Part 1 – Temporal Human Life

This Article is part of a multi-part Study Series called Life Defined.

We will consider how earthly human ‘life’ first occurred, coming by God’s “breath (spirit) of life,” and how it relates to Jesus as “the way the truth and The Life (Gk., Zoë, The eternal ‘spirit life,’ Jn. 14:6).

Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man (his body) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils thebreath (Heb. neshama, spirit) of life; and man became a living soul (Heb. nephesh, soul person).

The word breath” in “breath of life” (Gen. 2:7) is the Hebrew neshamah,” meaning the spirit of the life of God,” This was not yet the spirit” of the life of the resurrected life of “Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2) … as He is after His Death and Resurrection. Jesus had not yet incarnated, died, and risen as “the life-giving Spirit.” (1Cor. 15:45)

The word “life” in “breath of life, is the Hebrew “chay” (pronounced “ky”). It is better translated “breath of lives (plural)This is seen in that God’s one puff breathed into Adam’s clay form generated (3) three kinds of life in man; 1) spirit life (Grk., Zoë, God’s enlivening Spirit), 2) soul life (Grk., psuche), and 3) Adam’s physical life (Grk., bios). Paul wrote of these three in this one verse.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 “the very God of peace sanctify you wholly (as a whole); and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So, Adam became fully alive and animated in his three parts by the one breath of God, making him alive to three realms; the spirit realm, the psychological realm and the physical world.

  1. Every human has their spirit of man” by which they may relate to God, who is a spirit being.
  2. Man has a soul with its faculties of mind, emotion, and will. This is his psychological self. These make man a rational, self-conscious, sensing, self-willing being who may make choices.
  3. Man has a body by which he may relate to the physical realm of the created world.

The Bible refers to this spirit-life as “the spirit of man” and as the “spirit in man” as seen below.

Zech. 12:1 “The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which …  formeth the spirit of man Within Him.

Job 32:8 “there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding (perception).”

The “breath” of God was dispensed into Adam’s clay form as man’s life-source. All humanity is born alive by this temporary endowment of God’s breath of spirit-life… as a ‘life on-loan’ from God.” Solomon wrote this of all those who humanly die;

Eccl. 12:7 “Then… the dust (body) return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Note that as God’s “breath of life” first enlivened and animated man, then the loss of a man’s spirit/breath of life returning the God means the loss of his very life… His body dies, and his soul “sleepeth” (John 11:11, 1Thes 4:13) awaiting resurrection. Unbelievers will one day resurrect to appear at “the Great White Throne Judgment” and go to “eternal destruction” (2Thes 1:9). All believers will one day resurrect as whole persons again, living in Glorified spirit-bodies, just as Jesus had in His resurrection… they will reign with Christ, eternally alive.

Unlike plants that have physical life with no consciousness, or the animals that have physical life and a low level of consciousness; man was uniquely created to have; 1) the physical life, and 2) soul-life consciousness. These two were made alive by, 3) the “(breath) spirit in man” (Job 32:8). It is the “spirit of man” that permits man to relate to and commune with God… “who is spirit(John 4:24).