Not a God of Confusion

Text: 1 Corinthians 14:33

“God is not a God of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, confusion is a sign that people are not following God’s way. With that in mind, we will consider the reaction of some in the book of Acts to the preaching of the gospel. Three places were in “confusion” – Philippi (Acts 16), Ephesus (Acts 19), and Jerusalem (Acts 21). The way the people reacted to the gospel is the opposite of how God wants His people to be.

Confusion in the Book of Acts

  • False accusations – in Philippi, Paul cast out a spirit from a slave-girl (Acts 16:16, 19-21); the false accusation led to confusion (Acts 16:22-24); Paul and Silas were charged with being Jews, promoting things unlawful for Romans (Acts 16:20-21); this charge was false (Acts 16:37)
  • Shouting different things – in Ephesus, Demetrius stirred up a crowd against Paul (Acts 19:23-29); in this state of confusion, the people were shouting different things (Acts 19:32); they were not united in their message
  • Unknown reason for coming together – in Ephesus, Demetrius initially spoke to those of similar trades (Acts 19:25); yet the whole city rushed into the theater (Acts 19:29); most did not know why they were there (Acts 19:32)
  • Misrepresenting the gospel – in Jerusalem, Jews from Asia opposed Paul (Acts 21:27); they accused him of preaching everywhere against the Jews, the Law, and the temple (Acts 21:28); none of that was true (cf. Romans 9:3-4; 10:1; 7:12)
  • Jumping to conclusions – in Jerusalem, the Jews from Asia accused Paul of defiling the temple (Acts 21:28); they saw Trophies and assumed that Paul brought him into the temple (Acts 21:29); this was not true (Acts 21:23-24)
  • Violence – in Jerusalem, the Roman cohort responded to the confusion that had erupted (Acts 21:30-32); when the soldiers arrived, the crowd “stopped beating Paul” (Acts 21:32); they had become violent (Acts 21:31)

Following God Is the Opposite Way

  • God is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) – all of the characteristics previously discussed are contrary to what we should be as Christians
  • We are to disagree honorably (2 Timothy 2:24-25) – there will be disagreements; but we must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15); speak with grace (Colossians 4:5-6)
  • We are to speak the same thing (1 Corinthians 1:10) – this results in unity (Ephesians 4:3-6); even from one church to another (1 Corinthians 4:17); the gospel is the same for all (Mark 16:15)
  • We are to understand the purpose for what we do (Colossians 3:17) – do what we do because it is God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23); not because of tradition, preference, preacher, denomination, etc.; we must obey Christ’s word (Matthew 28:20)
  • We are to speak the truth accurately (1 Peter 4:11) – “To the law and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20); we cannot change the message without consequences (Galatians 1:6-9)
  • We are not to rush to judgment (Proverbs 18:17) – principle of examining everything carefully (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22); we are to be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19); know the truth before judging/acting
  • We are to pursue peace (Hebrews 12:14) – this allows us to build up one another (Romans 14:19); we may have to oppose error (Galatians 2:11); but we must do so with teaching, not with physical violence (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Conclusion

  • God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
  • Confusion comes when men refuse to submit to the will of God
  • If we want to have peace with God, we must believe His word and obey it

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