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Spiritual Headship, Part 2: The Nature of Man

Discussion in 'Paterology, Christology & Pneumatology' started by Father's Image, Jul 12, 2002.

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  1. Father's Image

    Father's Image New Member

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    <DIV>[Please read Part 1 before reading this thread]</DIV>
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    <DIV>Genesis 5:1-3...</DIV>
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    <DIV>"This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."</DIV>
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    <DIV>&nbsp;These first three verses record how mankind got its start. The first verse tells that God created <I>man in His likeness </I>(first was Adam). In the second verse, the specific creation of male and female is mentioned (second, Eve). Having set the tone for the gravity of the events being reported, the third verse tells how Adam begot a son <I>in his own likeness, after his image!</I> This purposely repeats the phrases from verse one, and from 1:26,27. Nowhere else in this genealogy (or any other) are these phrases used. Why does 5:1 repeat what 1:27 already told us, that God created man in His likeness? It repeats it because it is important for us to know <I>that the same type of process</I> happened in verse three! In much the same way that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, Seth was begotten in the image and likeness of Adam! Why is Seth important? He is the first human listed in Adam’s genealogy who was <I>born.</I> The Bible has described for us how Adam was created, how Eve was created, and now, how Seth was begotten. Now that we know how Seth was begotten, we know how <I>everyone else</I> is begotten. Seth was the final link in the chain to reach you and me. There is a very interesting verse, Luke 3:38 that finishes a genealogy of Joseph: "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God." </DIV>
    <DIV>All of humanity can read Gen.5:3 and know from whence we came <I>- we came from our fathers before us, of course!</I> That is why this verse does not say that Adam begot a son in the image and likeness of God, as would be expected. Had God not spelled it out for us the way that He did in verse 3, we would have wrongly assumed that a newly conceived baby’s spirit comes directly from God - and such is the popular assumption, today. God plainly tells us in this verse that Seth was begotten <I>in the image and likeness</I> of his earthly father. The same way that a baby’s body comes out of his mother’s body, his spirit comes out of his father’s spirit. The spirit of the father is imparted to the child. This process is called Paternal Traducianism. It all makes perfect sense, really. We know that God provided us with a mechanism to produce physical offspring; so, it shouldn’t surprise us that God created a coinciding mechanism to make those physical offspring also be <I>spiritual offspring</I>. Spiritual conception and physical conception are inseparable. A man must have a spirit, just as he must have a body - and our God is the God of both, is He not? God doesn’t bother with forming the body of each new person from the dust of the ground, each time one comes into the world; so, why would we expect him to do the equivalent of that for the spirit of each new baby? Creation was finished on Day Six, and within His creation are all the processes and mechanisms necessary to keep it running.

    Does this mean that we are not made in the image of God? Certainly not! We are made in the image of God, but that image is not passed to us directly from God. It is an image that has been damaged - ruined by Adam - and it has been passed down to us from our forefathers. Adam was created in the image of God, and that image became Adam; therefore, Seth was begotten in the image of Adam, which was also the image of God.

    Why does the spirit of the child come from only one parent, and not from both parents? Classic traducianism, as championed by Tertullian, took this route and said that both parents are equal contributors in "producing" the "soul" of the child. This caused classic traducianism to be fatally flawed. What Tertullian, as well as his opponents, failed to realize is that a spirit is eternal and, as such, it can not be created - it must be imparted. If the spirit or soul of the child is produced by both parents, then you will either have a child who has two spirits (which is absurd), or you will have a child with a hybrid spirit - a unique spirit which has never before existed - a <I>new creation </I>created by the parents. Tertullian tried to add a creation process to spiritual impartation, and this is why traducianism was "defeated", because a spirit can not be created - it must be imparted. Parents can not create a spirit, they can only impart a spirit. Thus we have the answer to why God designed us in such a way that the spirit of only one parent is imparted to the child:<I> because it was absolutely necessary! </I>Once you remove the flawed creation process, then there is no "combining" of parental spirits. For the child to have only one spirit, only one spirit can be imparted to the child.

    We are now left with the question of why God chose the father? Among other reasons, It’s a matter of differing reproductive roles. In our modern age, the world has nullified the father’s role, responsibilities, and rights, claiming that he only donated a single microscopic sperm cell, after all, and therefore the mother has much greater importance. Now we see through scripture that God created an equally significant role for the father. God often does things in a balanced way. As usual, the world has taken God’s design and turned it upside down, concocting the grievous term, "biological father". Every father is a <I>spiritual father</I> - even God the Father! (Which brings us to the next reason).

    Fatherhood was designed by God to be a model of the God-man relationship. This is why He chose to be called "Father", instead of "Mother". The model of fatherhood helps us to understand who God is. The father represents God to the family. It is well known that a child’s relationship with his father strongly influences his adult relationship with God. A child’s perception of his father can help or hinder his perception of God. I believe that children know <I>at a spiritual level</I> that their physical father is their spiritual father.

