Monday, 16 February 2015
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33
Too often this verse is taken out of its intended context to mean something other than what Paul is implying. It has been used, for example, to deny the doctrine of the Trinity because the Trinity is confusing. Because it is, it is claimed that it cannot be of God because God wouldn’t promote confusion in the minds of His people from what stems from His very being. First, just because something is difficult for us to grasp, doesn’t mean that it isn’t of God. Secondly, the concept of the Trinity is clearly laid out in the pages of Scripture. And thirdly, this verse has nothing to do with such a matter.
Paul has been speaking about order in the church. When tongues are spoken, there is often disorder because they are either false tongues or because they are real tongues which are not translated. Likewise, prophecies are to be given one at a time so that they can be assimilated by the other members of the church. It is these, and the other related principles, which Paul is referring to. In other words, he is writing about order and propriety in the conduct of the church.
Why is this needed? Because “God is not the author of confusion but of peace.” The term “confusion” is literally translated as “unsettlement.” It indicates that which is mixed up rather than that which is harmonious. The Holy Spirit will never fill someone with a tongue that isn’t a real language. He will never give a tongue which is not understandable to the congregation unless it will also be translated. And He will never give a prophecy which overwhelms the recipient to the point where he cuts others off as he spouts out his words.
These, and other such displays are merely attempts to draw attention to oneself. They are confused and they are not of God. As James says concerning such things –
“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Jams 3:16
Such things are not of God. If you attend a church where people speak out of order, where people speak false tongues which have no meaning, or where people draw attention to themselves through supposed “ecstatic” displays of the Holy Spirit, leave that church. Their activities are not of God. We know this because Paul finishes with the notion that this is the case “in all the churches of the saints.” No church will be conducted in such a disorderly manner if it is guided by the Spirit of God.
Life application: Context drives the meaning of verses. Always check the context when analyzing or quoting Scripture.
Heavenly Father! How absolutely wonderful it is to know that I am Yours. I once was far from You, but You brought me near through the blood of Christ. That bond can never be dissolved and it will never end. I have the eternal hope of glory, bestowed upon me by grace. I receive the Gift, I call on Jesus. Thank You that in His cross, I have restoration with You! Hallelujah and Amen.