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God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
In Genesis 1:27 the Hebrew word for “created” is bara’. Bara’ is only used three times in Genesis chapter 1. An act of bara’ creation is supernatural, it occurs when God creates something out of nothing, something brand new, something that has never existed before.
Making the physical bodies of Adam and Eve was an act of asah creation; He made their bodies with pre-existing materials: the matter, the elements, He had bara’ created in verse 1.
So, what was the act of bara’creation in verse 27? Genesis 2 sheds some light on the matter.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
God bara’ created Adam and Eve to contain the breath of life. And what does the original Hebrew language reveal about the breath of life? Well, I am no Hebrew scholar, but my pastor is, and he has carefully studied the book of Genesis in its original language.
When God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image, but He created them to be spiritually alive. He breathed within them the breath of life, and they became a living being. The construction for those words “the breath of life” is the Nishmat chaim; which is a specific construction for the very Holy Spirit of God. (Aaron Budjen; November 16, 2008; By Grace Fellowship)
Apparently, this is a controversial issue. Perhaps it is because many Christians have not been introduced to the concept. The quote above is by Aaron Budjen, and I am writing this blog to introduce you to him, a fellow brother, a friend of my family, and our pastor.
Aaron is a well-known expert in Hebrew grammar throughout Orthodox Jewish Synagogues from CA to NY, he was a teacher of Hebrew for seven years, and a consultant to professors of Biblical Hebrew. Aaron got saved while studying to become a Rabbi, and is the pastor of By Grace Fellowship in Denver, CO. Aaron is also the founder of the radio broadcast ministry, Living God Ministries, and can be heard on AM radio across the USA.
Again, I don’t want you to take my word for it; so please listen to Aaron. In the following portion of a message he gave at By Grace Fellowship (transcribed from an audio recording), Aaron explains the correct meaning of the “breath of life.”
Aaron Budjen/ November 16, 2008 / Colossians 1:18-22 / Published by Restoration Bible Fellowship
Colossians chapter 1 verse 18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
The Lord Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. The people in this world are the dead. All right? He is the firstborn from among the dead.
When a person is born into this world they are born spiritually dead; that’s the important thing to understand. When a person is born in the flesh – they are born of their mother and out of their mother’s womb – they are born dead; they are not born alive.
When you look at them you think, “Gosh, there seems to be a lot of life in them. They’re crying; they need their diapers changed; they need a bottle, stuff like that,” and you think, “Well, gosh, they seem to be perfectly alive to me?” And in that sense, they certainly are; they are very much physically alive, but they are spiritually dead. And what that means is that they do not have life.
A basic definition of death is the absence of life. When somebody dies you don’t check to see if you have the presence of death, you check to see if you have the absence of life. If there is no indication that a person is alive, then they’re dead, and you pronounce them to be so.
So likewise, when we are born into this world we are born without life, and the life that we do not have is the very life of our God. We do not have Him indwelling within us; His Spirit indwelling within us which is the very life of God. In other words, we were created for the sole purpose of having the presence of our Creator indwelling within us, and that was expressed as having the life of God indwelling within you. That’s how we were created.
When God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image, but He created them to be spiritually alive. He breathed within them the breath of life, and they became a living being. The construction for those words “the breath of life” is the Nishmat chaim*; which is a specific construction for the very Holy Spirit of God.
When you keep reading there is a similar passage that talks about the breath of life that was breathed within animals, but it isa different construction, it’s just ever so subtle, but it’s different enough to be able to distinguish between the pneumatic life, from a Greek point of view – that which gives a person the ability to walk and talk and breath – from the spiritual life which is the very life of the indwelling Creator. When He gave the commandment that in the day that you eat from the wrong tree you will die, He was referring to the life that He had breathed within them that they would lose.
Now, if you don’t understand this, you might as well just pack up and go. It’s just over. It really is. You may believe that there is a God somewhere out there. Fine. You may have a new way of living. That’s ok. But in terms of knowing your God, if you don’t understand the nature of the problem, then when the solution is presented it is not going to have any meaning at all. And in terms of growth, and your life in Christ, it’s not going to mean anything because you’re still going to be dead. Okay?
So understand that the original creation was such that God had breathed within Adam and Eve the breath of life, which was His very Spirit within them. And then in accordance with the law of sin and death, when they violated the law and ate from the wrong tree, that life was withdrawn from within them and they became spiritually dead. They were once spiritually alive, and then they became spiritually dead. And all of those who had been born in Adam and Eve subsequently from that point were born spiritually dead in the image of Adam, not in the image of God. That’s the bad news.
