Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
The Greek word that is translated “edify” is the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness and holiness. To edify means to build up. This call to edify one another is found in numerous places in the New Testament, and is always used within the context of our interaction within one another in the body of Christ. Are you and I genuinely concerned that others grow in their walk with Jesus, or am I only concerned with building up my faith in Christ? We are taught to walk and talk in such a way that our brothers and sisters in Christ will be blessed, challenged and encouraged.
The opposite of edification is finger-pointing and fault-finding. Even if someone is correct in what they are saying, when that something is spoken to me with a condescending, critical way, I am apt to reject not only the one who is telling me to “shape up or ship out”, but the truth of what they are saying as well. Edification does mean that turn a blind eye to glaring error or sin. To edify one another may indeed take the form of a reproof or even a stern rebuke. But it is done out a godly love for that person and a desire to see a brother or sister grow or repent. The body of Christ is not meant to be a bunch of western gunslingers, seeking to shoot one another down, and in the process, add another “notch” to our spiritual gun belts.
How far does one take this gift of edification? Even to the point of relinquishing our personal rights. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed [are] pure; but [it is] evil for that man who eateth with offence. (It is] good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [any thing] whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have [it] to thyself before God. Happy [is] he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” We learn here that a person with a desire to edify others will even wave his or her rights to indulge in something perfectly acceptable to them, if they know that by indulging it would hinder or weaken another believers walk with Christ. Love doesn’t flaunt its liberty when they know it may do harm to another person’s walk. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
“Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.” It was written in the book of Acts “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied, and were edified;” When our local congregations and the body of Christ at large are walking in the fear of God, and the comfort of The Holy Ghost, we will be walking and talking in ways that will build one another up in Christ and bring forth God glorifying fruit.