5
Edifying and edification is a good thing. Yet, in today’s world, if you try to correct someone or call out their sin, they hide behind an insult known as, “Judger”. They try to paint Christians as being evil because we want people to come out of their sin and find everlasting life and joy in Jesus Christ.
If you’re correcting someone in love (especially a believer) and they try to tell you to “stop judging” them, kindly remind them that the Bible calls us to build up one another. What benefit do we gain by tearing down our brothers and sisters in Christ? Nevertheless, always use love and wisdom when speaking with someone about sin. If we aren’t careful, we can turn people away from Christ even further and that is not the goal.
That’s what the word ‘edify’ means in Greek. Please share any thoughts or comments below. Feel free to share this content and thanks for reading!