The Nature of God: God is Spirit

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23,24

God is Spirit. What does this mean?

It implies that God is immaterial. He cannot be touched, seen or felt. We cannot interact with him through our bodily senses. However, we can relate with him since he is personal. We can pray to him, love him and rejoice in him, even though we do not see him.

The Scriptures speak of this aspect of God’s nature in several places:

Rom 1:20:

‘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.’

Colossians 1:15:

‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.’

 1 John 4:12,20:

‘No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us …’If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?’ 

 What God’s spirituality means for us.

  1. We are spiritual beings for we are made in God’s own image. Therefore we can have genuine fellowship and interaction with him. When Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman, he told her that God desires worshippers who would worship him in spirit and in truth. Because God had formed us in his own spiritual image, we have the capacity to relate with him. God’s spiritual nature allows us to relate and commune with him anytime, anywhere and in anything, be it work or play. Our fellowship with him is not restricted to a particular place or environment. For as a Spirit he can be anywhere he chooses to be, and as an infinite spirit he is everywhere at the same time. Talk about unbroken worship!
  2. Across human history, two concepts have been significant in shaping how we view and understand the world. These are the concepts of Mind and Matter. Whichever of these two is regarded as ultimate has important implications for how reality is understood. If matter is seen as ultimate (as in the naturalism of our modern world), reality is judged by how much of it is material. The physical world becomes primary, the world of unseen realities recedes into the background.  Science and technology are revered, ethics and the humanities become of little value. On the other hand, where Mind is seen as ultimate, the world of ideas and spiritual matters attain importance. Unfortunately, the physical universe might then be downplayed or even ignored, as it was in Neo-Platonism, Idealism, and in eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism.

The Christian worldview maintains a balance between both extremes. It affirms that ultimate reality is spiritual, therefore we should value the world of the unseen. God, the originator of the universe, is non-physical. He is a spiritual being. And so we must not despise spiritual concepts like values and moral principles, as the tendency is in the modern world. However, we must value the physical world as well, for it was created by God himself.

The Spirituality of God leads us to take ideas like truth, justice, humility, love, etc, seriously. Though they cannot be seen, felt or touched, they are as real and important as the phones, rocks or weather that we perceive through our senses.

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