Presbyterians/the breath we received


My question revolves around God breathing life into us, as stated in Genesis 2:7.  My interest is the origin of the life in the breath.  As I read and understand it, as is the nature of breathing, God's breath originated from within him somehow,  and when he breathed into us, the breath carried in it the life we now possess. If I am understanding this correctly, can we say that we all somehow possess life that once existed within God?  I'm not asking for an explanation of how God did this, or how God made our life, but rather I am interested in knowledge about the original location of our life before we got it.
Thank you,

Hi Kirk,

That's a great question. Your follow up statement also shows a lot of wisdom ("not asking how God did this, or how God made our life").

It's significant to note that in Hebrew the word for "spirit" and/or "the Spirit of God" is "ruach," and in Greek the word for both is "pneuma." When the Scriptures speak of God's Spirit and God's breath, they are speaking about the same thing,

Hence in the ancient universal creeds, the Nicene in particular, the church confesses, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life."

In regeneration a new life (the life of the resurrected Jesus) is breathed into God's people (see Jn 20:22 to compare to Gen 3:7).

One think that is important to understand is that the creation of mankind in the image of God, in regeneration in Christ, and in eventual glorification of God's people, his people never share in the divine essence, but rather in the divine energies.

I don't think I'd want to say that all life was once "in God" (or I'd want to carefully qualify it if I said it that way). The true and living God is the creator, the origin, and the causation of all life, but to say that all life was once in God may be understood to teach the error of the ancient Gnostics, who taught that some people (not all) had within them "the spark of the divine" so that the goal for those people was that their become "assumed into the Bythos," in other words, that they cease to exist and that the life that they have "returns into God."

I think the Scriptures are understood best when we understand by them that there is a Creator/creature distinction, and so while God is the cause of all life, it's not as he "gives up some of his substance" to create living things.

I hope this is helpful.

God's blessings be with you,


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Pastor G


I am glad to answer questions about the Scriptures, Systematic, Biblical and Historic Theology, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew (although my Greek is stronger than my Hebrew); and I am also glad to give pastoral advise and counsel.


A minister ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church since 1993. Prior to that I served as an elder. Former Senior Police Chaplain. College and Seminary-level lecturer.

B.A. Psychology and Theology, M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Law Enforcement Chaplaincy certification, ICPC

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