Authority To Edify - Part One
II Corinthians 10:8-9 KJV - For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
II Corinthians 10:8-9 AMP - For even though I boast rather freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed [of the truth], 9 nor do I want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters;
In the verses above the apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth. He speaks of the authority granted to him of the Lord for the purpose of edification or building up. From this passage here are six points about "Exercising the Authority To Edify".
Exercising the Authority To Edify
- Make a declaration. Don’t be timid about using the authority or delegated influence. Every born-again believer has this authority through the power of the Holy Ghost. We have this influence and should be using it every day. Paul was instrumental in the spiritual birth of many of the saints at Corinth. He was a spiritual father to them. As a father, a parent, he had the privilege and the responsibility of edification just like natural parents do. Those raising children are afforded a unique opportunity to shape young minds and help direct their spirits toward the Lord. In the whole scheme of things, this window of opportunity is very small. Natural parents start as the primary influencers in a child's life. Quite frequently this only lasts a few short years. Use the time you have wisely. Don't take these fleeting moments for granted. Pour generously, the strengthening wisdom of God, into young people's lives. This is important whether they are young naturally or young spiritually.
- Know that this power was given to us by the Lord to use. He knew what He was doing when He gave it. We all will give an account of what we did with what He gave us to steward (Matthew 25: 14-30). It is not our power or our people. All belong to the Lord. All of us have seen, heard or experienced a ministry where those in leadership began to abuse the authority given them as a spiritual leader. It is vital to always remember that it is the Lord’s authority. We are simply ambassadors operating, ministering on His behalf, in His stead. Therefore, we are to utilize that power the same way He would.
3. This power was given to us to build up. The original wording translated “build up” has a reference to architecture and structure. So it is not an abstract concept. I believe that Paul's wording indicates that when we exercise this authority as the Lord intended, something with intentional design, critical form, and specified purpose is being established. The Lord doesn’t do anything willy-nilly. Everything has a purpose. When we exercise His authority, as He intends, the body of Christ is strengthened, encouraged and made free. When we are edified there is a virtue that is imparted to us. Our outlook is clearer and brighter. Bondages fall off or we have the strength to wrestle out of them and walk away. When we are edified there is a liberty that positively impacts our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health.
4. Paul further distinguishes to his readers that his desire and use of this authority is not to tear them down, bring them down or destroy them. The very fact that he mentions this reveals that this misuse is a possibility. Not a possibility from or by Paul. His intentions are only good. But he warns (Acts 20:28-30) of those who do not have noble intentions and they will grievously damage the flock of God.
5. Paul also states that there is no shame in the proper dispensing of this power. He gives no credence to the naysayers, or the rebellious or the disobedient who accuse him of overstepping his authority.
6. Finally, at the end of verse 9, he emphasizes again that it is not his intention to exercise his authority through fear or ungodly dominance as some leaders do. Paul is careful to keep his love for God's people ablaze. Love covers the multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8). Letting the Lord love the flock through you will help keep fustration, anger and impatience at bay. We are to love the same way we are loved by our Heavenly Father.
The next post will review nine characteristics of the "Authority To Edify" gleaned from a portion of II Corinthians. Thank you for visiting this site!