Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The Alpha of Edification
UV3005 /10000 The Alpha of Edification
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
I Corinthians 14 v 12
The follower of Christ is continually built up through all the teachings, experiences, trials and triumphs off his or her life. His life is the tabernacle of the Lord and is built by the Lord Himself. The building blocks are supplied by the Lord in the form of both the fruit of the spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. There is no strict demarcation between fruit and spirit for even faith and love are described by St Paul as gifts though these are largely traits of character. We are to earnestly seek to receive and manifest the nine fruit and nine gifts of the Spirit in our lives. The nine fruit are aspects of the character of God or of Christ. The nine gifts are aspects of the power of God or of Christ. Together with the nine fruit and nine gifts of the spirit, we are to develop the nine beautiful attitudes that Christ extolled in His Sermon on the Mount.
Edification then is a lifelong process as well as a daily one. We are to persistently, eagerly seek the nine fruit, nine gifts and the nine attitudes of Christ if we are to be effective witnesses or representatives and ambassadors of the One who called us. The fruit of character of God will give us the strength, the maturity, the balance and wisdom to exercise the gifts with a sense of responsibility, faithfulness and humility. The fruit and gifts are meant to build the faith of other believers and to initiate the faith of non believers by meeting their need for teaching, instruction, healing, guidance, deliverance.
The impartation of the fruit and gifts are the work of the third person of the Trinity- the Holy Spirit. The more we listen to Him and obey His voice, the more we grow to spiritual maturity and effectiveness or spiritual excellence. We are to grow from strength to strength, grace to grace and leave behind our former inclinations, desires and weaknesses. In this sense, edification also involves the break down of our former nature along with the build up of the DNA or divine nature of Christ in us. The ultimate goal is that the seven fold anointing of Christ of excellence, of wisdom, of knowledge, of understanding, of counsel, of might and of the fear of the Lord should be manifest in the growth of the nine spiritual fruit embedded in our character and the nine gifts imparted by the Spirit of God. All the fruit or all the nine gifts may not manifest at the same time but according to the need and the situation, these will be imparted and manifested. The word “zealous” implies that we need to be more or less obsessed about building our spirit traits or fruit and seeking the spiritual gifts.