Let all things be done for edification

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

Let all things be done for edification. The word “edification” is a word that is not used very often. In fact, I would venture to say that many people are unfamiliar with the word. It is not commonly used and therefore it is not commonly understood.

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A True Worshiper

  Too often I hear complaints such as “I don’t get anything out of the service”, “the church’s worship doesn’t inspire me” or “church is boring”. I wish I could say that I don’t relate to these complaints, but the fact is I do. I’ve felt those same things before and the only conclusion I could draw to fix the problem was that something needed to change.

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The Pastor

Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church.  Paul declares Jesus, "...the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. "  (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

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Unity

The United States of America. Being so far removed from the founding generation of this country makes it difficult to truly appreciate the word united in the title of our nation. Prior to the revolutionary war the states could be more likened to independent nations. A man living in America at the time referring to his fellow countryman would likely be referring to his fellow Virginian or his fellow Pennsylvanian. Rarely would a man refer to their fellow American- it was a foreign thought.

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Gender in Church Leadership and Worship

Consideration of the question of female church leadership and the place of women in the communal worship of Christian assemblies is of increasing importance in Western churches and religious bodies.  As women have gained prominence and assumed positions of authority in secular institutions so have they advanced to leadership in religious organizations, albeit slowly and with more opposition.  Some denominations have endorsed and encouraged women to go into the “ministry”, while others have not permitted this at all.  Still others have concluded to allow a combination of husband-wife “pastor teams” or boards with both genders fully represented.  I have been asked before why the church doesn’t allow women to be ordained to office or to lead the congregation in its worship of God.  The simplest answer, which I still give, is, “the Bible doesn’t permit the ordination of women.”  Let us review a few passages and I will throw in my two cents on this important discussion.

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The Kingdom

Like most Jews at the time of Christ, the Apostles asked this question in anticipation of an earthly kingdom in which the Christ would reign over the Earth and restore Israel to its original majesty. Now, 2,000 years later, many people still wait for the day when temporal governments will be thwarted, the Kingdom will be established, and the Lord will rule on David’s throne from Jerusalem.

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One Faith

The New Testament writers use the word faith in broader terms than simple belief in Jesus. Following Paul's conversion, the brethren observed, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches THE FAITH which he once tried to destroy." (Galatians 1:23)

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I did not come with excellence of speech.

Mankind has always been captivated by great public speakers. We can look through history and see those are remembered for their great oratory skills. To name just a few: Cicero, Patrick Henry, and Winston Churchill. These were men who inspired and persuaded others not only by their message but by their eloquence and charisma.

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"Speaking to One Another"

Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him...” (John 14:21).  He also said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love...” (John 15:10).  Plain talk.  Hard to swallow, maybe, but not hard to understand.  Simply put, love and obedience are inextricably linked, each following on the heels of the other.  According to Jesusto love Him is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to be loved by Him.

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The Apostles, the Prophets, and the Cornerstone

The word of God teems with imagery.  From Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dreams, to Revelation’s well-known apocalyptic symbolism, to Jesus’ many memorable parables (“The kingdom of heaven is like…”), God employs imagery throughout Scripture to reveal His will.  Speaking to the mind’s eye, the Bible’s imagery encourages us to first envision its truths that we might then be enlightened by them.

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