Why do we speak of God in masculine terms?

Here is a good, quick overview of this important topic. In today’s politically correct, everything-is-ok-except-true-chritianity-world in which we live, this is a real hot topic. The author, Jason Carlson, is the son of the late, Dr. Ron Carlson.

Why do we speak of God in masculine terms?
  • The Bible teaches that God is spirit (John 4:24). Thus, He is not male or female in a physical sense. However, that doesn’t mean we should think of God in gender neutral terms.
  • The Bible, inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), always refers to God using masculine pronouns (i.e. He, Him, His); and the imagery it uses in reference to God is also predominantly masculine (e.g. King, Father, Priest, Husband).
  • Jesus, the “Son” of God, taught us that God is our Heavenly “Father” (Matthew 6:9; Luke 10:22; John 17:1-5). Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” (John 15:26). Thus, in the Trinitarian Godhead masculine imagery is intrinsic to God’s being.
  • The Church is referred to as the “bride” of Christ (Revelation 19:7-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; 2 Corinthians 11:2). The marriage relationship is always viewed in Scripture as the union of a woman to a man (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
  • While God most consistently reveals Himself to us in masculine terms, we must also remember that both men and women are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Thus, it is no surprise the Bible also occasionally uses feminine imagery in conveying God’s nature (Isaiah 49:15; 66:13; Matthew 23:27).
  • So, why do we speak of God in masculine terms? Because this is how God has revealed Himself. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God existing eternally in three persons. One God who loves us with an unfathomable, unstoppable, unbreakable, and unconditional love (John 3:16; Romans 8:35-39; 1 John 4:7-10). 

For more information on the nature and character of God please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, “What Is God Like?” available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.



God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth

The following is an excerpt from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on John 4.

 

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (4:24)
 
The phrase God is spirit is the classic biblical definition of the nature of God. Despite the heretical teaching of false cults, God is not an exalted man (Num. 23:19), “for a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). He is “the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; cf. 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:27), who “dwells in unapproachable light [cf. Ps. 104:2], whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:16; cf. Ex. 33:20; John 1:18; 6:46). Had He not revealed Himself in Scripture and in Jesus Christ, God would be utterly incomprehensible.
 
Because God is spirit, those who would truly worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. True worship does not consist of mere outward conformity to religious standards and duties (Isa. 29:13; 48:1; Jer. 12:1–2; Matt. 15:7–9), but emanates from the inner spirit. It must also be consistent with the truth God has revealed about Himself in His Word. The extremes of dead orthodoxy (truth and no spirit) and zealous heterodoxy (spirit and no truth) must be avoided.


Who Does God Say We Are?

Who Does God Say We Are?
The New Testament describes the new identity of a disciple using a variety of word pictures. Here are a few…
Which of these new identities suits you best and why?
Disciples called / likened to:  

Scripture

 

Meaning

Fishers of men Matthew 4:19 We are called to “fish for people” with the net of the gospel.
Salt Matthew 5:13 We are to live in a way that makes people thirsty to know God; we are to act as a preservative in a corrupt society.
Light Matthew 5:14–16 In a dark world, we reflect God’s nature and shine for him.
Branches John 15:5 As branches connected to the Vine, Jesus, we bring his blessing/fruitfulness to the world.
Stewards/ Servants 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 We are managers of God’s good news, gifts, resources, and blessings—ultimately responsible and accountable to him.
Ambassadors 2 Corinthians 5:20 We are representatives of Christ’s kingdom to the lost people of this world.
Saints/Holy people Ephesians 1:1 We are God’s holy ones—by virtue of what Christ has done for us.
Citizens of heaven Philippians 3:20 Our allegiance is to God and his kingdom—not this world.
Soldiers 2 Timothy 2:3–4 We are engaged in a battle—not against people—but the spiritual forces of evil.
Athletes 2 Timothy 2:5 We are to live self-controlled lives and train ourselves to be godly.
Farmers 2 Timothy 2:6 We sow God’s word faithfully in order to reap an eternal harvest.
Living stones, a spiritual house 1 Peter 2:5 We are God’s dwelling place; his modern-day temple.
A priesthood 1 Peter 2:9–10 We may draw near to God—& we have the privilege of helping others do so.
Foreigners, exiles 1 Peter 2:11 This world is not our home. We are only passing through.