Nature of man --- a different biblical perspective worth considering ( part 1)

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Jul 11, 2020
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#1
PREAMBLE
Most of us are familiar with the story of creation and the common interpretation that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Thus, signifying that man is flesh or carnal and is destined to die. And after death, as we believe, depending on our religious leaning, the spirit is freed to meet God for judgment or to return to earth to live out his life on earth or remain in the grave until the last day when the trumpet shall sound and all will arise to face judgment. The question is, what do we then say about those who never saw death? Enoch and Prophet Elijah, for example, never saw death. ( Hebrew 11: 5; 2kings2:11). This should tell us that death is not inevitable.

We know that it was sin that brought death on earth. Remove sin and death will disappear. Many Christians say that man cannot live without sinning and they quote relevant chapters of the Scripture to support their assertion. The question remains, why did Christ Jesus come in the first place? Is it not to take away the sins of the world? To redeem us from our sins and reconcile us with God our father? OR are we saying he did not die for us again? where is our believe? Where is our understanding?

The only reason man continues to sin is his belief in the material sense of things, or belief of flesh. For the flesh, as it is written, is an enemy of God and is not subject to the law of God. It is earthy and sensual and tends to vanity only. The flesh does not know God. Proverbs 23: 7 says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Also, Jesus taught us the power of belief. To most people who sought healing from him, he cured by saying, “according to your faith, be it unto you”. He sometimes asks, do you believe that I can do this”. In Mark 11 : 23, he tells us, whatsoever we believe without having any doubt in our hearts will come to pass.

The belief and thought that we are flesh draws us away from God and takes us deeper into the worldly or fleshly things of life for what we strongly believe in and dwell passionately upon in our thought comes to play itself out in our lives. It drives our actions. We hear ourselves say when somebody has done something wrong, “after all we are human”, thereby, trying to excuse that act on the ground that we are flesh and portraying our belief and agreement that sin is inherent in us, hence, we are bound to sin. And what happens? We continue to sin. If we center our BEING and thought on God, the Spirit of God leads and drives our actions. It quickens the soul. The soul becomes subservient to the Spirit and follows its directives. However, without the Spirit of God directing it, the soul tends to vanity, lives and cloths itself in vanity as it continually gropes in darkness. It is the Spirit of God that knows the things of God, as the bible says, and therefore, leads us according to the will of God.

From time immemorial, man has believed so much on the action of the flesh and this has had tremendous impact on how we live our lives. St John said, whosoever is born of God does not commit sin for His seed remains in him. He cannot sin because he is born of God. (1John3:9). Therefore, it is possible for man not to sin once we have our priorities right. We must refocus our passion from the things of the flesh to the things of the Spirit. We must build our faith in God and God alone. In so doing, we can mortify the deeds of the flesh through the Spirit (Romans 8:13).

WHAT BIBLE SAYS
"
In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him male and female created He them and blessed them and called their name ADAM." (Genesis 5:1-2).

When addressing man's nature from scriptural point of view, we focus attention mostly on Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2: 7 while ignoring the above chapter 5 where lies the true explanation of the nature of man. Here, Adam is gender nonspecific even when the bible tells us that God created man, male and female in his image and likeness.

God is a Spirit. (John 4:24). And, He is neither male nor female but possesses and manifests what we know as the masculine and feminine qualities or characteristics. God is not gendered as we usually say. We associate Him with Power, Might, Strength, Guidance, Protection and the like which we regard as male attributes; and Gentleness, Faithfulness, Care, Nurture, Humility and so on, which are female qualities; and Love. In love, we have the fullness of both the male and female attributes. This is the reason Love is the gateway to Christ like life.

We read above that God made them male and female and called their name Adam. Adam as God’s image and likeness is a man who possesses both the male and female attributes of God in their fullness, in union with one another and expressing them harmoniously as one body. Adam, though, not God, is in perfect unity with God, made to reflect the fullness of God on earth and blessed to have dominion over His (God’s) works on earth. It is the expression of this oneness that gives us our true identity as children of God, made in His image and likeness. In this oneness, we, in our individual capacities (and in effect collectively), are expressing the fullness of God, and our physical attributes, Names, differences or nationalities or self - will do not count and therefore play no role. In this state, as the bible says, there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female (neither man nor woman) for we are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatia 3:28). In this state, we reach the measure of the standard of Christ. (Ephesians 4: 13). In this state, we are perfect. We are made perfect in one and the only way to achieve this perfection is Love; love of God and His creatures. It is this state of oneness that God symbolized as man which He named Adam. Adam and Eve’s story is therefore an allegory- true and symbolic.

This man, Adam, is Spirit - driven and incapable of sinning as he does not have the capacity, tendency or ability to sin. He has dominion and the earth is in subjection to him. It is only in this state or nature that Adam can fulfil the perfect will of God. And, this state of Adam is the true selfhood of man. It is this state of oneness Jesus showed us how to live and the Spirit continues to show us. This is the perfect man God wants us to become.
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#2
CONTINUED FROM THE NATURE OF MAN (PART 1)

However, it is written
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. (Genesis 2:7)
And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him an help meet. (Genesis 2:18). And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the ribs which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she should be called woman because she was taken out of my ribs. (Genesis 2:21-22). Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked the man and his wife and were not ashamed. (Genesis2:24-25).


