Everything Starts at the Beginning—Part Two

Without exhausting details on the causes of what happened at the beginning, humanity remains embroiled in mysteries. To effectively illustrate differences between Man’s creation and Adam’s formation a digestive postulate is summarized in the following thirteen-point analysis:

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  1. God’s image is Spiritual. Anything that is physical, as in physical human beings, is the opposite of God’s spiritual nature.

  2. Adam’s physical form (Gen. 2:7) is not God’s image, as described in 1:26–27. Adam’s loneliness depicts the inferiority of the formation whose outcome is from the dust, not God’s image. The Thomson Chain-reference NIV Bible, 1982 edition footnote shows Adam being not synonymous with the created man (Gen. 1:26–27). Moreover, Genesis 4:15-16 suggests that Adam may not have been the first human ever to be formed.

  3. If the goodness in Genesis 1:31 includes the “Man” created in God’s image, this excludes Adam, found to be in state of vulnerability to Satan’s deception (Gen. 2:7). As God had not said “let us create Adam in our image” (Gen. 1:26) the configuration of Adam only shadows the reality characterised in the created Man of Genesis 1:27.

  4. God categorically confirmed Adam’s corporeal condition: “…for dust you are, and to dust you will return” (Gen. 3:19 NIV). Dust is another product of God’s creation; the land (Gen. 1:9–13), inferior to the Man of God’s image. The declaration “Dust you are” is intended for the physical Adam, inferior to God’s image.

  5. When the gospel books portray Jesus as “Son of Man”, the referred “Man” is of God’s image (Gen. 1:26–27), not the man of the dust as known today. The identity of the ‘Man’ in God’s image, whose term encompasses both genders, is in Jesus.

  6. Paul, furthermore, agrees: “Those who are of the earth are like the man who was from the earth: and those who are of heaven are like the one from heaven. And in the same way as we have taken on us the image of the man from the earth, so we will take on us the image of the one from heaven” (1 Corinthians. 15:48-49 BBE). Of the two attributes; only one portrays God’s image. Clearly, the one from heaven portrays the ‘Man’ of Genesis 1:26-27.

  7. Scientifically, physical things are not designed to last for eternity. The old order of things eventually passes away (Rev. 21:1–4), with longevity, determined by the existing timing order or simply by God’s prerogative. What is spiritual is permanent, as Paul confirms: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV). Adam is of the dust (temporary) while the Man of God’s image is spirit (permanent).

  8. A corpse is described as “the body of so and so”. The one owning the body is the character created in God’s image; valued so much by Christ as to be liberated from that state of physical prison-hood. By allowing His body to be lacerated mercilessly by sinful characters, Christ demonstrated how different God’s image was, against physical nature.

  9. Christ declared: “Destroy this temple and I will raise it in three days” (John 2:19, 21). If Christ’s body was His Temple, it logically follows that Christ was not the Temple. Crucifying Jesus’ body, they supposed they were destroying the actual being. Figuratively, they behaved like brute animals, delighting in sensational trample on a garment whose owner has long escaped.

  10. To Jeremiah God declared: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5 NIV). The determination of Jeremiah’s assignment was concluded for him after Man’s creation (Gen. 1:26–27). Before Jeremiah’s body formation, God set him apart, appointing him as a prophet to the nations, possibly even before Adam. God’s nature is outside time and space. What was known by God before Jeremiah’s formation is what was created in God’s image.

  11. The status of being male and female, needing food for sustenance (Gen. 1:28-29), suggests that the created ‘Man’ is physical. In my view, such utterance was inspired in the projection of what came to be, after Adam’s formation (Gen. 2:7). What is sustained by food as in genealogy of Adam is from the dust, not a real reflection of God’s image. Genesis 9:6 also seems to infer that shedding blood is a crime against God’s image. Nonetheless, this depicts spiritual significance as the corpse, being a product of the Earth, cannot be God’s image.

