Made in his image
‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ ‘In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.’ Genesis 1:26, Genesis 5:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Colossians 1:15–20
In his own image, or likeness. I will not be scrupulous about distinguishing these expressions. Taken together, I apprehend they signify:
(i) Man was formed in the image of God as his representative here below, honoured with the subordinate dominion of the earth and all its creatures (1:27).
(ii) Perhaps the expression may intimate ‘in the image and likeness of that body which the Word of God would in time take into union with himself.’ For this was in his purpose before either man or the earth was made. Man was therefore formed according to the resemblance of him who now sits upon the throne—the Head of the whole creation.
(iii) The capacities of man bore some faint image of the divine perfections—understanding, consciousness, will, and vast affections—which the possession of all the creatures could not satisfy (verse 20). And this natural dignity and vastness of the soul, which makes it incapable of being satisfied with anything short of an infinite good, still remains under the ruin of the fall—though this likewise becomes a curse and punishment, sin having rendered a union between the soul and its chief good impracticable without the interposition of free grace.
(iv) Man was created in the moral image of God, indeed with a portion of his goodness, holiness and truth, by which he was qualified for communion with his Maker and fully enabled for obedience to his righteous law (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). This image was totally lost and defaced by sin and therefore the work of grace which restores it is called a new creation.
This account agrees likewise to the woman, though she was made afterwards and immediately from the substance of the man.
On man in his own image made,
The whole creation homage paid,
How much did GOD bestow?
And owned him, LORD, below!
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 3 [3/4], GENESIS 2:7