What Color is God?


Many people want to know what God is like. They want to know about his nature, character, and activity. People want to know what God has said, what he has done in the past, and what he has planned for the future. Another common question people ask about God is what he looks like.

God isn’t a color or race because he doesn’t have a physical body. The Bible teaches that God is spirit (John 4:24) and doesn’t have skin as people do. He also doesn’t have ethnicity like people because he is eternal, spirit, and doesn’t have human ancestry. God isn’t a race; he is the Maker of all races.

What exactly does the Bible say about God not having a body? What does the Bible say about God not having a race? Where do races come from? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Christian Bible
Did Jesus have a body? See below

Does God Have A Body?

God the Father doesn’t have a physical body. He doesn’t have eyes and ears, arms and legs, or blood and bone. God isn’t a particular ethnicity either, although he is the Maker of them.

Acts 17:26, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” (ESV, emphasis added)

The Bible teaches that God doesn’t have a physical body or skin. Sometimes the Old and New Testaments use “anthropomorphic” language — which is ascribing human features to a non-human entity — but scholars consider it a figure of speech.

  • God the Father doesn’t have physical eyes: Job 10:4 reads, “Have you eyes of flesh? Do you see as man sees?” The answer to this rhetorical question is “no, God neither has physical eyes like people nor does he see like them.” There are times in the Bible when writers say God “sees” something or someone, but that is a reference to his knowledge.
  • God the Father doesn’t need physical sleep: Psalm 121:3-4 reads, “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” God doesn’t sleep because he doesn’t have a physical body that needs rest like people do.
  • Did Jesus have a body? Yes. Although God the Father doesn’t have a physical body, Jesus did. The second person of the Trinity became a human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1, 1:14). As a human being, Jesus had eyes and ears, arms and legs, and blood and bone. Jesus was Jewish and likely had the physical characteristics of a man of that race. (Matt. 1:1; Heb. 7:14)
New Testament Scripture
Is God invisible? See below

Does God Have a Race?

The question “What Color is God?” assumes that he has a body as a person does, but the Old and New Testaments reveal that God is spirit.

  • God the Father is spirit: Jesus taught, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24, emphasis added) This is one of the clearest statements about God’s nature in the Bible. John doesn’t merely say that God has a spirit, but that he is spirit. As an eternal, uncreated spirit, God doesn’t have ethnicity as people do.
  • God the Father is invisible: The Bible is clear that God the Father is invisible. Colossians 1:15 says that Christ is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (emphasis added). God doesn’t have a physical body like people do. As a spirit, he can’t be seen. Likewise, 1 Timothy 1:17 reads, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (emphasis added).
  • God is unlike people: Isaiah 31:3 teaches that the Egyptians are human, whose nature is flesh, while God isn’t human and his nature is spirit: “The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.”

God created all races

God knows, blesses, and saves people of all ethnicities. God loves people of all races, from different nations, who speak different languages. Jesus Christ died for the sins of Caucasians, Africans, Mexicans, Russians, Asians, and all others. God’s love for all people is one of Scripture’s central messages.

From the first moment that God revealed his plan to redeem humanity from sin, as recorded in the book of Genesis, he communicated that his desire was to reach all people. God told Abram that he would use his descendants to reach all the families of Earth. God’s selection of the Jews involved them serving as missionaries to reach other people groups.

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

God’s plan is that people from all races would be freed from sin through the work of Jesus Christ (John 3:16). There are passages in the Bible that describe people of all nations praising God. For example, in Revelation 7:9-10, readers get a glimpse of heaven. The verse paints a picture of a large multitude of ethnically diverse people worshipping God.

John, the author of Revelation, describes the scene in relation to the ethnic makeup of those who praise God.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7:9-10)

Is Revelation 7:9 stressing the ethnic diversity of heaven? Yes. Bible scholar Grant Osborne, who many reviewers believe wrote one of the best commentaries on Revelation, says that “every nation” refers to the promise God gave Abraham.

God said Abraham would be the father of many nations, and that all the people of the world would be blessed through him (Gen. 12:1-3, 17:4). “Tribes” refers to the Israelites (cf. 7:4-8). These two descriptions together suggest that “Jewish and Gentile Christians together form the whole people of God.” [1]

Another reputable New Testament scholar, Craig S. Keener, joyfully pictures what the scene may look like:

“Imagine the multi-cultural chorus of saints from all ages — ancient Israel’s Levite pslamists, clapping African saints with joyful praises, European Reformers with their majestic hymns, monks with their Gregorian and Ethiopian Coptic chants, Latin American Pentecostals with shouts of triumph, messianic Jews dancing horah, and a generation of North American street evangelists doing gospel rap!” [2]

How does Revelation 7:9 impact the mission of the church today? The glimpse of heaven that John provides readers tells believers who they should be evangelizing, serving, and loving. In summary, God wants to redeem people from every ethnic group in the world. Osborne writes that “every nation” stresses “the universal mission of the church to the ‘nations.'” [3]

Therefore, racism is an obstacle that hinders the mission of the church. Prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their race or ethnic group aren’t only off-mission, but they work against God’s eternal plan of redemption.

“God’s goal is not simply to have us stop looking down on other races. God wants unity, not just a ceasing of hostilities. He wants the very makeup of His church to preach the gospel: that despite our racial variants we are united under one ancestor, Adam; that we had one problem, sin; and that we have one hope, salvation in Christ.” (J.D. Greer. Gaining by Losing, Zondervan, 2015, p. 164)

Sources:
[1] Revelation by Grant Osborn. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. P. 318-319.
[2] Revelation by Craig S. Keener. NIV Application Commentary. P. 250.

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