(Guest submission by Bro. David Dowdy)
Hos 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
The bible teaches us that there are fundamental themes that are interwoven in the foundation of Christianity. These themes are rooted in the nature and character of God, namely: truth, mercy, and knowledge, or fear, of God.
Old Testament authors were inspired by God to write extensively on these themes, and to meditate on them and infuse them into the fabric of society.
King David wrote of these themes often as the subject of hymns and prayers and this heritage was passed on to his son Solomon. Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
~King David; Proverbs 3:3
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.
The prophet Micah was inspired to publish what is possibly the most succinct summary of worship when he wrote in Micah chapter six verse 8:
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
The laws on tables of stone and religious ritual of sacrifice were found to be inefficient and not able to perpetuate true worship of God. Jesus Christ was tasked with fulfilling the law and the prophets through the New Testament. The Word of God was caused to be born as flesh and blood, and destined to become the savior of the world. the apostle Paul described this in his letter to the Colossians in chapter 2 verses 13 through 16:
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross."
Although the ordinances and rituals of the law were fulfilled through Jesus' death, the fundamental themes transitioned. In Jesus' earliest sermons, he instructed Christians everywhere to value and exhibit the characteristic of meekness. He described himself as the one and only door by which access to God may be obtained, and stated that knowledge of the Father would be evident in true worshipers' lives through spiritual fruits.
In John chapter 4 verse 16, Jesus is recorded saying:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
In this then, we see the intense jealousy that God exhibited in the Old Testament living strong in the New Testament. There cannot be many paths to heaven as some churches today claim. The truth of God's word that spoke the world into existence can be the only viable ingredient in a successful Christian's race through life.