A Study on Mutual Edification – Part 2

In my previous post “A Study on Mutual Edification – Part 1“, I initiated a study on the main verses in the new testament that talk about mutual edification. I looked at Romans 14:19, which revealed that Paul speaks about avoiding anything that may cause a brother to stumble and prescribes active mutual edification among the saints. One of the main reason I started this study was for me to better understand what it means to edify one another. This came about after I realized some of my conversations with other brothers were not always mutually edifying. With this in mind let’s take a look at the next passage:

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. NIV

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. NASB

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as isthe manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. NKJV

The book of Hebrews is one of my favorite books in the New Testament. It reveals how Christ is supreme and the center of all things. Chapter 10 specifically reveals how Christ is the ultimate Sacrifice, dying once and for all. It also speaks about how Christ is also the ultimate High priest who is now seated at the right hand of God, through whom we have access to the Father. Keeping this context in mind, let’s look at the the verses leading up to Hebrews 10:24-25:

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25

Through Christ we can enter into God’s house. In fact, through Christ we are now part of God’s family, which means we can be part of God’s household. We can now draw near to God through Christ. If we look at this verse closely, the writer of Hebrews makes an interesting statement. “Therefore, brethren, since…. (all that Christ has done to draw us near to God)…. let us, (stimulate one another… not forsake our own assembling…)” Because we can now draw near to God through Jesus Christ, we must draw near to one another. Christ drawing us near to God means that we should not forsake drawing near to one another. In this way, the writer has modelled our fellowship with one another after our fellowship with God. (I only came to this understanding of the verse going through it this time round, so correct me if i’m wrong. To me this adds an interesting perspective on the overall “narrative” of the verse, without going into all the details of the verse itself. I’d be interested to hear what your thoughts are on this.)

This is now where the mutual edification part of Hebrews 10:24-25 comes in. The writer says we must “consider how to to stir one another up to love and good works” or “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works”. There are two aspects to this part of the verse. The first part talks about mutual edification, “Consider one another in order to stir up…” This reveals that mutual edification requires that we carefully consider our brothers and sisters in Christ. To “Consider one another” speaks of knowing one another personally and deeply.

The second part of the verse reveals that we need to consider our brothers and sisters in a way that will allow us to stir them up towards love and good works. This shows us some of the purposes behind mutual edification. We mutually edify one another so that we may all grow in love and good deeds. Love and good works were a signature of the life and ministry of Christ. So mutual edification brings out the Christ in one another. It allows Christ’s body to express His person to the world.

The next part of the verse, the writer says, “…, not forsaking the assembling together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” The reason for not forsaking the assembling together is for the purpose of mutual edification. This reveals that one of the primary purposes for the Church to gather is for mutual edification and encouragement. It shows us that the Church assembly is a meeting where members are encouraged to actively contribute, exhort, encourage, and build up one another.

I’d also like to note that the main intention of this verse is not to promote attending a church service or gathering (sadly, in my observation, this is often what it is primarily used for). It is to promote mutual edification. The gathering merely facilitates the mutual edification. If there is no mutual edification in the gathering, then there is little purpose to the assembly.

I hope this post has been helpful towards understanding mutual edification and it’s purpose. I certainly feel like I am learning a lot through this study.

May we edify one another so that we may express Christ to the world, and may our fellowship with the Father through His Son, be enjoyed and expressed by our fellowship with one another.

If you have any comments or anything to add please feel free to comment.

You may also like:

  • A Study on Mutual Edification – Part 1

     

  • Is the Church a Building?

     

  • Christ – The Center of All Things

     

  • The Church – God’s Dwelling Place

     

About the author

Nathan Odell Nathan Odell is the author of Joined to Him. You can connect with him on

Follow JoinedtoHim on Twitter

Comments

  1. Nathan, I really appreciated you bringing in the immediate context of these verses, and, combined with your sharing, it really got me thinking about the correlation between the heavenly and the earthly. According to the prior verses, we have bold access into “the Most Holy Place… through the veil, that is, His flesh.” His flesh was representative of you and I. “His purpose was to create in Himself one new man… and in this one body…” Eph. 2:15,16 When this representative body was broken on the cross, the “veil” in the temple was rent from the top to the bottom signifying access once again into the “Holy of holies.” That veil represented sinful flesh, which Jesus literally embodied, and through crucifixion, literally and spiritually rent. We now have boldness to enter, not so much into the Temple in Jerusalem, but into the Heavenly Holy of holies “through the veil, that is, His flesh” tohave unhindered fellwoship and communion with God in the Spirit.
    That is the heavenly meaning.

    Tieing that in, now, with the earthly parallel of drawing near to one another in fellowship and mutual edification, I see that we still each individually have a “veil”, our sinful flesh, that bars our brothers and sisters from having access to our “Most Holy Place”, our spirit. We like the temple and tabernacle have an outer court, our bodies, a Holy Place, our soul, and a Most Holy Place, our spirit, where God dwells by His Spirit. If we are to have true fellowship and communion with one another, spirit to spirit, we must allow the cross to put to death, and rend, the veil of our sinful flesh so that others may have access to our innermost man, and our spirit in return may go forth to touch their innermost man. This is where true fellowship and mutual edification takes place, and by this spiritual communion, the habitation of God on earth will be built and made manifest. In this “unveiled” fellowship with one another, we will begin to corporately display,”on earth as it is in heaven”, the work of Christ in opening up “a new and living way” into His very presence, both in heaven, and in one another. What a glorious blessing this is, and what a calling. May we not forsake this kind of assembling together!

    Nathan, your teaching was a catalyst for these thoughts to come together for me. Thank you for sharing the things that you did! I thouroughy enjoyed this post!

    Looking forward to the rest of this series!

    Blessings in Him,
    David

    • Thanks for such a wonderful comment David! What you have shared is a great revelation. I long for this ‘unveiled’ fellowship. May the Lord cause the veil that separates us to be torn so that we can fellowship and worship in spirit and in truth.

      I really appreciate your comments David. It’s such a blessing to see another brothers perspective. Bless you brother.

  2. Some fresh and new insights for me there, Nathan. I like the ‘drawing near part’ as well as the centrality of edifying one another.

    The Lord encourage you in your personal life and ministry.

    Erroll.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A Study on Mutual Edification – Part 2 […]

  2. […] That description came from Nathan at “Joined to Him” in his post “A Study on Mutual Edification – Part 2.” […]

Speak Your Mind

*