Video #2 The Breath of Life
HUMAN BEINGS are NOT just like other animals in all respects. We are “in the image of God” (Gen 1:26-27) persons, corresponding to a personal Creator. But we ARE only created beings (Gen 1:26-27). Only God is to be worshipped (Rev 4:8,11) and immortal, (Dan 6:2,Ps 103:15; 1 Tim 6:13,1:17, 6:15-16; Rom 1:22-23).
Psa. 90:1-3,5-6,11says death is real and a necessary reminder of our need of God, “The irrefutable demonstration that man is not God” (P.E. Hughes, The True Image, 1989, p121).
“The opinion that we men are immortal… is, once for all, irreconcilable with the Biblical view of God and man” (Emil Brunner, Eternal Hope, 1954, pp1 00-102,105).
An Old Testament Key Text: Genesis 2:7.
°Man” as a whole (Hebrew: adam) is formed of the ground (‘adamah). Just like the animals (Gen 2:19). God puts into man “the breath (Heb. neshamah or (ruach) of life”. Again just like the animals (Gen 7:21-22,ls 42:5, Ecc. 3:19-21 and 12:7, PsI 46:34, Job 34:14-15).
“The breath or spirit is the principle of life”, the power to live (R Brown, The Gospel According to John l-Xll,1987, p140).
Man is, not “has”, “a living soul (Heb. nephesh)”. Like the animals (Gen 2:19, 1:20-21,1:24; 9:10,12,15, 16). “…any idea that one is made up of body and soul is ruled out”. (C Westermann, Genesis 1-11, 1984, p207).
Ezek 18:4,20. In texts about death, nephesh always means, either the whole person or the life principle (Gen 1:30). What leaves us at death is simply the gift of life. God has DEPRIVED us of the power to “live for ever”, to teach us that we are not gods. (Gen 3:3.5.19).
In both testaments, “it is the ‘I’ which lives – and which dies” (E.E.Ellis, “Life” New Bible Dictionary’, lVP 1965, p735).
Man’s life and being … is “a psycho-somatic unity”.
A New Testament Key Text: 1 Corinthians 15:45-50.
Here Paul confirms the O.T. teaching totally. In W 51-56 he points immortality as God’s gift through Christ at His return.
“Immortality is not a gift bequeathed to all by the first Adam but an inheritance won for the righteous by the second Adam (Christ)” (M. Harris, Raised Immortal, 1983, P 204).
- Adam is “a man of dust” (1 Cor 15:47);
- The N.T. word for “breath of life” is pneuma (Jas 2:26;Rev 11:11,13:15; Lk8:22, 23:46,Acts7:6O- Ps 31:5) [1 Pet 3:18-22 happens after Jesus’ resurrection and is not about humans but evil “spirits” (2 Pet 2:4-5);
- The N.T. equivalent of nephesh is psuche (1 Cor 15:45 ). In Acts 2:27, etc. it means: the whole person – Ps 16:10). In Rev 12:11, Mk 10:45, 8:35, Matt 6:25,10:39,10:28, it means: life.
“What survives death is not some substantial part of us, but God’s faithfulness in His partnership with us” (H. Thielicke, Living with Death, 1980, pp111-112).
it is a false trail to look within the human body for an immortal ‘soul’, mind, or residual self which somehow survives the destruction of the flesh” (G. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, I Belleve in Man, 1980, pp171-172).
- It is contrary to scripture;
- It is contrary to modern investigation and common sense;
- It conflicts with saving faith.
Our hope is in Christ, not ourselves (2 Tim 1:10).