Often I have heard when it says in Genesis, “God made man in His own image”, it was referring to the Trinity. Man has a physical body, (God’s would be personified in Jesus), he has a soul, which is his personality, (God shows His numerous time throughout the Bible), and he has a spirit (The Person of the Holy Spirit). While I agree with this, I think it also goes a little deeper than that.
In the Liberty Bible Commentary it states:
The image and the likeness are to be taken as synonymous terms (Feinberg, “The Image of God,” Bibliotheca Sacra 129 (1972 p. 237). They are interchangeable in 5:3. It is not a reference to God’s physical appearance, for God is non-corporeal. Jacob prefers the Lordship idea, while Eichdrodt believes it refers to the Personhood or Self-conscience being concept. Ryrie almost combines both, indicating that man was created in a natural and moral likeness to God. When he sinned, he lost the moral likeness, which was his sinless ness. But at the same time, he still retains the natural likeness of intellect, emotions, and will (cf. Gen 9:6; Jas 3:9). The moral likeness is presently being formed in every believer who allows God’s Spirit to conform him to the image of God’s Son by His Spirit.
When my dog wakes up every day, he doesn’t know he exists, he just exists. When he sees a reflection of himself, he doesn’t know what he’s looking at. God has made us like Himself in the fact that we know who we are. We can reason and think things out for ourselves. Animals have to rely on basic animal instincts, but we see things differently; and we’re the only ones on the earth that do, because we’re the only ones made in the image of Almighty God. We are a self-conscience being; we know we exist and can somewhat wrap our brains around that.
God also made us in His moral likeness. Satan knew exactly what he was doing when he tempted Eve. To paraphrase he said, “God knows that when you eat this fruit, you’ll be like Him, knowing the difference between good and evil”. He wasn’t lying when he said that. As soon as Eve took a bite, she knew the difference between good and evil, because she had just disobeyed God. When God created us in His image, He gave us His moral likeness; and had Adam and Eve never sinned, they could have had fellowship with God forever, but when they did sin, that moral likeness was broken, thus the separation between God and man.
Amazing how in God’s plan we were separated from Him because of the moral likeness, but we still retained the self-consciousness. He let us keep our understanding, so that when He sent His Son to die for us, we would still be able to understand and realize that we needed the repair of the moral likeness. In essence, the last part of John 3:16 could read, “and whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, (be eternally separated from God), but will get his moral likeness back”
And that’s what Jesus does for us. When He makes intercession for us, He is repairing the separation in our spirit and God’s that has been caused by us losing our moral likeness.
- Burn the Boats?
- At His Feet
- Recommended Reading
- Old Testament
- New Testament