The word seminal means "of a work, event, moment, or figure) strongly influencing later developments". It is literally the seed that starts the generation of something new. Therefore a seminal moment is one that causes a paradigm shift which affects the future. It becomes a reference point to look back on as a basis for the way things are now.
The seed is the Word of God and when planted in our ready hearts will produce effects that will influence later developments:
1. Mt 13:19-23 (Lk 8:11 – the seed (sporos) is the word of God)
2. 1Cor 15:38 – sperma (to every seed his own body)
a. Jn 1:14 – the Word was made flesh
1. Jn 14:11 – the Father that dwelleth in me
2. 2Cor 5:19 – God was in Christ
3. Col 2:9 – in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
4. 1Tim 3:16 – God was manifest in the flesh
b. Heb 10:5 – a body hast thou prepared me
1. 2Sam 7:12, Ps 132:11 – of the fruit of thy body
2. Is 26:19 – with my dead body shall they live
3. 1Pet 1:23 – spora (being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the
word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever)
4. 1Jn 3:9 – sperma (his seed remaineth in him)
The exodus of Israel was a seminal moment for the people of God. It was prophesied to Abraham 400 years before it happened (Gen 15:13-14). God told Moses it was going to happen beforehand (Ex 3-11, Acts 7:25). Afterward it was looked back to at least 143 times in the Bible. It not only delivered Israel from slavery and set in motion their establishment in the promised land, it gained God a reputation among the nations (Ex 9:16, Josh 2:10, Josh 9:9, 1Sam 4:8, Neh 9:10). This is such an important moment in world history that Egyptologists purposely misdate the evidence which verifies the Biblical account by about 200 years so they do not have to admit that the exodus is true history.
As significant an event as the exodus was, the prophet Jeremiah said there was an event coming that would change the seminal reference of the exodus for Israel. He predicted that the Babylonians would invade the land because of the unrepented sins of Israel, but that God would eventually restore them to their land. This would become a new reference point for them (Jer 16:14-15, Jer 23:7-8. Jer 31:32). The ark of the covenant was the most important piece of furniture ever made. It represented the presence of God and the covenant He made with Israel in Mount Sinai. The two tables of stone which Moses brought down with the ten commandments on them were in the ark. The ark was so sacred that when David was moving it to Jerusalem a Levite named Uzzah touched it and immediately died (2Sam 6:6-7). When the ark was stolen by the Philistines, God plagued them with hemorrhoids and diseased mice until they returned it to Israel (1Sam 4-6). When it arrived back in Israel, the Israelites opened it and looked inside. God killed 50,070 of them. Yet despite its sacredness and meaning, Jeremiah prophesied there would come a time when Israel would no longer look to the ark as the representation of the throne of God because the Lord would make the whole city of Jerusalem the throne of God, He would reunite Israel, and all nations would seek to it (Jer 3:14-18).
Apostolic Christians have generally looked to two seminal moments in their history – the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, and the Azusa Street outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Los Angeles in the first decade of the 20th century. However, the church of the last days will be able to look back on what God is doing and is going to do as their seminal moment (Hag 2:9, Joel 2:23, James 5:7). Understanding the current covenant should give us faith to see greater things in the future.
Each of us needs to have our own personal seminal moments as well. If you cannot look back to a moment in your life when God impacted you in such a way that you have never been the same, then you need one, Certainly, becoming a Christian is a process, but God wants us to have defining moments that forever alter and impact us for the better. We should be able to look back and say, "Until this point in my life I was this way, but after that things changed." It does not have to be as extreme as the ones Manasseh (2Chr 33) or Paul (Acts 9) had, but God wants to change us. Jesus said we must be born again or we cannot enter t he kingdom of God (Jn 3:3-5). If we have repented, there should be a marked change (Mt 3:8). It is likened unto death (Rom 6:1-4). Water baptism is a burial of that dead person (Col 8:8-12). Receiving the Holy Ghost is like being raised from that death (Rom 8:9-11). Those are certainly descriptions of a major change. He also said we must leave behind our old way of living to embrace Him (Mt 6:24, Mt 8:19-22, Mt 16:24, Mk 10:21). We can look back to the moment the Lord "throws his mantle on us" and we leave everything behind like Elisha did (1Ki 19:16-21). The grace of God is not to save us in our sins. It is to save us from our sins.