Wednesday 8/26/2021
Principles for Proving
The Edification Principle
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
Introducing the Edification Principle
• Finding God’s will about an activity when the Bible does not directly address the activity requires that we prove it or test
it with biblical principles.
• So far in our Principles for Proving series we have studied:
– the Association Principle (could the association be harmful),
– the Wedge Principle (could it lead to something worse),
– the Doubt Principle (if in doubt, don’t).
• This evening we are going to study the Edification Principle.
– These principles are not rules, but tools to help you.
– If you want to live a holy life and please the Lord, you will find that these principles will be a great help in making godly choices.
The Meaning of the Edification Principle
• What is edification?
– You have heard me use the word “edify” on several occasions. Edify
means to build up.
– Edification is another form of the same word. It means to improve a
person mentally, morally or spiritually.
– It is very important that we get this definition clearly rooted in our minds.
– Mental edification has to do with improving our minds or thoughts.
– Moral edification has to do with improving our behaviour.
– Spiritual edification has to do with improving our relationship with God.
• A good activity should improve us in some way for God’s glory.
The Focus of the Edification Principle
• The edification principle focuses on improvement
– If an activity edifies, it will improve your walk with God.
– It will make you more Christ-like.
– It will make you or others better.
– It will build up, not tear down.
– It will encourage rather than defeat.
– It will bless instead of bash.
– It will help you serve God and serve others.
Applying the Edification Principle
• Aren’t some activities just neutral?
– Does every activity really have to be either good nor bad, helpful nor hurtful?
– Very few activities are truly neutral. Most will either help or hurt your walk with God.
– For example: Basketball is a fun sport. It improves muscle tone, team skills, coordination, and provides excitement. That is edifying!
– However, basketball could become an idol in your life, if you are good it could increase pride, playing on a team may require Sunday games, being on a
team could expose you to foul talk, and promote many ungodly temptations.
– Honest evaluation is critical, but often difficult. Our old nature always takes the wrong side. Use the Doubt Principle to help check the
neutrality of an activity.
– If you think an activity is neutral, ask godly people if they agree.
Things That Require the Edification Principle
• Media
– Listening to the news
– Talk radio
– Choice of music, sermon speakers, etc.
– TV shows, videos
– Surfing the web
– Books, novels, magazines
– Texting
– Facebook, etc.
Things That Require the Edification Principle
• Activities
– Going to the gym
– Playing on a sports team
– Attending sports games
– Hobbies
– Choice of friends, even “Christian” friends
– Things I say about others
Things That Require the Edification Principle
• Thoughts
– Leisure time thoughts
– Bedtime meditations
– Temptation thoughts
Questions to Aid the Edification Principle
• Ask positive questions.
– Will it please God or please myself? (Lu 9:23)
– Will it strengthen my Christian life? (Jude 1:20-21)
– Will it build up others and not tear them down? (Ro 15:2)
– Will it help my Christian testimony? (1Co 10:31)
– Will it promote humility not pride? (Pr 16:18)
– Is it a wise use of my time? (Ps 90:12)
• Ask negative questions.
– Will it take me away from church attendance? (He 10:25)
– Will it rob quality time from my daily Bible study? (Ps 1:1-3)
– Is the atmosphere of the activity ungodly? (Pr 13:20)
– Will it make provision for my flesh to fulfil the lust thereof? (Ro 13:14)
Bible Verses for the Edification Principle
• Specific verses
– (Romans 15:2) “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”
– (Ephesians 4:29) “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister
grace unto the hearers.”
– (1 Corinthians 10:23) “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
– (1 Thessalonians 5:11) “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
Bible Verses for the Edification Principle
• General verses
– (Proverbs 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
– (Proverbs 14:7) “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.”
– (Romans 16:19) “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto
that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”
– (Jude 1:20-21) “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of
God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”