God Is Spirit


God is Spirit

One of the things that I hope to accomplish with this sermon series is that we get a bigger and grander view of who God is.
Theologian A.W. Tozer wrote, “The weightiest word in any language is its word for God.”
He also wrote “What we think when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Those two statements, though not scripture, should cause us to step back and assess what we actually think when we think about God.
Is the God I say I worship actually the God described in Scripture or is he simply a god made in my own image.
The truth is, that many in the church today have a very shallow and superficial view of who God is.
And my desire, is that you will come to have a vast and profound view of who God is.
We don’t need a shallow view of God.
We don’t need a superficial view of God.
We need a robust view of who God is.
Why is this so important?
B/c what we think about when we think about God is a vital truth for us.
If we want to live a life that honors God we need a high view of God.
If we want to worship rightly, we need a high view of God
If we want our friends and family to come to know the goodness of God through the proclamation of the gospel, we need to have a right and robust view of God.
We have too many anemic Christians walking around.
They serve a weak god who isn’t in control, who doesn’t hold the power of life and death.
Who doesn’t actually work in the world today.
Essentially, they are living as Christian Atheists.
They may believe in God, but don’t believe he works in the world today.
That is born out by the fact that their understanding of God doesn’t impact the way that many self-proclaimed Christians live, work, and interact with the world around them.
“Our understanding of God becomes the prism through which we most accurately see our trials and adversities. It dictates how we view life, death, and eternity. The knowledge of God is the ultimate paradigm through which we rightly understand everything else around us.”-Steve Lawson
This isn’t to make anyone feel guilty or to shame people.
If I wanted to through blame at anyone it would be many of the preachers and pastors who stand behind the pulpits.
Many of them have presented a God who exists to meet the needs of the people.
Or a picture of God that wants us to be happy, healthy, and wealthy.
The anemic state of the church is in large part do to the anemic state of many pulpits.
I don’t want that here.
So, my desire is to challenge you, stretch you, and help you see the grandeur of our God.
I say all that to say this:
I know that over the last 10 weeks this sermon series has been rather difficult to understand or comprehend at times.
I want to assure, this morning’s sermon isn’t much different.
It’s going to stretch our understanding of God, but I also want you to know that in the last 5 weeks of the series, it will be slightly easier.
So, what attribute of God are we going to look at this morning?
We are going to dive in to the Spirituality of God.
From a very young age, we ask the questions: What is God? What is God like? or even What is God made of?
Does he have flesh and blood?
Is he a ball of light?
Is he an old man sitting on a throne in the sky?
This is a good and fundamental question and the answer that Scripture gives us is found in Jn 4.24 spoken by Jesus to the woman at the well.
John 4:24 (CSB)
24 God is spirit...
But what does that mean?
What does it mean that God is Spirit?
The first thing that we need to know is that God is immaterial


God is not made up of parts or material components.
God does not have flesh and bones.
He doesn’t have a body like a human.
He doesn’t have a physical substance that can be touched or seen.
Now here’s the thing, God does communicate with his creation by using words and phrases that seem to present him with body parts.
Scriptures like
Highlight anthropomorphisms on slides
Proverbs 15:3 CSB
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.
Exodus 24:10 CSB
10 and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself.
Isaiah 40:5 CSB
5 And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 59:1 CSB
1 Indeed, the Lord’s arm is not too weak to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear.
Romans 11:34 CSB
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?
All of these scriptures seem to present God as having either arms, eyes, a mouth or a mind.
What do we do with these verses if God is immaterial?
How do we overcome this supposed or seeming contradiction?
What the ancient authors are using is a figure of speech called an anthropomorphism.
Anthropomorphism: the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object
So when we read about the “eyes of the Lord are everywhere” a picture is painted that God sees all things.
He isn’t distant or far away. He is watching
The arm of the Lord is a representation of his power and might. That he isn’t a weak and impotent God, but the Almighty God who holds the power to save.
The mind of the Lord reveals that he is all-wise, knowing all things.
The mouth of the Lord means that he speaks. And when he speaks it is with authority and power. The King has spoken and will continue to Speak
And at the same time, we must remember that God is Spirit without body or parts.
So these phrases are used to communicate truths about God that we would otherwise not comprehend.
In addition to God being Immaterial, we also know that God is invisible too.


