What was the “breath of life” that Adam and Eve received?

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.”

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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)

 

How easy it is to get deceived

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.”

Wrong.

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.

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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.

How would you explain the gospel?

It was 1992, I was a new college graduate who had moved back home, and I was at some nightclub in South Florida with my sister and her group of guy friends.  One of the guys and I were dancing together when he asked me about my recent conversion to Christianity.

“Cindy tells me you are very passionate about the whole Jesus thing.  Do you actually believe what you are being told at church?”

I was thrilled with his question, because it was the perfect opportunity for me to share the gospel for the very first time.  It seems odd to me now that I could have such a serious conversation while grooving to pop music on a dance floor . . .  but at the time it was perfectly natural.  He listened patiently as I began my explanation with the Garden of Eden.

I kept talking for an entire hour.

I didn’t know how to explain the gospel simply and concisely!  Oh Lord, how embarrassing.  I don’t even remember that young man’s name, but God bless him for hearing me out.

And, if you don’t mind, may I please explain the gospel to you right now in a simple and concise manner???  I promise; I’ll be quick.

The gospel is the good news, or the glad tidings, of Jesus Christ.  It’s good news because He came to solve the problem that plagued humanity.  As I told that anonymous guy on the dance floor:  the problem began in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:15-17, The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Adam and Eve were given one commandment to obey, and they failed.  They ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  They chose to reject God. So on that day, He left.  They lost the life of God, the Holy Spirit, which had been breathed within them . . . and they died (Gen 2:7).

You and I are born into this world “spiritually dead.”  We are all born in the image of Adam.  We are empty.  We are blind.  We are lost.  (Haven’t you noticed?)

Romans 5:17-19, For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Humans are born in the image of Adam, not in the image of God.  Death reigned from Adam to Jesus.  Life reigns from Jesus until eternity, until forever!  😁

God came to earth as the promised Messiah to the Israelites; the prophet that was foretold and expected for thousands of years.  He was born as a baby and was called Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

After living a perfect life according to the Law of Moses, He was put to death; His death paid the penalty that was required for sinners under the Law.  He was then buried in a cave; hundreds of Roman soldiers guarded that cave for the following three days.

But you can’t kill God, so on the third day, He rose again; His body was resurrected from the grave.  Having died for the sins of the world, the world is now forgiven of all of its trespasses against God.  The slate has been wiped clean so that anyone who wants to be saved, can be saved.  You are saved by receiving the resurrected life of Jesus, by inviting His life – which is His very Holy Spirit – to come and live with you for all of eternity.

Romans 5:10, For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

His death, His burial, and most importantly, His resurrection made it possible for humanity to be saved; to be made alive; to receive His resurrected life, His Spirit, that would resurrect US from the dead.

That life that Adam and Eve lost?  It has been restored.

Have you been restored?  Have you been made alive?  Have you believed in the gospel?

Hearing this message with faith, is what allows a person to be saved from eternal death.

Kind of an important message to share. . . . even if you are on a dance floor.