Genesis 2:7 — God formed man from the dust

-the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

Today scientists know that, in fact, all of the elements that make up the human body are found in the dust of the earth — just as the Bible describes. Did you know that if someone were to collect and separate all of those elements found in your body, and sell them, you would be worth only a few dollars?

But, thank God, and thanks to God, we’re more than dust. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils His breath of life. Formed of dust but without God’s breath of life we’re dead. But with God’s breath of life in us we live, move, and have our being. In the original Hebrew the word ruach is used here for the word breathed in this scripture, and it’s the same word that’s used to mean Spirit.

Perhaps you’re already a Christian, you believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins, and rose again. You’ve accepted Him as your Lord. (If you’re not take a look at the Join Christ’s Family page) But even as we’re but dust without God’s breath of life imparted unto us, we’re also missing out on a more abundant life if we don’t have God’s Holy Spirit upon us. In John 10:10 Jesus said that, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (KJV) Jesus also said in John 7:38 that “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” And in the next verse the Bible says that By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Do you want to enjoy your most abundant life in Christ? Do you want to live a life that’s overflowing with streams of God’s living water? Then ask God for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. You may experience greater wisdom, greater knowledge, greater faith, and greater discernment, (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) as well as greater love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23) Who doesn’t want that? The Holy Spirit can bring these things into your life in greater measure!

The other thing that happens when you have the Holy Spirit upon your life is that you begin to bear fruit for God’s kingdom. I have observed this in a close friend of mine who I’ll call Jim. Jim’s been a Christian for more than 25 years, and while he’s been pleasant enough, and while I’ve observed no gross sin in his life, there didn’t seem to be much that would indicate any bearing of fruit in Jim’s life. In fact, you could say that Jim’s life was somewhat characterized by selfish pursuits and self indulgence. However, about five years ago Jim confided in me that he began to pray in earnest for the Holy Spirit to come upon his life. Since that time I’ve observed that Jim’s countenance has changed, he’s taught small Bible studies for men, he’s lead small home church groups, he’s visited and prayed for sick people in the hospital, and he’s reached out to others to influence them for Christ. Jim’s life was transformed.

Yours can be too.

Ask for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 11:11-13

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

J. Vernon McGee

David Guzik

Chuck Smith, Living Water, The Word for Today, 2007

How Does Jesus View the Old Testament? Genesis 2:4-7

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:4-7

I love these four verses. It’s as though God is moving us from the overview of creation in Genesis chapter 1, to the account of man in the rest of the Bible, by rotating His telephoto lens from wide angle to zoom. In chapter 1 of Genesis God’s word is at wide angle, in Genesis chapter 2, verse 8 the Bible zooms in to record that part of God’s creation that is mankind. Genesis 2:4-7 is the time of transition between the two.

“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” (Genesis 2:4) Christians have three options here. I don’t pretend to know how creation happened exactly, but I do have respect for all three options. The first is to believe the biblical account is literal, and actually occurred in six days. The second is to believe in a progressive creation that took millions of years. And the third is to believe in theistic evolution.

Whichever you believe, I think there’s a dynamic here that can be seductive to your soul. If you make the assumption that the Genesis account, including the record of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, is 100% myth, then you have to make a judgment concerning the giving of manna from heaven, the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the account of Jonah and the whale. You might find yourself attempting to decide for yourself, where myth ends, and where truth and history begin. And when that happens, you begin to conform the bible to yourself, instead of conforming yourself to the likeness of Christ. (Romans 8:29)

Many people like to pretend they believe what they believe with complete objectivity when the reality is there are personal and social reasons for ascribing to any worldview. What I so often observe are people who conform the bible to their life, because they’re afraid of the opinions of their peers and even more afraid of letting go of the self-life.

But Jesus himself spoke of the miracles, events, and people in the Old Testament as historical truth.

Jesus validated the account of the destruction of Sodom including the death of Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:29,32) Jesus confirmed that manna fell from heaven (John 6:31-51) Jesus spoke of Daniel of the Old Testament as a real and genuine prophet. (Matthew 24:15) Jesus validated the account of Jonah and the whale. (Matthew 12:39) And Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6 speaks of the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve.

How does that all work? How is any of that possible?

I don’t know.

I don’t believe in blind faith, but I do believe in faith. I believe in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and words based on the assessment of those accounts by a former atheist and expert in ancient literature, C.S. Lewis. And if the gospels are true, then Jesus is real. And if he is who he said he is, the Son of God, then his words are the most important and most credible words there are. And he quoted from the Old Testament often, and as an authoritative source.

Jesus said directly, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) He called the Scripture, “the commandment of God.” And Jesus referred to the Old Testament as the the words of God and God’s final authority: “Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?” Jesus said. (Matthew 22:31)

Some desire to accept Christ but to reject parts of the Bible but that don’t make sense to them. Because Jesus accepted the Old Testament as “spoken to you by God” (Matthew 22:31) then if you believe on Jesus you find yourself in a position where you have to give credibility to the Old Testament, or disagree with the Son of God. What you and I are left with is a choice: will you, I, we choose to believe the secular criticisms of the bible, or the authority of God’s word?

Will you believe the critics or Christ?

