Door of Faith – Lesson Two

A Living Soul


How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.   Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  I John 3:1-3

Unless we study the Bible from Genesis through Revelation with John’s pronouncement utmost in our minds we will surely become “side tracked” from the main theme of God’s story.  The principle for reading God’s story is that while reading the individual narratives, we ask; “What is God doing in this mini-story about developing living souls as sons of God?”  From the preceding lesson we now know God’s purpose in creation was, and still is, to have children in His eternal kingdom in heaven.  This is His only purpose for mature people “in Adam.”  This is happening today for Christians who have been born again into the kingdom of God and Christ (John 1:12, 13; 3:3-8; Col. 1:12-14).  Little children remain in God’s kingdom until they mature in their minds and consciences (Luke 18:16; Rom. 2:14, 15).

In this lesson, we will study how the design of living beings is compliant with God’s purpose for creating us.  People who do not believe God predestined them to be His children cannot progress in their Bible study in a manner that will provide a door of faith into the spiritual kingdom of God.  They will not be transformed from glory to glory in the growth of their “selves.”  II Cor. 3:18.  Bible study becomes more personal with our spiritual development.  What we know and have faith in becomes our new plateau for more learning and stronger faith.

The topics for these lessons have been chosen for a sequential progression of Christians’ faith building.  In other words, if the scriptures are not believed about why God created us, we will not be in a position to have faith in the scriptures in this lesson describing how we have been created.  The main aim of these topical lessons for being presented in a sequential topical order is to encourage “dependency driven Christians” to study for themselves.  “Hand me down preaching,” in too many cases, has led those who are being called “Christians” away from God’s purpose in creation.

Before the New Testament letters and other documents were written, Christians listened to preachers and teachers to hear God’s word (II Tim. 2:2).  It is still important for people in the world and “newborn babies” to hear the word of God from Christian teachers and preachers (Acts 8:4; Tit. 1:9; 2:3-5; I Pet. 2:2, 3).  However, since we have God’s own words given to us by Jesus via the Holy Spirit, written on paper, each Christian can develop our faith by our own hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17).   Illiterate Christians can learn to read, but in the meantime, they can ask someone to read God’s word to them.  Illiteracy does not mean a person is not intelligent.  Many of the first century Christians were probably illiterate slaves (I Cor. 7:21). The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:  “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”  I Tim. 4:13.

Paul wrote, “To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:”  I Thess. 1:1.  Note these were the members; “And we thank God continually because, when you received the word of God,  which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  I Thess. 2:13.  If the word of God is not working in us as Christians, we need to open our “door of faith” by our own study of God’s word.  The aim of these lessons is to convince Christians to listen less to men and study more for ourselves (Heb. 5:11 – 6:3).

The format for this lesson will be the same as Lesson One.  Scriptures will be presented in their context.  Each student is encouraged to ask themselves if they truly believe what they understand describes the way they have been created.  Do we trust what we have believed to be nothing but the truth?  This is the only path for enlarging our door of faith.


The Lord formed the man (Heb., aw dawn – Adam) from the dust of the ground (adamah) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being (Heb. nephesh, KJV, soul, a living creature).  Gen. 2:7

This is not a difficult sentence to understand.  It describes the two-part theology of mankind.  This description is a vital part of the monotheistic Christian religion.  Faith in this theology is vital for a sequential type of faith building study.  This is to say, if we do not believe mankind “in Adam” is the result of a spirit from God in a body from the substance of the earth, we cannot move forward in our Bible study.  Atheists cannot deny the bodies of human beings return to the dust of the ground.  Theists accept this, but we also accept the presence of the other part of a living being – the spirit.  The two entities, body and spirit, come together in the womb and form a living soul.  After the body and spirit were brought together, they formed a third entity – the soul.   (This may explain the three entities Paul mentioned in I Thess. 5:23).

