Loughbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church
Is God Male?

This is a summary of the address given at the after-church fellowship meeting Lord's Day 25th March 2007

1. There are constant male references to God in the Scriptures

2. Men and women individually were made in the image of God, Genesis 1:27

The question may then be asked, if man is made and woman is made in the image of God, why is God represented as distinctly male?

3. The male terminology is connected with the divinely appointed male role in this present life.

Both men and women are made in the image of God (Gen.1:26-27) and both reflect that image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. Nevertheless, the role assigned to the man, rather than the woman, is one of authority, government and leadership. The Scriptures are quite explicit, for example, that in marriage and in the church, woman is to submit to man. God, however, always governs, exercises authority, leads and takes the initiative. He is never under authority or in submission or following.

God is not male in any physical sense as he is a Spirit. It is this God-given male role in this life that accounts for the male terminology that is applied to him. To ask the question, "is God male?" is to start at the wrong end. Male and female are terms describing a distinction God has made within those creatures that are procreative. As far as man is concerned, the male is the authoritative leader and therefore the male role in this life reflects, in a measure, that which is absolutely true of God. So, on the words "But the woman is the glory of the man" (1 Cor.11:7), Charles Hodge comments, "That is, the woman is in this respect subordinate to the man. She is not designed to reflect the glory of God as a ruler".

God is not male, but maleness in man reflects the authority and rule of his Creator.


A recording of the address on which this article is based is available here [sermonaudio.com]