B/c he is w/o bodily form, he cannot be seen.
John 1:18 (CSB)
18 No one has ever seen God...
John 6:46 (CSB)
46 not that anyone has seen the Father...
1 Timothy 1:17 CSB
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 John 4:12 (CSB)
12 No one has ever seen God...
Often when God is “seen” in the Scriptures it is as a “beaming illumination” of light
This is the glory of God being seen.
Moses saw this in Ex 33, when God placed him in the cleft of the rock and God passed by him.
But Moses didn’t see his face.
He didn’t see the fullness of who God is.
Moses got to see God’s glory as a radiant light, but b/c God is immaterial and invisible Moses didn’t see him fully.
This teaching that God is immaterial and invisible may make God seem distant and out of reach.
But God isn’t just immaterial and invisible, he is also immanent.
Immanent means that he is always near.
He is always present everywhere.
If God was made out of material, that would mean that he would be limited.
If God had a body it would mean that he would be constrained to time, space, and matter.
His being immaterial means that he isn’t tied and constrained to the same things we as created beings are.
It’s a good thing that he is immaterial.
B/c his being immaterial means that he is unlimited.
It means that he can be with us in the trials.
It means that no matter where we go, God is there.
His being immaterial means that he is omnipresent- all present, everywhere.
This is a unique attribute of the Christian God.
Especially among the ancient pagan gods that were worshipped.
For the ancient people, the gods they worshipped were local or regional deities.
Meaning that their territory or jurisdiction was limited in scope and scale.
And that their gods could only be worshiped in certain locations.
But the God of Israel, the creator of the universe isn’t a local diety.
He is lord of all creation.
He is king of kings and lord of lords.
He isn’t bound by walls.
He isn’t constrained to borders.
He can be worshipped anywhere.
He is near to those who love him no matter where they are.
And it didn’t just stop with God as spirit being everywhere.
God actually stepped out of the invisible and immaterial and entered into the world of his creation.
John 1:14 CSB
14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Here’s what makes the incarnation so spectacular.
The incarnation, he coming of Jesus, the second person of the trinity, in human form, is an astounding revelation of who God is.
God in flesh, chose to reveal himself fully in the person and work of Jesus.
Jesus left the immaterial, he left the invisible and came to reveal God and his plan to us.
Jesus chose to take up limitations in the human body so that we can see the fullness of God.
John 1:17–18 CSB
17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.
John 14:8–9 CSB
8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Hebrews 1:3 CSB
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Colossians 1:15 CSB
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Jesus came to reveal to us the invisible nature of God.
The incarnation made the invisible God visible.
How astonishing is that?
How deep the Father’s love for us that he would send Jesus to reveal the fullness of God to us.
Not only did God reveal himself to us in his actions of history and in the person of Jesus, but he wants us to know that he is a personal God.
He may be immaterial, yet he is also intensely personal.
God is a personal being who knows, feels, and acts.
He even has pronouns. God is never an it, he is always a he.
He hates sin. He loves repentance.
He is angered by injustice. He desires justice.
He desires worship.
He knows what is going to happen and determines his will, will come to pass
Have you ever wondered why God instructed in the 10 commandments to not make an idol for worship?
One of the reasons has to do distinctly with what we are talking about here?
When people make and idol out of the things of the earth they are shrinking or minimizing who God is.
Any physical object made to represent God, whether a painting, statue, or a golden calf distorts and demeans who God is.
Taking what is invisible, immaterial, and personal and boiling it down to an object is a misrepresentation of who God is.
It distorts his glory, it ruins his grandeur.
Now you may be saying that you would never worship a graven image or statue of an idol.
And you may be right?
But you may limit God in other ways.
When we say things like, “I think only this type of Music is worship music” or that if the service isn’t in this building then it is actual worship
I was talking with someone the other day and they told me about a little old lady they had in the church he used to go to.
And here’s what she would do. If the service was closing in on 12 on a Sunday morning, she would start to loudly clear her throat.
And if the service went past noon she would continue to get louder and louder with her throat clearing until the service ended.
She was a distraction for the congregation.
You know what she had made an idol, her time.
The worship service could never extend further than one hour or else it was an inconvenience for her.
Do you see what that does?
It makes a worship service not about God, but about her and her preferences.
It draws lines and limits around what should be seen as boundless.
This is a lack of respect for God.
And Idol that takes the place of the true God is disrespectful of God.
Here’s what Jesus said
John 4:24 CSB
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”
God must be adored by the human spirit.
We must come to him as he is and not as we want to.
We honor him when we come to him as he is.
We dishonor him when we come as we want.
Another aspect of God’s spirituality that we must grapple with is the reality that God is Simple.
The Simplicity of God means that he cannot be divided into parts.
God is indivisible


All of his attributes, all of who he is, is indivisibly intertwined as the whole of his divine nature.
So when we try and separate out his attributes and we wholly focus on one above the others we are misrepresenting God.
For a quick example, many people want to focus on the Love of God, and yes God is Love.
But they focus on the love of God while neglecting the wrath and justice of God.
May it not be.
God is fully love and wrath.
Holiness and justice.
Every attribute of God is inseparably connected to the whole of who he is.
He is unified without any divisions.
And here’s the other thing, we don’t have to apologize or try to soften who God is.
Many Christians feel the need to soften the reality of who God is by focusing on the attributes that make us feel good.
The attributes that we feel are offensive.
But by neglecting and, in reality, denying any attribute of God you are refusing the totality of who he is and are worshipping a false god.
God’s attributes aren’t a buffet where we can pick and chose what we want and how much we want.
God is simple, he is indivisible.
And if we refuse any of his attributes we refuse the totality of who he is.
The fact that God is indivisible is also born out in the unity of the trinity.
If you have questions about that, I preached that sermon last week, but suffice it to say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each fully God possessing the same attributes.
I want to close out this morning by looking at the truth that b/c God is spirit, it also means that he is Infinite