Our spirits came from God and they will return to God (Eccl. 12:7; Heb.12:9).  Accepting the truth about the source of our spirits is the next priority point of our faith after identifying as a son of God by faith.  We must not stumble over these focal points for our faith.  God “forms the spirit of man” in His likeness (Zech. 12:1; Jas. 3:9).   The first point of faith in the sequential steps for opening our “door of faith” is that God is our Father (Mal. 1:6).  God is the Father of our spirits (Heb. 12:9).  All spirits, the “selves,” of all people will return to God for His and His Son’s judgment (Rev. 20:12-15).  Sadly, atheists and some Christians’ spirits will not be permitted to remain with God after they leave their bodies (Matt. 7:21; 10:28; Mark 9:42-50).

The first living soul was Adam.  “Who was a pattern of the One who was to come.”  Rom. 5:14.  Pattern has been translated in the NIV from the Greek word tupos; meaning a mold, figuratively, a style or likeness.  The One who was to come is the Christ.  He came to earth as Jesus of Nazareth in a body like Adam.  The Apostle Paul explained to the church of God: “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”  I Cor. 15:49.  The description of Adam describes all people belonging to the human race.  We are all his offspring (Acts 17:24-28).  The spirits, or selves, of people God declares faithful to His covenants on Judgment Day will live in heaven as sons of God in a body like Jesus now enjoys (Phil. 3:20, 21; I John 3:2).  The spirit of a human being in her or his body defines a living soul.   This is the definition of a soul, be it on earth or in heaven.   Our selves will depart our Adam bodies but we will not desire to remain outside a body   (II Cor. 5:1-5).  People who go to hell have not been promised a body after they depart their present bodies (Jas. 2:26).  Jesus and the inspired men who wrote the Bible spoke often of the two parts of a living being.

Jesus said, “I tell you friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after can do no more.  But I will show you whom to fear:  Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear Him.”  Luke 12:4, 5.  We understand the “you” is the spirit who came from God to form the inner man (II Cor. 4:16-18).  Paul made a clear distinction between our “selves” and the instrument in which we dwell in Romans 6:13.  “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”  In this context, Christians are being instructed to use our bodies as tools to serve God in righteousness.

Peter said, “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.  And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”  II Pet. 1:13-15.  This is a clear description of the simplicity of physical death.  It is not the end of a living being’s existence as atheists proclaim.  For faithful Christians it is the end of living in an “in Adam” body and the beginning of living in a spiritual body like Jesus now enjoys.  Christians who do not have strong faith in these scriptures have problems with fear in general and particularly death.  They do not view their bodies as instruments; consequently, they present their bodies in the context of their identity.  “She is beautiful.”  “He is tall and handsome.”

The following scripture must be factored into the foregoing Biblical theology.  Theo is the Greek word for God; consequently, theology is a study about God and His will for us.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Gen. 1:27

This divine statement raises this question:  What determines the sex of a living soul?  The answer is not difficult based on Gen. 2:7.   Our conclusion is our spirits are neither male nor female before they entered the body in which we now dwell.  Our spirits, identified as our “selves,” is neither male nor female now or after they leave our present bodies.  As Jesus told the Sadducees, in our new bodies, we will not have a need for marriage (Luke 20:34-36).  Paul said, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  Gal. 3:26.  In this context, he was speaking of the identity and value of all “born again” human spirits.  Consequently, he continued, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Gal. 3:28.   In “life under the sun” context, both Isaiah and Paul recognized the gender element of God’s children.  See Isa. 43:5-7; II Cor. 6:18.  Children of God include spirits (selves) in male and female bodies while we live on earth; however, all of God’s faithful people will be given a body like Jesus now enjoys after our resurrection from physical death.  “But someone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised?  With what kind of body will they come?’”  I Cor. 15:35.  The answers for these questions will be considered in a later study; however, for those who want to hear Paul’s answer, please continue to read the remainder of chapter fifteen.

