“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.” Genesis 1:26
Even a casual reading of the verse above, provokes wondrous thoughts as we contemplate how a plural God (us, our), i.e. the trinity, made man in his “image” and after his “likeness”. But as we search the scriptures, we see that these words are truly pregnant with meaning because we begin to understand the gravity and depth of what Adam lost in the Garden of Eden because of sin.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:” Genesis 5:3
We find in this verse, just some five chapters after his formation, Adam is now having children after “his own likeness” and “after his image”, not God’s! The explanation for this is that Adam and Eve died spiritually the very day that they ate of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6), just like God had forewarned them (Genesis 2:17), and lost God’s image and likeness! The curse of this spiritual death has been passed on to all men (Romans 5:12) and can only be reversed by receiving “…Christ, who is the image of God …” (2 Corinthians 4:4) through a spiritual re-birth. The sure, yet unseen hope of every believer is that although we now bear Adam’s “image”, we will one-day bear God’s “image”.
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:49
Hallelujah, what a promise, in the resurrection we will be “…conformed to the image of his son…” (Romans 8:29)! As far as God’s “likeness” goes, we can obtain that now, in this life. The phrase, God’s “likeness” has been condensed to the compound word “godliness”! Peter tells us that this God-like-ness / “godliness” is something that we are to add to our faith.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” 2 Peter 1:5-7
The only way to be godly, or God “like”, is to first be saved / born again, so that you will be “…complete in him…” (Colossians 2:10) having a living spirit, soul, and body (trinity, just “like” God). Lost people only have a living soul and body; God’s Spirit hasn’t quickened their spirit. Friend, once you are saved, you are to live a holy life and begin investing in eternal things (word of God and souls of men) that won’t be dissolved by fire, and to look forward to the coming of the day of God.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:11, 12
These teachings are part of the reasoning behind the second commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven…” Exodus 20:4