It there some greater understanding of the connection of “the soul”, the “Image of God”, and the physical DNA code in man that permits him to experience eternity? What precisely happened when God “breathed life” in the Adam?
Genesis 2:7 has been a verse often returned to for its far-reaching implications. But what it the commonly understood implications are just those on the surface. There is a theological position taken by some that hell is a place designed to consume those who have rejected God. The “second death, as it is called. But what if “the breath of life” given by God in the Garden of Eden into the nostrils of the first man did more than permit physiological functionality? Genetics reveals DNA in more the just humans, and which has been called “the blueprint of life”. But as far as we know theologically speaking, animals and all other non-human creatures have no place in eternity. So there is something evidently present on a spiritual level that permits man to advance on in time with God infinitely. Of course, it could be said that “the soul” is an element associated with eternity, but it is difficult to define precisely “what” the soul is… But what of this “breath of God”? What significance does it play in cooperation with DNA? What is the significance of this being breathed once by God, and then never again? How significant was the first rebellion against God, and what about the “Tree of Life” also in the garden?
The consideration not one to be entertained lightly, as it is a matter of deep, theological presupposition, but worthy to be pursued nonetheless. I have a conviction in my heart that has been present for some two years now to see hope, rather the despair. Pretty commonplace coming from a Christian, you might say, but there is more here than meets the eye. Such an example of this “hopeful conviction” is to perceive mankind was not born with sin, as though it were genetic, or a contracted disease. If sin is a moral condition, then it begins at a decision, and it has happen at a local level inside each individual for them to be accountable to God for it. But perhaps, while through this perspective man is born with sin, is there still some separation that has taken place before his time that needs to be restored with his Creator for him to carry on into eternity? Perhaps there may be some significance of a traditionally-characterized-as-charismatic “baptism of The Holy Spirit”. The verse comes to mind where Jesus is in the Upper Room with His disciples after He had risen from the dead. He breathes on them, and He says “receive The Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). What is the significance of this occurrence if the Holy Spirit didn’t actually come until later as recorded in Acts 2?
As it turns out, The Holy Spirit isn’t “new” to the Earth scene by any means. As Samson had said He was announced, and at select times “The Spirit of The Lord came upon him”. In another case, David (who at the time was just a young boy) had the confidence of someone who wasn’t merely “appearing to intimidate”, since we know the approximate spatial dimensions of the opponent he was facing. Even Jesus credits The Holy Spirit with the power He wields. In John 12:49, Jesus says “I do not speak on my own authority, but only what I hear the Father speak is what I say” (paraphrased). This is reinforced throughout the gospel of John. John, (not surprisingly) has the most intimate of accounts of the life of Jesus (hence the nickname “the beloved”). But that doesn’t mean that the idea of Jesus leaning on The Holy Spirit’s power is taking God’s character out of context. There is certainly a distinctive new development seen in Acts 2 and on, but The Holy Spirit isn’t making a stark initial entrance into the physical world there. It is a commonly understood theological point that God exists as three persons, yet the common term associated (trinity) is not actually used in Scripture. So the Holy Spirit is associated with this “breath of life”. Which seems to fit well with the greater context of Scripture, in that God desires relationship with man, and The Holy Spirit offers a relational intimacy unparalleled by anyone else in His creation! It also serves well as a display of an eternity spent without The Creator is grossly unnatural, beneficial, and unrealistic. So as we consider the substance of life, we mustn’t forget the structure, and rules that govern that substance…