Men and women have different bodies.  Some of the parts are obvious; howbeit, an invisible part is the human brain.   Our brains are the dwelling place of our spirits – our “selves.”   “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.”  I Cor.12:18.  Our brains will return to the dust of the earth after our spirits depart (Jas. 2:26).  The capabilities of our minds, hearts and consciences belong to our “selves.”  Our spirits have the capacity of knowing our minds; “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?”  I Cor. 2:11.  Our minds, while working in conjunction with our consciences, can examine the motives and condition of our selves (II Cor. 13:5).  God created differences in living beings’ bodies because men and women have several distinctly different roles to fulfill on earth.  One reason for forming a living soul with a female body is clearly stated in the following scripture.  This scripture is understood in the context of Adam and Eve being a married man and woman (Matt. 19:3-6).

But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall in a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to man.  The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  Gen. 2:20-25

The aim of this lesson is to hear how God formed and defines a “living being” by reading the Bible.    A long discourse could be added to our study about the different roles of men and women.  This and other sub-topics will be explored in other lessons.  However, there is another entity God has created in all living beings we must fully explore and understand.  In His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke about the innate needs God created in all living beings.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Matt. 6:25-27

Please note the four rhetorical questions Jesus presented for the Jews to consider.  This means they knew the answers; however, it appears some were ignoring what they believed.  They believed life was more important than food; their bodies more important than clothes and they were more valuable to God than birds.  They, like most people, knew worrying does not change life “under the sun.”  Jesus wanted them to place their faith in what they knew.

God has arranged the laws of nature to sustain the health of the bodies of living beings.   New technical aspects of these laws are being discovered, perhaps daily, in science laboratories around the world.  Scientists do not create new laws; they merely discover the natural laws God organized in His mind and spoke to cause the creation of the universe.  He made this move before He breathed the breath of life into Adam’s natural body.  God understood the needs He created in Adam’s body.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, understood nature and mankind, “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth.”  Col. 1:16.  “He did not need man’s testimony about man, for He knew what was in a man.”  John. 2:25.  The audience reacted in amazement to the laws of life Jesus taught, “because He taught as one with authority.”  Matt. 7:29.

Adam’s body had the need for certain items to keep it secure and healthy, namely, food and water.  God arranged for these needs in the Garden before Adam became a living soul.   He did not rely on Adam’s own decisions to seek food and water for his physical welfare.  A driving force was created in him to seek food and drink.  All of us have been created in a body like Adam’s so we too have this force working in us.  It is evident all babies are born with a hunger need.  This force has been called our inherent need or urge.  Schooling is not necessary for learning to seek satisfaction of an inherent need.  Breathing is natural.  Our stomach, heart, lungs and many other parts do their work even while we sleep.  Urges have been installed in us by God to take care of our temporary tent (II Cor. 5:1).

God enabled Adam to start the procreation process of all people who would live on earth after his type; however, Adam needed a helpmeet.  This was one of the very important roles for Eve and her kind.  “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”  Gen. 1:28.  People have done well in the matter of filling the earth; even up to 7.2 billion and counting today.  Again, God did not leave the decision of “the two becoming one” to chance.  All healthy men and women have a need for sexual intercourse with the opposite sex.  This is because God created in each of us a strong passion for sexual relations (I Cor. 7:8, 9).  It is the driving force for Christians to marry because we understand sexual relations is one reason God ordained marriage.  Marriage permits sexual intercourse with the opposite sex without thwarting our higher needs of security, honor and glory.  Those who have suppressed God’s truths about how to fulfill this need may seek lustful ways to satisfy their sexual urges; even same-sex partners (Rom. 1:26, 27).  Homosexual offenders will not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:10).  Christians must overcome all our urges to lust by developing more like Christ (Rom. 13:14).  Satan has taken captive preachers who teach others to cry: “It is just the way I was born.”  The Holy Spirit gave Paul this message:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  I Cor. 10:13

We are fearfully and wonderfully made but we still need the power of God’s word working in us (Psa. 139:14).  The wonderful part is how our spirits came from God – and in His likeness (Jas. 3:9).  We can learn much about the attributes and nature of our Creator by a study of what He created, especially mankind.  God has arranged spiritual laws to describe the phenomenon of the development of the spirits of living beings into healthy children of God like Jesus.  These are the laws of life referred to in the new covenant (Heb. 8:10).  This will be fully discussed in another lesson.  Our interest in this lesson is about the needs God created in us for “life that is more than food and clothing.”  Matt. 6:25.

