Man Created in the Image of God 

 

            Gen. 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

 

            Based on the above we can conclude th at when man was created he was in the image of God.  When thinking upon this fact, my mind is drawn to two questions:

         1.  Is man still in the image of God?

         2.  How is man in the image of God?

 

            Let us deal with the second question first.  Of all of God's creation only man was created in the image of God.  Further, God later forbid man to make any image of God.  Thus, man is the only image and likeness of God that God has authorized.  The scriptures do not say that God created man partially in the image and likeness of God.  It says that he created God in his own image after his own likeness.  Thus, man was the best representation and likeness of God that God created.

 

          This principle is set forth in examining the physical characteristics of man and the things the scriptures say about God.  The following is said in describing God in comparison to the physical characteristics of man:

 

                        1.  Ps. 11:4 "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men."

                        2.  Ps. 34:15 "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry."

                        3.  Deu. 4:34 "Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?"

                        4.  Ex. 24:10 "And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."

                        5.  1 Sam. 13:14 "But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."

                        6.  Ex. 31:18 "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."

 

            In the above we note the description of God using the physical characteristics of man. 

 

            Likewise, other verses of scripture describe God using the senses of man: see, hear, smell, taste, and feel:

                        1.  Gen. 11:5 "And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded."

                        2.  Deu. 33:7 "And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an help to him from his enemies."

                        3.  Phil. 4:18 "But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God."

                        4.  Heb. 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

                        5.  Heb. 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

 

            Moreover, we see verbs associated with man used to describe God such as God speaking; God denying; God working; God judging; God forgiving; God rewarding; etc. 

 

            Unlike the birds, fishes, mammals and other animals that God created, man was created with the ability to think logically, to reason, to rationalize, to deduce and draw conclusions.  These are also things that are ascribed to God. 

 

            The phrase, "Let us," indicates a plurality in the Godhead.  This is verified by several scriptures with 1 John 5:7 the most cited: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."  The three, yet one, nature of the Godhead is also found in man's likeness and image to God.  According to 1 Thes. 5:23 man is also three, yet one, in nature: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

            There are seven things that God made man in which he is different from the other creatures, yet are characteristic to God:

                        1.  God made man upright.  All the other mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc. are made to loco mote parallel to the ground.  Man is made so that he can readily look outward and upwards.

                        2.  God made man with a reasoning, rational, logical mind.  All of the other creatures are extremely limited in their ability to logically reason if at all.

                        3.  God made man with the freedom of ability to choose his course.  No other creature has the latitude to make such free choices.

                        4.  God made man to have "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."  God certainly has dominion over all his creation.  God gave man to have dominion over a large portion of the creatures of the earth.

                        5.  God made man in the image of the Godhead.  The Godhead consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and these three are one.  God made man a threefold yet one nature: body, soul, and spirit.

                        6.  God made man with the ability to assimilate language for communication.  All other creatures are very limited in their ability to communicate and do not have the ability to assimilate language to any degree.

                        7.  God gave man wisdom.  This is the ability to take the knowledge and understanding that man has and to put it to good use.

 

            The following two verses teach us that man is still in the image of God:

 

                        1.  Gen. 9:6 "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

                        2.  1 Cor. 11:7 "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."

            However, due to the fall of man, man is no longer completely in the image of God for we find in the covenant of redemption that the elect of God are predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son: Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."  If man were perfectly in the image of God then why would it be necessary that God predestinate the elect to be conformed to the image of the Son? 

 

            There are things about God that Adam and his genealogy lost in the fall of man.  The read the following concerning Christ: Heb. 7:26 "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens…"  Furthermore, Christ is called the Sun of Righteousness: Mal. 4:2 "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall."  In contrast it is said of fallen man in Rom. 3:10: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Ultimately in the resurrection through the atoning sacrifice of Christ we will once again be completely in the image of Christ as we will be holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens and we will be made altogether righteous.