I’m with Jesus.

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Ray Stedman

Josh McDowell, How Did Jesus View the Old Testament?

Genesis 2:1-3 — The Seventh Day — Rest

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:1-3

Here we see that God has finished His creative work and rests on the seventh day. He doesn’t need to rest. He’s God. He’s omnipotent. Rather He rests as someone who has just finished a great work and desires to step back and enjoy it.

Notice also that God has blessed the seventh day and made it holy. The Sabbath day is a gift to you and to me. And yet it’s been my observation that the practice of observing the Sabbath among Christians is becoming increasingly rare. This is contrary to God’s word. The Sabbath is a holy day, it’s a day in which we’re to commune with God, it’s a day in which we’re to visit His house, and it’s a day in which we’re to rest.

Do you ever feel as though you can’t string together five minutes without being interrupted by a phone call, a text, a tweet, or an email? The variety of forms of communication today is staggering. Telephones calls, cell phone calls, television, the web, texting, tweeting, emailing — all of these make it more difficult than ever to rest. In large part, because of these technologies, people are now exposed to as many as 5,000 advertisements a day — according to a recent article by CBS news. That’s 5,000 attempts to convince you that you need to spend your money, 5,000 instances of potential influence toward working more to earn more to buy more. It’s more difficult than ever to slow down and rest.

God blessed the Sabbath day, rest is a blessing, and God intends for us to rest. Do you realize that the stress in your life is, to a great degree, a function of an absence of rest? Think about it: imagine the recreational activity that you enjoy performing more than any other activity in life, now imagine with me that you’re about to engage in that activity, now imagine that you’re completely bone tired, yet you’re still obligated to perform that activity. It’s not enjoyable anymore! Even that which is most enjoyable to us when we’re rested, is not when we’re worn out. And, by the way, the greater the energy required to perform an activity, the greater the rest required to ready yourself to perform it.

When we find ourselves outside of God’s design for us to rest one out of seven days, we cause ourselves unneccessary hardship.

Oh, and for those of us who have the opposite problem, notice that God designated six days in which we are to work!

Finally, as important as the Sabbath is, we must recognize that the Sabbath is only a shadow of Jesus. The Sabbath day, the day of rest that God took after finishing His creative work, the day that He blessed and made holy, is a shadow of Jesus. Of course a shadow is only formed from something of substance and Jesus is that substance from which the shadow of the Sabbath is formed. We’re no longer under the law. We no longer have to labor to earn righteousness before God, but rather, we can rest in Jesus because He, Jesus, is our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30) On the Sabbath day we’re to rest, but on every day, we as believers, are to rest in Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus from Matthew 11:28-30

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Dr. Jim Loehr, Human Performance Institute

Caitlin A. Johnson, CBS

Chuck Smith

Matthew Henry

Genesis 1:28-31 — God’s an Environmentalist

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Genesis 1:28-31

BP is making a new attempt at controlling the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico today. To date they’ve collected 734,000 barrels of the oil that’s escaped into the Gulf. The only problem is that to date 2.9 million to 5 million barrels have been released. To put it in perspective, the Exxon Valdez debacle resulted in 262,000 barrels of oil released. Five million barrels is 210 million gallons of oil.

We have been given the earth by God to live in, to rule over. It’s up to us how we rule — a few things to keep in mind:

God gave explicit instructions to the Israelites as to how they were to care for the land. (Leviticus 25) God speaks to conservation of land in Isaiah 5:8-10. God touches on how to treat domestic animals as well as wildlife in Deuteronomy 25:4, 22:6. God talks of his nourishment and provision for the wilderness in Job 38:25-28, and for wildlife in Psalm 104:27-30.

Yes we’re to use the earth to provide for mankind, but we’re to do it wisely. God gave us the earth to rule over even as God gave the talents to the three servants in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Jesus begins the parable with, “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.” (Matthew 25:14) When Christ returns, what condition will he find the earth in? His property that he has entrusted to us? That God cares deeply for even the smallest details of His creation is made obvious in Matthew 6:26.

As a Christian, you and I must love God, love people, and be wise stewards of the property He’s entrusted to us.

God’s an environmentalist.

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Bloomberg Businessweek

Damian Kyle

In God’s Image: Genesis 1:26-27

in God's imageThen God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26-27

God said, “Let us…” and “…in our image…” and “…in our likeness…” Obviously us and our mean more than One. It would seem God was referring to His triune nature. Us and our, in this case, could mean the Trinity. Us and our could mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” God said. So we, like God, are made as triune beings. God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and we are spirit, body, and soul. The spirit referring to our eternal being, the body referring to our physical being, and the soul referring to our mind and emotional being.

We are also in His likeness because God loves, and we also love. (John 3:16) God reasons, and we also reason. (Isaiah 1:18) God has free will and we also have free will. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Consider the account of when the religious leadership of his day came to trap Jesus. They asked him whether or not it was right to pay taxes.

“Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” -Matthew 22:15-21

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Jesus said. Even as the coin made with Caesar’s image is to be given to Caesar, you and I, who are made in God’s image, are to be given to God.

Give your life to Him.

References:

BibleGateway.com

Blueletterbible.com

Chuck Smith

Jon Courson