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How is God a God of order?

The knowledge that God is a God of order comes from the way the Bible demonstrates and describes God's character to us. The Bible also tells us that He is not a God of disorder: "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33, NIV). We see God's peaceful orderly design within His person and His creation.

Within Himself, God shows that He is a God of order. The concept of the triune God is beyond the scope of human comprehension, but in the Trinity, we see that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three individual persons but one God. They are all separate yet the same, operating in harmony (Matthew 28:19; John 14:26; 15:26). God is complete within Himself and He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19).

God created an orderly universe—everything from the specific placement of the galaxies, planets, and stars, to the passage of time from day to night, and the changing seasons. All things have an orderly design, for "he upholds the universe by the word of his power" (Hebrews 1:3; cf. Colossians 1:17).

God created human beings in His own image (Genesis 1:26–27). His orderliness is something we see reflected in human character in things like logical thought and our design of methodical systems. It is also reflected in the human desire for order and predictability, for example in communication patterns or reliable provision of services. We also see God's order in our physical bodies. The design is extremely intricate and yet it functions together in an orderly manner.

When something is in order, it means that everything is in its proper place. Things are precisely arranged and make logical sense. We might also think of order as related to peace, or harmony among parties, or security. In the passage from 1 Corinthians 14, Paul tells the Corinthian church that God is a God of order as a teaching moment. The Corinthian church had been having disorderly worship services that were disorganized and chaotic enough to deter unbelievers from their church services. In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul teaches the Corinthian church what it looks like to properly conduct their worship of God and their services. When Paul says God is not a God of disorder (or "confusion" in the ESV), the Greek word he uses implies instability, commotion, or tumult. God is not like that. Rather, He is a God of peace.

Because God is a God of order, we should follow His example. When our minds and hearts descend into worry or fear, God invites us back to orderly ways of thinking, communicating, and living. When we are tempted to linger in a tornado of anxious swirling thoughts, we need to remember that God invites us to come to Him (Isaiah 1:18–20; 1 Peter 5:6–11; Hebrews 4:14&ndash16; Proverbs 1:7; 2 Corinthians 10:3–6). We look to God's Word to find out more about His character, His attitude toward us, His plans for the world, and how we should live. We do not gain order by our own efforts at control, but by surrendering to and following God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Even in the way that God sent Jesus to the world, we see that He had things set in order throughout the whole process. Before Jesus came, under Old Testament law, God showed the need for sacrifice that atones for sins, the need for holiness and repentance, and the knowledge that none of us could do it on our own; we needed a Messiah to restore right standing with God (Leviticus 4:35; Zechariah 9:9; Hebrews 9:22–23). God spent thousands of years in orderly preparation for Jesus the Messiah to come to the world at the appointed time (Mark 14:49; John 3:16–18; 5:39; Galatians 4:4).

We serve a God of order, and as we get closer to Him, our lives will become more orderly, too. Like Jesus imitated God in all His ways, so should we (John 5:19).


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