Divine Human Nature

What does it mean to get saved according to Genesis one through three?

This is a term I heard so much growing up in the Baptist Church. Its a term I still use on occasion. It is a word that starts to sound really weird after hearing so much.

“Do you want to get saved?”   “Are you Saved?”    “Am I Saved?”

Now nearing about 7 years of being part of the School of Biblical Studies in YWAM, I have taught Genesis 1-3  more than any other passages in the bible by far.

For the past few weeks I have been talking about the book, going through the first few chapters, with about 10-15 youth here in Mexico. All of the kids would say they are Christians. By and large, Mexican people would claim Christianity more than most Americans. It is a very religiously minded culture. Some of the boys are actually seeking discipleship and have began a real relationship with God that is evident in their life. But some of the boys are not in that place.

So I have been doing these bible studies for a mixed group, some of the boys have not been “Saved”.

So my thought has been, “what would that look like according to Genesis one through three”?  What is it to be saved?

First I have decided that its nothing to do with religion. No religiousness is needed to begin. In fact there is very little that is religious at all about these few chapters. If religion involves rules, than there was only one. Enjoy everything do everything your were created to do, just don’t eat of that tree. It brings death.

Of course God is involved. So if God = religion than maybe this is religious. But according the the great dreaded biblical scholar, Jesse Levi Evans, Genesis one, two, and three is not about religion.

It is about being a whole person. It is not until after man freely chose death for his race that man became somethingda-vinci incomplete. Before his choice, he had work that was fulfilling and meaningful. God had delegated to him the of job running everything he had set up. Not only meaningful work, but meaningful sex and relationships, and family. The very breath of the creator filled your lungs and gave you your full existence. Life was very good. Life was full. Man was whole. Man knew God. Man knew nature. Man knew himself.

What does it mean to be saved according to Genesis one through three? It means that being made whole again is possible. You learn what it means to be a person.

Though chapter three brings death, -death to the whole man, death to fulfillment in work, relationships, and mans relationship with his creator, man begins to set his eyes on a resurrection, on a recreation.

Studying the bible has become I hobby and a deep love affair for me. I still cry just reading specific passages. I get excited about the connections. Studying the bible is not a religious endeavor but me 1)becoming a whole person, 2) knowing the whole story, 3) knowing my environment and my role in it, 4) gaining perspective on Gods whole character.

In other words being saved is not religious nonsense found in a religious book created by fanatics. In fact that’s why I don’t use that phrase much.

Being saved becomes becoming whole, knowing myself, my environment, my friends and family by way of revelation from God and not being left to deal with only my bad choices that lead to death, frustration, toil, anger. The bible is not about becoming more religious its about become more human, which according to Genesis one through three is in the image of the divine.

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Categories: Anthropology, Bible, Church, Context, Cosmology, CSBS, Culture, Doctrine, Faith, Genesis, Mexico, Old Testament, Origins, Orthodox, Philosophy, psychology, Salvation, School of Biblical Studies, sociobiology, sociology, Spiritual, Theology, YWAM | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Divine Human Nature

  1. Great word. It’s always good to read your thoughts. Sparks great conversations.

  2. Thanks Chel. I love the garden. Even the bad tree reminds me that we are able to discern good and bad, though only from a limited earthly perspective. Our broken relationship with God means without God all of our ability to know good from bad is only from a limited perspective.

  3. It is interesting to me that so few people seem to approach walking with Christ in the manner you have described. How blessed it is when study and prayer become more about relationship with God then required chores to be performed. Your words are timely indeed. It appears everyone is desperately seeking fulfillment of self, desiring to be valued by others, when all along the answer is right there- in the beginning.

  4. I’ve grown uncomfortable with the term, or rather its use. The Bible talks about “those who are bring saved” and “working out your salvation.” Although the term is valid, I think, using it in the finite past tense suggests a finished work, and event that has happened, rather than the ongoing salvation the Bible seems to present, via ongoing crucifixion of flesh, dying to sin, becoming more like Christ, and finding its ultimate fulfilment after our physical death (at the last day? when Jesus returns? I’m not 100% clear, but after our life here on earth has terminated).

    • Im sorry, could you phrase the question differently. I want to be sure i understand the comments and questions.

      • No question. I was just saying I don’t think a description of salvation as an initial finished event is helpful. Maybe “getting saved,” first believing, getting baptised etc is like purchasing a train ticket. The initial purchase of the ticket is not going to get you to the destination. You have to get on the train amd stay on it until you get to where you’re going. Final or complete salvation is the end of the line, the destination. We often talk about salvation as an initial event, not something ongoing.

      • Right. I was going at the same issue I think from a different angle. Like the word “saved” rather then like your saying ‘buying a ticket”. Saved indicates something final. I think there is something final about the word that is actually in scripture because what God has accomplished in Christ is final. Though as you say, what about us, our responsibility to in “being saved”. I think that putting the emphasis on the finished work of Christ has made this more confusing then it was meant to be. NT Wright has a great bit of work on this confusion and attempts to clear it up. Check out this video, skip ahead about 11 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwXBo9Jvkb4

  5. This was fantastic Jesse. I think you have gotta back to the heart of the gospel here.

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