God Is Not the Author of Confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)
1. According to 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, the Lord blessed the church in Corinth with 9 spiritual gifts. 2. Unfortunately, the Lord's plan for using those gifts was not being followed, and the result was "confusion." 3. We know that confusion does not come from God because He is not the author of it. 4. Confusion exists when people do not follow God's plan as it is revealed in His Word. 5. To clear up and eliminate confusion we must submit to God's will. 6. Today, many people are confused about the church. 7. In our lesson we are studying passages that teach us what we need to know concerning certain matters that relate to the church. 8. Specifically, we are examining the church's builder, its name, its head, and its unity.
I. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION CONCERNING THE CHURCH'S BUILDER
A. In a discussion that Jesus had with His disciples He identified Himself as the builder of His church (Matthew 16:13-19). B. Additional verses identify Jesus as: 1. "the foundation" (1 Corinthians 3:11) 2. "the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:19-21). C. Any church that was not built by Christ cannot be the church of the New Testament.
II. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION CONCERNING THE CHURCH'S NAME
A. In the New Testament we read about various "churches" [congregations] in different locations (Revelation 1:11). B. Scriptural expressions for the church include: 1. "the church of God" (1 Corinthians 1:1-2) 2. "the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15) 3. "the church of the firstborn" (Hebrews 12:23). C. One particular expression used in Romans 16:16, "the churches of Christ," draws special attention to the church's builder, Christ.
III. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION CONCERNING THE CHURCH'S HEAD
A. The New Testament clearly identifies Christ as the head of the church. 1. Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23 2. Colossians 1:18 B. Because Christ is the church's head we must follow the admonition given in Colossians 3:17.
IV. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION CONCERNING THE CHURCH'S UNITY
A. Just before He was arrested Jesus prayed that His followers would be one (John 17:20-21). B. Additional instructions that will help us achieve the Lord's request are revealed in 1 Corinthians 1:10; 4:6.
1. God is also not the author of confusion concerning the church's purity. 2. When a person is saved and added to the Lord's church (Acts 2:47), he is washed, sanctified, and justified (1 Corinthians 6:11). 3. The Lord wants His church to remain pure (Ephesians 5:25-27). 4. The Lord's blood continues to cleanse His followers who walk in the light and confess their sins (1 John 1:7, 9).