  12. When obsessed with survival in physical nature, it is not possible to entertain spiritual reality. After death, an unconverted person does not consciously imagine being associated with godly nature. The physical nature perishes in wickedness that does not identify with God, whose image the individual was originally created. This reveals the mystery of physical phenomenon, inherent with humanity, yet with the original spiritual attribute of Godly image.

  13. Jesus’ mission restores Man’s status of Godly image. Throughout the Old Testament in the genealogy of Adam there is no character living to reflect God’s image. Individuals with tenacious obedience to God’s Word were there, but not associated with God’s express image, attributed only to Jesus (2 Cor. 4:4b, Col. 1:15 and Heb. 1:3).

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The story of creation is complemented by “Man” in God’s image––an icing on “very good” creation (Gen. 1:27, 31). While the stated goodness in ‘Man’ may have not necessarily meant God’s perfection, it is not possible to refute God’s image implying God’s exact likeness. See [What is the purpose of Man on Earth]

A human being is basically as good as God, in whose image he/she was created. Understanding fully the story of Man’s creation enables appreciating the significance of Christianity. If God does not need food for survival, the Man created in God’s image ought not to need food for survival. God’s nature identifies with making something out of nothing, yet the man of the dust makes nothing out of something, having to kill something for survival purposes.

Without the existence of other species, there is no survival in human form. The attributes of man of the dust are generally opposed to God’s nature. Adam depicts the groundwork in developing Godly characteristics. The idea of loving enemies helps in appreciating the principle of making something out of nothing, depicting God’s image.

Humans, originating from the dust, are blamed for whatever is not right with our planet. Those of the scientific community can confirm that natural disasters are attributed to global warming, provoked by humanity’s mismanagement of the earth and its resources. Certainly, no blame can be applicable to the ‘Man’ in God’s image.

If all creation had been very good, any reversal of that goodness could only be attributed to Adam’s behaviour, after having been corrupted by the Garden of Eden incident. Sadly, the man of the dust passes as the only most dangerous species whose formation encroached upon the originally very good creation (Gen. 1:31). Adam’s pedigree, menacingly threatening to annihilate all creation, needs removal, for things to come back to normal.

Nothing shows that the formation of Adam was good (Gen. 2:7). There cannot be a reason to construe value in the dust of the ground, as associated with humans when compared to the man in God’s image. In my view, the dust helps in either developing character in ‘Man’ or instilling self-determinism in ‘Man’—a requirement before induction into the deity.

Living in physical form is like a fiery furnace, solidifying needed quality in a clay product. Other beasts were similarly formed (Gen. 2:19), but Adam was different from other species. The statement: “for dust you are” (Gen. 3:19), makes no sense to brute animals, but to Adam. Yet God is not dust. The nature of Adam cannot be what was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). Understanding this is vital for Spiritual grasp and edification before proceeding.

The confusion arises from failure to distinguish differences between physical and spiritual realities. The spiritual concept is actually like an idea fully comprehended by the designer, generally not grasped by independent observers. In the province of art; the concept carries the original idea held by the artist. To destroy a concept, one aims at destroying the person holding it. Destroying the outcome cannot effectively eliminate the originator’s reality of the concept.

In physical humans, we see the opposite of God’s original idea, yet expected to liken it to God’s image. The physical nature is unreal; temporary, but causing confusion, gripping humanity. What is unreal is taken for reality, while what is real is treated as unreal.

The created Man was not meant to be like a robot. God’s likeness meant resembling God in Godly nature––as to be able to declare with Jesus: “I and the father are one” (John 10: 30). Jesus is the only known human figure displaying the qualities of Godly image; yet unselfishly calling us His brothers and sisters. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15 NIV). Jesus is the highest human concept of perfection depicted in Genesis 1:27. He is the prophesied Messiah—the divine image of God, enabling us to appreciate the significance of God’s image (Heb. 1:3).

