Christ As God’s Image
And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27)
As is clearly seen in the book of Genesis, all people bear the image of God. But the New Testament also clearly teaches that Christians resemble God more than non-Christians. Paul, in several scriptures, emphasizes the process of conforming more perfectly to the image of God and His Son.
…and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. (Col. 3:10)
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 he also states,
But we all…are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
In Romans 8:29 this process is explained in the following terms.
For whom he foreknew, He also predestined (to become) conformed to the image of his Son.
In Ephesians 4:24 he also identifies the “new self” as the likeness of God. Therefore, while our humanity gives us the birthright of being created in God’s image, there is a sense in which we resemble God only by living in a godly manner. So while we retain the image of God, we do not live up to our spiritual potential of truly being like Him when we live apart from a relationship with God.
God supplied this moral deficiency in us by sending Jesus Christ to earth. In John 1:14 we see that this was done by making Him flesh in our image.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
By becoming flesh like ourselves He was able to show us the perfect image of God in himself so that in a world in which God’s image had been clouded we might have a perfect icon of Deity (eikon is the Greek word used for image of representation). In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Paul used this word to identify Christ as this perfect image,
In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
While we are created in His image, Christ is that image, just as He told His apostles, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Therefore, that part of our birthright which was squandered in sin, can now be renewed in Christ as he makes it possible for us to both respect that spark of the divine in all men while becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).