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Life where do I start?
By: Robert Berendt (published April 28, 2016)

Each living cell in a plant, animal or creature of any kind is a remarkable and complex world of its own. In the last decades of the study of living things, it has become clear that a living cell is not something simple. It needs to have the ability to get food and to discharge refuse. It must have oxygen and a variety of nutrients. It cannot survive when it is too cold or too hot. It cannot exist totally by itself but depends on a number of other cells. A living cell can only exist within a living body. The list goes on.

In order for a body to exist, each cell of that body needs to be "up and running" at the same moment in time. When God formed the body of Adam, He created trillions of individual cells - all having a function within the body that enabled all other cells to be fed and cared for. There are a number of different kinds of cells and parts in our bodies. God could not start the heart beating first and then get around to working on arteries or blood. He could not start the lungs unless the heart was beating. There is no point to have a beating heart without blood, arteries built in a way that leads to the right places. Every part of the body had to receive nourishment via the bloodstream and refuse was picked up as the needed material was delivered to each cell. Where and how would a cell drop off the refuse? When did a cell learn to pick up food and drop off refuse? Amazingly enough, no cell knew there were trillions of cells that it depended on for life. Although no cell can exist for long on its own, it does not say thank you for all the work the rest of the cells are doing to keep it alive.

There is something beyond our understanding in the creation of Adam and Eve or of any living plant, bird, fish or animal that God made. At creation the complete and whole living thing could only have survived if the complete body began or started at the same moment. When God started Adam's heart to beating, the blood needed to be perfectly ready to move into already prepared arteries so every cell could be reached. Actually the blood vessels needed to be full of blood and the lungs on a second's notice would be transferring oxygen into the blood stream. In other words, Adam's body had to be so complete that God could speak and everything would start at once (Gen. 2:7). In order for any creature to live (and God did create each kind - and male and female as well) the whole body had to be there, intact, complete and ready to function from one end to the other at the command of God (like flipping a switch). That thought can be applied to every animal, bird or fish. God speaks and it "is".

We can forget the question about what came first - the chicken or the egg at least in the case of the chicken. Living cells cannot evolve from nothing. Life comes from life and thus the source had to be the Great Life Giver - God. We humans are just beginning to unravel some of the wonders of life - and yet we strive with all our might not to recognize God and to avoid Him. Since that moment in time when God first created the complete living thing, life has been passed on from one generation to the other. In different ways, adult or mature living things pass on life to the next generation. In the case of humans a living cell from the father unites with a living cell from the mother and the life of the next human being has started. It starts with perfectly functioning cells that are in immediate need of nourishment and support and those cells divide and multiply as by a programmed and detailed blueprint until the person is born. That is a combination from mother and father. Even after birth our body cells continue to live and die and grow.

It matters not that we have no idea of where to look, what to look for, how to find God or how to interact with God - because He promises that if we seek, He will make sure that we truly find Him (Matt. 7:7,8, Mark 11:24). He promises to open the door of understanding and interaction with Him. How amazing is that? Even further, if we do not seek Him at all, that does not mean He does not know the thoughts of every person alive or that anything can happen without Him knowing about it - even in the world of creatures outside of mankind (Matt. 10:29). The Psalmist wrote that with God is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). Although we don't understand, God simply inspired His writers of the Holy Scriptures to tell us that there is a spirit in man and a spirit in animals. At death the spirit in man returns to God and the spirit of animals goes down. Try as we might, there is little more than that which we understand about the origin and end of living things (Eccl. 3:21,12:7). We do not know what will happen afterward, but we do know that death is very final. We return to dust.

We are surrounded with wonders. Some living things die within days or weeks of life. Physical life can end tragically soon after it begins. Predators find the very young easy targets and some creatures like insects live for such a short time. Humans are able to see and ponder these wonders - and then are faced with their own mortality. Death does not regard age, status or position in the food chain. Plants, animals and all living things die at the time set for them to die, or by something that may shorten their lives. We do ponder these great questions and phenomena about us. After death - then what, we ask (at least within ourselves) - and humans have imagined an almost endless set of possibilities. Most of the thoughts about what follows death is not death at all, but simply moving on to some other form of life - but not that death is the total end of life - that seems to be too hard to contemplate. And God does not want us to think that way. He wants people to know that He does have a plan for humans at least, that will give them life which will never end. He offered that to Adam and Eve but they failed (Gen. 3:22). His offer still stands for mankind, though with different terms (John 3:16,17). It can only come through Jesus Christ. Everlasting life means life that never ends. When that is compared to our short span of physical existence, we can truly say that life - true life - starts the moment we have come to terms with our Creator in His plan. We know we are helpless and God knows that too. So all glory is His.

The first time the door was completely open to the start of everlasting life was when Jesus Christ became that door (John 10:9). When some asked where to start, Peter said start by repenting and believing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). Paul explained that a person begins to walk in the "newness of life" (Rom. 6:4,5. Gal. 2:20). Just as the life of a person started through the direct work of God, so too the spiritual life of a person starts through the direct work of God in Christ. Paul knew that the "inner man" that is the new person who is being developed to become like Christ and like the Father is developing within those who have found the path through Christ that leads to eternal life (2 Cor. 4:16-18). True life starts the moment the Father and Son dwell spiritually within a person (John 14:23, I Cor. 15:42-44).

Our first start was when God prepared a physical body for Adam and gave him life. The life that God placed in Adam and Eve has been transferred to each generation that was born. Our new start is when God prepares a spiritual body for us and gives us life everlasting. Our new start is not dependent on life that was transferred from living cells - it is fully dependent on the promise of our Lord and Saviour. We could say that our new start comes through Christ who gave life (John 1:4). That start is possible and necessary for mankind. God made the offer, we make the choice.

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