The Bible offers a number of verses that suggest we have been made in the image of God. At the same time, at the end of the age, Scripture also talks about mankind being given new bodies. What is all that about?
What does the Bible say about our current body?
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
James 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
Are we the image of God or is it part of Sanctification?
2 Corinthians 3:18a And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
Eph. 4:22-24 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Are we to look like Christ?
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
What does the Bible say about our future body?
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
More Questions than Answers
Was Adam and forward created in the image of God? Is it all-inclusive of mankind or only believers? Is it a process, like sanctification? Which Christ are we the image of, the earthly Christ or the Heavenly one? Do the words “likeness” and “image” even mean physical attributes or spiritual attributes? Finally, if believers get new bodies, are our perishable bodies the image of God or our imperishable ones?
The easy answer to all these questions will come when we no longer view spiritual things through a dirty lens (1 Cor. 13:12) but see God face-to-face. However, our curiosity and desire to understand the deeper things of God prompt us to reflect on these questions. As with other things in Scripture, much of this remains a mystery, to be revealed in the proper time (Proverbs 25:2). It is a small part of the reason why our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord is ultimately a profession of faith not observable fact (2 Cor. 5:7).
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