THE IMAGE OF GOD
The image of God refers to the human likeness to God. This is the most basic declaration made concerning the nature of human being from a Christian perspective. Humans are unique among all creatures. They are like God and therefore able to have fellowship with God. (Genesis 1: 26-27) teaches that God determined to create man/ woman in His ''image'' and ''likeness.'' They (we) would have dominion (authority) over all creation.
The moment that man/ woman became living creatures, they were the image of God. Both male and female share this likeness to God (1: 27). Other passages that speak of people being created in the image of God are (Genesis 5:1, 9: 6; 1st Corinthians 11: 7; James 3: 9; Ephesians 4: 24; and Colossians 3: 10 refer to humanity's re-creation.
The statement in (Genesis 1:) states that man were made in the image of God and that statement was not made of any of the other living creatures. The animals, the fish, and the birds do not share this privilege. By virtue of His creation from the dust of the ground, mankind has an obvious kinship with the earth.
A human in his our her wholeness is the image of God. The biblical concept is not that the image is in man or woman, but that man are the image of God. Man's kinship with the earth is most clearly visible in his body. So, the image of God is best seen when humans are viewed from the perspective of their spirituality. There are aspects of spirituality that define humans and set them apart from the animal creation. The image of God is then found to reside in some attribute or combination of attributes, such as rationality, will, freedom, responsibility, or the like.
It is the personality of humans that separates them from the animals and is a reflection of the personality of God. The animals have their existence from God, but humans have their being in God, and they are His offspring (Acts 17: 28-29). Another major aspect of the image of God is developed from (Ephesians 4: 24; and Colossians 3: 10. These verses describe the re-creation of the believers in the likeness of God-in righteousness, holiness of the truth, and true knowledge.
Paul declares that the redeemed are re-created into the image of God as they are transformed into the image of Christ, who bears the untainted image of God. Jesus Christ is first and foremost the image of God (2ed Corinthians 4: 4; Colossians 1: 15; Hebrews 1: 3). Frequently this is understood as a reference to the deity of Christ. To see Christ is to see the Father (John 14: 9). However, in the passages cited, it is the incarnate Mediator, the last Adam, who is all that God intended the first Adam to be. Incarnation means that Jesus is truly human, and because He is truly human, He is truly the image of God.
Adam and the Mediator of the new covenant, Jesus brings His people into conformity with His own image, the image of the Son of God (Romans 8: 29). Jesus became like His brethren in the likeness of sinful flesh. This was to destroy sin in order that His brethren might reflect His own glory. Believers are changed into the same image from glory-to- glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2ed Corinthians 3: 18). Believer are to ''put on Christ'' (Romans 13: 14; Galatians3: 27; Ephesians 4: 24; and Colossians 3: 10).
Conformity to the image of Jesus Christ is achieved through the process of sanctification. That process is ultimately completed at the resurrection. Only than is the body changed until it is transformed to be like the glorious body of Christ (Philippians 3: 21). Restoration in the image of Christ carries beyond creation in the image of God, for the image of the earthly is then exchanged for the image of the heavenly (1st Corinthians 15: 49).