Disorderly Conduct

Posted: July 31, 2010 in QT's
Tags: , , ,

Con’fu’sion [kuh n-fyoo-zhuh n] noun – disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos; lack of clearness or distinctness; perplexity; bewilderment

Sound familiar? I don’t know about you but I can relate, and I suspect you’re not very different from me. Certain things in life that just leave us confused. Unfortunately this is also true when it comes to church sometimes. I’ve been reading through the book of 1 Corinthians over the last few weeks and let’s face it; Paul had a mess on his hands. In this letter to a church that he started, and no doubt loved very much, he moves from one issue to the next giving them instruction on what to do to straighten things out. In typical fashion he speaks very plainly and sometimes forcefully to the church, not because he wants to scold them but because he loves them. His desire is to see God’s church be all God intended for it to be and so he speaks the truth to them.

This entire week I have been reading what Paul had to say to this church concerning the use of their spiritual gifts and particularly focusing on the gift of speaking in tongues. It’s not the purpose of this devotional to explore the gift of tongues so let me just say that I don’t have this gift nor have I ever been inclined to speak in a foreign tongue that I have not previously studied.

Having said that let’s get to the point of what I think Paul is trying to say. You see, Paul has a lot to say to the Corinthian church about this gift but his main purpose in bringing it up is to get the church focused on what really matters; ministering the gospel of Christ to each other and to a lost world. The church members in Corinth were so caught up in themselves and trying to prove to each other how spiritual they were that they lost their focus. They were competing with each other over spirituality and thoroughly confusing their visitors. Paul wants them to understand that any gift God has given them is to be used to minister to others, not to show how spiritual one is. Otherwise what good is it? In 14:33 Paul says, “ου γαρ εστιν ακαταστασιας ο θεος αλλ ειρηνης ως εν πασαις ταις εκκλησιαις των αγιων”, I mean “porque Dios no es Dios de confusión, sino de paz, como en todas las iglesias de los santos”, or rather “For God is not the author of Confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” See the point? God has gifted every Christian and placed each of us within a fellowship of believers for one purpose; to be his hands and feet to each other and to the lost. Paul finishes his thought with these words in 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Let us remember these words and use what God has gifted us with for His glory and not our own.

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