As part of creation to fulfil His purpose of creation on earth, God caused the separation of the female element from Adam and assigned distinct identities (the soul) to them which allows for their separate existence. This separation created a vacuum (void) in both the man and woman, which void must be filled to find completeness. The male entity retained its original name Man (Adam) while the female entity was called woman (Eve). These two separate entities called man and woman must unite and express themselves as one body to find completeness which is what marriage symbolizes.

The man and woman as we are on earth therefore symbolize the male and female attributes of God respectively. This does not mean, however, that because one is a man he possesses and exhibits only male qualities. It only means that in each of us are both qualities and each of us, whether man or woman, has some qualities lacking in us. It could be a measure of the male or female part or a measure of both that is missing and until we seek and find this missing link, and express these qualities as one, there will always be that sense of emptiness or lack that no man or money can erase. This vacuum prevents us from expressing in its entirety our true selfhood.

We notice that God gave the guidelines and parameters for man’s earthly existence. He highlighted:

1. The duty and responsibility of man. Genesis 2: 15 reads, And the Lord God took the man He formed and put him in the garden to dress it and keep it. In other words, to work and maintain the statuesque, - the oneness, the unity of the male and female qualities. (as we see in the gender non specific Adam)

2. The dos and don’ts -- the rules and regulations which we find in Genesis 2:16 -17 that says, and the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you may not eat of it for in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.

3. The consequences of going against the rules or commandment as mentioned in item two above.

4. The freedom of choice within boundaries as item two above also specifies.

The latitude of freedom is within the sphere of the word of God, within His rules and regulations. Anything outside of it is vain and breeds more vacuum. This shows that only in God do we have true freedom for God is the substance of our being and without Him we are nothing and incomplete. These rules and regulations exist to maintain collective order, to ensure harmonious existence.

The soul is made capable of making its own decisions and has the ability to choose between alternatives either to align itself within the given boundary of freedom to sustain peaceful co-existence or work outside of it to create chaos and disharmony. He is a living soul sustained by the “breath” of God. We cannot live outside of God and have that everlasting peace which surpasses all understanding. We read that man is not only to dress the garden but must also keep it, meaning that man is not only to work to express the unity of the sexes to find completeness but must remain in that state of completeness continually.

God made the woman a help meet for the man ----- a companion, somebody who will be together with him as one (concise dictionary) and complete him. God also said the man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife (the woman) and they shall be one flesh as symbolized by the marriage institution. God therefore made it clear that none is capable of living in isolation of the other. The two must unite and be expressed outwardly as one or the soul will continue to grope in darkness and endlessly search for the missing link. ( and be destroyed or die in the process.)

This is the responsibility of every living soul on earth --- to seek God, remain in Him to reflect His fullness on earth. (To express the qualities of God on earth). We have so idolized the literal meaning of the Word that we have come to commercialize marriage and taken this commercialization as the “in thing” rather than living out the essence of marriage as the truth of being, knowing that it is only in a state of oneness that marriage can triumph. Man cannot achieve oneness of the flesh without first achieving oneness of the spirit because it is the Spirit that quickens the flesh. The flesh can do nothing of itself except to err. In other words, it is not possible to express these qualities outwardly without first uniting with God. We must therefore anchor our hope in him, for when we do, he infuses into us those qualities we lack through his Spirit.

When we join ourselves unto the Lord, we become one spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17) It is only when we uphold this oneness in the home and by extension in the society, that husband and wife can act with one spirit, one love, one purpose, one will, one hope, one direction, everyone walking in unity with one another expressing one voice to the glory of God. In the absence of this oneness, we shall continue to have marriage problems leading to divorces. When we teach the right understanding, people will walk towards it to achieve the right purpose and not walk in ignorance.

We learnt from the Scripture that it is only in God all fullness dwell. Therefore, what we lack only God can supply. It is said, nothing can fill the void in man’s life but God Himself, not worldly power, influence, popularity, fame, prestige, unlimited pleasure, beauty, sex, possessions or wealth. Life becomes meaningful and purposeful once it is seen from God’s perspective. We witness all the time the futile emptiness in our hearts when trying to do things or be truly happy outside of God.

To stress further, because only God has these attributes or qualities in their fullness, they belong to Him and we cannot find them elsewhere, we are complete only in Him. This is so because no man or woman in his or her individual capacity possesses the qualities in their fullness but in measure. Therefore, they cannot give what they do not have. Everyone therefore must unite with the Godhead to find peace and normalcy. The qualities we lack, only God can supply. We own them and can express them because of our relationship with Him. It follows that when we cleave unto Him and look up to Him in faith, He supplies us with those things we lack and need.

