We can live in amusement — an existence marked by non-thinking. Or, we can live in the edification of the Body of Christ. The Church is a gift to us. There, we find exhortation, relationship, joy, and comfort. We can be built up in the midst of a culture that’s falling apart. (1 Corinthians 14:3-6, 12, 26)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 1/24/2021
Okay, yes, hello. God bless you. Hi,
Melvin. The guys. Marcus. You may be seated. There is a
group over here, thank you. Our subject today in the
word is on the subject of edification. Edification. The
meaning of that word to build. It’s used 1 Corinthians 14:3. Let’s
turn there for our text. We have a new brother here this
morning. An Uber driver or Lyft or whatever. Praise the
Lord. Weren’t those little ones on the stage precious and
their moms and dads? You look at those young people
and just care about them in our hearts. What an honor it
is that they honor God by bringing in their children to
God and saying God bless them. Our live of faith is
unusual because none of us have seen God but we have
seen Christ in the Gospels. And in the Holy Spirit we have
seen Him, Galatians 3:1.
Listen to this. He wrote to the
Galatians. Where were the Galatians living? Where is
Galatia? It was in Turkey. When was it written? 55 A.D.
maybe or 52. Thirty years after Jesus was crucified.
Where was Jesus crucified? In Jerusalem. Where were
the Galatians? Some of them weren’t even born yet. It
happened in 32 A.D. in Jerusalem. But this is what Paul
said to the Galatians, “before whose eyes Jesus Christ
was crucified for you.” So they saw Christ crucified for
them. How did they see that? They weren’t there. They
were in Galatia or they weren’t even born yet. By the
preaching of Paul, they saw that Christ was crucified for
them. It was the Holy Spirit that did that. When the Holy
Spirit comes into your life and you are regenerated, you
are born of the Spirit – we were soul winning at Penn
Station yesterday here in Baltimore and I said to this
man, he gave me all the time I wanted. So I just talked to
him about the Lord. I said when you are born again, you
have a new heart given to you, a new spirit, and you love
God. You start to love God and worship God.
But we haven’t seen him. We don’t have to see him. We love
him. Whom you have not seen, you love. Unto you which
believe, he is precious. Very precious but we haven’t
seen him, but we know him. That’s our calling. We have a
new heart and a new spirit. God teaches us his Word and
we are listening to the Word now. We are by being with
God. We are edified. If you take that edification away
from people and you have something else that happens. I
don’t have a new heart. I don’t have the Spirit of God. So
how do I – I make my friends. I find my circle. I belong to
a group. I’m with a group. What do they talk about in the
group? What are they talking about? What are they
believing? Is it edifying?
For the believer, is it edifying? The answer is no, it isn’t.
Where do I get edified? How
does it happen? By just being with people or watching
the news or movies or music or people that I like or
whatever. There is chatter. There is talk. There are
activities but does it edify me. It may wear me out. It may
discourage me. I may be happy but not holy. I may be
preoccupied with something to dull the pain of life, but
not really find divine purpose. Not really know God and
live by faith and have divine purpose. Many people in
this world are not edified but they are occupied. They are
entertained, amused. You know that word “amusement.”
You know what it means from the English? Old English.
What is musing?
Thinking. Musing. I’m meditating. I’m
thinking. What is amusing? Not thinking. Not thinking.
Amusement isn’t where you are thinking but where you
are entertained. Feeling. You are preoccupied with
pleasant feelings or amusement. That’s fine. We do need
it and have it in life but is it really edifying? That’s the
word I want you to think about. Is it real? Does it have
any weight? Is there value in it? is it provoking me in my
heart? Is it stirring me up in my faith? When Jesus came
into the world, if you were with Jesus for one day, you
would find it to be edifying. Turn to this chapter, 1 Corinthians
14:3. This is about your church life and fellowship with
each other. He that “prophesieth” – the word means the
Bible, the Word of God. It also means predicting the
future. Somebody could have a prophesy about the
future but that’s not as weighty as the Bible. For the
Bible is really the Word. The Word will never pass away.
Heaven and earth will, but not the Word. Jesus put such
high regard on the Word. But the world doesn’t. The
world is in different degrees of unbelief and in being in
unbelief, God gives them over to another degree of
unbelief and that’s called ADOKIMAZO.
It means turning them over, giving them up. God takes people that he
loves and died for that are in this world and they are not
coming to God but denying God or careless about God or
not drawn to God, so they are given over to evil
imaginations. In their evil imaginations they invent, and
they have various habits and practices that God gives
them over to. This is Romans 1. He gives them up in vs. 24,
26, 28. He gives them over to a very strange way. In our
mind, it’s just a fallen nature. It’s a strange way of living.