And it’s important to understand the bad news. It’s like mathematics, if you don’t understand that the question is 2+2 it’s not going to make much of a difference if you hear the word “four.” I can go walking around saying “Four! Four!” People are wondering, “What does that mean? I don’t know that it’s the answer to 2+2.” Well, it’s the same thing when we go around saying, “Jesus is the answer! Jesus is the answer!” And people are wondering, “What’s the question? The answer to what?” And we say, “To everything!” Well, that doesn’t mean anything. These things have to be clearly defined, otherwise there’s going to be this gap that kind of exists, and people are just kind of floating around wondering what’s missing.
What is generally missing is just the fundamentals of the gospel. Just to understand that we are born into this world spiritually dead. The Lord Jesus forgave all of our sins, so that there is no sin being held against us. That deals with the issue that caused death to begin with; it was sin that caused death: the wages of sin is death. He dealt with that. But that doesn’t solve the problem. I mean, that was an important problem, but the real problem was that we were spiritually dead. We did not have His life indwelling within us. So He rose from the dead so that He could offer to us the life that had been lost in Adam. And that is the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of God is now being offered as a free gift, defined as “the life of God,” the free gift of life. (end of quotation.)
* Note: I asked Aaron for the correct spelling of “the breath of life” from Genesis 2:7; I had come up with Nĕshamah chay from blueletterbible.com. Aaron replied, “The best transliteration I can think of is, nishmat chaim. What you found is a transliteration of the root words, not the derivations that you would read in the text.” (email, 10/29/15)
The age of 27 is a turning point for some; it brings with it a certain amount of sobering awareness. Many people turn their life around at age 27; this happened to actor/comedian Russell Brand. (He discusses his recovery from opiod addition with Dr. Jordan Peterson in an interview found here: https://youtu.be/r2S58rH0PAw )
It seems that the age of 27 is often the period when a person chooses to live or die. Think of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse, just to name a few, who all died by OD’ing at the age of 27.
I am 27 years old today. Today is my spiritual birthday; I received life 27 years ago during an “altar call” at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. Not everyone knows the day and the hour that they got saved, but I can say with 100% certainty that I choose life on 9/1/91. 😊
So now that I am at that critical age of 27, I want to continue to choose life. I want to turn away from foolishness; I want to live a prudent life.
O naive ones, understand prudence; And, O fools, understand wisdom. Proverbs 8:5
But, some might say, “Lisa, you’re a Christian, you’re a child of God; therefore, you’re not a fool; you’re not naive.”
I spent 15 years being deceived by Churchianity. I spent those years being double-minded and “schizophrenic,” in a spiritual sense. I mixed the Old Covenant with the New Covenant and lived a life of confusion and, not only that, spent 10 of those years teaching my children falsehood! Now that is a serious matter! I am seeing the repercussions of this now more than ever, and talking openly to my kids about it. For example, on a long hike recently, my 21-year-old daughter kindly explained how the false teaching of Christian patriarchy negatively impacted her emotional state as a young girl.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Eve lately, and have been feeling a lot of empathy for her. She was certainly a child of God, yet she acted foolishly. Naively.
Adam and Eve were born with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them, and yet they became deceived by Satan; they believed falsehood. And yet they knew the Lord personally! They had heard the truth spoken directly from the Lord Himself.
“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17
Of course, it is recorded that Eve was the one who was deceived, while Adam sinned deliberately, with his eyes wide open. And though it was extremely tragic, to say the least, that Eve was deceived . . . I can understand how that could happen. Satan’s speech was so persuasive! Everything he said seemed so logical. She truly thought she was doing the right thing.
Sure, let’s go ahead and grow in wisdom and have our eyes be opened! Thumbs up, man!
Though God does sometimes rescue us from our own messes, our own personally created disasters . . . sometimes He doesn’t. In this case, He didn’t come to the rescue. He didn’t swoop down and stop Eve from eating that piece of fruit. He didn’t stop Adam from doing so either. He allowed them to totally and completely reject Him.
As a woman, I have nothing but empathy for Eve.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13
Now that I’m 27 years old in the Lord, I want to turn a corner; I want to choose life; I want to press forward into maturity. I want to live in such a way that I don’t expect God to rescue me from the messes I make; from the personal disasters that I create. I want to grow up and be a mature adult; someone who doesn’t get deceived.
How does this happen? How can we grow up and become wise, discreet, prudent adults in the Lord? We trust in Him. We rely completely on Him. We rest in His finished work. We let Him be who He is: the God who will be who He will be. And He is so different from us. He is a mighty and fierce warrior who does not waver when it comes to the truth. He is the truth.
Let us turn to Him.
