How to Be Built Up

Text: Colossians 2:7

The New Testament repeatedly talks about being “built up” in the Lord. But how does this happen? It is not by the Lord miraculously making us stronger, more mature, better equipped to serve Him, etc. In this lesson, we will notice six ways given in the New Testament that show us how to be “built up” in Christ.

Through the Word of God (Acts 20:32)

  • Paul told the Ephesian elders that God’s word was able to build them up – same Greek word used elsewhere to refer to edification (1 Corinthians 8:1) and strengthening (1 Corinthians 8:10)
  • The word of God provides a foundation for us to build upon (Matthew 7:24-27)
  • We gain strength from the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17; Psalm 119:28)

Through the Authority of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:8; cf. 13:10)

  • Some in Corinth tried to discredit Paul, forcing him to have to defend himself (2 Corinthians 11:20-23; 12:11) – he had authority as an apostle of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:12; 5:20; 1 Corinthians 14:37)
  • How is the authority of Christ something that builds us up?
  • Remember that we are being built up and established in Him (Colossians 2:7) and His way is right (John 18:37) – therefore, to act according to His authority necessarily means we are following the right way (we grow stronger as we do so)

By the Leaders in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-12)

  • Paul listed different “offices” in the church – focused on the revelation and proclamation of the word; the reason why these were given was to equip us and build us up
  • The apostles and prophets build us up through the word they wrote by inspiration [see earlier point about being built up through the word of God]
  • The evangelists build us up by preaching the word (2 Timothy 4:2)
  • The pastors (elders) build us up by leading through the word (Hebrews 13:7) – they provide spiritual oversight (Hebrews 13:17)
  • Teachers likely refer to the elders (cf. 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:17) – but even if we say they are different from the elders, they are still teaching the word

By Our Fellow Christians (Ephesians 4:16)

  • The church is made up of more than just its “officers” (Ephesians 4:11) – “each individual part” is important; everyone is involved in helping to build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • We build up one another in our assemblies (Hebrews 10:24-25) and beyond our assemblies (Hebrews 3:12-13) – done by encouraging others to be faithful to the Lord and to follow His word

Through the Things Which Make for Peace (Romans 14:19)

  • Romans 14 is about maintaining peace and unity despite differences of opinion (Romans 14:1) – not about maintaining unity despite sin and error (Ephesians 5:11; 2 John 10-11)
  • Peace was what helped the early church to grow (Acts 9:31) – their chief opponent (Saul) was converted
  • What are the things that make for peace? – accepting one another rather than judging according to our opinions (Romans 14:1, 10); not putting stumbling blocks before others (Romans 14:13)

Through Personal Responsibility (Jude 20-21)

  • This could apply to us collectively – yet it is certainly necessary for us as individuals
  • We can benefit from the help and encouragement of others – but do not blame others for your spiritual weakness (build yourselves up; keep yourselves in God’s love)
  • How do we do this? – take personal responsibility for your spiritual well-being (Joshua 24:15); be committed to following the Lord no matter what others do (Ezekiel 18:14; 2 Timothy 4:16-17); present yourself approved to God (2 Timothy 2:15)


  • We have considered six ways in which we can be built up
  • But why is this important? – being built up is connected with our receiving the inheritance (Acts 20:32)
  • We need to be built up so we do not fall away (Hebrews 3:12-13), but are instead prepared for what is to come (principle of Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • So let us take advantage of what we have discussed and be built up in the Lord

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