(042) – THE SPIRIT OF MAN

 

Zachariah 12:1 says that it is Jehovah who forms the spirit inside of man. Each man, therefore, has his own peculiar and individual spirit.  This spirit is slowly formed as the body develops: “Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as there was not one of them” (Ps. 139:16). The book of Job gives more distinct details, for it says that from the breath of the Almighty (Shaday) comes the understanding of man, that is, Jehovah is intimately involved in the formation of the spirit of man (Job 32:8). Also, in the book of Job we read that this spirit that Jehovah formed within man is responsible for his actions (Job 20:3).

Jehovah, in this way, has the spirit and the soul of all men in his hands. Nobody does anything outside the will of Jehovah: “Who among all these does not know that the hand of Jehovah has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:9-10).

According to this, Solomon says that Jehovah is the author of wicked men: “Jehovah has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov. 16:4).

Esau was evil from the womb (Gen. 25:19-23; Heb. 12:16,17). Paul reveals that Jehovah is the potter who makes good people and bad people: “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and one vessel for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Rom. 9:21,22). This God is Jehovah, not the Father, for he prepared a people for destruction, whereas the Father saves all men: “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1Tim. 4:10). Considering that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, he could not have prepared a people for destruction.

Moses and Aaron confirmed that Jehovah is the God of the spirits of all flesh in Num. 16:22; 27:16. With so many texts revealing that Jehovah is the God of the spirits of all human flesh, it is established that Jehovah is the God of all flesh: “BEHOLD, I AM JEHOVAH, THE GOD OF ALL FLESH” Jer. 32:27.

It is alarming to think of Jehovah as the God of all human flesh, and Paul says that the flesh is corruptible and cannot enter the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). And if Jehovah really is the God of all human flesh, he was also the God of the inhabitants of Sodom, of Gen. 18 and 19. If anyone thinks he can deny this truth, he should know that Jehovah declared that the potter was the one who formed Israel (Jer. 18:1-6). He said that he formed Israel from the womb (Is. 44:1,2). He declared that Israel was a rebel from birth (Is. 48:8). To be a rebel is to do evil, fail in his duties, perpetuate evil. It was the potter who made them, and afterwards called them Princes of Sodom and of Gomorrah (Is 1:8-12; Ezek. 16:46-48). If Jehovah is the God of Israel and Judah, and calls them Sodom and Gomorrah, he is the God of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The New Testament brings an alarming fact to light about the spirit of man, which Jehovah formed from the beginning (Gen, 2:7). It is that the natural man, with a spirit within him, which was formed by Jehovah, cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14). And the apostle Paul continues: The spirit of man knows but the things of man (1 Cor. 2:11). This is the spirit of the world (1 Cor. 2:12). We can understand, now, why it was that Jehovah set the world in the hearts of men (Eccl. 3:11). We may ask: Can God set the world in the hearts of men in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament call the friend of the world, an adulterer? (James 4:4). An incoherent God alone does this. Jesus and the Father, on the contrary, act with absolute coherence.

Which, then, is the spirit of those that believe in Jesus Christ? Paul teaches that, in order to become a believer, the convert is buried with Christ through baptism into death (Rom. 6:4). What was it that died, that it should be buried? The physical body remains the same. The soul is the life. The spirit is what is buried — what we are and what we think. After baptism we continue to have a body and a soul, but with another spirit within, the spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:19). The spirit of Christ is Christ formed in us: “…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:22-24). The old man was crucified with Christ (Gal. 5:24).

In the New Testament, the spirit is no longer that of man, but that of Christ, to the point that we become almost like Christ, in stature and perfection (Eph. 4:13).

The mind of Christ absorbs our minds (1Cor. 2:16). The glory of Christ manifests itself in the Christian (Col. 1:27). Paul was so transformed, and his works were also so transformed, that he declared: “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). 2 Cor. 5:17 was fulfilled: “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”.

There is one thing that must be considered. The flesh, which belongs to Jehovah, must be crucified. The spirit of Jehovah must be changed. The world set in men’s hearts by Jehovah has to go (1 John 2:15-17). The understanding Jehovah breathed in man (Gen. 2:7; Job 32:8) has to be exchanged by the Mind of Christ. If the spirit of man  was the spirit of Jehovah, why was it condemned?

The ones who have the spirit of Christ are saved, and praise the Lord.

This is the reason why man has to turn from Jehovah to Jesus in order to be saved, as was the case with Paul (Acts 22:3,4; Phil. 3:3-9).

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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