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The New Birth

Spirit, Soul, and Body
Created, Made, and Formed

Read Time: 10 Minutes

Acts 11
:26b  . . . And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

What does it mean to be a Christian?  Why were the disciples being called Christians?

Colossians 1
:27 To whom God would make known 
    what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; 
        which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The disciples confessed to have Christ in them. They knew that when they confessed Jesus Christ as Lord in their lives and believed that God had raised him from the dead they were saved,  born again, and God gave them the gift of holy spirit which is Christ in the them the hope of glory.

In previous teachings we have learned how to diligently study the Word of God so that we may know and not be ignorant. God's Word teaches us about this new birth, being born again, which is of paramount importance to God's people today.

There is a little ground work that needs to be covered first. The phrase "natural man" refers to a person who has only body and soul, they have not become born again,  they do not have holy spirit yet. This is what the Bible means when it refers to the natural man. The natural man has at his disposal only five senses from which to learn: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. When we are born the first time we begin to learn and the only way we could was via our five senses. God has His Word written so that we may learn via seeing and hearing. If I want to learn about God and what He has made available for my life and what my responsibilities are I need to go to His Word first and foremost. If I continually read what everyone else's opinions are about the Word of God I will become confused because we all know that there are many different opinions regarding subjects in the Word of God. Because we are students of the Bible we will take the keys and principles of working the Word and learn the truths that God has laid out so beautifully for us. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God not man's opinions (Romans 10:17). 

Ok, so here you are reading what I have written concerning God and His Word. I highly exhort you to go get your Bibles and concordances or Bible programs and study the Word. It is your responsibility to make it your own. 

Acts 17
:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, 
        in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, 
        and searched the scriptures daily, 
            whether those things were so.

Now, let us get to work. We are going to examine the relationship between two scriptures, Isaiah 43:7 and I Thessalonians 5:23.

Isaiah 43
:7 Even every one that is called by my name: 
        for I have created him for my glory, 
        I have formed him; 
        yea, I have made him.

Consider the three words created, formed and made. Initially these words look synonymous. But, God meant what He said and said what He meant and they are more specifically defined in other parts of God's Word.

I Thessalonians 5
:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; 
    and I pray God your whole spirit 
        and soul 
        and body
    be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are the three words spirit, soul, and body synonymous. No, they are defined more specifically elsewhere as well.

For this subject we go back to the beginning. 

Genesis 2
:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, 
    and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; 
    and man became a living soul.

Man's body was formed of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word for "formed" is yatsar, to be "fashioned out of something that was already in existence." God didn't create anything new here, He formed man from the dust of the ground, (hey, my brother is called Dusty :-).

Genesis 3
:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;
        for out of it wast thou taken: 
        for dust thou art
            and unto dust shalt thou return.

Then God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life that gave him his soul life. God made the soul life in Adam. It is what gives the body life.

There is confusion regarding soul and spirit. I have heard that the soul is immortal or there is transmigration of the soul but this is not what the Word of God says. Some say that the soul is one's eternal life spirit. Soul is breath life. We are going to find out what God's definition of soul is by looking at other usages.

I Peter 3
:20 Which sometime were disobedient, 
        when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, 
        while the ark was a preparing, 
            wherein few, 
                that is, 
            eight souls were saved by water.

These souls that were saved in Noah's ark are Noah, his wife and his three children and their spouses. These people were not Christians, Christ had not come yet. The context of this verse is also talking about people, that is why the souls of the animals are not mentioned.

Acts 27
:37 And we were in all in the ship 
    two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

In the context this verse refers to the ship Paul and Luke was taking to Rome. The only Christians aboard were Paul and Luke. Souls refers to all of the living, breathing people on board.

In the Hebrew, the word for soul is "nephesh" and more than just people have a soul. Often times it is used with the Hebrew word chay meaning alive or living, chay nephesh, a living soul.

Genesis 1
:20 And God said, 
        Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, [nephesh chay- soul living ] 
           
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

:21a And God created great whales, 
    and every living [chay] creature [nephesh] that moveth, 
        which the waters brought forth abundantly . . .

:24a And God said, 
            Let the earth bring forth the living [chay] creature [nephesh]  after his kind . . .

:30 And to every beast of the earth, 
        and to every fowl of the air, 
        and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, 
            wherein there is life, [nephesh chay- living soul]
        I have given
every green herb for meat: and it was so

God also tells where the soul life is in man and creature.

Leviticus 17
:11a For the life of the flesh is in the blood: . . .

Man's soul life is in the blood and is passed on via the sperm,  his seed impregnates the woman's egg. The woman doesn't contribute anything to blood of her child. 

