The Father of Spirits

“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9)

Human parents transmit physical characteristics to their offspring, but our spiritual attributes come from God, for He is “the Father of spirits.” Paul recognized that all men are “the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29) and that each man is still “the image and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 11:7).

Thus, our spirit/soul nature, as distinct from our body of physical/mental flesh, has come from God, who created it and united it with our body, evidently at the moment of physical conception in the womb. It is obvious that the “image of God,” man’s spirit/soul nature, could not be transmitted genetically via the “genetic code” and the DNA molecules, for these are simply complex chemicals programmed to transmit only the physical and mental attributes of the ancestors to the children. Nevertheless, the spirit/soul attributes of each person also seem to be associated inseparably with the body from conception onward, continuing so until separated again at death, when the spirit goes “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8), leaving the body behind.

In the meantime, however, the “image of God” in man is marred by its incorporation in man’s “sinful flesh,” for “the body is dead because of sin” (Romans 8:3, 10). By this union of flesh and spirit, man inherits Adam’s fallen nature as well as his mortal body, and both are in need of salvation. Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity” (Titus 2:14). Therefore, we, like Paul, can pray that our “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). HMM

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