What Does the Bible Say About the Image of God?

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Man is created in the image of God, but the likeness was damaged in the fall. With the Incarnation, God becoming man, man is now offered to become again what he was created to be. This is done by following Jesus and “imitating” him by reading God’s Word and being filled with God’s Spirit. By God’s grace, Jesus’ disciples are formed in the image of Jesus, and thus become God’s image once again.

Bible Verses

26Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.(Ge 1:26–27)

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,(Ro 3:23)

3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,(Heb 1:3)

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.(Col 1:15)

17Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.(Heb 2:17)

29For 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.(Ro 8:29)

18And 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. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.(2 Co 3:18)

22to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.(Eph 4:22–24)

9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.(Col 3:9–10)

4In 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.(2 Co 4:4)

Study Questions

  1. In what way is man the image of God?
  2. What distinguishes humans from animals?
  3. What in man was “destroyed” by the Fall?
  4. How is man restored to the image of God?

Additional Bible Verses

Gen 5:1b-2, Gen 9:6, 1 Cor 11:7, 1 Cor 11-12, John 1:4 John 1:9, 14, 18, Matt 5:48

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