Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It wasn't oxygen!

"And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" - Genesis 2:7

What was it God breathed into Adam's nostrils? Have you ever wondered? Was it the 'air' we breath? Was it oxygen? Check this excerpt from 'In His Image' by Dr. Paul Brand:
When I heard that verse as a child, I imagined Adam lying on the ground, perfectly formed but not yet alive, with God leaning over him and performing a sort of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Now I picture that scene differently. I assume that Adam was already biologically alive - the other animals needed no special puff of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide to start them breathing, why should man? The breath of God now symbolizes for me a spiritual reality. I see Adam as alive, but possessing only an animal vitality. Then God breaths into him a new spirit, and infills him with His own image. Adam becomes a living soul, not just a living body. God's image is not an arrangement of skin cells or a physical shape, but rather an inbreathed spirit.
We know the rest of the story, that Adam sinned and lost what was inbreathed into him and became dead spiritually (the wages of sin is death). The Life of God went absent from him. He was no more bearing the image of God.

Fast forward to the New Testament, the last Adam (Jesus) came to earth to give us what we lost in the first Adam. Acting out of His unconditional love and grace, He resolved the cause of death - sin, once and for all and made the entire world capable of receiving the Life through simple faith.

Do we realize that it is the very Life raised Jesus from the dead is what raises us from the state of spiritual death, when we simply receive Him by faith?
  • "In him was life" - John 1:4
  • "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it." - John 5:21
  • "Whoever believes in me has crossed over from death to life." - John 5:24
  • "For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." - John 6:33
  • "I am the bread of life." - John 6:35
  • "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." - John 6:53
  • "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12
  • "I have come that they may have life" - John 10:10
  • "I am the resurrection and the life." - John 11:25
  • "I am the way and the truth and the life." - John 14:6
  • "By believing in the Son of God, you may have life in his name." - John 20:31
By faith, we receive the very inbreathed spirit (Life) what Adam had before the fall and we now become a living spiritual being. Alive to God! And now, God want us to give flesh to that spirit, to live out the image of God here on earth. We have His very own likeness! It's mind boggling!


Joel B. said...

Wonderful stuff! I had never completely developed my thoughts on God breathing the breath of life into Adam, but this definitely sharpens my view! Indeed, "God is Spirit." He is not skin and bones and a physical shape or being.

If I think about it, if God breathed oxygen into Adam to make him come to life, then why didn't He also infuse him with blood, and shock his heart to get it started? :) In other words, biological life needs so much more than oxygen, so it makes sense to me that Adam was already 'alive' on a physical basis.

As you say, it's spiritual life that was needed - the inbreathed spirit - and that's what "created in God's image" means. Created with His very life in us. We lost that in the Garden, and Christ Himself redeemed us and revived us with His very own Life!

Bino M. said...

Joel - I too had no clarity on that issue of God breathing into Adam. Here, I think Dr. Brand brings up a good point saying that, if it was the biological life, God would have done it for all living beings. But He did not, He did it only for man.

Man is special from the very beginning.

No wonder we don't a see a dog sitting on a corner depressed, unfulfilled and discontented. If there is enough food and water (physical necessities), he is pretty happy.

But that is not the case for humans, no matter how much stuff they have, have all their physical necessities met, they still feel like something is missing. Some emptiness inside.

It's not hard to figure out that what they are missing is the very Life of God in them (What Adam lost, and everyone born from Adam don't have what Adam didn't have). And until and unless they have what they are missing, they will continue their desperate search for fulfillment, peace, joy, love and contentment.

They will try everything this world can offer - money, fame, power, politics, relationships, sex, career, religion, morality, spiritual/emotional experiences, you name it. But until they come to a point that they realize that they are dead spiritually and in need of Life; and that Life is available in Jesus, they live a life God never intended them to live.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...but we gotta accept it!

Bino M. said...

Yes, of course Steve! We can either accept it (the Life), or reject it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, my good friend! Indeed, isn't is amazing that the "breath" Papa breathed into Adam and Eve, was indeed spirit! Truly, all mankind carry within us a spirit. We are all truly made in His Image. Quite profound!

We ARE Alive to God! As Believers, we get the beautiful Gift of living within the Holy Spirit and the fullness of Him!

My deepest prayer is that Father will continue to reveal Himself to more and more people, and they will soften and open their hearts to receive, understand and walk-in Relationship with Him!