What happens to this breath life when one dies? It ceases to exist. The blood ceases to give life to the body and that person has taken his last breath. The breath life is gone. Conversely, a child becomes a living soul when it takes it's first breath. If a child is still-born there was never any breath life in it.

God formed man from the dust of the ground and made him a living soul by giving him breath life. Now we must study "created." The first use of the word "create" is in Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1
:1 In the beginning 
    God created the heaven and the earth.

God brought into existence that which had not existed in any form before. Before God created the heavens and the earth there was no earth, no dirt, no heavens, no stars, no light. In the beginning God created it all.

Verse one tells us of God creating the original heaven and earth. Verse 2 tells us that something happened to it.

Genesis 1
:2 And the earth was [became] without form, and void; 
    and darkness was upon the face of the deep. 
    And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

God did not create the heavens and earth in chaos. In the original Estrangelo Aramaic and Hebrew texts there is no verb "to be," (a form of "to be" is  "was") but there is a word meaning "to become". The second "was" in the verse is italicized telling us there is no word present in the text. The first "was" is not italicized telling us that there is a word in the text at that point. However, it cannot be "was," upon closer examination it is the word for "became." A cataclysmic event caused the earth to become without form and void. This was when Lucifer attempted to usurp the throne of God. The event was so violent that Lucifer and a third of his angels were dispelled from heaven and the earth became without form and void, (see Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:15-19 [king of Tyrus is Satan], Romans 8:22, I Timothy 3:6, Revelation 12:1-9). God had originally created three Arch Angels, Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer. Lucifer, also called the angel of light, attempted to dethrone God but God banished him from heaven as well as one third of the angels that followed him. Lucifer was cast out and took up residence on the earth where he is known as "Satan," "the serpent," and "the Devil." Until the time that Satan and his host of devil spirits are thrown into the lake of fire they reside on the earth tormenting man. However, they have no right to God's children and we shouldn't allow their smoke and mirrors to persuade us otherwise.

:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

God spoke and there was light. He didn't have to create it, He had already made it in the beginning. As we read on in Genesis we see other things that God made, spoke back into existence. In verses 6 and 7 he made a firmament, an expanse, in verse 9 "God said" and the dry land appeared. In verse 11 "God said" and there was herbs yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit, He made them, God doesn't say He created them. In verses 14 - 18 God made the sun and moon. 

To reiterate, when God makes something it is forming something out of material that is already in existence. When God creates something it is bringing into existence something that has never existed in any form before. 

The destruction of the heavens and earth,  when the heavens and the earth became without form and void, was due to Lucifer's rebellion and he and his host being kicked out of heaven. It is not recorded how much time passed between verse 1 and verse 2 in Genesis 1. We don't know how long the heavens and earth existed prior to Lucifer and his angels being cast out. Was there life before God had to reform and remake the earth and heavens? Scientists have found evidence of life before man as we are. What kind of life they had we don't know because science cannot revive that life. What God tells us is that he could form bodies from the dust of the ground but He had to create life in the great whales and every living creature.

:21 And God created great whales, 
    and every living [chay] creature [nephesh] that moveth, 
        which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, 
        and every winged fowl after his kind: 
    and God saw that it was good.

Now God tells us he created great whales. There is something new here that He created, God created soul life here. Because He said He created great whales and every living creature, this type of life had not existed previously.

God has one more thing to create before the seventh day and that is man.

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

What is the image of God? "God is a Spirit" according to John 4:24. What did God create? He created His spirit in man. God had already made the body and soul of man and here He created His spirit in man. 

I know that the Word records in chapter 2 of Genesis that man is formed from the dust of the ground and breath life was given to him and here in chapter 1 God created man in His own image, but man wasn't spirit first and then body and soul, the spirit that God created for man needed someplace to reside. The first three chapters of Genesis are not in chronological order. Chapter one outlines creation and chapter two elaborates on the generations. Actually, chapter one should end at 2:3 because that is the end of the subject of God creating, making and forming the heavens, earth and its inhabitants. 2:4 begins a new subject, the generations of the heavens and the earth so this should be the beginning of chapter two.

When we examine Genesis 1 we find that God only created three things.  He didn't create something every day, all six days. In Genesis 1:1 God created the heavens and the earth. In verse 21 He created every living creature (chay nephesh - living soul) and in verse 27 He created man in His image, spirit in man. That was all He created.

Man was originally formed from the dust of the ground, made to have breath life and created in the image of God  which made him body, soul and spirit. In other parts of the scripture we read about men and women receiving spirit from God and becoming complete so in the next teaching we will see what happened to the spirit God gave man and why man needs to be "born again."

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