In giving them over, The word means they are rejected.
They are thrown away. Their lifestyle leads them into the
darkness. There are perversions.
In our culture, Western culture, we have generally speaking turned away from
God and God has given us over. To the world, our society has been given over to very
strange evil imaginations and perversions. That’s happening in our world. We are
watching it happen and it’s strange to us. God is saying
the state of mind is not edifying. It’s not edifying but it’s
amusing. It’s entertaining. There is a lot of pride, a lot of
activity. There is a lot of movies about it. There is a lot of
immoral and nontraditional ways of living that is
happening in our world. Is it edifying? No, it isn’t. Talk to
those people living like this. I asked P. Steve to check on
the internet how many Hollywood award ceremonies are
taking place in a year in Hollywood, like the Oscars and
the Emmys and the different ones.
I don’t know all the names and I don’t care about it but how many. He said
110. Why do the people in Hollywood congratulate each
other so much? Why are they pulling up in a limousine
with a tuxedo on and they want the cameras and
newspapers? Why are they doing that? They are not
edified. They are not made to be the way they are. They
don’t know truth. That’s what edifies us. That’s the
reality that builds us up in the inner man. That is what
you are hungry for. That’s why we assemble. God is the
ultimate edifier. He is the one that loves you and edifies
you and cares about you and speaks to you. He is the one
that knows your deepest need.
He is the one that talks to you. Vs. 3. That word means it’s building up especially in
a moral or spiritual sense. It’s instruction. We also have
the – let’s go back and read the verse again. Vs. 3. When
I go to the church, this is what I want to happen to me. I
want to feel in my spirit edified because God does that
for us. He told the disciples fear not little flock. It’s the
father’s good pleasure. The father loves you. It’s his good
pleasure to give you the kingdom. He said my words they
are spirit and they are life. Jesus said follow me. I will
make you fishers of men. When we follow him, and we
come to the cross that’s when we want to go away from
But you go to the cross by faith and you stay there,
and you are a worshiper of God and God builds you up in
your inner man. You recognize this is reality. This is true.
This is edifying. When I come to the church, I’m not going
to be amused. There is a story about Handel writing the
Messiah and he won the admiration of many of the
great. This one lord took him aside to pay him some
compliments on his writing the Messiah and he said that
this noble entertainment which you brought to our town
has been a great source of entertainment for people.
Handel said I would be sorry if I only entertained them. I
wish to make them better.
I think another way of saying
it is I don’t want to be an entertainer. I want people to find Christ.
I want Jesus to be ministering to them. In a
way, Jesus ministers to people – unfortunately many
megachurches move to entertain the Christian, but we
are not after entertainment. We are after something
deeper. That’s edification. That means I feel in my heart
God is for me. God is my Father. God is my friend. God is
for me. God is close to me. God cares about me. God
forgives me. God speaks to me. God washes may feet.
God carries me. God says cast your care upon me.
Anxiety. Cast your anxiety upon me because I care for
you. This is edifying. As many of you know, I went to a
small Bible school up in Maine like some of us here. This
is a long time ago. I went to a small Bible college. I’m
from New York. I was up in Maine and I didn’t know
It was kind of different for me to be there and
how it was and everything. There was one thing I knew
was happening. We even met in a cellar of a church, I
mean, of the churches’ kitchen room. The fellowship
room. We were there and the tables we had were
kindergarten tables. They rested on our knees and the
legs of the table didn’t touch the floor. We are in these
little chairs and this was our Bible school. The pastor was
saying we want to bring the Gospel in all the world.
There seemed to be a contradiction of worlds. We’re
going to bring the Gospel into the world and my
kindergarten table is sitting on top of my knees. But what
happened in that school? Edification. You can do this. I
am for you. God speaks to you. It’s not by might or
power. It’s by my Spirit saith the Lord. Edification is
invaluable. How does it happen? It’s a few things. A few
1) It’s the new heart. You see somebody could
say I used to live an immoral life. I slept around town
with different girls and I partied, and Friday night and I
lived like that. Every Friday and Saturday and Monday
was a bummer. Ever notice when you get born again, it’s
no longer a calendar like Friday night was great and
Monday morning was bad. When you get born again,
that calendar is gone and there’s something in your heart
by the Holy Spirit on a Friday that is holy, that is pure.
That is true. And on a Monday morning that is holy. That
is true. That is pure. You start to look for edification. I
want to be edified.
