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“Is God genderless?”

“Is God genderless?”

MARCH 11, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is God genderless?”

Steve Brown:
Is God genderless? The answer to that and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. So, here’s Steve and Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with street-smart Bible teaching for real life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright.

Steve Brown:
You know, we’re freezing to death here. You said you were out on your bicycle, 40 degrees.

Pete Alwinson:
In Florida, that is, you know, the world shuts down.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I know, but the sun is shining, so I can deal with it as long as there’s some sun, but I don’t, I don’t swim my laps, I ice skate.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Steve, Steve, it’s 32 degrees. It doesn’t freeze over until then. I know, but it doesn’t matter. It feels like it, right?

Steve Brown:
I ain’t getting in that water. There is no way, until it warms up a bit, but listen, for those of you who don’t live in Florida, you go quit whining. What’s wrong with you? You know, nothing. We understand that, but pain is individualized for the individual. And so, leave us alone.

Pete Alwinson:
Leave us alone.

Steve Brown:
It’s cold for us.

Pete Alwinson:
Florida makes you into a weather weenie, we admit it.

Steve Brown:
And we admit it. That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way. Go to ForgeTruth.com and you’ll rise up and call me blessed for telling you about it. And if you live in the central Florida area, you might want to be a part of that men’s ministry. I think you have two or three chapters here in Orlando. And you can get some information by going to ForgeTruth.com Pete, as you know, comes in and he’s been doing it for over 25 years, comes in on Fridays and we answer your questions. And we love to get your questions. You can ask you a question anytime you want, 24 7, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. And sometimes we put your voice and your question on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

in Key Life Canada, in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail your question to Steve@keylife.org And we love your questions. And if you can help us, we’ll love your money too. We understand that if you can’t, but if you can help us financially, I promise we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in the giving of it. We’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And, if you can’t give, as I say, we understand, do say a prayer for this ministry. And speaking of prayer, Pete, would you lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
You got it. Let’s pray together. Father, we thank you for your goodness. And as we just stop for a moment here now, before this Q&A session, we come and we realize, Lord, we are such blessed people because we are known by the God of the universe. You know us, you know our name, you know everything about us. And in spite of that, Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again on our behalf. And Lord, we thank you for the new life that we have in Christ. We thank you that we’re daughters and sons, that you’re not angry at us, that we’re forgiven and that we have the power of the gospel of grace to energize us every day and transform us, make real changes in our lives. And so Lord, we ask that you continue to do the great work that you started in us, be honored and glorified. Lord take our challenges, we have many, our problems at work, our relationships that need to be restored. Lord, you know, us. And so, we give you those things right now and ask that this week-end our pastors and priests and teachers and leaders and worship directors, all those, would stand in front of us and draw us into your presence. Teach us your word and your gospel and set us free to follow you. So, we commit this week-end to you and this broadcast now. In Jesus’ strong name we pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, this is an e-mail and an interesting question. Is God genderless?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, I know that he’s created two genders, but I’m going to leave it up to you to take a shot at that one.

Steve Brown:
Well, Westminster speaks to that somewhat. And, you get the kind of feeling that he’s not just male or female or this or that. It’s not that easily defined. However, in everything that we know about in Scripture, God is revealed as male. As Father, Jesus was Son. And so, there is pretty clearly in Scripture, all of those implications of what it means to be not just a Father, but a perfect Father and a loving Father and a kind Father.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Great. Well put. Thank you for that. I needed to hear it that way. That’s great. And, you know, we are such, we’re very conservative Biblically. Right?

Steve Brown:
Right.

Pete Alwinson:
So, and yet in some of the modern translations, some of the words are being translated, any one instead of any man.

Steve Brown:
That drives me nuts.

Pete Alwinson:
I know. Unless as those

Steve Brown:
the text

Pete Alwinson:
unless the original text indicates that. And so, you know, that an important distinction. I love what you said and it frustrates me when they, but language changes. Right?

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And I, you know, I understand bias. I have my biases, not here. But I just think that people who are doing translation work need to be very, very careful. There are times in Scripture where we’ve used male, when the text doesn’t justify it, but there are places where that’s exactly what it’s saying and it means what it’s saying. So don’t mess with it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And by the way, the interesting thing about Scripture is that there are, and I think a number, but Hosea 11 is a great chapter that has overtones of a mother, and then the 131st Psalm is also a place where the child is at his mother’s breasts and referencing God at that point, that doesn’t mean that we set aside the clear references to Father in Scripture. But it means there are attributes in him, that are kind and comforting that we sometimes associate with femininity.

