December 3, 2021
Scripture: So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:12, 20, and 33 ESV
Observation: Having leveled the playing field regarding spiritual gifts (chapter 12) and emphasizing the supremacy of love, Paul now addresses the expression of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation, as well as speaking out in general, as concerns orderly worship. In verse 12, he reiterates the importance of using our spiritual gifts to build up the church—not self-aggrandizing. Hence, in verse 20, Paul challenges his readers to be mature in their thinking (considering how their words and actions impact others). Lastly, in verse 33, he reminds the Corinthians that orderly worship reflects the character of our orderly God, who emanates peace, not confusion.
Takeaway: Humility is key to maintaining order within the body of Christ. When our egos get the best of us, we are most inclined to engage in attention-seeking behavior that creates disorder and confusion. In contrast, humble people (who are teachable and willing to be held accountable) will come under conviction and repent when they step out of line and incite disruption. And the fruit of their humility is peace. As Jesus taught the crowds at his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Indeed, when we exercise humility and sow seeds of peace in our worship services, we reflect the image of our Brother and Father. And could there be any more favorable impact on those who are seeking our Gospel of hope?
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, please help us exercise humility with our corporate worship, that we might not create disorder and confusion but sow seeds of order and peace that will attract the lost to you. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling