Does the Bible teach that God is a man?
You disagreed with the Word of Faith’s teaching that God is a man 6 foot tall and 200lbs. Isn’t man created in God’s image? If that is the case, wouldn’t God have arms, legs, hands, etc.. Just because He is a spirit, does that rule out having a form of some kind? And if he really does have a form, why then could it not be around 6′ tall?
Many scriptures may seem contradictory on the surface unless you keep in mind that God’s word does not change and what God has previously revealed is not nullified by what God revealed later in scripture. In other words, God’s word will never pass away but each passage must be interpreted in light of the whole of scripture. Scripture interprets scripture. What God says in the New Testament supplements what God has said in the Old Testament. It does not replace, but complements.
You must also keep in mind that Jesus is fully God but what you see is not all that God is. It is true that in Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily but keep in mind that God also indwells the heart of every believer. Look at John 14:
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
How can the God of the universe make His home with every believer? The Bible tells us that all things were created through Christ and in Him everything consists. He not only created the universe, but He also holds together the universe by His power. Jesus did not come into being as His birth and Word of Faith teachers claim. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8-9 says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.
Jesus has always been and He is the same today as He has always been. The incarnation did not change the nature of Jesus Christ. When God became a man, it was for our benefit so that we could see the attributes of God that He desired to reveal to us. We beheld His glory, but we did not see all of God’s glory. We saw what God revealed to us. Look at Romans 1:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
God’s attributes are invisible (for God is Spirit) but what God has revealed about Himself is clearly seen. In Christ, God revealed His attributes that could not be seen without seeing Him walk, relate to others and express His love towards those walking physically on this earth.
In Christ dwelled the fullness of the Godhead, but His physical body could never contain all that God is. If Jesus’ physical body is God, then Hebrews would be making a false claim by saying, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever…”. Consider this along with the passage cited above in John 14, “My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him”. How can the Father and the Son make their home with the individual believer and still fill the universe? I think we can get a clearer understanding from 1 John 4:
13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Also read 1 John 3:
9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
When we are born of God, His seed remains in us. His seed is the Holy Spirit as indicated in 1 John 4 and also in this passage from John 14:
16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever —
17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
We are told that when we belong to Christ, He and the Father make their home with us and place the Holy Spirit within us. Our physical bodies do not become limitations for God but rather God becomes the power that works through our physical bodies to do His will and live our lives spiritually. This body of flesh is not the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) but it does house the new creation during our walk on earth.
Jesus may have humbled Himself to take on the form of a bondservant, walk among us and then die for our sins on the cross, but that physical body is not all that Jesus is. The physical body of Jesus is how God chose to reveal His invisible attributes to us, but it is not all that God is. God remains Spirit and even during Jesus’ walk on earth, it remained true that the universe could not contain God. The heavens and the earth are in God and God is in them. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19) but Christ was also in God (John 10:37, John 15:10). In Christ dwells the fullness of the God head and in God dwells Christ. Don’t loose sight of the fact that Jesus is fully God, therefore He is Spirit as well. In Him can dwell God fully but that does not mean that God must fully fit into a physical body.
Finally, you asked that if we are created in God’s image, doesn’t that mean that God would have arms, legs and our physical attributes?
The answer is, No. God is Spirit and man was created in God’s image with a spiritual aspect to his nature. We have become dead because of sin but are made alive in Christ. Because of mankind’s sin, we have all inherited a body of corruption and a sinful nature that is bent on corruption. Anyone who has ever had a child knows that we are born into sin. I never taught my kids to be selfish, to hit, throw fits or misbehave. I use external measures to curb that behavior but only God can create a new heart within us. Our bodies are not eternal and are destined to return to the ground. Man’s physical body was fashioned out of clay – not God’s image. The spirit of life breathed into him comes from God.
When we are redeemed in Christ, we become alive and again inherit God’s attributes He intended for us to have from the beginning. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
This is a very important passage. Notice that we no longer regard each other according to the flesh. Why? Because we are new creations – not according to our arms, legs and physical attributes but according to the new creation we have become in Christ. We no longer regard Christ according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. When we are born in the Spirit, we are now a child of God and can truly know God and have a personal relationship with Christ through the Spirit – not by the flesh. When we are born spiritually, we inherit again the image of God that was intended from the beginning. Until we are born in the Spirit, we are not sons, we are not heirs, and we cannot understand the things of the Spirit.
If you observe the Word of Faith movement, everything is focused on the physical and all doctrine centers around self-gain. However, if we are in Christ, we no longer live for ourselves but die to ourselves; we no longer live for physical things but live now according to the spirit – not storing up treasures on earth but live in hope of the eternal promises of God and the reward He gives to those who are faithful. Jesus said, where your treasure is, your heart will be also. If someone accepts the so-called prosperity doctrine, their heart is in the wrong place. When someone loves the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in them (1 John 2:15).
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.