This is perhaps the hardest thing for us to grasp.
We simply cannot understand or comprehend what infinite means.
God has no boundaries.
He has no limits.
He has no end.
When we tend to think about the infinite we actually dumb it down a little bit.
Here’s what I mean.
We can look at someone like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, and we can say that they have unlimited resources.
They are two of the richest men in the world.
And in our minds, especially those of us who don’t have a lot, it seems like there resources are boundless.
But in reality, there is still a number attached to their money.
It’s not infinite.
In fact, in view of God, they are finite.
Or we say that our toddler has boundless energy.
They wake up and go, go, go without any limits to their energy.
But the reality is their energy will eventually fade, even if at times it doesn’t feel like it will.
We can also say that the universe is infinte.
But it’s still expanding.
It is very large, but it isn’t infinite. There are still boundaries and edges to the universe.
So our language changes our understanding of infinity.
So we need to reclaim what the infinite actually means, to the best of our ability.
As created beings in a material world we like the measure and quantify things.
In fact, its how we make sense of the world around us.
Weight, length, height, depth, volume, and distance.
Give what is somewhat incomprehensible, some form of understanding for us
We can know that the moon is about 238,900 miles from earth.
And though we cannot truly comprehend that distance it makes the moon more relatable.
We can know that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second and thus know that it takes about 8 secs for light from the sun to get to the earth.
Yet we cannot fully understand, but we can somewhat comprehend.
We can know that the deepest part of the ocean is roughly 7 miles.
We can weigh and measure, just about everything in the world and that makes it so the world around us is a little more understandable.
However, we can’t weigh or measure God.
Why is that?
B/c he is infinite.
He is boundless.
He is truly unlimited
And these words, infinite, boundless, unlimited describe nothing but God.
Energy has an end.
Money has an end.
The earth has an end.
Space has an end.
Anything that has been created by the limitless God has an end.
It can be measured.
But God can never be measured.
He can never be contained.
He can never be molded and put into a box of our own making.
And to try and do so is dishonorable and disrespectful to the creator.
You see, b/c if there was a point at which God could be contained.
Where he could be stopped or limited.
He wouldn’t be perfect.
He wouldn’t be the truest reality.
Here’s a thought exercise.
If God almost knew everything, there would be gaps in his knowledge. Then he wouldn’t be perfect.
If God had most of the power, then there would be weakness. and he wouldn’t be perfect.
If God was only mostly sovereign, then he could be overthrown and he wouldn’t be king. So he wouldn’t be perfect.
If God wasn’t infinite, he would have to learn, grow, and add to himself, so he wouldn’t be perfect.
In order for God to be perfect, he must be infinite.
He must be unlimited.
He must be boundless.
I love what A.W. Tozer wrote about this:
“All that He is He is without growth or addition or development. Nothing in God is less or more, or large or small. He is what He is in himself, without qualifying thought or word. He is simply God”
And this is what we see taught in the Scriptures.
Psalm 145:3 CSB
3 The Lord is great and is highly praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
Job 11:7–9 CSB
7 Can you fathom the depths of God or discover the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than Sheol—what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
Ephesians 3:20–21 CSB
20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Can we be honest with ourselves and say that too often we worship a God who is too small.
We may consciously or subconsciously believe that God is limited in one way or another.
When we think that there is a friend, family member or co-worker who is too far God.
That God could not save them b/c of their hard-heartedness, that’s a limit on God.
When we believe that our sin is to great to take to God and ask for forgiveness, that’s a limit on God.
When we think that our worship of God is limited to what happens in these four walls, that’s a limit on God.
When we think that God doesn’t answer or hear our prayers, that’s a limit on God.
Now we do have to be careful.
We also can’t presume upon God.
We can’t expect him to answer our every prayer in the way that we want.
We can’t say that b/c God is infinite that he should do or shouldn’t do xyz, you fill in the blank.
Though God is infinite he will never do what is contrary to his character.
He will never go against his will.
He will never do anything that tarnishes or minimizes his glory.
Our God is great and worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and worship.
It’s important for us to have a right view about who God is and what he does.
If we don’t then our whole lives will be affected.
Our relationships, our jobs, and our lives will suffer for lack of true knowledge of God.
Let us open our minds, hearts, and souls to the grandeur, beauty, and magnificence of God.
Lets remember that God is not defined by how we see him or by how we want him to obey, rather, let’s see him for how he has revealed himself to be.
Let’s pray.
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