We see this truth from the very beginning of God’s Word. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us, “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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

How is it that we were created in the image of God? We are made of flesh, blood and bones. John 4:24 tells us that, “God is a Spirit…” So, this image must refer to something other than our physical beings. Let’s consider the words of Ecclesiastes 7:29, “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” This is in reference to what might be called man’s ‘original righteousness’. Man was not created in sin. Man was created ‘upright’. King David wrote in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (NKJV). David was born in sin, but man was created in righteousness. The moral nature of the soul of man was upright in its creation.

Now let’s look at Genesis 5:3 which says, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.” Notice that Seth was not born in the image of God, but in the image of his father, Adam. What’s the difference? Since Adam and Eve sinned, the inherited image of Adam is now polluted and unclean. Its nature is foolish and disobedient. It is against all that is good, and prone to to all that is evil. The sinfulness of this nature is passed on by natural birth. Seth was ‘born in sin and shapen in iniquity’. Indeed, we all are born this way since Adam’s sin. Job asked a very interesting question in Job 14:4, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” Adam, in his fallen state, could not produce children that had the ‘original righteousness’ that he had before he sinned. No, as a sinful man, he begot sinful offspring. He could pass along sinfulness and disobedience, but not holiness and righteousness.

Have we lost this image forever? Can sinful man ever again bear the image of God? Let’s consider 2 Corinthians 5:21 which says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” God made His Son sin, or more properly, He was made a sin offering, for our sakes. Through the sacrifice of Himself for us, we can be made brand new; we can be reconciled to God; we can be made the righteousness of God in Him. What a wonderful truth for us to meditate upon!

Let’s close these thoughts by reading 2 Peter 1:2-4, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” What a precious truth! When we accept Christ as our savior, we are made “partakers of the divine nature”, the very nature of God! (157.6)