The world is not edified but they are
entertained and amused. They can’t make hard
decisions. They have a very hard time. It’s hard for them.
They go with the crowd. They do what is popular. There
was a research done on this with – P. Serradji brought it
out to me. We looked it up on the internet. They took
three actors. One person didn’t know what was going on.
They had a teacher. They put these lines on the board
and had one short. They asked the four of them and the
three knew they were going to lie and then they asked
the four which line is shorter. He gave the wrong answer,
wrong answer, wrong answer. The fourth guy gave the
wrong answer too. Even though he knew I’m giving the
wrong answer I don’t want to go against the other three.
I’m afraid of being embarrassed. I’m afraid of being
ashamed. I’m afraid I’m not going to be part of the
group. I’m afraid there will be something wrong with me.
It’s a very interesting study. This is how people live in the
Like something wrong is okay. This is wrong. It’s in
our mind and imagination it’s okay. Actually the world is
changing. Somebody said that Christianity doesn’t go for
today. Do you know what the answer is. It is never been
for any age. There has never been an age in history that
would say that’s what I want. There has never been a
time when it fits. It doesn’t fit. In the beginning every
time, it’s not about fitting in our culture. It’s about
something extraordinarily outside of our culture. It’s a
new heart we didn’t have and a new spirit and a new
mind. It’s a new understanding. It’s God. God in man.
What can be greater in life than for God to edify you and
build you up in your heart and say I love you and I satisfy you.
This woman at the well had five husbands and she
worshiped. Jesus said something to her very direct. He
said you worship but you don’t know what in vs. 22.
There are a lot of people that are worshiping but they
don’t know what. They don’t know what they are doing.
They don’t know who they are worshiping. It doesn’t
even matter to them. It’s just some kind of program they
have but there’ s no reality there. When you are born
again, now you worship, and you know who he is
because he has written this to you. He walks on water.
He calms the sea. Raises the dead. Heals the sick. Opens
the eyes of the blind. Casts out demons.
Talks to the disciples in parables and speeches and teachings and
instruction. We know who he is. Do you know who you
worship? Yes, I do, and it’s changed my life. I am now
satisfied. You ask these people over here, how is that
working out for you? How is that working out for you? Is
it good? it says in the Bible that the wrath of God is on
this world. It’s here. Have you seen it in the newspaper?
Have you seen it on the street? Have you seen it in the
statistics of the human race. Have you seen the wrath of
God on man? What is he saying by the wrath of God?
Come to me. Come to me. I will pour my Spirit out on you
and make my Word known unto you. Proverbs 1:22, Come to me.
I will bless you. Proverbs 8:34. Hear me. Hear me. It will
be given unto you according to your ear, your new ear.
That’s how we are edified. Look at 1 Corinthians 14:5. What’s
better? Words that are not understood or words that are
understood? Words that are understood. Paul said there
would be in the church edifying. Vs. 12, 26. Sometimes a
song is sung. A little group of us may sing a song on a
street corner or in our home. A little group in a small
Bible study group we sing a song and it’s our spirit and
our heart are saying amen. A psalm. A doctrine. A
revelation. Insight in the Bible and we come to hear it.
That little piece I can take it. I’m living by faith. By the
word faith comes, Romans 10:17, Faith comes by hearing
and hearing comes by the Word of God. We are edified.
We are called to be edified. We are called to be built up.
Let me read this to you. “Encouragement and
consolation though with edification focus falls on the
goal.” The goal when we assemble, and we should not
forsake the assembly of ourselves together as the
manner of some is. We assemble but some do not
assemble as you see the day approaching. Have you seen
the day approaching? I see the day of Christ approaching
and so we assemble and not forsake the assembly.
But as you know because of this past year and what we have gone through that churches have closed down. They are
not assembling. We can’t have that because I need
edification. If I don’t get edified in my new man, I will
look for amusement with my old man. My old man will
gravitate to the dust, Psalm 119. My new man is drawn
to faith. I want to lift up holy hands or confess truth.
Respond to God and believe that God has something for
each and every one of us that transcends the world we
live in. Therefore my thinking is important. That’s why
the doctrine is important. My thinking. I’m over here
watching the TV for hours. There’s movies. There’s news.
There’s information. I got my phone.
I check my phone. I’m doing Instagram and other social media for hours.