He is doing it!

May more and more realize the in-breathed spirit within them can be transformed by the indwelling fullness of His Holy Spirit by their Faith and Relationship with God!

~Amy :)

Phil said...

Bino, I hope you don't mind me reminding here that the gift of eternal life is first and foremost a deliverance from the realm of sin, death, law, God's wrath, by an imputed righteousness. Nothing in us justifies us. Our righteousness before God is not our new heart, or the life of God in us. Indeed, without owning the forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness, realizing God satisfied his just wrath against us and our sin in Christ, we don't have Christ in us. It's so important, this, so that we don't make it a works gospel where God supposedly justifies because he imparts something that supposedly makes us inherently justifiable.

Jamie said...

Bino...great post!

Zoe vs, Bios. Good stuff.

As to Phil's comment: That is why the Finished Work must be taught as a DEATH and a LIFE! Our death in Christ. His Life in us. Both, not either/or.

Phil said...

Hey Jamie. I agree, but His life before the Father is our life before the Father in justification. His righteousness reckoned ours as well as forgiveness. Rom4v25, 5v9,10. To be 'made the righteousness of God in Him', 2Cor5v21, so that God counts people just, isn't talking about the person's heart but what's been judicially reckoned their's to put them in right standing with God. We died and rose again in Christ for our justification, else we couldn't have new hearts 'alive to God and dead to sin'. I'm just saying it's crucial to not say the grounds of our justification includes what's been done in us. But that deliverance from guilt is the basis of deliverance from sin's power.

Joe said...


Awesome. Loved this post! I want to re-read it several times to really take it all in, so to speak.

Ike said...

Hey Bino.....my English bulldog "Titus" will get depressed if I ignore him. I've never caught him praying though!

Isn't it interesting that every human being is a spiritual being and yet the majority of humanity is lost.

Bino M. said...

Amy - Thanks!

Phil - The Life Jesus offered can't be received by a sinful man. So the sin issue had to be resolved first and Jesus did that when He died on the cross. He did it for the entire world. So the way I see it is that forgiveness is a prerequisite for salvation. Forgiveness is NOT salvation. Salvation is receiving Life. Being alive to God.

For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son , how much more, having been reconciled [an accomplished fact], shall we be saved through his life! - Romans 5:10.

May be we both are talking the same thing... :)

Bino M. said...

Jamie - Thanks!

Joe - Thank you for coming by!

Ike - Yes, God created us as spiritual beings but like you said, majority don't get it. Most people are more concerned about the externals. Tragic!

Phil said...

Bino, justification is salvation from the guilt and penalty of sin through righteous deliverance from the law. That's not before faith. People are NOT in a state of forgiveness and imputed righteousness UNTIL they believe. They are yet in condemnation, because they are not in Christ. I agree Christ died for the whole world, but his intercession sat down on the right hand of God means he is exalted to give forgiveness of sins and repentance. Forgiveness is 'laid up' with Christ, but it is not reckoned to people until they receive it so. 'Salvation' in the widest sense of the term is deliverance from every death-consequence of Adam's sin by the life-consequences of Christ's death and resurrection. The crucial and defining issue is justification. That does not include the life of God in us, but the life of God FOR us. Forgiveness of sins, the gift of his imputed righteousness. It's a legal reckoning. Being alive to God is to be justified, and thereby having the life of God in us. Rom5v10 refers to BELIEVERS who have received the message of the forgiveness of sins, and are therefore in a state of salvation before God. Paul's saying, 'if when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to God by believing the message of imputed righteousness(Rom1v16,17), how much more, now that we are justified, shall we remain reconciled to God and saved from wrath'. It's not the life of God at work IN us that saves from wrath(that's works salvation). It's the finished work of Christ FOR us, seating us in heavenly places with the resurrected Christ. Imputed righteousness, not any sort of infused righteousness.

Leonard said...

Bino, wow is that weird, I just made a comment on your fb page about an oxygen sensor then came over here to print up your latest,,, wow,,, maybe you should look into that engine light after all...

lydia joy said...

Great post Bino!!

I thought you might want to checkthis out

Bino M. said...

Lydia - Thanks! That was a good link.

and the life of the glorious Spirit of grace made him (Adam) alive.

Couldn't agree more!