Christians ought to care for and about one another very deeply. The early church had an incredible spirit of unity as they shared meals and worshipped together, joined with a single heart in praise to God.
It is easy to become so absorbed in day to day living that we forget the foundational principles of the Christian life. Paul gives us a reminder in the first six verses of Romans 15. Reading those few verses forces us to ask, “How do we learn to please our neighbor and, therefore, edify one another?” Here are three ways we learn to edify one another:
Through the Person of Jesus Christ
The amazing thing about the Bible is that it is timelessly relevant. People have not changed in the 2000 years since Paul penned Romans under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and neither has God’s Word. Jesus Christ is selfless. Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians in which he admonished them to develop the selfless mind of Christ—a mind set on serving. What’s the standard of selfless service? The Son of God humbled Himself, took the form of a man, and submitted to the cruelty of the Cross.
While the standard for humble service seems unobtainable in our own strength, we can obtain much through the power of God. If you’re not familiar with all that Paul suffered, read his testimony in 2 Corinthians 11:24–29. Despite the fact that Paul experienced as much or more hardship for the Gospel as anyone else, he always edified believers. The only way we can learn to be what Christ wants us to be is by spending time every day in His Word.
Through the Practice of Prayer
It is completely incongruous to think of bringing another person before God in prayer while harboring ill-feelings toward that person. Praying for one another brings about unity of attitude and actions. We cannot edify others if we have feigned love or ulterior motives. Our spirit must be to edify others with no thought of receiving like treatment.
Through the Biblical Use of Our Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 14:12 says, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” Why should we be concerned about identifying and using our spiritual gifts? So we can edify the body of Christ through service in the local church.
If our churches are going to have the unity that God wants, then we must deliberately look for opportunities to edify one another. Let’s praise God for His work in our midst and ask Him to do an even greater work of edifying—building up one another.