Then I go to bed. I go to sleep and then I wake up. I’m a
little nervous or worried. I check my phone and I’m living
in this world where this is governing my life. This is
affecting my mind. This is not edifying. It’s information
but it says knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. That
means I have to be a radical decision maker. I’m shutting
off the TV. I’m not listening to that stuff now. I know
what the world is. I’ve already explained it. I know what
the world is. They are given over to. They are embracing
this fallen nature. They have no interest in God. They
don’t care at all what we are talking about.
They cannot receive it. The natural man does not receive the things of
God neither can he know them because they are
spiritually discerned. They don’t get it. That’s their world.
But I live in that world. As I live in that world, I am edified
by the Holy Spirit. He edifies me by the Body of Christ. He
edifies me by the meditation of his Word. In my heart
and mind I start thinking in faith. I get excited about it. I
see you and you are edifying me. How does that work? It
goes “edification is the special responsibility of the
various church leaders, Ephesians 4:11-12.
When we come here, there is one thing on our mind. That is not to feed
over here this amusement or entertainment or in the
problems or what you hear on the news or have in your
families and all that happens in life. We all have our
stressors and all that stuff, but I want to be edified. I
want Jesus Christ to come to me in such a way that he
builds me up in ,joy in truth, in freedom. I want him to
speak to my heart and help me. I want him to minister to
I need it. Remember Jesus came to Peter to wash his
feet and Peter said no, not me. Lord, not me. It’s kind of
like those other guys, sure, go ahead, but not me. He said
if I don’t do it, then I don’t have anything to do with you.
If I don’t do it. That means this new life is a life where we
receive grace. Where God is our servant. Where God is loving us.
That means our new life is one of edification.
He says I know your worry but cast it on me. I care about
you. Cast your anxiety on me. By the way, make decisions
in your mind as to what you are going to focus on
because I am God and there is nothing in this world that
can compare to me. But you haven’t seen me but are you
seeing me. Are you understanding? Are you being drawn
to me? Finishing here. “The church leaders have the
primary responsibility of edifying the Body and is the
legitimate context for the exercise of their authority.”
Like we have authority but it’s for your edification. It’s for
the mystery of the fellowship. It’s to build you and I up in
the faith. That’s what authority from God is for. It’s to
lead us. It’s to give us a clear sound. That the trumpet
blast would be a clear sound in Numbers 10, and we
would know what is happening. “The work of building up
is the work of all Christians (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Spiritual gifts
are given for the edification of the church.” That means
all of us have gifts and they are for us to edify. It’s fun.
You’re with a brother or sister and the Spirit is between
you. Jesus said when two or three gather in my name,
there am I in your midst. That’s fun. It’s a joy. What
should we do? What are we doing? Maybe be quiet.
Maybe we are just quiet. I know your heart is my heart.
We have the same heart. We have a heart of faith. The
sad thing is when I’m with a brother or sister and they
want to draw me over to the garbage can over here. I
have a brother and sister in the Lord, and we could be
edified in the faith, but they want to draw me into
something that is not right or something not good. You
don’t want to be that kind of believer that would do that,
but you want to be that kind that would say I’m not
interested in that. I think God has something great for us.
It’s a great thought. I believe God has something great
for us. I believe God is doing something. I believe we
have a future. I believe God can move a mountain, that
God can answer prayer. Let’s take a mom who is a single
mom raising a couple kids. Do you think she needs
edification? A mom like fighting for her life and her kids
and she loves them. Does she need edification? Yeah, but
what kind? Maybe all she has is the TV and Instagram. Is
that going to do it? Is that going to help? Is she going to
be edified? She’s going to be maybe empty, maybe
hurting, maybe needy. And her whole life can be hinged
on this one thing that she doesn’t get edified.
Her whole life is hinged on because she isn’t edified, she gravitates
to people that will love her or accept here. People that
are not really – where will it bring me? It’s like the drug dealer that said I got this amazing drug and for you, the
first one is free.
For you. I like you. The first one is free.
There is a proverb on that. It says the tender mercies of
the wicked are cruel. I got a free drug for you. Even a
second one. You come back and see me. I’ll take care of
you. I’ll take care of you. I care about you. We’re friends
now. I care about you. They would never say “I love you”
of course, but what is that? That’s dangerous. That’s not
a gift. It says about, another proverb says the gift of God
whichever way you turn it is beneficial. Any way you turn
it. It’s like a diamond cut. Any way you turn it, it sparkles.
The gift of God. But in the world, the gift they give you is
shining on that side but when they turn it, it’s a curse. It’s
not edifying. You lie down in sorrow. It’s not the answer
for your life. That’s why church life is the greatest thing
going on in America. The greatest thing going on in this
world is when you find yourself edified by Jesus Christ.