    The third reason is so that Christ could <I>be born of a virgin.</I> When Adam sinned, all future humanity was condemned at that moment. Adam was the father of us all. The Creator knew before creation that man would fall, and that we would need a Savior to be born as one of us, and yet not have our fallen spirit, but Christ’s Spirit. In His infinite wisdom, He separated the reproductive roles of the father and the mother between the spiritual and the physical. In order to facilitate the future birth of the Messiah, the role of one parent would be almost entirely spiritual, and the role of the other parent would be entirely physical. It is only logical that He chose the mother for the physical role and the father for the spiritual role. So God created human reproduction in such a way as to cause the spirit of the father to be passed on to the children. Jesus could then be <I>born of a virgin,</I> <I>("the seed of a woman";Gen.3:15,Gal,4:4)</I> providing His Spirit for this wondrous conception. A human father’s spirit would not be part of the process, this time (Jn.8:23). The Spirit of the Messiah could not come from the old, fallen, depraved line of Adam. The Messiah had to be a new spiritual line - <I>a New Adam!</I> A new spiritual line from a Spirit that is older than time itself. The virgin birth of Christ is a far greater sign of His Deity than is commonly realized.

    How else could we be cursed with a "sin nature"? The "sin nature" is a <I>spiritual problem, </I>not a physically inherited trait. The "nature" is simply the outward manifestation of the spirit. It is the behavioral tendencies and characteristics of the spirit. In believers, the Spirit of Christ is our new nature. More accurately, the Spirit of Christ is the <I>reason or cause</I> of our new nature. How can believers have a new nature? Because we were given a New Spirit. The old nature is the product of the old spirit. Sin and righteousness are spiritual matters, and the natures for each are in the realm of the spirit. Every problem in us that is "fixed" by the New Spirit was caused by our old spirit. This is why it was necessary for God to provide the Holy Spirit for our salvation: Nothing less than a New Spirit would remedy the problems of our old spirit.

    How was Adam’s sin nature transmitted to you? It had to be either physically or spiritually. If it was physically, then it was transmitted through DNA, and science could eventually come up with a gene therapy drug to cure it; but this is not the case. "Sin nature" is actually the result of a sinful, fallen spirit that has been passed down, generation to generation, from Adam to us. We are sinful from conception. Sinfulness is our problem. Calling it a "nature" was an attempt to explain how it is passed down through the generations. It is just sinfulness, and spiritual deadness. Sin results in sinfulness. Our sinfulness and fallen nature is not because of any "association" with Adam, or Adam’s "legal representation" of us. We were Adam! For a long time, Christians have treated our sinfulness, spiritual deadness, and fallen nature as some sort of congenital disease. The logical conclusion of such a view is that we are all just innocent victims. It is not our fault -- it is Adam’s fault. How then does scripture place the weight of Adam’s sin squarely on our shoulders? We invent "federal headships", and such, to make ourselves feel like we understand it, but such answers are not founded on the rock of truth, and are but quicksand. It is our nature to be sinful because we sinned (in Adam), not because we inherited some "nature".

    Most Christians agree that a child is given a spirit at the moment of conception. Where did it come from? Did it come from God? It is a fallen spirit, contaminated with a sin nature, and dead. Nothing bad, contaminated, tainted, or dead ever comes from God! God didn’t even give Adam a fallen spirit; He gave him a righteous spirit. It was Adam who chose his own sinfulness. If God gave you your spirit when you were conceived, it would have been a righteous, unfallen spirit - just like the one He gave to Adam. God simply <I>can not</I> create a sinful, dead spirit to give to you. Sin and death do not emanate from Him. Righteousness and life emanate from Him! "…God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."(Matt.22:32). If our spirits are newly created by God, at conception (as some believe), or, if our spirits are taken from a heavenly queue of spirits, waiting to be born (like others believe), then we would have a new, unfallen spirit, untouched by Adam’s sin, with no link to the fall of man, and no need of a Savior <I>- we would be Adam all over again</I>; also, Jesus would not have needed to be born of a virgin. Scripture indicates otherwise. God <I>can</I> give you a new spirit that comes directly from Him, but it is at the moment of <I>salvation</I> - not the moment of <I>conception!</I>This is the reason why Adam recorded the genealogy <I>paternally.</I> Being the first human ever, Adam had no cultural biases, no customs, no traditions, and no experience. He must have been much like a child, at first, with a thousand questions and no parent to ask. God must have taught him many things, especially things of vital importance to the patriarch of mankind - things that he would need to teach to future generations, such as how to keep the genealogical record. Have you thought of why the Bible - the inerrant Word of God - is filled with paternal genealogies? God’s Word was written just the way that He wanted it. Mankind has always had atleast an innate sense of the spiritual significance of paternal genealogy. This is why the vast majority of humanity gives the father’s surname to the children, even in those cultures where the wife does not take the surname of the husband.

    Paternal traducianism is also supported by Christ's statement in John 3, saying that "you must be born again". The Greek word for "born" ("gennao") means "born, conceived, begotten, <I>fathered</I>", and the word for "again" also means "from above". To be born again is to be <I>fathered from above!</I> This is why to believe in Christ is to become a child of God. His Spirit is imparted to us!

    Ken</DIV>
     
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