Pete Alwinson:
More of a nurturing mentality, that sometimes we see women have that men don’t have that, but God has.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. And so, that’s it, you know, yeah, he’s probably revealed as Father for a reason, but what about, some people say the Holy Spirit is the feminine side of the Trinity.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I, you know, I would hesitate to go that way. I don’t know what

Steve Brown:
Me too.

Pete Alwinson:
the indications would be, and again, the masculine nouns, those are masculine nouns.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, they are.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, there it is.

Steve Brown:
Okay. This is an e-mail too, can you explain what Jesus meant in Matthew 6 when he said.

That if you don’t forgive men their sins, God would not forgive you.

When I accepted Jesus, did I not accept forgiveness for all my sins? Even those I haven’t committed yet? Bottom line, this person is saying, that doesn’t sound like grace to me, that says, if you do this, quid pro quo, if you do this, then I’ll forgive you. If you don’t, you won’t be forgiven. That’s not what it saying.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s not what it’s saying, but I get that it sounds like that. It sounds like a, you know, a prerequisite to be forgiven. I’ve got a fully forgive everybody else. Well, it seems to me that Jesus is really making a point, is that forgiven people, forgive.

Steve Brown:
Exactly, dogs bark because their dogs not in order to be dogs, trees have leaves because they’re trees and Christians forgive because they’ve been forgiven. And it’s a natural outflow of a relationship with Christ.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Graced people, grace others.

Steve Brown:
Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. But now I think, having said that there’s a caveat. I don’t do it perfectly. And there’s times that I fail to forgive immediately. And then I’m convicted later on. I go, man, I really should forgive and let that go.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, I love that, that’s so true.

Pete Alwinson:
Sometimes it takes me a while to get there.

Steve Brown:
Well, in other words, you’re saying what I admit to, I have a hit list on my prayer list.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, your hit list. We haven’t heard about that hit list. Am I on that right now?

Steve Brown:
You’ve never been on it.

Pete Alwinson:
You haven’t called me lately.

Steve Brown:
But I, you know, always when I go through those people that I have trouble loving and forgiving. I just say by faith, I want you to bless them and I forgive them and I love them. And I want you to confirm my heart. But when I pray that, I often say to Jesus, I forgive them, how could I not after what you’ve forgiven me for?

Pete Alwinson:
That’s a great way to approach it. Let me ask you a quick question. At this point in your spiritual journey, is it easier for you to forgive people now? Do you tend to feel more forgiving or do you tend to feel more narrow toward people.

Steve Brown:
I think I’m more forgiving. I really am. And I think that’s a natural thing of aging. I think you find that with pagans too, Herbert Humphrey had some political enemies, that they had fought almost to the death and on his death bed, he was very kind in what he said about them. And I think that’s a natural progression of aging, you know, frankly, you know, I don’t want to live forever in this body because there’s so much bad stuff that is there. And more, the older I get, the more I recognize that, the more I see my sin and the more, because God knows I can take it, you know, early on, I couldn’t have dealt with all that, but not only more of my sin, but I’m more forgiving about others sin. You’re not nearly as old as I am. Nobody is, and still walking around.

Pete Alwinson:
In this room, there’s two of us and you’ve got a couple of years on me, you know.

Steve Brown:
Well, do you find yourself forgiving more or less?

Pete Alwinson:
I do. I find that, I think it is partly a natural progression of age and partly a progression of sanctification. I mean, we’ve been walking with Jesus a long time.

Steve Brown:
Long time.

Pete Alwinson:
And our confidence in him and his view of us, finally begins to say, Hey, lighten up to other people.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. That’s so true. And it’s such a gift, you know, it takes a lot of effort not to forgive, to be angry and bitter. You really have to work and that will take a lot out of you.

Pete Alwinson:
Your right. It does.

Steve Brown:
Alright. Is it true and I’ve heard this a lot that if you haven’t, nah, we don’t have time.

Pete Alwinson:
We don’t.

Steve Brown:
I just looked at the clock. We’re down to 30 seconds.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I know.

Steve Brown:
So, I will put that question, I almost asked you Pete, on the back burner and let it cook until next week.

Pete Alwinson:
We’ll do it. We’ll deal with it. And then we’ll have a little more time.

Steve Brown:
You will be here next week.

Pete Alwinson:
I will. I will.

Steve Brown:
Hey guys, we’re out of here, but first, Key Life is a listener supported production Key Life Network.

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