The greatest power happening in the world is when God
is visiting his people and is with his people to edify them
in the faith. The greatest thing going in human history is
Jesus Christ’s church being edified and used by God to
glorify him and say he is real.
Our message has many sides but any way you turn it, it’s awesome. It’s sweet.
It’s what I need. It’s the reality. It’s in my spirit and in my heart. It’s Christ. That’s what people need. But I’m afraid.
I’m afraid to be honest with you that the world is
suffering, and they don’t have edification. They got the
Emmy Awards, or they got a car, or they got a friend that
will cheat them later. They don’t have, they don’t have
the reality, but you have. That’s why we assemble. Let’s
finish up. It says, “of these gifts, those which involve
speaking are especially important (Acts 20:32, Ephesians 4:29).
All elements of Christian worship should contribute to
edification.” Like when we sing at the beginning and
when we hang out afterwards. I remember years ago
about 16-17 years ago, this church when service was
over, everybody was out of here. They were out of here.
They left. There were some mean things happening.
There was disunity. There was some angry people. There
was a trial we went through as a church. I remember
that. Now it’s different. When church service is over, we
can’t get you out of the room. Ushers! Ushers! You know.
Empty the room, please. No, they are not leaving. They
love each other. They are talking to each other. Why?
What’s going on? Cause we are occupied with Jesus
Christ. We are listening. We are loving. We are talking.
We are loving each other. We can sit quietly and it’s
edifying. Just to sit quietly with people that have love in their hearts and the Spirit amongst us. That’s edifying.
Don’t ever lose that principle in your life because you
might say I did what I did. I’m disappointed with myself.
I have sinned. I have disappointed myself. I’m developing
bad habits. I’m saying it may be that that is happening in
your heart because you are not making hard decisions
about your mind and your heart. Be with God’s people
because they have the heart, the new heart of Jeremiah 17.
Speak the Word to each other. Let the Word of Christ
dwell in you richly teaching and admonishing one
another with songs and hymns and spiritual songs and
believe God for your life. I remember I used to think
about the world and say it would be amazing if we had
phone calls – this is back many years ago. Even you could
call Russia. That would be amazing. You could talk to
somebody in the faith in Russia.
I actually dreamed about that. I actually dreamed about it and it happened. That
thought was edifying to me. it wasn’t happening but it
was edifying. Maybe that will happen. Or maybe some
man could say maybe one day God could use me in some
way. Or some young lady could say maybe God will use
me in some way. That thought is edifying. That’s
possible. Maybe God would do that. That’s the life of
faith. Maybe I should go to Bible college.
Maybe I’m gravitating to this and I’m living in this and it’s very
disappointing to me. Maybe there is a better way to live
than fighting with my flesh. Why can’t I grow up in my
faith, mature in my faith and be edified in my faith and
be part of an edifying experience. Lastly, it says
“prophesy or Bible teaching and instruction are especially
important. Edification is not talk, however, but involves
demonstrating love.” I believe you and I have been with
people and maybe we weren’t talking, but it was just
edifying. They loved. They had love in their heart. It was
there. It was in the car. It was in the fellowship. It was in
the visitation in their house. It was in the Bible study. It
was edifying. It was love.
The simplest expression is what I need any day of my life I need a friend. I need
somebody that will love just because that is the nature of
God and that is how we now live. Every one of us have a
friend. Everyone of us have a fellowship. Every one of us
have God as our Father. Everyone of us have a future in
that new heart and new mind and way of living. And so
don’t feed the other one. Don’t feed this one. Walk away
from it. Learn how to live. The world is not going to get
better. It’s ADOKIMAZO. It’s turned over to this. It’s going
to be this way, but I am not going to live in that.
I will make my decisions what poetry I read, what history I read, what books I read, what things I listen to, what
friends I have, how I live, what faith I exercise, how I live,
what I believe in. That’s my call. That’s my mind. That’s
my decision. I might say I don’t agree with you. That’s not
in my live more in my children nor my grandchildren.
Okay. Best I can do. That’s not in my world. Thank you
very much but I’m not into that. Well, what are you old
fashioned or something? I’m Amish. Sometimes I say I’m
Amish. Okay. Leave me alone. I’m an Amish person from
PA. I am weird. I am different. I am not like you. I am not
interested in that. That’s not how I live.
That’s not how my family lives and that’s not how I want my kids, and
these precious kids that were up on the stage, that’s not
how we want those kids. They have a challenge in front
of them. We know they are in great families and we are
praying and believing God for what they need ultimately
in life is what? Edification in truth.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.