Saturday, November 26, 2005

God Is Not The Author of Confusion

God is not the author of confusion. So, who is? We get our very first hint in Genesis 3:1:

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1 NKJV)

What is very important to note is that the serpent twisted Scripture and told a lie in his question to Eve. Notice that Eve actually corrected his lie:

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" (Genesis 3:2-3 NKJV)

But Satan, in the form of the serpent, twists Scripture again and adds another lie:

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Here we see the temptation. Instead of obeying and trusting God for all that He has provided them, Eve and Adam let the temptation overcome them and they disobeyed God and thus trusted Satan's lie. The seduction was complete.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Unfortunately, mankind has been falling for Satan's lies ever since. We see this over and over again throughout the history of man. In Genesis 3:12-13 we see the evidence of the very first "blame game" between Adam and Eve. Lies lead to deception, deception leads to temptation, temptation leads to sin, sin lead to division.

So, where do we go to discern truth from error? There is only one place. God's Word, the Bible.

Just like Satan's twisting of the Scriptures in Genesis, man has also done this. How do we discern truth from error then? The Scriptures tell us how.

In Titus 1, Paul tells us how to live godly lives, and how those, such as himself, are trusted to tell others the truth actually received such truth, "3 And now at the right time he has revealed this Good News, and we announce it to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been trusted to do this work for him." (Titus 1:3 NLT)

Notice what the preceding verse says, "2 This truth gives them the confidence of eternal life, which God promised them before the world began-and he cannot lie." (Titus 1:2 NLT)

God cannot lie so His Word is trustworthy and true.

Paul goes on and describes how elders of the church should conduct themselves. This verse is particularly important, "9 He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong." (Titus 1:9)

The trustworthy message that was taught was to teach, "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." The New Testament of the Bible reveals the awaited Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ fulfilled more than 300 prophecies (with more to be fulfilled at his second coming). Notice that the above verse tells us that those who oppose the "right teachings" must be exposed and shown where they are wrong.

The next several verses tell us that there are many who rebel against right teaching. Verse 10 specifically warns us that these types engage in useless talk and deceive people.

10 For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. 11 They must be silenced. By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth. Such teachers only want your money. 12 One of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, "The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons." 13 This is true. So rebuke them as sternly as necessary to make them strong in the faith. 14 They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned their backs on the truth.
15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are despicable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. (Titus 1:10-16 NLT)
Or have only one wife, or be married only once; Greek reads be the husband of one wife.
Greek overseer.

Notice verse 14 says that they have listened to "myths" and "commands" and have turned their backs on the truth. Paul is talking about those who appear to be believers in the church! He goes on and reveals why they have turned from the truth:

1. They are corrupt and unbelieving.

2. Their minds and consciences are defiled.

3. Such people claim to know God, but deny him by the way they live.

4. They are despicable and disobedient.

5. Worthless for doing any good.

These are harsh words, are they not? The result is devastating! For verse 11 tells us that they, have already turned entire families away from the truth.

Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron labeled such people as "false converts" in their book The Way of the Master. This is not a new concept. False converts existed at the time of Paul and throughout history. How do we recognize them? They are guilty of one or more of the 5 traits listed above. We have such people in the midst of our churches today. Be strong and discerning in your faith and hold onto the truth, otherwise you could be led away by such people.

1 Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. (NKJV)

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 - All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (NKJV)

Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-31 .

In verse 2, Paul addresses the people at the church of Corinth as, "those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, both theirs and ours."

Paul describes the true, blameless saints in these verses:

4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul tells us his concern for division:

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There are not to be contentions among you:

11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.

What are the current contentions and divisions caused by in our day and age? Many have to do with "works of the flesh."

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the *base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."

Only God gets the glory! No act of the flesh, no wisdom from man, ONLY the wisdom from God and the righteousness, sanctification and redemption through Jesus Christ!!

1 Corinthians 14:31-33

31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 2:

Spiritual Wisdom
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."*
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the *Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?"* But we have the mind of Christ.
NU-Text reads mystery.
NU-Text omits human.
Isaiah 64:4
NU-Text omits Holy.
Isaiah 40:13

New King James Version, ? 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


You may still wonder, how do we know and recognize who is genuinely following God or being deceived by the "author of confusion?"

Paul says it quite well in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (below in last paragraph).

A good indicator is this:

You can discern where a person is, spiritually, through the evidence of whether or not their faith appears to be in the wisdom of men or genuinely in the power of God!

The evidence of a person's faith can be seen through their knowledge of, and adherance to, God's Word. The difference between recognizing those who have "turned from the truth" (see 5 examples above) and those who cling to Christ and His Word make this truly obvious when discerning such matters.

Christ Crucified
2And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the *testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of *human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 comment:

Susan Smith said...

"Jesus Christ and Him crucified."

This is what life is all about. Love from the Middle East. (ss)