John 4:23-24 teaches us several very significant truths about the nature of God. It says, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to 26 gods imageworship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The truth that captures my attention this morning is “God is Spirit.” What does that mean? I wrote a devotion earlier talking about God being a “heavyweight.” The word for Glory is actually “weightiness, importance, significance.” But if God is spirit He doesn’t have a body. He cannot be weighed on a scale or measured with a yard stick. He does not weigh anything as we understand weight and he does not have a measurement we can note regarding his height, length, width or depth. He does not consist of matter at all.

According to the Mormon teaching in the Doctrine and Covenants (130:22), God has a body much like ours. If we are created in God’s image that image includes our physical as well as our spiritual nature. They might also quote passages like Deuteronomy 7:19 which speaks about God’s “mighty arm and outstretched hand.” They may refer to some familiar Psalms, like Psalm 139:16, which says “your eyes saw my unformed body.” But we must not deny the use of figures of speech in the Bible. If God did not condescend to our intellectual level, we’d never be able to learn anything about Him. The Deuteronomy passage is not telling us that God has an arm and a hand, but that God is omnipotent, He can do anything. The Psalmist is not telling us that God sees things like we do because He has eyes, but that God is omniscient, He knows everything.

Philip Ryken asks us to “Consider the alternative. If God did have a body, he would be limited by time and space. He could not be all-present or all-knowing. He would be tied down to one place at one time. He would be like a pagan idol chopped out of a block of wood (see Isa. 44), a created thing rather than the Creator. It is because he is spirit that God rules over and outside of time, space, and matter.” If he has a physical body He is a limited God. He’s like us! We often like to create God in our image rather than understand the personal nature by which God made us in His image. He made us like Himself (in His image) so that we could be in a relationship with Him. He wants to know us, and He wants us to know Him. That’s why He’s communicated Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ: Know Jesus, Know God!