Jesus, as “Son of Man”, validates Man’s identity with God’s image (Gen. 1:27). The term “Son of Man” is preferred ahead of Adam’s genealogy. Christians should also vehemently claim son-ship to ‘Man’, when re-discovering their true identity, casting away the attributes of Adam’s genealogy. Unlike Adam’s genealogy, the ‘Man’ in God’s image needs no supervision.

The created Man does not succumb to pain and death, but simply returns to God after the dust returns to dust (Eccles. 12:7). However, the physical body without life does not feel the pain, so that the ‘dust-of-the-ground’ existence invalidates concerns about physical healing.

Eve, bonded to Adam as a helper, facilitated the deception towards a wrong fruit. Only in physical condition does a human being need a helper. However, in his/her spiritual condition, like Jesus, a human being is at one with God. In his physical condition, Adam needed Eve as helper, and was eventually led into partaking of the wrong fruit. Without such a “suitable” helper, Adam may have not been led to the paranormal tree. The availability of the wrong fruit was designed to enable free choice, a liberty extended to humans only.

The willpower is the most important component in sustaining human survival. God does not manipulate people to obey Him but is interested in those obeying Him because they choose to. God only provides necessary data for making choices. The wrong fruit was necessary for Adam’s character development. See [The battle is lost or won in the mind]

Since the Garden of Eden incident, humans remain in their corruptible lives, reaping fruits of wickedness. Sicknesses and dying in sorrow continue, so long as Godlessness exists. Persuading people to live responsibly leads to benefits thereof.

However, through the nation of Israel God proved that law-keeping alone cannot be sustainable with physical humans. That story shows a people repenting when facing a crisis, but relapsing to sin when everything went well; repeating the cycle over and over again. This proves how impossible it is for physical humans to live lives, independent of their Creator, even with the perfect law at their disposal.

After Adam had succumbed, the tree of life became inaccessible to humanity (Gen. 3:22–24). Even with strict Law-keeping, humans are hopeless without Christ’s novel order (Rev. 22:14).

The being that is personified as Satan, is the most effective instrument at God’s disposal. This is just as Judas Iscariot was also unintentionally effective in the process of Jesus’ crucifixion. Our salvation could not have been possible without someone taking up the role of Judas—bad as most people suppose his betrayal of Jesus to have been.

What Judas did was obviously unacceptable, but such wrongness affected Judas only, as it turned out to be a wonderful blessing for Jesus and the rest of humanity. No other blessing surpasses Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross––facilitated by Judas’ betrayal.

That tree of knowledge of good and evil is a symbol of sinful nature, negatively affecting physical humans. In His creation, God instituted natural laws to govern the physical universe. A physical person cannot escape injury after violating those laws.

Death became inevitable after partaking of the wrong fruit. If the couple had not understood what death meant, they would eventually experience it in physical pain and suffering. Their generations would face a similar phenomenon, just as things done today affect future generations.

The workability of God’s plan manifests in Adam’s formation and God’s display of impeccable love and absolute wisdom, blocking the tree of life after the couple had sinned (Gen. 3:22–24). Access to that tree would have exposed us to sin’s dictates for all eternity. Physical nature is necessary for character development, achieved through Christ’s redemptive processes. It is not possible for God to sin, as His character is perfect. His choices are, accordingly, perfect.

Humans without God lack perfection. Access to God’s perfection demands dying first. But dying in the state of sinfulness does not guarantee access to perfection. What is imperfect cannot mix with perfection. To achieve perfection, conscious awareness of our helplessness and incapability through experiences of dabbling in sin––a route originally charted by Adam is necessary. Yet we were originally created with God’s standards, before exposure to the school of hard knocks.

While God originally created humans in His image, a provision of free choice was also made available. Exposure to sin through the so-called Adam’s mistake and later redemption through Jesus, enables choice between two alternatives. Tough experiences show futility in living without God, but developing ability to choose rightly, following Christ’s example.

Presently, our genealogy is of Adam, but we can now break that genealogy, re-adopting the one discovered in Jesus. Renouncing Adam’s genealogy means disowning its cultural dictates in favour of Jesus’. This gives greatest challenge, as anything new is not only always considered sceptically, but also brings discomfort, induced by lack of faith.

