Script for ‘Journey Through the Bible’ video 2

The creation of Adam

In our last session we saw how God created the Universe―the Earth and moon and planets, and the Sun and all the stars.

Then in Genesis chapter 2 verse 4 God takes us to a specific land on Earth called Eden. It was somewhere in the Middle East. Eden was most likely to have been somewhere in what is now eastern Turkey.

God now gives us more detail about what He did on the sixth creation day.

Chapter 2 verse 7 tells us how God made the very first man, Adam. We read this: “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7).

God formed a human body from the ground. Then He breathed into this human body “the breath of life”. This breath of life united with Adam’s body and a human soul came into being―in other words, a living person.

How can we picture what happened here? Think of an ordinary electric light bulb. When you switch on the light, electricity flows through the bulb. You can’t see the electricity. But when it flows through the bulb, the bulb suddenly lights up and illuminates the room.

This is a good picture of what happened when God created Adam. Like the electricity, God’s “breath of life” was invisible, yet powerful and active. When God breathed into Adam’s body, that “breath of life” suddenly animated Adam’s body. His body sprang to life. A living soul―in other words, a living person―came into being.

Our bodies

So God made Adam from the dust of the ground. We humans are made from physical materials―the same kind of stuff that the Earth is made of. But we also have something invisible and alive. We have the “breath of life”―in other words, a human spirit. We are spiritual beings as well as physical beings.

And this means that our bodies and our spirits are both essential parts of our human nature. We can’t be human without our bodies, any more than we can be human without our spirits.

And that means that we’re not to abuse our bodies by over-indulgence or immorality. We’re to treat them with respect and use them to serve God.

And, as we said in the previous session, when we die we won’t be disembodied spirits floating about on clouds! We’ll have physical bodies. The bodies of God’s people will have new and amazing properties unknown to us now. But they will be at least as solid and real as our present bodies. We couldn’t be human without them.

The first ‘kiss of life’

Before we go on, notice how tenderly God brings Adam into life. God breathes His breath of life into Adam’s nostrils. This is a warmly personal, intimate scene. God, so to speak, gave Adam ‘the kiss of life’. We can imagine Adam awakening into consciousness and finding God, as it were, bending over him, having just kissed him into being.

This note of intimacy is surely significant. The Bible is, at its heart, a love story. It tells of God’s love for mankind. And when God brings human history as we know it to an end, there’ll be a marriage! At the end of the Bible, we see God’s people pictured as a Bride, arrayed in finest linen, radiant with glory, made ready to marry Jesus Christ Himself and live with Him for ever in paradise.

The Garden of Eden

Then, beginning in Genesis 2 verse 8, we read this: “. . . the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden . . .” (Genesis 2:8-10).

The garden of Eden was Adam and Eve’s home. But God made it His home, too. He made His home here on Earth with mankind. In Genesis chapter 3, we read that Adam and Eve “heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). God, of course, lives in Heaven. In fact, He’s present everywhere. But He came into the garden of Eden in a special way and enjoyed times of companionship with Adam and Eve.

The creation of Eve

Then in verse 18, we read something that startles us: “The LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone . . .” (Genesis 2:18). Till now, God had pronounced everything to be good. Now something was not good. Adam was alone.

God made animals and birds and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.

But Adam still needed someone he could truly be united with, someone he could share his life with. “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:21-23).

Matthew Henry, a Bible commentator who lived over 300 years ago, remarked: “the woman was . . .not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”[1]
Genesis 2 tells us that God created Eve to be “a helper fit for” Adam (Genesis 2:20). This English word “helper” might perhaps suggest an ‘assistant’, someone inferior in status. In fact, the original Hebrew word here is most often used to describe the help that God provides for people. The woman is to be the man’s partner, one who matches him perfectly. She completes him, and he in turn completes her.

There were to be areas of special male responsibility and areas of special female responsibility. But though there were differences of role, there was to be an exact balance and perfect equality in the value that man and woman brought to their partnership.

Adam and Eve were both naked, and without shame. This probably means more than just that they didn’t wear any clothes. It seems to picture open, trusting relationship. Their relationship with each other, and with God, was open and transparent. They had nothing to hide from each other. They had nothing to hide from God.

In God’s image

Let’s now go back to something we read in Genesis chapter 1. God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

The most marvellous thing in the whole of creation isn’t the heavens, the sun, the moon and the stars. It’s us humans. And the most amazing thing about us is this: God made us “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27).

What does it mean to be in God’s image? We’re not actually divine, of course. But we are as like God as it’s possible for any created being to be.

We, so to speak, bear God’s family “likeness”. We humans are a true expression of God’s nature and character, but in finite, created form.

Since Adam and Eve’s rebellion, of course, sin has damaged us. But in our essential nature, we all still bear God’s image.

And because we’re in God’s image, our human nature is, in some wonderful way, compatible with God’s nature. This means that we can have a close and meaningful relationship with God in a way no other created being can―not even the angels.

And because our nature is compatible with God’s nature, God could―without ceasing to be fully God―become fully human, too. That’s, of course, exactly what happened when the Son of God became the Man, Jesus Christ. This painting, by a Russian artist called Vasily Polenov, shows Jesus walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was very familiar with this beautiful lake. He may have taken many walks along its shores. In this painting, you can almost imagine yourself walking along this lake with him.

Personality and conscience

So how are we like God? Like Him, we are self-conscious, personal beings. We have personality―that is, mind, heart and will.

