Living in Harmony with God


True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

Living in Harmony with God

Living in Harmony with God

From a physical point of view all the creatures that were created by God are equal. The ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ of life is in all of them, mankind included, so that “man has no advantage over Living in Harmony with Godanimals, for all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 3:19).

In another way, however, men and women are unique.

"God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).

The word ‘image’ describes one thing that is like something else, a resemblance. So God made a being that was more like Himself than the animals are: one that could desire companionship with the Creator.

Friendship with God

Unlike other animals, men and women can think about the reasons for things.

We can think about the past and learn lessons from our experiences, and then record them in words and pictures.

We can think about the universe and the future and about God Himself.

We can consider the effects that our words and actions have on other human beings.

We can examine the evidence that the Bible is right and that it really is God’s message to us. Especially, unlike other animals, we can want to be more like our Creator. We have been given consciences to help us to check whether we are doing right or wrong – becoming more like Him or growing away from Him. Our con-science can only do that if it is trained:

"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:9–11).

Children of God

God wants us to come to Him as children. This has been true from the beginning when God called Israel His firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Fathers are expected to give a good example to their sons, and God certainly did that to Israel. He challenged them to be holy (separate from the evil things of the world around them) because, He said, “I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).

This was spoken to the nation as a whole, but sadly most of the nation preferred evil to good, and only 40 years later it was said of them:

“They are not His children … A perverse and crooked generation … and when the Lord saw it, He spurned them, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters” (Deuteronomy 32:5,19).

Just a Few

The beautiful idea of living in harmony with the Creator appealed to only a few in each generation; but these were the few people for whom God was searching.

You can discover how God appreciated these faithful people and what He has in store for them, by reading Hebrews chapter 11. In this series we have thought about some of the characters mentioned there: Noah, Abraham, David, the prophets and the Old Testament promises that explain what the Gospel really is. You will read of other people too: Abraham’s wife Sarah and their family, Moses who led Israel out of Egypt, Rahab a Gentile woman who became an ancestor of Jesus Christ, and many more.

Similarly only a few people accepted the Lord Jesus, but how precious they are to him! The apostle John says of Jesus:

"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:11–13).

Jesus Opens the Way

In harmony with the natural world around us

Now that Jesus has come, men and women enter God’s family by ‘receiving’ or welcoming Jesus into their lives, by believing him, repenting of their sins, being baptized, and then trying to follow his example. The sacrifice of animals and all the other Old Testament ceremonies taught people important lessons about the worship and service of God; but – very importantly − they did something else too.

The ceremonies were a kind of drama that showed beforehand the work that the ‘Messiah’ (God’s promised priest-king) would do when he came. They were wonderful acted-out prophecies about the ways in which sinners could be reconciled to God.

In other words, the Old Testament ceremonies pointed forward to the work of Jesus. He proved that he is the Messiah by fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies perfectly. We hope to learn more about this later when we think about Jesus’ death as the final sacrifice, but at this stage we need to be, very clear that the coming of Jesus finished the Old Testament rituals as the way to worship God. They still teach us important lessons, but the true way to God is through Jesus. He said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

And Peter said about him:

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

No one else can save us from our sins: no one except Jesus Christ.

By John Woodall