Faithlife Sermons

Diffusing the Confusion Bomb

God's Plan for His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A healthy church will diffuse confusion by making corrections to keep Christ's message center stage

Pre-Sermon Reading
1 Timothy 1:15–17 ESV
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
All who have surrendered their lives to Christ belong to His church (called out).
What should the church look like? Family — we are God’s sons and daughters.
John 1:12–13 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 8:15 NLT
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Ephesians 2:19 ESV
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Video: Lucy
Sometimes leading a church feels like — chaos and confusion. How can that be? God is not the author of confusion.
What causes the Church to sometimes fall apart, become a target for criticism, get totally out of sync with Jesus, or just become so impotent as to blend into the scenery?
If the church is family…what are we doing wrong sometimes?
Good parents will do anything for their children — they will exert whatever energy and make any sacrifice to keep their family healthy. But if they get caught up in their own selfish pursuits, addictions, or distractions, they cannot maintain a healthy family.
Sadly - generally speaking the church in our western culture has had a difficult time being the healthy family we should be. Instead of maintaining the essential elements of a healthy church family, we often skip over or simply skim the surface of God’s blueprint for us. We rebel!
Our main passage today is 1 Timothy 5
Reminder: When Paul left for Macedonia on a missions journey, he appointed Timothy to care for the church family at Ephesus. By this time, some of the most important parts of healthy church life had fallen to the wayside — the church was on the verge of, or already knee deep in chaos and confusion.
What happened? The church had allowed heretical teaching and false doctrine to spread throughout the church family. Their foundation in Christ was crumbling as a result.
When the foundation crumbles, everything else becomes shaky and dangerous.
This is the reason Paul wrote 1 Timothy — to guide young Timothy in the midst of the confusion and chaos that was creeping through the Ephesian church family.
It’s like someone had dropped a bunch of bombs in all the house churches — confusion bombs — elders (who should be trustworthy) were propagating evil and false doctrine.
Some of the people followed this stuff - hook, line, and seeker.
Paul knew correction was needed ASAP in order to diffuse the confusion bombs

Why is correction so important in the life of the church?

Correction will be needed quite regularly
If corrections are not made…the family becomes unhealthy
Some corrections are minor
Conflict resolution/clarification
Adding or discontinuing a program or practice
Other corrections are life and death decisions
The absolute most important reason is the sacred importance of the message of Christ — anything that threatens or confuses this message must be confronted and corrected.

When the message of the Cross is threatened, correction is job number one for church leaders

Paul’s emergency message to Timothy was the importance of confronting and correcting those who were leading the church astray and those who were trying to impose the Old Covenant Law upon people who had been set free in Christ.
These people were causing chaos and confusion — Timothy was sent to diffuse the bomb and get things back on track
Paul’s directed Timothy to correct anything that was “Contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me” — 1 Timothy 1:10-11 NIV
Transitional: Paul’s letter laid down some very specific Guidelines

What types of things sometimes need corrected in the church?

Church correction is common — it happened in the very beginning of the early church in Acts
Acts 6:3–4 NIV
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) sold a piece of property, kept back part of the money and gave the rest to the church?
Why did they need corrected?
God administered their correction
Many other examples in the NT
In the Ephesian church, we see some things that needed corrected — they are common for the church today also
1 Timothy 2:1 NLT
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
Rulers, government officials, those in authority — so that doors will remain open to preach the message of Christ
God wants all me to be saved!
Prayer is number one priority — along with preaching/teaching/studying
1 Timothy 2:8 NIV
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
Dress appropriately
Show reverence and honor when gathered together
Keep things clear and focused upon Christ
Church Family
Honor and care for one another
1 Timothy 5:1–2 ESV
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
Care for older widows
Those that have family should be cared for by their family
Those with no family and no way to care for themselves should be care for by the church
Those who preach, teach, and direct the affairs of the church
Make sure they are called, equipped, and ready
(Ch. 3 — qualifications of leaders)
1 Timothy 3:10 ESV
And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
1 Timothy 5:22 NLT
Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Make sure they are honored
1 Timothy 5:17–20 ESV
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
A healthy church will diffuse confusion by making corrections to keep Christ's message center stage
There cannot be effective corrections in the church family unless the people in the family are willing to search their own hearts and let God make needed corrections
When God makes corrections…we should respond in obedience
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