Our minds are like doorways into our souls. What we allow into our minds influences what we set our hearts on and ultimately what we choose to do. That’s why it’s so important to feed our minds with wholesome things.

We also have a conscience. Conscience is a kind of inner knowledge imprinted on the mind. It’s rather like an umpire. It makes us aware of whether what we think or say or do is good or evil. But some people’s conscience may not work very well. And it may need educating. Some people have very sensitive consciences. Others have dulled and defiled their consciences.

As Christians, the Holy Spirit works on our consciences. He trains us to discern God’s will accurately.

Central to our human nature is what the Bible calls the heart. We typically think of someone’s heart as their emotions. But the heart is more than that. Our heart is the innermost control centre of our personality.

When we’re born again, the Holy Spirit gives us a new heart. God renews the control centre of our beings. There’s a fundamental change―a kind of seismic shift―in the very core of our human nature.

Finally, each of us has a will―that is, the capacity to make choices and decisions. God, of course, is sovereign over all His creation. And He’s therefore sovereign over us. But in some mysterious way, within His sovereignty, God has endowed us with freedom of choice. And so we are responsible for what we think and say and do.

So we’re like God in having personality―mind, heart and will.


In what other ways are we in God’s image? God is creative, and so are we. Of course, we can’t create out of nothing, as God can. But we can create things out of what already exists. And, of course, we can procreate―children in our own image.

We reflect God, too, in being imaginative, inventive, artistic. And we’re like God in having an aesthetic sense that recognises beauty wherever we find it.

The centrality of love

But there’s another very special way in which we’re like God. At the heart of our Triune God’s nature is love. The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8,16). Love is at the very root of His Divine Being.

We humans are made in God’s image. And so love is at the root of what it means to be human, too. At the very core of our human nature is the capacity for love. Jesus said this: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). When we love God and love each other―selflessly and sacrificially―then we are being truly human, as God intended us to be.

Our relationship with others

Think how remarkably God has set us up for relationship.

Firstly, God created us “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). We’re designed to enjoy the lifelong intimacy of marital union.

Secondly, God created the human race not as isolated individuals, but as a family. We’re all related to each other. Only Adam was created by God directly. Eve was made from Adam’s body. And all of us are the descendants of this human pair. Jesus Himself, too, was descended from Adam and Eve through His mother Mary, though not through her husband Joseph.

So we’re all connected. Each of us is shaped by our involvement in the human race―by genetics, and also by our relationships with other people. That’s why John Donne could write: “No man is an island, entire of itself” .[2] And because we’re all connected, we instinctively need to feel part of a group. We fear exclusion, isolation, loneliness. Without human companionship and intimacy we find it hard, even impossible, to live.

And so when the New Testament speaks about the church as a family, and as a body with different parts, this isn’t a completely new idea. God built it into our human nature right from the very beginning.

Our relationship with God

So we’re made for relationship with each other. And we’re made for relationship with God.

To relate to God is the deepest desire we have as humans. Without God, people look for a ‘replacement god’ to fill their aching void―a false religion or philosophy, a ‘celebrity’ to follow, a cause to fight for, or material possessions. As Saint Augustine famously wrote, God made us for Himself, and our heart is restless, until it rests in Him.[3]

So God has made us for relationship with Himself. In fact, He has made us in such a way that He Himself can live within us. At the Last Supper, hours before His crucifixion, Jesus said this: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). The Triune God lives in everyone who has been born again by God’s Spirit.

And because we bear God’s image, we are very precious to God. This photograph shows a sailor holding his newborn baby on arrival ashore after a two-month deployment at sea. I think this image captures just a little of how precious each one of us is to God.

The pastor and writer Derek Prince wrote this: “For more than fifty years, I have tried to help people with innumerable problems in their lives. Eventually, I have come to a surprising conclusion: Our basic problem as human beings is that we do not realize how valuable we are.”[4]

How should we then live?

And our value as God’s precious image-bearers has profound implications for how we should live. We treat our most precious objects with great care. So we’re to treat ourselves with great care, too. We’re to take care about what we do with our bodies, what we fill our minds with, how we use our talents and how we spend our time.

If I’m so valuable, then so is my friend and my neighbour―and so is my enemy. Our value as God’s image-bearers has great bearing on how we treat other people.

So, in this session, we’ve explored how God made us, and what we humans are like. In our next talk, we’ll explore a little of why God created us and what He wants us to do here on Earth. And we’ll take a moment, too, to look briefly at the angels.

FOOTNOTES [1] Quoted from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Unabridged, comment on Genesis 2:21-25. Available online HERE, accessed on 26 January 2023. [2] Quoted from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions; Together with Death’s Duel by John Donne, XVII. Meditation. An Ann Arbor paperback, published in 1959 by the University of Michigan Press, Michigan, USA, and simultaneously published by Ambassador Books, Ltd., Toronto, Canada. Available online HERE, accessed on 26 January 2023. [3] See Confessions by Augustine of Hippo, book 1, chapter 1. Newly translated and edited by Albert C. Outler, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Published by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1955. Available online HERE. In this book, the exact quotation is, “thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee”. [4] Quoted from Rules of Engagement: Preparing for Your Role in the Spiritual Battle by Derek Prince, page 12. Published by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2006. The italics in the quotation are the author’s own.

CREDITS Text copyright © 2023 Robert Gordon Betts All Scripture citations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, published by HarperCollins Publishers © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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