Listen to Nancy answer this question recorded on Moody Radio with Kelli and Steve
I was asked to speak at a university in Indianapolis to a Christian group and chose to answer the question, “What if God isn’t who you think he is?” The topic of the talk was given for approval to Christian leaders on campus. Their response was to change the name due to the sensitivity of assuming that Jesus is a male.
Really? I know that this generation has a strong propensity of making political statements without doing any research of whether or not their claims were true. With this culture, there is no standard for truth. Facts mean nothing. The problem is that many ungrounded Christians hear this kind of thing and begin to believe it.
To prove that God’s gender is masculine, we only have to look in Scripture and see how God defines Himself.
God wasted no time describing Himself. “In the beginning God…” The Hebrew name for God is Elohim which is Male singular with plural definition. In Genesis 1:26-27, “ “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Both man and woman are created in the image of God, in that they are greater than all the other creations as they, like God, have a mind, will, intellect, emotions, and moral capacity. Animals do not possess a moral capacity and do not possess an immaterial component like humanity does. The image of God is the spiritual component that humanity alone possesses. God created humanity to have a relationship with Him. Humanity is the only creation designed for that purpose.
That said, man and woman are only patterned after the image of God—they are not tiny “copies” of God. The fact that there are men and women does not require God to have male and female features. Remember, being made in the image of God has nothing to do with physical characteristics. In the same way that God created trees, did not require Him to be a tree in order to create a one.
Scripture contains approximately 170 references to God as the “Father.” By necessity, one cannot be a father unless one is male. Jesus Christ referred to God as the Father several times and in other cases used masculine pronouns in reference to God. In the Gospels alone, Christ uses the term “Father” in direct reference to God nearly 160 times.
The New Testament Epistles (from Acts to Revelation) also contain nearly 900 verses where the word theos—a masculine noun in the Greek—is used in direct reference to God. In countless references to God in Scripture, there is clearly a consistent pattern of His being referred to with masculine titles, nouns, and pronouns.
Jesus Christ, who is constantly referred to with masculine titles, nouns, and pronouns, took a male form while He walked on the earth. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament refer to both God and Jesus Christ with masculine names and titles. God chose to be revealed in this form in order for man to more easily grasp who He is.
John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.