The Blessings of Edification

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me’” (Romans 15:1-3).

Self-denial is the taproot of being like Christ. Our Lord did not please Himself; He came not to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

It is impossible to be a disciple of Jesus without first denying yourself and taking up your cross daily to follow Him (Luke 9:23).

One practical way self-denial manifests itself in the life of a Christian is by the brotherly love expressed in matters of conscience. The strong bear with the scruples of the weak. This is not a suggested course of action; it is a mandated one.

For emphasis’s sake, the apostle Paul begins this section of Romans with the word opheilo (“ought”). Here is an ongoing, emphatic requirement of self-denial. It is a moral obligation. No amount of mental gymnastics can remove this necessary inference from Christ’s mandate to deny yourself and love your brethren.

Pleasing your neighbor when his conscience is weak is spiritually beneficial to him and to you. It edifies him because it removes a potential stumbling block from his path, thus helping to keep him on the narrow way. It edifies you because it increases your spiritual strength by providing you with a practical way to exercise self-denial and brotherly love.

Edification is God’s prescribed course of action for matters of conscience. When it is practiced as prescribed, everyone is blessed.

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Author: jchowning

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