Jesus lived the laws for our lives and taught them in the Sermon on the Mount.  He taught us how to find satisfaction for our inherent needs of social acceptance, honor and glory along with our physical needs.  Actually, we can discern these higher needs by observing children from the first day they are born.   They have a need for both physical security and social satisfaction.  They also desire to learn and achieve.  Then they want to be applauded for their achievements.  This is the essence of glory.  We all have been seeking ways for having satisfaction for these same needs.  The world is our school room but it is not big enough; therefore, Christians hope for full satisfaction of our higher needs in the “life to come.”  Matt. 19:29.

Our physical needs relate to our bodies but our social needs are innate urges of our “selves.”  We will still have this need for social acceptance after we depart from our bodies.  We will still want to be socially acceptable with the heavenly host.  Peter said Jesus will satisfy our higher needs when He returns.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  I Pet. 1:6, 7

We have seen how God created within our inner-man the need for security, social acceptance and sexual relations with people of the opposite sex.  Paul added glory and honor for our consideration:

God ‘will give each person according to what he has done.’  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.  Rom. 2:6, 7

Do we have an innate need for glory and honor created in us by God?  In our Bible studies we can learn about His programs for giving us hope for the satisfaction for these very strong needs.  The answer is a definite YES, we have been created with a need for honor and glory.  All we need to do is observe people, especially babies and young people.  People all over the world; from the cradle through their youth and on into their older years seek to achieve something – for some people just anything helps.  There are driving forces within us that push us to learn to achieve.  We like to practice what we learn.  This gives people a sense of being valuable.  Being of value is the meaning of the Greek word, time.  It has been translated honor in the New Testament.

Glory has been translated from the Greek word, doxa.  Glory is the result of being of value to someone and then having them socially accept us in our position of honor.  Please see how Jesus dealt with these two needs in Luke 14:7-14.  Life on earth does offer most people very limited opportunities for achievement and glory.  Weak Christians, whose identity as sons of God is not grounded in faith, will have two strong innate needs with no hope of full satisfaction.  This means this great potential force is lost from their total “self.”  It is sad to see human beings give up asking, seeking and knocking on new doors to find satisfaction for their God-given needs (Matt 7:7, 8).

God created mankind in two parts because He foreknew Satan would move to disrupt His plan to have more children in His kingdom (Rom. 8:17-25).  We will take up this topic in Lesson Three.  God put needs in us to be glorious sons of God in His kingdom; therefore, our inheritance of His kingdom and eternal life will fully satisfy all the innate needs of our “selves.” Our “selves” is the part of us that will leave our physical bodies in physical death.  Life is, indeed, more than seeking satisfaction for the innate needs of the physical aspect of “life under the sun.”  Eccl. 1:14.  It will be, as the Apostle Paul said, “glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: for the Jew first, then for the Gentile.”  Rom. 2:10.  Satisfaction for our innate needs for “glory, honor and peace” is Paul’s definition of eternal life.  It is also a partial description of a son of God’s inheritance (Rev. 21:7).  The inheritance is only for children of God who never give up seeking “glory, honor and immortality.”  Mortal man will never attain satisfaction of the needs of our spirit outside the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  II Cor. 4:16

If a Christian decides it is not plausible for him or her to believe God had their inherent need for glory in mind before He created the world, their “door of faith” will remain closed in relation to God’s secret wisdom about their need for glory (I Cor. 2:7).  However, their need for glory will still seek satisfaction.  Most people will put their faith in programs contrived by the wisdom of men.  Some people deny they have a need for glory.  Others deny God’s plan for this need.  Paul had them in mind when he wrote:  “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  II Cor. 4:4.  God’s definition of what is eternal glory has been defined by the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:4, 5; Col. 1:25-28).

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