Weekly Devotional 3-19-18 The Eternality of Man’s Spirit
On the fifth day of creation after God had created the earth and the cosmos, he created various forms of life, plant, amphibian, mammals, etc. On the sixth day He created man. We read from Genesis 1:24-27; “24Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Of all creation, it was only man that was created in the image of God. Man was created different than all other of creation. As we read in the creation account, we learn from Genesis 2:7 that, “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 being.” This was not said of any other of creation, even though it was necessary for all created beings with lung or gill to have the ability to breath. Certainly, they were programed to breath in order to begin and sustain life. But according to the creation account, it was only man that God breathed into them the breath of life. There is therefore a differentiation in the creation of man and from other of creation. As to the image of God, two important distinctions were imparted to man: 1) The ability to recognize and communicate with God. 2) The ability to function as stewards of the earth. This necessitated that man be a spiritual being because God is Spirit. Thus, Genesis 2:7 has a deeper implication than breathing air into the nostrils of Adam (and Eve). He breathed spiritual life into them.
Being created in the image of God, man was endowed with an eternal spirit as God is eternal; with this caveat, man had a beginning, God did not. The corporal part of man, however, was not created immortal or as an eternal entity. It was stamped with an expiration date. Because of the ravages of sin, the body must die, but this is not so with the human spirit. It is an eternal reality.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, testified that man is a composite being made up of “soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow” (Hebrews 4:12). The apostle Paul testified that when the body dies the soul/spirit of those who have come to saving faith are immediately in the presence of the Lord. Consider his testimony to the Christians of Corinth; “1For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord” (2nd Corinthians 5:1-5).
Scripture reports that at a future time, at God’s determination, there will be a resurrection of the bodies of those who have died. These bodies in a glorified state will house their spirits once again and for eternity. However, not all have this determination, for not all spirits join with the Lord when their bodies die. Those who have denied the Lord throughout their lives will be eternally separated from Him, body and spirit.
The eternality of one’s spirit is a certainty, but not all persons have the same destiny. The question is, what is your destiny? Will you live eternally in the presence of God, or be eternally separated from Him?
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture references are from the NKJB