Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. I understand God made man in His own image after creating all the animals and other creatures. What does “in our image” mean (Gen. 1:26)?
 
A. First, notice that God created all life after its own kind (Gen. 1:19-25). The fish in the oceans, lakes, and streams, were created after the fish kind. The birds of the air after the bird kind. The land fowl after the fowl kind. The land animals, each after its own kind.

Then God said, “let us make man in our image after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). God proposed to make man not after the animal kind, but after the God kind! Man, then, is not descended from an animal as evolutionists believe!
The word “likeness” in this verse refers primarily to facial appearance. The word “image” signifies not only form and shape as in other passages of the Bible, but “stamped with character.” The word “image” includes the potential of developing God-like character.

Adam was formed—shaped—out of material substance. In form and shape he bore God’s likeness. (God reveals Himself as having face, hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, and feet.) But Adam was made for the very purpose of acquiring—during his mortal lifetime—the character of God. Adam failed, choosing to follow the ways of Satan rather than the ways of God.

God is now fulfilling His purpose in those He has called and chosen through His son Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ that Christians shall—by a resurrection to immortality (I Cor. 15:50-54)—bear the “image” of God. That is, be composed of God’s very own character!
 
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