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Images of God

August 11, 2019
By Martin Luther

The LORD was sorry . . . and it grieved Him to His heart.

GENESIS 6:6

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Images of God

That Scripture thus assigns to God the form, voice, actions, emotions, etc., of a human being not only serves to show consideration for the uneducated and the weak, but we great and learned men, who are versed in the Scriptures, are also obliged to adopt these simple images because God has presented them to us and has revealed Himself to us through them. . . . This is the simplest procedure for dealing with passages of this kind, for we cannot define what God is in His nature. Yet we can define what He is not, namely, that He is not a voice, not a dove, not water, not bread, and not wine. Nevertheless, He presents Himself to us in these visible forms, deals with us, and puts these forms before us to keep us from degenerating into erratic and vagabond spirits who indeed carry on discussions about God but are profoundly ignorant of Him as of one who cannot be comprehended in His unveiled majesty. God sees that this way of knowing God is impossible for us; for, as Scripture states (1 Timothy 6:16), He dwells in unapproachable light, and He has made known what we can grasp and understand. Those who adhere to this truly understand God while those who boast of visions, revelations, and enlightenments and follow them are either overwhelmed by God's majesty or remain in utter ignorance of God.