The Image of God

Now here is an interesting study for you all. Let’s look at how “the image of God” is connected with four prominent men in the Bible.

1. The image of God created in the first man. Note these Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:45 and Genesis 1:26. Man was created last; God would not rest until His likeness was manifested. Man, created in the very image of God was to be God’s creative triumph: the reproduction of His image in His creation. The first man was like God—

In being a spirit. Man is separate from the rest of creation. God created the wild beasts but He did not breath into them the breath of His own life, as He did to man. Of all that God created, only Adam was created capable of knowing His Creator.

In being immortal. In receiving the breath of God, man became a partaker of the Divine! Man was created never to die.

In being holy. In the beginning, man was a stranger to anything displeasing to God.

In being satisfied. Between the Almighty Holy Creator and His newly created masterpiece, Adam, there was absolute and perfect harmony and mutual delight. Think about this: God saw Himself in man and man saw himself in God! In each other’s image there was complete satisfaction.

In having dominion. Adam was given dominion over all God had created. God had given Adam all power and authority over what He had created. Imagine that partnership!

2. The image of God destroyed in the Old Man, our “old selves.” In Ephesians 4:22 we are told to put off our old selves because our old nature (old man, KJV) is corrupt. Compare the the first new man, Adam, with this “old man.” What a change! The holiness, close fellowship and harmony all gone as if it had never existed. The horrible effects of sin; it pollutes and corrupts whatever it touches. Sin had touched man, corrupted him and man was left with nothing but an empty, immortal spirit forever at war with God. There was no hope for man after sin came in contact with him. Paul told us to put off that old man–to deal sternly with our old nature–with all his sinful deeds (Colossians 3:9). What are we to do with that old man? Romans 6:6 teaches that our old man is “crucified with Christ!” There is only place for your old nature: on the Cross. The absence of the image of God can only result in death.

3. The image of God manifested in the Second Man. Note 1 Corinthians 15:47. The Second Man is the Lord Himself, come down from Heaven. It is as though all the people in between the First Man and the Second Man were unworthy of the title. In Jesus Christ–the Second Man–the image of God finally reappears in beauty and perfection. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the exact image of His Person, Hebrews 1:3. Paul would teach that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, Colossians 1:15. Man lost the likeness of God, and only God could restore it. When we see Jesus we see God the Father and we see what man should have been and what man should be: walking in holiness and in perfect, unbroken fellowship with God. Christ came to to seek and to save that which was lost. By His death and resurrection and through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, He restores, renews and causes man to rejoice!

4. The image of God restored in the New Man. After we have “put off” our old selves, we “put on” the image of Christ through the renewal of the Holy Ghost within us, Romans 13:14. Furthermore, we are actually created in Christ, Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

This restoration can only be done by the God whose image is to be created, and that it is a creation rather than a reformation. If you try to create your own righteousness or to create the image of God yourself, you will fail miserably. For being Christ-like is not a matter of deeds or actions, but a renewing of the spirit by the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost. Jesus said we must be “born again,” John 3:7. That can only happen through the work of the Holy Ghost.

May our prayer be, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

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