The immateriality of God simply means that God is not composed of material. In other words, God is not made of any kind of matter, material, or substance which entails that he cannot be seen. This is also understood as the invisibility of God.
This conclusion is drawn from Scripture which teaches that God cannot be seen:
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17)
"...whom no one has seen or can see." (1 Timothy 6:16)
"No one has ever seen God..." (John 1:18)
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities
- his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)
"He is the image of the invisible God..." (Colossians 1:15)
Passages that speak of God's physical features
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God does not have a body
Most theologians today hold that God is noncorporeal (does not have a body). One of the clearest passages from Scriptures is Luke 24:39, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones,
as you see I have."
Jesus makes it clear that a spirit cannot be of flesh and bones (also see Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9; Job 9:32; Jeremiah 23:24; 1 Kings 8:27).
Also, One must also take notice to the second commandment which prohibits fashioning any image of God (Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:15-16). God is never to be thought of as an image, and instead is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Therefore, God cannot have a body.
Robert Reymond agrees and notes that,
"no property of matter may be ascribed to him. He has no extension in space, no weight, no mass, no bulk, no parts, no form, no taste, no smell. He is invisible (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16) and, being one in essence and without
parts, is indivisible..." (Reymond,
A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, p. 167).
Charles Hodge adds that,
"He is not extended or divisible, or compounded, or visible, or tangible...The Bible everywhere recognizes as true the intuitive convictions of men. One of those convictions is that spirit is not matter, or matter spirit; that different and incompatible
attributes cannot belong to the same substance. In revealing, therefore, to us that God is a Spirit, it reveals to us that no attribute of matter can be predicated of the divine essence" (Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, pp. 378-379).
- Robert Reymond,
A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Thomas Nelson, 1997)
- Charles Hodge,
Systematic Theology, 3 vols (Hendrickson, 1999)