At the creation, the Bible is very clear that God specifically created man in His own image.
Genesis 1:26: ¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
This can be construed to be many things, among them: a defense of the Trinity (“our image”), a description of the appearance of God physically, and most importantly, the triune nature of mankind.
Since God is three Persons in one Being, these verses show that God created man to have three parts in one being. It is imperative to understand these parts.
1 Thessalonians 5:23: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Every human being is made up of three parts: the Spirit, the Soul, and the Body.
We went over this in the lesson titled “Three Parts,” the first in this series, but it’s important to remember that, because the issue of the Two Images is based almost completely on an understanding of the three parts of the human trichotomy.
- The Image of Adam
In order to properly understand this issue in light of the previous lesson, we have to approach this issue a bit backwards. We will deal with what it means to be made in the image of God in a minute, but first let us talk about what the other option is.
Genesis 5:3 ¶And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
After the fall, when Adam was said to be made in God’s image, we have Adam begetting a son, who is made in Adam’s image, NOT God’s.
This must be understood to be referring to what God promised Adam in Genesis 2:
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Obviously, since Adam lived on for two chapters after the Fall, he didn’t die physically, but as we discussed previously, his Spirit died, and he lost that connection with the LORD.
We can now understand that those who are natural, or carnal, and have not received the rebirth of the Spirit, are made in the image of Adam: Body, Soul, and a dead Spirit.
- The Image of God
Genesis 1:26 ¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
We know that God is a trinity because of many scriptures, but one of the clearest is:
1 John 5:7: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
The image of God can therefore be understood to be a trichotomy, three distinct parts that make up a single individual.
The Bible says that those that are made in the image of God are “sons of God.”
Luke 3:38: Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
Adam is called the son of God, meaning that he was made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27).
Other verses in the Bible speak of the “sons of God”:
Old Testament: Genesis 6:2, 4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7.
New Testament: John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 19; Phil. 2:15; 1 John. 3:1-2.
In the Old Testament, no humans are referred to as “sons of God,” other than Adam (in a New Testament reference). These beings are actually angels.
In the New Testament, however, people are called the “sons of God,” since they are reborn in God’s image.
Christ, the last Adam, restored the fallen image:
1 Corinthians 15:45: And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Whether in the Old or New Testaments, a “son of God” is someone made in the image of God; in the case of angels, that is physical, we believe (every angel in the Bible is a male, and Christ is called the Angel of God many times), and in the case of humans, it is spiritual, speaking of the human trichotomy (spirit, soul, body).
Do keep in mind that Christ is the “only begotten Son,” not just “only Son,” as that would make God a liar.