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What God looks like is beyond our capability of understanding and describing. God gives glimpses of what He looks like to teach us truths about Himself, not necessarily so that we can have an image of Him in our minds.
Fortunately, the Bible does give us some direct answers concerniing the appearance of God. There are two particular points the Bible makes about what God looks like that are important to understand:. First, God is spirit. Verses like Deuteronomy note that God can appear like a mountain of fire and differs from idols that are deed to look like human beings. Second, God has omnipresence.
Based on Bible verses like Psalm and Proverbsthis term means that God is in all places at once. If God really was the figure we often see in Sunday School cartoons, a big man with a beard sitting outside the universe and then zooming down into the universe whenever someone needs him, he would be in one place at a time. For God to be everywhere at once, he cannot have a basic physical form.
Some theologians have suggested that when God appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18it was Jesus in a pre-incarnate form. Probably the most basic ones are these three:. Some theologians have suggested we all are born with a sense that there must be something out there, a God to find and pursue.
Did something put it there? The more we try to understand what Jesus did and who Jesus was, the more we will be confronted with a simple fact: he claimed to be God. Specifically, he claimed to be the Son of Man, a term used in Daniel to describe the Messiah. He claimed that before Abraham was born, he was born John He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of Godor else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher… Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. Since God is much bigger and more complex than we are, we are still trying to figure out what it means for God to be spirit, how that connects to us being made in his image, and so on.
Since we are finite while God is infinite, at least on this side of heaven we will never fully understand this concept.
Here are some reasons why it is so important for us to grasp the appearance and nature of God:. If God is like a pagan deity, living up on Mount Olympus and coming down to help people one a time, then he is a limited being. Recognizing that God is spirit and everywhere at once shows us how God can be in control. He can be in all places, the ultimate ruler of the universe that the Bible describes because he is spirit.
Recognizing his spiritual nature helps us to see his sovereignty. Knowing that God is spirit means that when Jesus came down to earth and took on physical form, something shocking had taken place. The all-powerful, all-knowing God had emptied himself Philippians to take on the form of a human being and dwell among us. This is very different from what we see in myths about gods coming to earth, like Zeus coming down from Olympus and turning into a bird to fly around Earth for a while.
To say that Jesus was God in human flesh is something much more radical, and it sets Christianity apart from other religions in a big way. There must be a spirit element to it because God is spirit.
Connor is a freelance writer and journalist, with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Taylor University. He has contributed over articles to various publications, including interviews for Christian Communicator and book reviews for The Evangelical Church Library Association. Find out more about his work here. Share this. Connor Salter Contributing Writer 7 Apr. There are two particular points the Bible makes about what God looks like that are important to understand: First, God is spirit.
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What Does God Look Like?