This then brings us to the purpose for which Jesus came––dealing with issues of imperfection (Phil. 2:6–8); making our salvation possible through Him alone. As our advocate, Jesus takes away the death curse hanging above all of us. This requires perfect understanding.

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I confidently sit on a chair, having been convinced of its stability to carry my body weight. I would have avoided it, when not sure of its steadiness. Our knowledge and experience with Christ are also necessary before obtaining similar faith. We cannot take advantage of Jesus’ faith without being sure of His source of ability to carry our burdens.

Failure to access salvation results from lacking faith. Continuing to ‘enjoy’ in sinfulness when claiming to believe, portrays hypocrisy. It is one thing to believe, yet disregarding Christ’s teachings. But another to believe, even without saying it, effectively putting into practice what Christ says works.

People are not necessarily always punished by God for their wrong conduct, but in most, if not all cases, it is the effects of their wrong conduct that punishes them. If you ignorantly touch a hot stove, you get burnt and the pain experienced is a result of touching without knowledge of the stove being hot. The person to blame for the consequences of touching a hot stove would be you. How could you touch without obtaining facts about the stove being hot?

Our greatest enemy, therefore, turns out to be ignorance. Christ’s ways work best, compared to other methods of existence. Believing in Christ means being convinced of His standards. Moreover, it is a damnable falsehood to imagine ever enjoying living in sin, with its well-documented tribulations in human history. “Enjoying” in sin portrays an aberration caused by perpetual exposure to sinful conditions. See [God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge]

Now that Christ has come, there is no need to fear death anymore. Those fearing death display faithlessness still stuck with assuming that physical nature is more real than Christ. Committing suicide demonstrates faithlessness. Jesus exhibited true love by sacrificing for our salvation. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (l John 3:16 NIV).

Our purpose is to offer our bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-8), when discovering homage in Christ’s righteousness. God’s will, restoring what was lost at the Garden of Eden, is paramount. There is need to live longer in physical condition, enhancing our godly nature, showing love to our fellow humans––but being able to declare with Paul:

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.” (Phil 1:21–26 NIV).

Death confirms departure from the physical body, either toward damnation or toward eternity. “Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15 KJV). When one fears death, the assumption is that physical composition is everything to do with life. Pain and suffering are warning signals towards death. Under normal circumstances, pain and suffering precede death, which is why death is dreaded.

Naturally, anything that causes pain reminds us of death. But, anything that brings happiness and pleasure points at abundant living which everyone yearns for, confirming the law of opposites. However, in Jesus there is assurance of achieving abundant living only after experiencing death, which no-one is comfortable with.

We all have to die first, as it is not possible to access abundant living in sinful nature. Paul states beautifully what substantiates Christian faith:

“We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of lifeBut if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death no more hath dominion over him” (Rom. 6:4-9 ASV).

The fear of death grips those not yet having experienced life in Jesus. There is no reason to fear death after experiencing death in baptism, which is death to our sinful nature––allowing Christ to take over. Taking a move towards baptism is unpopular when genuinely appreciating the significance of repentance. This is like a mother experiencing pangs, immediately replaced by a delightful sight of a new-born baby.

A converted person no longer fears death, as guided by the faith of Jesus. That person is able to experience anything––when doing the right thing. On carrying out His mandate, Jesus was able to mix with everyone including the quarantined leprosy-infected people. He was not threatened, as divinely protected. Likewise, a true Christian is safe when carrying out the mandate of his/ her ministerial responsibilities (Mark 16:16-18).

The presence of that person restores order, being a blessing to everyone, in the same way that Jesus was.

Baptism bears no significance unless understood in the context of pain undergone toward death. Human nature is stubborn and unwilling to accept anything new. The determined crucifixion of our bodily nature by breaking old habits and beliefs is necessary to ensure victory in Christ––with sacrificial undertaking that brings salvation. Only at that time would we be on track towards our original Godly image.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99

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