“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
There are multiple places that the Scriptures talk about the Image of God. Have you ever asked yourself the question, What is the image of God? Is this talking about the physical features of man? Is this in the image of intellect? Is it in his immortality? Let us look at this phrase and see what the Scripture teaches.
Man was not made in the likeness of any creature that went before him, but in the likeness of his Creator; yet still between God and man there is an infinite distance. This image was imparted only to humans (2:7). “Image” (ṣelem) is used figuratively here, for God does not have a human form. While he represents God and is like Him we have nothing of righteousness and holiness here. Yet, in His love and grace, He molded the first man “in His image,” referring to man’s personality—mind, will, emotions, freedom—rather than his physical appearance.
This is man’s unique identity. This is the part of man that cannot be put in a test tube. Humankind, in mint condition, is a divine hologram. Because of sin, the image of God is now spoilt. But we can still detect traces of God’s likeness—in our creativity, decision-making, compassion, love of company and sense of humor. Man was created to serve as God’s representative to govern the earth. Since man is God’s image-bearer, murder merits the strongest retribution (9:6). The OT prohibits making any material image of God (Ex 20:1–4; Dt 4:16) because God is spirit (Jn 4:24). In Lk 24:39 Jesus explains that a spirit “does not have flesh and bones” (see Is 31:3). Because God is spirit, He is invisible (Jn 1:18; Rm 1:20; Col 1:15; 1 Tm 1:17).
In another passage in Scripture it also talks about the image of God.
“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”
The tongue that blesses the Father, and then turns around and curses men made in God’s image, is in desperate need of spiritual medicine! How easy it is to sing the hymns during the worship service, then after the service, get into the family car and argue and fight all the way home! “My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
We are created on a heavenly pattern! Therefore when we curse man that is created in His image, we are cursing God for His creation. We are saying His creation is not good and that it is not Divine! We have been literally carved as the image of God. This is not a lite topic, but a Divine topic. God created us very specifically in the image of God. Therefore we need to treat each person as a person in a manner that reflects God’s image!