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Adam, Man, Woman

In the English language, the word ‘man’ in certain general context refers to ‘mankind’, representing both male and female. In other words, at a high abstract level, ‘Man’ includes both man and woman.

Only when we understand God’s plan and creation of Adam, man and woman, can we appreciate the spiritual significance of this representation and relationship without secular sexism.

“And God said, Let us make Adam,” (Genesis 1:26)

“And God created Adam in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them[1].” (Genesis 1:27).

(Note [1]: in this verse, the English words “him” and “them” are translated from the same Hebrew word את (‘êth), which is a particle that has no gender, nor countability – singular or plural.)

“And God formed Adam of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and Adam became a living soul.” Genesis 2:07.

“And the LORD God built the rib that he had taken from Adam into a woman; and brought her to Adam. And Adam said, This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: this shall be called Woman, because this was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:22-23).

It is important to note that in the original Scripture, ‘Adam’ and ‘Man’ are two different words. God created Adam (Genesis 1:26) first, not man (nor woman). Genesis 2:23 is where the word “man” appeared the first time, and it was after woman was created out of Adam. What was remaining, although still called Adam by name, was man, and Adam for the first time realized that he was man.

Adam thus includes both man and woman (see Genesis 1:27) [2].

(Note [2]: to prevent any misinterpretation of this statement, it should be emphasized that the statement is “Adam includes both man and woman” not “Adam is both man and woman.”)

‘Adam’ and ‘Man’ were originally not exactly the same, but only subsequently referred to as the same, in terms of a representation.

God has a clear order of concepts about Adam, Man and Woman: Adam was one, then became Man and Woman, who are meant to be united into One [3].

(Note [3]: to prevent any misinterpretation of this statement, it should be emphasized that this does not imply that Man and Woman are each half of Adam. There is an order in God’s design. The fact that the man continued to carry the name Adam shows that it is Man who is both the center and the beginning of Adam, while Woman is given to Man. But on the other hand, Woman was not a thing given to Man. She is his bone of bones and flesh of flesh. This is the design by God in His work in time, not for the eternity of man and woman. In time, man and woman are just different roles assigned by God to accomplish a greater thing in eternity. In these roles, the wife is ordained to submit to husband, but the husband is commanded to love wife, as Christ loved the church and died for her – Ephesians 5:25. In eternity, there is no gender. Everyone, man or woman, is a son of God, done with the earthly duty – Matthew 22:30.)

The process of being just one, formed into two, but then united back into One, which is not simply the same as original one but better. The process carries the entire meaning expressed by God in Adam, is the mystery of Adam, who is a parable of Christ.

Adam became Man after Woman was formed out of him, so Man continues to be called Adam, positionally and representatively. Woman was formed out of Man, in terms of their relationship. Man positively recognizes this relationship. And this recognition carries both intimacy and responsibility.

But unfortunately these concepts are confused in various languages and cultures, as shown in both the English and Chinese translations of the Bible.

In Genesis 1:27, “God created Adam in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Note, the distinction between “him” and “them” in the English translation were made for readability according to tradition. Both words correspond to the same Hebrew particle את (‘êth) which has no gender nor countability – singular or plural. It is thus just Adam. Both him and them are in Adam.

This is the most fundamental definition of Adam the Man. In the original text, it was Adam alone at first. Adam became man upon the making of woman out of him, and the man continued to be called Adam.

Therefore, strictly speaking, Adam’s most basic meaning is not a personal name, but a general term for “Man” and does not refer only to man (male), but includes both man (male) and woman (female), for God created Adam (Man) male and female (Genesis 1:27).

The creation of Adam, man and woman in the first chapter of Genesis and the second chapter is not a simple chronological description of the process. Rather, the first chapter is a presuppositional summary. It is only in Genesis 2 and 3 that the specific process of creation begins.

God first made Adam, but this Adam was alone, and God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. He needed a mate. So God took a part of Adam and made another part of Adam, which was called woman by the man, who is the remaining part of Adam, because she came out of the man. In the original text, the literal meaning of “woman” is “out of man” or “being of man”, so Adam called Eve his ‘flesh of bone and flesh of flesh’, an objective description of the relationship in life, and not a romantic or poetic one.

