This is a very simple sermon this week. Forgive me for my late writings. After my sermon on James I had to prepare to go on sabbatical and move country and have currently moved to Canada, not sure where God will put us next, perhaps a stint of short term missions trips; while we were not officially working under the banner of a church as missionaries we tried to be domestic missionaries in our work places as Christ called us to be. This online message deals with a topic that is generally accepted by all those of the Abrahamic faiths; the lack of a corporeal nature to God. To have a corporeal nature is limiting, it is finite. As one priest once said when you have something with a body, you can escape from it; it is trapped. Truly people who have witnessed loved ones trapped in an ailing body consider it a gift or a blessing when they are freed from it. But what does it mean for us as Christians that our God is without form, as the Old Testament says is unseen, and is in all places. We will be looking at this in 3 parts, the first being what is said of God’s lack of physical nature in the Old Testament even when it describes Him in the way of feet and hands. The second part we will look at; seems to be the exact contradiction of God incorporeality, being Christ Jesus, and the third part the concept of the Holy Spirit, and what does the Bible say about Him?
As I write this message I am struggling to find work. It seems that there is always unseen forces against me, but on the other side I am reminded of the verse in Isaiah when Elijah is looking for the Lord and he finds Him in the mountain as a still, small voice. When I was traveling through Europe I arrived at Westminster Abbey. And in Westminster it states what is its principles, one of which being that God is a Spirit without form whether it be physical or material. In Judaism they believe that God is neither physical nor spiritual but a third option that we are not yes familiar with. Reference to God appearing as a spirit or His Spirit is referenced at least 20 times in the Old Testament, beginning in the book of Genesis. What is interesting is that God forbids creating an image of Him as He communicates through a pillar of fire to Moses. The Holy Spirit itself is mentioned several times in the Bible, specifically the Old Testament; but as a kid once asked me at church if we were made in God’s image doesn’t he have a body? In the Old Testament the prophet even says that he saw God face to face; and as early as Genesis we have written examples of the hand of God, His feet, what do these things mean? Saint Augustine said it best and I am paraphrasing, I do not think about you o Lord as one who has feet and hands and the anatomy of man but am aware that you are a spirit. However we also recognize that to communicate to man is sometimes beneficial as a man. This brings me to my next point, the corporeality that is Christ Jesus.
Often times the reason Christianity is rejected is because our two Abrahamic cousins take exception to idea of a Son of God. Even denominations in our own religion take exception to this concept as Jesus being begotten and not created by the Father. The question arises why if God is a non-corporeal being would He come to earth as a man in a backwater town in Palestine? Now in Judaism they say for example God walking in the garden of Eden would just be figures of speech, in the same way we are made in God’s image we do not physically represent the face of God. But why then would Christ come? I believe there are several reasons for it. First being that since God the Father is out of time and space as mentioned in previous sermons He could not go against Himself and change His nature. In Hebrews it says that Jesus is the exact representation of God. I believe that God knows what man needed for this gap to be bridged, a human body; was Christ really sitting at the right hand, perhaps that is a figure of speech but we do know that we needed a human sacrifice, a perfect man to atone for our sins; but only One is perfect. But the nature of God that is Christ again started off as a Spirit as well so it is not actually contradictory with the unseen God; it would be contradictory if Christ became the anointed Son of God after His conception, like some sects believe when he was baptized; then this would be going against the incorporeal God.
The last point I would like to address is the Holy Spirit. God’s incorporeal nature is summed up in the Holy Spirit. Many writers say that the Old Testament is the record of the Father, the Gospels were the record of the Son and the letters were that of the Spirit. The Spirit is not only God but it is the portion of God that lives in us. In all other religions where the God has a material body they are not able to penetrate the very heart of the believer but God’s Spirit does. It’s nature is truth, conviction, and regeneration. God could not do that if He was purely a corporeal being, Christ is just one of His natures. Well I guess it is time to wrap this up. I have decided to take a break from the attributes of God series. I feel that I am on a different spiritual journey and so I will put apologetics on the back burner and work on sermons focusing on more emotionally heavy issues. If I feel God calling me back to this I will begin writing sermons on theological issues again. But if you are reading this I encourage you to investigate deeper the nature of God and other such issues. Well that’s all for me, I am signing off for now. I will begin a new sermon series this week called “The Still Small Voice” focusing on different scenario’s God speaks to us on. God bless you.