1 Corinthians 14 … Consider Him Who Edifies Us in His Peace

for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints, (14:33).

There was a lot going on this church in Corinth. Paul’s overarching theme, in addressing the factions and schisms these baby believers faced in their corporate gatherings, was to instruct them in their purpose as a unified Body. And as Paul wrapped up this section, he reminded them that God does not usher in confusion and disunity; He is a God of Peace.

However, six times before Paul calls the attention of his readers to God’s Peace, he uses some form of the word “edify” as an essential aim for all the churches.

Edify (also translated Build up):3618. οἰκοδομέω oikodoméō, building a house, builder. To build, construct, erect.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

While Edify is a word that is ascribed to the work of construction, such as building a house (it is the same word Jesus used in Matthew 7:24-27 in describing the wise and foolish builders); it also incorporates the idea of building up in order to strengthen and make more able.

74.15 οἰκοδομέωb, ῆς f: to increase the potential of someone or something, with focus upon the process involved—‘to strengthen, to make more able, to build up.’ Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament

As Paul speaks of edifying or building up one another, his readers would be reminded of what he had already told them: they were God’s building, His temple; to be built on the only foundation laid, Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 3:9-17).

And they were now called to cooperate in His building plan, as fellow workers, to build a community reflective of Him.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building, (1 Corinthians 3:9).

And because His is a God of Peace, His Peace would be essential in His Edifying work.

I admit this can be one of those chapters that presents more questions than answers; at least, if that is where we fix our focus. But remember, when God repeats Himself, we must allow His truth to capture our attention.

We have already seen the state of the Corinthian church, so in need of correction, and plagued with doctrinal error manifesting in both disunity and immorality. And in a chapter, such as this, it is tempting to fasten ourselves to points of contention, specifically those regarding the gift of tongues and the role of women in the church.

But rather than choosing to plant ourselves in discussions and debates, I invite you to consider with me, what God deemed so important that He decided it should be repeated, six times; the necessity to be Edified and to Edify, achieved in His Peace.

Consider Him Who Edifies Us in His Peace

for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints, (14:33).

Every bit of our Edification is centered in His Peace for the body; to grow and be built up in harmonious tranquility, into a place favorable to foster unity.

Peace:
1515. εἰρήνη eirḗnē; gen. eirḗnēs, fem. noun. Peace. (I) Particularly in a single sense, the opposite of war and dissension… Among individuals, peace, harmony… (II) By implication, a state of peace, tranquility… Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

22.42 εἰρήνηa, ης f: a set of favorable circumstances involving peace and tranquility—‘peace, tranquility.’ Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament

And of course, because of Who God is, a gathering of His children would necessarily be equal to the absence of confusion. Some versions translate this verse as “God is not a God of disorder.”

Confusion (Disorder): 181. ἀκαταστασία akatastasía; gen. akatastasías, fem. noun from akatástatos (182), unstable. Commotion, tumult… Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

And while this Greek word paints a picture of tumultuous instability and commotion, it also exposes what perhaps is the root cause of this confusion and disorder.

Confusion (Disorder): 39.34 ἀνίσταμαιe ας f: to rise up in open defiance of authority, with the presumed intention to overthrow it or to act in complete opposition to its demands—‘to rebel against, to revolt, to engage in insurrection, rebellion… Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament

Rebellious insurrection never invites peace or unity. God was calling His children to submit to His authority. And in so doing, they would experience His Peace to be Edified and built up in health and strength.

  • He Edifies Us in His Peace that encourages and consoles
    • But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation, (14:3).
  • He Edifies Us in His Peace that considers others above self
    • One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church, (14:4).
  • He Edifies Us in His Peace that uses gifts for the benefit of others
    • So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church, (14:12).
  • He Edifies Us in His Peace that shares in thanksgiving
    • Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. (14:16-17).
  • He Edifies Us in His Peace that magnifies the Truth
    • What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (14:26).

How do we respond to Him Who Edifies Us in His Peace?

When we defiantly rebel against His authority, when we want our voices and demands heard above others, confusion and disorder will be the outcome. And the absence of His Peace will all but halt His Edifying work in the Body.

However, when we submit to His leadership and seek to be a source of unity in the faith, our assemblies will provide a place to experience His Presence, a place to encounter His lovingkindness and to learn of His truth. And when we submit to His authority, our churches will be a display of Righteousness (right-living in Christ) and of His Peace, beautifully and intimately united; the place where He Edifies Us in His Peace.

Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other,
(Psalm 85:10).

As He Edifies Us in His Peace, He will faithfully strengthen us to join Him in His Edifying work in the Body of Christ.

Lord, please Edify Us in Your Peace, so that as Your fellow workers, we would…

  • …encourage and console others
    • Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing, (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  • …consider others above ourselves
    • Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others, (Phil 2:3-4).
  • …use our gifts for the benefit of others
    • As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God, (1 Peter 4:10).
  • …share in thanksgiving with and for others
    • We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, (Colossians 1:3).
  • …magnify the Truth in all we do
    • …I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth, (1 Timothy 3:15).

Oh, that we would daily seek to be a vessel of His Peace, rather than insisting upon our own rights, that we might grow to become a fellow worker for Him Who Edifies Us in His Peace.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men, (Romans 12:18).

Let’s Grow Together!

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