All things done to edifying
Turning now to verse 26 of chapter 14 let us consider, briefly,
“LET ALL THINGS BE DONE TO EDIFYING.”
If love be in unhindered activity, edification will be the aim and object in all that which is effected in our comings together. Love will desire the building up of all. The thought of edification is prominent in the chapter: “He that prophesieth speaketh to edification” (v. 3); “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church” (v. 4); “That the church may receive edifying” (v. 5); “The other is not edified” (v. 17). Finally, our immediate theme, “Let all things be done unto edifying” (v. 26).
Loving our brother we shall desire his spiritual prosperity and progress and profit. It is this our Lord desires. Our coming together in assembly is provided for us that there may be mutual advantage and exhortation and comfort.
It should be our earnest endeavour, therefore, to promote the well-being of all in everything which is enacted. “The spirits of” even “the prophets are subject to the prophets.” No one is compelled to take part. If it will not be for common good for one to take part he should be silent. Even in the early days when sign gifts were calling the attention of “them that believe not” to the fact that Christianity was established among men—even then, if a man had the gift of tongues he was not to exercise it unless some one could interpret, so that all might be advantaged—“That all may learn, and all may be comforted” (v. 31).
God our Father loves all His children. Our Lord Jesus Christ loves us every one. The Holy Spirit desires the good of each and of all.
Therefore in taking part in the meeting each should aim at the general benefit of saints. The prayers, the praises, the hymns, the ministry of those who teach, all should have that end in view. If led to speak one may turn to the Lord, in the midst of the “two or three,” or more, who are together, and ask, “Lord, will this be helpful to Thine own?” or, “Lord, make what I say of true benefit to Thy loved ones!” Then if one does not judge that it will be of use, it is best to remain quiet that another may be led in the way of encouragement and edification of all. True love leads to true edification. Let all things—all things—ALL THINGS be done unto edifying. All things with love. All things unto edifying. The motive power and the object.