Thus Adam ultimately points to man and woman united. Note that after woman was taken out of Adam, ‘man’ was literally incomplete, so was ‘woman’.

However, henceforth the man continued to be called Adam, because man was the representative of “Adam”, and the woman was called Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Genesis 3:20.

Adam’s name was given by God, and Eve’s name was given by Adam.

So we see how perfect God’s heart is for Adam. The man and the woman were not meant to be separate from each other, but united into one to become the complete Adam in God’s heart.

God said it was not good for Adam being alone. God’s calling it “not good” is not a small thing, for God saw “it was good” for all His creation in Genesis 1, leaving the lonely state of Adam a big exception.

Adam must have a companion to be considered good in the eyes of God.

It is important to note that in God’s Word it never says, “It is not sufficient for a man to live alone,” but rather that it is not good for Adam to be in the state in which he was just one when he was first created (Genesis 2:18). This refers to Adam, not to man (male) himself, and especially not to each man as an individual (for otherwise, one could argue that a man who does not marry must have had an incomplete life, which clearly is not the case considering that apostle Paul did not marry).

Today people of the world often say that woman is half of man, and man is half of woman, etc. But that is only an expression of a soulish sentiment and does not express the deep spiritual intent of God for Man. Only by seeing God’s heart for Man as a whole, and moreover God’s heart for the Man in Christ, can we transcend these sentiments and low-level perceptions.

The first Adam in the mind of God is only a type (a prefigure). He is the first Adam, and all the children of Adam are counted in him. God has a second Man, the last Adam, who is the Son of God incarnate, Lord Jesus Christ.

The first Adam was corrupted by sin, and the last Adam became the substitute at a whole new level, incorruptible.

And the last Adam also received his “Woman”, which is his church. And this Woman, the church, also came out of the part God took out of the last Adam, when Jesus died on the cross, and the blood and water came from his pierced side.

“…but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it bears witness, and his witness is true, and he knows that he says true that ye also may believe.” John 19:34-35.

“Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be united to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ, and as to the church. ” Ephesians 5:31-32.

Only when we see this great mystery can we understand from the opposite side why Satan, the devil, is trying so hard to destroy the relationship between men and women, especially marriage, sexuality and even basic gender distinctions.

Satan is trying to plant poisonous seeds in the hearts of Adam’s children. If you think that Satan is only interested in causing social immorality in the family structure and order of human society, you grossly underestimate him. If you even agree with Satan’s assertion that gender and marriage are all just some human customs that should be open to arbitrary choices, you have fallen for Satan’s scheme.

Seeing this, you will also understand why, in the book of Romans, the most basic and fundamental truth of salvation in the New Testament, when the apostle Paul describes the corruption of man, he singles out the confusion of gender right after stating that man turned away from God and worshiped idols. And after that, the first thing he points out is the disorder in the relations between men and women (Romans 1:26-27), before he lists all the other sins and conditions together (Romans 1:28-32).

Let us not look at this matter with a merely narrow moral perspective. Do not think what one does or chooses to be is simply a personal matter. It has to do with God’s eternal plan, and at the same time with to do Satan’s scheme to ruin God’s plan.

But at the same time, do not assume that everyone who adheres to traditional marriage and gender understands the heart of God and is doing God’s will. Further, do not assume that a person who hates those who suffer the effect of sin is fighting on the side of God.

We all are victims of sin, in one form or another, directly or indirectly. Hate sin but love the sinner, because that is what God does.

It is a form of rebelling when we choose to deviate from God’s plan and design. But do we not know that the hateful attitude held by self-righteous people also serves as a convenient excuse used by Satan to incite people to more rebellious thoughts and acts?

The rebellion of sinners is the direct act against the truth. But the self-righteousness is a counter-witness against the truth. Satan cleverly combines these seemingly opposite forces together to form the two edges of a pair of scissors, which he uses in his own hands to make destructions.

We need to understand the plan and the heart of God. We are all God’s creation, and God has a design and intention in Adam (man and woman) that will be fulfilled in Christ and His church. This seemingly basic design of state and relationship has to do with the ultimate meaning of the mankind in achieving the glorious purpose of God.

Any deviation from God’s original intent is by definition sin. If one does not even see this basic point in God’s heart for man and woman, and even sides with the enemy of God, or worse yet even openly acts as an enemy of God, how can one be said to be of God?