Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Invisible God and His Image - Day #4

God is infinite, spiritual, and invisible; our bodies are a window into His nature.

God Is Infinite and Doesn’t Need A Body
When God created us in His image, He did not mean His physical image. God does not need a body and the Bible repeatedly tells us that He does not have one – He is the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He does not need eyes to see, or ears to hear, or a mouth to speak, or a stomach for digestion, or anatomical structure for the creation of offspring. Although the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, took on flesh, there is no shape or body that belongs to Him from all eternity past. This is why God appears in all sort of different ways in the Old Testament: As a fire in Exodus 3.1-6; as a whirlwind and a pillar of fire in Exodus 13.21-22; or as a shining cloud in Leviticus 16.2. God does not have a physical form because, as Jesus said, "The Father... is spirit" (John 4.24).

When people say, “I think the Image of God means that we look like Him,” there are a lot of problems that come with that. God is infinite and beyond comprehension – and having a body like ours makes Him little more than some kind of ascended human being (which is what the Mormons teach). It takes away from His omnipresence –the teaching that God is everywhere at once- and ties Him to a specific place wherever His body is. Teaching that God has a physical form lowers our view of who He is. We need to understand that God does not have a body.

Our Bodies Are Icons of the Invisible God
I am trying to be very careful here, but our bodies are sort of like the icons in Greek Orthodoxy through which God is worshiped: the physical representation directs our minds toward the reality and the essence and the character of God. Like in the last post, everything from the human arm, to legs, to ears, to sex tells us something about the one true Trinitarian God who is represented by these things, and directs our minds to the worship of Him. Knowing that God does not have a physical form helps us to see Him, and our own bodies, with more appreciation and respect.

Reflection Passage
Read Psalm 139.5-11and ask yourself how God's omnipresence (being everywhere at once instead of being limited by a body) has an affect on the way that you live your life. Ask, how can we appreciate God through the things that the human body tells us about Him?

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