for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.1 Corinthians 14:33(NASB)
Paul had to address many concerning issues in the church at Corinth for there was much confusion there. There were divisions and immorality within the Body of Christ which led to internal law-suits and moral laxity, and he had to give some stern warnings against being squeezed into the world's mould. He had to remind them that their bodies were a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Paul found it necessary to chastise these carnal Christians, for they were abusing their God-given spiritual gifts and discrediting the Christian Church. He exhorted them (and us) to allow God remould our minds from within so that we may demonstrate, by our practice, that we are progressing towards the goal of true, spiritual maturity - in the bond of peace and love.
As Paul begins to draw his letter to a close, he issues an important reminder about the character of God: "For God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace. He is not the author of confusion, but is a God of order and harmony," and all His children within the Church, should reflect this godly characteristic.
Having exposed their worldly ways which did not honour the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul wanted to remind these born-again saints that their disorderly behaviour and incessant bickering was dishonouring to the Lord and contradictory to His ways. They reflected the ungodly conduct of the unsaved who are still members of a fallen creation.
Their behaviour did not reflect characteristics of a child of God. They were not a reflection of Christ Jesus, their Lord. They were not being conformed into the image and likeness of the Son of God. The way they lived was more reminiscent of the natural, unsaved man who remains dead in trespasses and sins and at enmity with the Lord.
These believers were not acting uprightly and virtuously, as the Lord demands. They appeared to have forgotten that they, (like us) are positioned in Christ, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, clothed in Christ's righteousness, and have become part of a new and perfected creation - where Jesus is the Head and we are all members of His Body. Instead of reflecting the character of Christ, they were disunited and causing disunity within the Church. These carnal believers needed to be reminded that: "God is not a God of disorder, but a God of peace," which is a characteristic that should be reflected within all the churches of the saints.
Too often, we see that there is disorder among the saints of God and pandemonium can too readily become the norm within a local church fellowship, or the wider the Body of Christ. Too often, ungodly actions are accepted or ignored, while spiritual gifts are abused when certain groups or individuals use their God-given gifts and talents for self-glorification or self-centred motives. Instead of exercising themselves circumspectly in order to glorify the Lord and build up the Body of Christ, they dishonour His name through their worldly ways.
Too frequently we see the character or attitude of many Church leaders and their congregants becoming self-indulgent, while at other times we observe Christians being EITHER 1) overly critical of their fellow believers for insignificant things OR 2) prepared to compromise their Christian faith by refusing to address issues of spiritual importance which should not be ignored!
It is important that unseemly behaviour in the Church is properly identified, addressed, and corrected in a seemly and biblical fashion. However, it is equally important that doctrinal error is also picked up and dealt with. Correction should be done in the spirit of love and the bond of peace, without compromising the gospel of God.
There should be unity in the essentials of our faith, liberty and Christian courtesy surrounding any non-essential doctrinal issues, and godly love and graciousness should be demonstrated in the actions and attitudes we show towards our brothers and sisters in Christ - knowing that God "is not a God of confusion but the God of peace." As blood-bought children of our Heavenly Father, we should reflect His godly characteristics, to the honour of His name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the words of instruction that were given to the Saints in Corinth. I pray that any ungodly or carnal attitude that I have developed in my Christian walk, would be identified and dealt with. Thank You that You are not a God of confusion. I pray that You would give me wisdom when I come across disunity within the Body of Christ so that I may know how to behave and what to do in a way that honours Your name and character. Help me to walk, day by day, in humility and godly righteousness to Your honour and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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