A God of Order

Cornfield Theology
Cornfield Theology
A God of Order

Chaos or Order?

What is your life like when it’s chaotic? How does it make you feel? There have been times in my life when chaos causes me to say, “I am just trying to keep my head above water.” In those moments when you are trying to keep your head above water, the stress level can rise. In short, a chaotic life can equal a stressful life. A short season of chaos is sustainable, but a prolonged season of chaos can have long-term effects that is debilitating.

The opposite of chaos is order. I am not talking about a drill sergeant ensuring military order. I am not talking about a person who has a spotless house, and everything is in order. These are aspects of order, but order in your life is more. A person with a tidy home can still have a stress level higher than a hoarder. No, there is another kind of order that lowers the stress level and provides peace. 

You might be surprised to learn that the God of the Bible is orderly. God has ordered creation, the home, the church, and to a certain degree, church gatherings. When a person accepts and embraces God’s order, there is flourishing. Conversely, when God’s order is disregarded, chaos ensues. The stress level rises, and human flourishing recedes. Let’s take a look at each of these areas and see how God has created order.  


The first words of the Bible describe God putting his creation into order. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

– Genesis 1:1-5

God did not create from pre-existing chaos, but God created ex nihilo. Like an artist with a canvas and paint, the moment the brush hit the canvas, order was being established. One day after the next, God was a work. The Creator of the universe was intentional and systematic. There is nothing chaotic about how God ordered his creation. 

The Home

God also ordained order in the home. Due to the anti-patriarchy movement in America, it is not popular to talk about order in the home. However, if you are a Christian, and the Bible is your sacred text, God speaks abundantly about the home. Again, God’s design for order is to allow for human flourishing. Here is Ephesians 5:23.

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

– Ephesians 5:23

And what gives Paul the temerity to say a husband is the head of his wife? For the answer, we need to head back to the Delorean because we need to go back to Genesis. In Genesis 1:26-27, God says men and women are made in his image. When you turn the page to Genesis 2, we read about the details of how God created his image-bears. 

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”… So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 

23 Then the man said, 

“This at last is bone of my bones 

and flesh of my flesh; 

she shall be called Woman, 

because she was taken out of Man.” 

– Genesis 2:18–23

I’ll table the discussion about what it means for a woman to be a helper to a man. That’s a rabbit trail that will never come back. But, at the very least, you have to acknowledge that Paul was trying to help the Ephesian church (and us) apply God’s created order in the home. God’s word is equally evident in 1 Corinthians 11.

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

– 1 Corinthians 11:3

I know I am smashing the dreams of all the egalitarians who attend church. But pause for a moment and consider the depth of God’s Word and the purpose of order. If a husband rightly represents Christ, he is serving his wife in a myriad of sacrificial ways. Check out the standard God has for husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

– Ephesians 5:25

Did you catch that? Christ sacrificed his life for the church. It follows that husbands must be willing to sacrifice their life for his wife. A home will flourish if the husband is rightly representing his Savior. This kind of order is beautiful. 

The Church

The Bible is clear about order in the church. I won’t belabor, but the New Testament is clear about the role of elders/pastors and deacons. Elders are men called by God to lead and teach the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Deacons are called by God to practically serve in the church (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13). In the 21st century, local churches create additional structures to establish order. Each local church will decide what is needed based upon the context, availability, and conscience. Does a church need to have a worship leader? Children’s director? Or a person leading the Welcome Team? Perhaps. But at the very least, we see God placing elders and deacons in the church, which is a demonstration of order.

On Sunday

You might be surprised to know that God’s Word has something to say about order during your church service. For sure, we don’t have an exhaustive list of “dos and don’ts.” And I am not talking about how a church is ordered from one moment to the next. The “flow” or liturgy of a church service will differ. But we have a principle about order that is worth our consideration. It’s from 1 Corinthians 14. The context of this passage is about spiritual gifts. The church in Corinth was going Pentecostal, and Paul provided the necessary correction. We read,

If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

– 1 Corinthians 14:27–29

If you are a cessationist, don’t tweak out about the spiritual gifts. Instead, grab the inhaler and calm down. I am not going down that road. Paul is taking the Pentecostal nonsense on a Sunday morning and promoting order. Cessationists and continuationists can all acknowledge the importance of order during a church gathering from 1 Corinthians 14. If you read the rest of the chapter, Paul builds out his argument for order during for church gatherings. 

The Anti-Order Nature of our Culture

The church in America is living in an increasingly anti-order culture, and the church should not acquiesce. Instead, let’s take the opportunity to show a broken world true beauty through God’s divine order. Let’s influence a shattered world by demonstrating the dignity of following God’s design. The church has the tremendous privilege to invite others into our space so that they can see what it looks like to flourish, to the glory of God.