16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
for the edifying of itself
Edify means to build up a house. The aim in “edifying” is a definite construction, or what I call the edification construct. This is spiritual building or edifice that is the result of building. There is a goal in edifying—that is, both an individual and the church that has reached the stage of full maturity. The goal is mutually building each other spiritually:
Ro 14:19, Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Every believer has a part of building the church in verses 7 and 16. Note also these verses in First Corinthians:
1 Co 14:3, But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
1 Co 14:26, How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
“In love” occurs three times in this chapter (vv. 2, 15-16). Love is central to maintaining unity in the body. Love is an essential element for a church to progress because it is others oriented. The edification is an edification of love.
The power of the church flows from Christ to the believer and then from believer to other believers,.
The church is a corporate reality. Individuals are to respond to the challenge directed at the whole body.
The building here is the edification where it finds its element in love, where it finds its completion and consummation. It will have achieved its maturity. It will make advance to maturity until it arrives at the goal for which it was designed. The individual member cannot grow unless he functions within the body as a whole. Union in love is an indispensable condition for growth.
If a church has many individual believers who have grown to maturity, the church as a whole develops an edification construct itself. It has the stamp of maturity on all its ministries.