“We have confirmed that Coy has admitted to at least two affairs in the past year alone and has had a long standing “problem with pornography.”” – April 04, 2014, http://www.phoenixpreacher.com
In the early 90’s Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale was a thriving, vibrant, energetic church filled with throngs of young people. Bob Coy had founded the church with his wife, Diane, and a handful of others. Under his charming leadership, it grew to become one of the Top-10 largest churches in America.
I began attending in 1991. Back then, we met behind the dumpsters of an Albertson’s grocery store. I liked the fact that it wasn’t glamorous; that it was “non-denominational” and, in my mind, the farthest thing possible from the Catholicism of my youth. (Later realizing that it really wasn’t much different after all. I simply had traded “High-Church” for “low-church,” so the strict rules and regulations were harder to spot.)
Bob Coy was the reason for the church’s success. He is a phenomenal speaker. He had a gift for showing people their need for salvation and it was not uncommon to see 20 or 30 people “go forward” for his altar call.
I never planned to go forward. I was confident in the fact that God loved me and wanted me in His heaven; therefore, I didn’t believe I needed to “get saved” or be born again. But the message that Pastor Bob preached on Sunday morning, September 1st, 1991, changed my mind; it allowed me to see that I was guilty of breaking God’s laws, that I was guilty of committing sin. I was a sinner who needed His help; the help that only He could offer because of what He did on the cross. God opened my blind eyes so I could see, and I said yes to God . . . and then went forward for the altar call. 😱
I am eternally grateful to Bob Coy; I was saved from hell on that September morning. I am thankful for his gift of teaching, but I have come to regret the year and a half that I spent at his church, paying 10% of my income in order to help enlarge his ministry, and getting steeped in the doctrine of “works righteousness”. My disappointment turned to major surprise several years ago when I learned that Pastor Bob is a sex addict.
“Over two decades, Coy had built a small storefront church into Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, a 25,000-member powerhouse that packed Dolphin Stadium for Easter services while Coy hosted everyone from George W. Bush to Benjamin Netanyahu. With a sitcom dad’s wholesome looks, a standup comedian’s snappy timing, and an unlikely redemption tale of ditching a career managing Vegas strip clubs to find Jesus, Coy had become a Christian TV and radio superstar.
But then, in April 2014, he resigned in disgrace after admitting to multiple affairs and a pornography addiction. Coy shocked his flock and made national headlines by walking away from his ministry, selling his house, and divorcing his wife.” (www.miaminewtimes.com)
After the scandal, he re-entered the world of nightclubs. He got a job managing the “Funky Biscuit” in Boca Raton where he was subsequently fired amidst new allegations: charges of child molestation.
What a turn of events. The marvelous preacher Pastor Bob Coy wasn’t respectable enough to manage a night club.
How could this have happened to Pastor Bob? How could this have happened to someone who led thousands of people to salvation in Jesus Christ!?
“It takes only a little yeast to make the whole batch of dough rise,” as they say. (Galatians 5:9 – Good New Translation)
And it only takes a little bit of false teaching to permeate the gospel message. Just one little rule that says, “Work hard.” Or, “Try to be good.” Or, “Exert yourself to be holy.” That one tiny command then acts like yeast, it grows and spreads until the entire message of good news becomes bad news.
Think about a loaf of bread, can you pick out the yeast and discard it? No, it’s impossible. The yeast has taken over the dough and ‘leavened’ the entire loaf; there is no yeast-free section of the loaf of bread.
So if your Christian life is saturated with LAW, it’s no wonder that you’ll become miserable and turn to sin for a bit of temporary relief.
Pastor Bob gave us a plethora of laws/rules/methods for us to obey so that we could become more holy. For example, he once taught us to choose a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and to practice it until someone noticed. I chose the fruit of “love.” I worked hard at it until someone DID eventually tell me that I was loving. Of course, by that time, I was so exhausted from all of the effort that I went right back to my normal self. Also, he suggested that we memorize Scripture verses; that we get involved in volunteering for one of the church’s ministries; we were supposed to fellowship regularly, at least three times a week; to read the Bible every morning. . . . Basically, he presented us with a set of rules for us to live by.
He may not have taught us to obey the Law of Moses, but we certainly were taught to obey the Law of Pastor Bob. Those of us who took his words seriously ended up, inadvertently, focused on sin. Sin gets it power from laws.
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56
As Bob George of People to People Ministries used to say, “If the truth sets us free, then the lie keeps us in bondage.”
Jesus came to set us free from the Law of Moses, and any other system of law that man invents. Jesus came to enact a new covenant. He does not want us to obey a set of rules. God wants to set us free from the bondage of religion. He wants us to trust Him. He has abolished the Law of Moses, and now He, the true and living God, offers Himself.
Trust in HIS finished work. He has done all the work necessary to make you holy and righteous. Accept His free gift of salvation . . . and then REST. You deserve it! 😃