the spirit of man

October 13, 2016

Image result for drawing of a man

The spiritual man, created by God

If the word “formed” gives the impression that God was something of a technician when He was making man, the word “breathed” gives a picture of delightful intimacy. When God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7), God was not only portraying man’s total dependence but also showing His desire for a relationship with man. The Hebrew word for “being” is nepeš and its Greek equivalent is psyche . The same word is used to describe other created beings in Genesis 1:20-21, and 24, but there it is translated “living creature.” Nepeš is also translated “soul” on a number of occasions, but the idea behind the word is linked to the throat or the neck and accordingly has the connotation of desire, hunger, appetite, and longing as in: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul [nephesh ] for You, O God” (Ps. 42:1). All the living creatures of the created order live only because of Him, but man was created in such a way that his being or psyche would long deeply for fulfillment and satisfaction, and the creation account shows clearly that the fulfillment would come only from “the breath of life.”

Whether or not we are to picture God breathing into man’s nostrils in much the same way that lifeguards resuscitate drowning victims, or perhaps see the language figuratively, it is clear that the image presented is one of the closest possible contact and relationship between God and man. This closeness of relationship which sets man apart from the rest of creation is further illustrated by the specific commands which God gave to man. God said “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (vv. 16, 17) and in so doing showed that man was capable of relating to God at the deepest possible level of commitment and obedience. He was able to hear, understand, evaluate, and determine what God was saying and then decide what he would do about it! Man as natural being was able to live in tune with earth but as spiritual being was equipped to live in touch with heaven. To suggest, as some have done, that man is a naked ape and nothing more is to fall desperately short of the truth.

God bless from

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