Part 1 of 5: Learning how God created us spiritually, and then how He formed us naturally. Understanding this will help in answering the question in the title.
What is Jesus saying in Matthew 19:1-6?
In Matthew 19 verses one through twelve Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and His disciples about divorce. The Pharisees were testing Him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”. Jesus answered the Pharisees by saying, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate”. In the first part of Jesus’ statement He takes the Pharisees back to Genesis 1:27. Jesus then jumps over to Genesis 2:24. Therefore, in order to understand what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, we must look at the passages of scripture, which tells us how God made man and how God made marriage.
Going Back to Genesis
When looking at Genesis 1, we recognize that it’s the creation of the Earth by God in six days. The book of Genesis chapter 1, tells us what He created and did in those six days. As we approach the sixth day in verse twenty-four, we read God speaking into existence the living creatures of the Earth. Then in verse twenty-six God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”. Notice that God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”. Image? What is the image of God? Well, to find out His image, we must first ask, what is God? In John 4:24 Jesus, when talking to the woman at the well, tells us that, “God is spirit…”. Therefore, we can conclude that God’s image is spiritual because He is spirit. So, now when we go back to Genesis 1 and read verse twenty-seven which says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”. God was not talking about the physical form and gender of humans, He was talking about the creation of our soul, which is male and female; or in other words, masculine and feminine. God’s image is spiritual, and His likeness is male and female, masculine and feminine.
Genesis 1: Earth Spiritual Nature
Genesis 1 shows its readers the spiritual nature of Earth, only the sea and dry land is natural. Every time God spoke something into existence, He was creating it spiritually not naturally. In verse twenty-seven it says, “in the image of God He created him…”, this is Adam or “man” spiritually. As the verse continues it says, “male and female He created them”, this is Adam and Eve spiritually one. God continues in the next verse and blesses them by saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth”. God commanded “man” to, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”. Adam and Eve would then go on to multiply, and fill the Earth, and subdue it with their soul, male and female soulfully/spiritually one. Adam and Eve multiplied spiritually, thus making the soul of you and I, and all those that will come into physical existence. This is why Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 when writing about the order of mankind resurrection, he says in verse twenty-two, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”. Because the soul of Adam was multiplied in Genesis 1. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit in Genesis 3, our soul was destined for death, the second death. Jesus, being our Savior, came to give us eternal life, but we must first receive Him. Genesis 1:27 shows its readers Adam spiritually. Genesis 2:7 shows us how the Lord God made Adam physically.
Genesis 2: Earth's Physical Nature
When the reader begins to read Genesis 2, we read that it is the seventh day and God rested from all His work. We then notice a name change from “God” to the “Lord God”. God, chapter two tells us, is resting. Now the Lord God, or known to us as God the Father, is doing. If we look at the Bible, in its entirety, we must recognize that God has been with us in His three-persons throughout the course of humanity’s existence. God the Father was with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, Jesus Christ came in the New Testament as our Savior, and now His Holy Spirit is here as our comforter. The Godhead has been with us at different times throughout our existence. So, in Genesis 1:27, God created man spiritually by creating us in His image and likeness. Now, in Genesis 2:7, “the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”. The Lord God “formed man” whom God in Genesis 1:27, already created. The Lord God gave our soul a vessel and breathed into it His breath, which gave our soul life in the physically body to operate it. The Lord God’s breath is our spirit, without it we can do nothing, we then die our physical death, the first death. Ecclesiastes 12:7 writes, “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it”.
Paul Writes of the First and Last Adam
Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 shows two different times man is made. So, when we read what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 regarding our resurrection, we should notice that Paul, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognizes that Adam was made two times. In verse forty-five of 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes, “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit”. Notice that Paul says, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image…”. God calls us all “man” spiritually. Our soul is "man". “The last Adam”, still “man”, “became a life-giving spirit”. “Man”, our soul, became a spirit within the body. Studying this verse in the original Greek will help the reader of 1 Corinthians 15:45 to understand what Paul writes. Therefore, Paul goes on in the next verse to say, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual”, in the order of “man” resurrection. Paul recognized that we were created spiritually first and then we were made natural, but in the order of mankind's/believers resurrection we must die naturally first in order to be raised spiritually. Which is why Paul says in the verses previous, “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body”. God made us spiritually in Genesis 1 and naturally in Genesis 2, just like He did everything else.
All Living Things Have a Spiritual Body
In Genesis 1, God made everything spiritually. In Genesis 2, the Lord God formed everything naturally. For example, Genesis 1:24 says, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’; and it was so”. This was God creating them spiritually. Then Genesis 2:19 says, “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name”. The Lord God gave the spiritual animals flesh, making them natural as well. Paul addresses this in the same chapter, fifteen, of 1 Corinthians. Verse thirty-eight and thirty-nine says, “But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish”. God made everything spiritually in Genesis 1. The Lord God caused living things to grow (plants) and gave flesh (formed) to living things (man and animals). Understanding how God made us will help us understand what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees in Matthew 19, when referring to Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, and it will help us answer the question in the title.