We note that in the beginning, when God created heaven and earth, the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep and not until God spoke the Word after His Spirit moved upon the face of the waters did light appear. In the same vein, the void in man shall be cleared away by the Spirit of God for man to find light and completeness. The Spirit of God must move over the void as it was from the beginning. We must give room for God to work in our lives. This agrees with the word of God as written in Isaiah 45 : 22 where God says, look unto me and be saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear, surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength, in the Lord shall all be justified. And we read in Colossians 2: 7 that we are rooted in Him, alive in Him, hidden in Him and complete in Him. We derive our sufficiency from him.

In His first commandment, God commands us to love Him with all our soul, heart, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves for it is evident that in love we receive His fullness. What I mean here is God’s brand of love. There is no other way. What God wants from us, as before stated is to reflect His fullness on earth by living a Spirit led life and expressing such fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, meekness, understanding, knowledge, compassion, patience, temperance, strength, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, humility and such like qualities as Jesus exemplified. The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth. (Ephesians 5:9).

These are what we are made of and not what the physical senses make us believe. And when we express them, we express our true selfhood. Jesus said, call no man your father except your father which is in heaven, thus, drawing our attention to claim only our spiritual identity and heritage as our true and only heritage. Whenever we cling on the flesh, we are not expressing our true self.
 
Jul 3, 2015
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#3
Those are very long opening posts. Perhaps it would be better, meaning, you would get more responses, if you kept your OP shorter, and developed your ideas further as other members respond :)
 

lenna

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2020
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#5
The belief and thought that we are flesh draws us away from God and takes us deeper into the worldly or fleshly things of life for what we strongly believe in and dwell passionately upon in our thought comes to play itself out in our lives.

for example, with regards to shorter, more concise posts for discussion/debate, just the short clip above from your op is discussion worthy all by itself

actually, I would disagree and explain from scripture why I disagree. for one thing, you are painting with a very broad brush to make that particular statement and you make it to illustrate a point you wish to make

see how that goes? ;) believe me, people here are happy to jump in on any good disagreement er...discussion
 

stepbystep

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2020
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#10
If he came up with all that by himself, he surely invested a whole lot of time in developing the Thesis. I imagine that if someone invested that much time and effort, he would want it all down just to see it in publication if nothing else.
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#11
Magenta posted said:
Those are very long opening posts. Perhaps it would be better, meaning, you would get more responses, if you kept your OP shorter, and developed your ideas further as other members respond :)
Thanks. Comment noted for subsequent ops.
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#12
"oyster67, posted
Amen. We need to cut this big pork-chop up into bite size pieces.[/QUOTE]


I"m in for it. Unfortunately pork is not my favourite meat.
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#13
"lenna, posted
for example, with regards to shorter, more concise posts for discussion/debate, just the short clip above from your op is discussion worthy all by itself

actually, I would disagree and explain from scripture why I disagree. for one thing, you are painting with a very broad brush to make that particular statement and you make it to illustrate a point you wish to make

see how that goes? ;) believe me, people here are happy to jump in on any good disagreement er...discussion[/QUOTE]


Thanks, comment noted. Please do explain why you disagree
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#15
"lenna, post: 4392957, member: 297965"]
[/QUOTE]


Ok. I am in for the slicing! . Which part is your favourite. For me, pork is not my cup of tea.
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#17
"stepbystep, posted

If he came up with all that by himself, he surely invested a whole lot of time in developing the Thesis. I imagine that if someone invested that much time and effort, he would want it all down just to see it in publication if nothing else.[/QUOTE]


Thanks. You got it. But apart from that, I know it is not the conventional Thought. I wish to see areas of disagreement and why?
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#18
"oyster67, posted
Amen!! I'm ready for the rapture! :)[/QUOTE]


Truth is that I do not want to think about the rapture.

I am more preoccupied with how to --- go into the whole world and preach the gospel, raise the dead, cast out demons, heal the sick and the broken hearted, open the gates of the prison for the prisoners. I consider this more important.
 

lenna

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2020
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#19
Thanks, comment noted. Please do explain why you disagree
I really do not want to get into all of that, but I did note that seemed a very broad brush to me

honestly, I come to CC to get away from doing work here at home or online. so, I prefer smaller bytes/bites (no reference to pork or beef)

I do have a question for you though. in your profile you state you were BORN a Christian

I do not believe a person can be born a Christian and I do not hesitate to state it does not seem the Bible indicates that is possible either

so, how do you see this ? how is it you believe you were born as a Christian?
 
Jul 11, 2020
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#20
[QUOTE="lenna, posted ]I really do not want to get into all of that, but I did note that seemed a very broad brush to me

honestly, I come to CC to get away from doing work here at home or online. so, I prefer smaller bytes/bites (no reference to pork or beef)

I do have a question for you though. in your profile you state you were BORN a Christian

I do not believe a person can be born a Christian and I do not hesitate to state it does not seem the Bible indicates that is possible either

so, how do you see this ? how is it you believe you were born as a Christian?[/QUOTE]



People are different. Sometimes small bites do not go for me. I really want to see people's in depth understanding of what they believe which sometimes "small bites" may not portray

Well, i believe that one can be born a Christian. As one grows to take responsibility of his actions, he can continue to be or not to be a Christian. It is a choice at that point.