Genesis 1:26 - 31
NKJV - 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
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First and foremost, we have to understand what God's image is. What is it? Is it how we physically look? Does God look how we are male or female? To have answers to all these questions, it is paramount that we understand who God is and what as human beings we are. The Bible teaches that God is spirit (John 4:24). Then what are we? For we are humans (physical bodies) with a spirit of God in each one of us. Our resemblance with God is rooted in a part of Him that is in each one of us. Our physical looks therefore, male or female aren't a reflection of how God created us in His own image. Our physical bodies are simply housing a god in us (Psalms 82:6), (John 10:34). So the god being spoken of here is not the physical body, it is the spirit in us, only by which we are able to live this earthly life. Our death means the separation of the two; the spirit separates from the physical body. The body is destined to return to soil because when man sinned, much as the spirit was detached from its giver who is God, the physical body was condemned to die a physical death and return to soil and dust (Ecclesiastes 3:20), (Ecclesiastes 12:7). When the body dies a physical death, that is its end, even on the day of resurrection, it is not these current bodies that will resurrect. The Bible says our bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies (Philippians 3:21), (1Corinthians 15:53). On the other hand though, a spirit doesn't die to its end. The death of the spirit is its detachment from its giver who is God. All I am explaining here is the fact that our being male or female is not how our being in God's image is. Us being in God's image is the fact that the spirit of God is in each one of us. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they were as righteous as God. When they sinned (Genesis 3), they lost their right of righteousness. Rather, they lost their look and thinking being like that of God. They equally lost the heavenly bodies. They were detached from God and they lost all the precious communion they had had with God. This is how man lost his precious spiritual resemblance of God. Our true resemblance of God therefore is nothing else other than to be righteous as He is righteous. The image of God is spirit, a Spirit whose looks is righteousness. We look like the righteous God when we are counted righteous through Jesus Christ His Son. Another way how we are in God's image is that He created us so that together with Him, we rule the earth as He is ruler in Heaven. Before man fell, every creature submitted to him by the authority extended to him by God Himself, just as all heavenly creatures unreservedly submit to the authority of God. Now that man fell, the earth is no longer as submissive as it was. Why? Because when man fell, he ceased to share the same authority with God over the earth. Man was no longer in the same authoritative image as is of God. The coming of Jesus Christ is to take us back into this authoritative image as is of God. This is how we possess authority over all demonic and satanic powers that ever be. And just as God the Father commanded the rebellious Lucifer and all the a third of angels that followed him away from heaven, so do we possess the same authority to command every demonic powers away by the authority extended to us through Jesus Christ His Son. On the account of all the above, our being in the image of God, is not at all how our being male or female is. For scripture says; even at resurrection; there will be no male or female, for we will be like the angels of Heaven (Mark 12:25), (Matthew 22:30). We are in God's image in the aspects as has been laid above. For we are in God's image by virtue of His spirit in each one of us, and by being counted righteous through Jesus Christ. We are also in God's image by possessing the same authority over all creatures as is the Father's through His Son Jesus Christ. By being a Spirit, God is neither male or female. A spirit is a spirit and that is it.
First of all Great Question! I would like to offer a short response but there are many implications to this passage. To fully answer this question we must have a full understanding of God (Gods image). Since this is impossible, we need to look at what we do know and see how it may apply. I'd like to suggest a few possible reflections, just to get your mind going. 1: Gods body is not physical or created so the image of God is not speaking of our physical differences. Male and female (physical) forms become irrelevant to the potential answers. 2: The simple fact that more than one body is required to reflect Gods image leads us to better understand that God is community in Himself. This is the basis of our understanding of a triune God, three parts of one whole. One man reflects some attribute of God, one women reflects some attributes of God, and their union fills in the remainder of the missing attributes. Thus, Biblical Christian marriage is the most complete reflection of God we can witness pre-heaven. (Side note: it's no wonder this is Satans most aggressive target.) 3: Gods image (attributes) is seen in both male and female. Compassion: is a stronger female trait. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22 NKJV) Wrath: is a stronger male trait. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18 NKJV) Jealousy: is a trait only found in relationship. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24 NKJV) It is impossible to know God fully but it's a good start to reflect on the attributes of God found in scripture and how they play out in humanity. Be careful not to confuse unhealthy human diviations from Gods image to cloud your perception of a Holy and Pure God. Example: Sex is a beautiful creation and gift from God. A beautiful expression to reflect the pure intimacy of our relationship with Him and our spouse. I shouldn't need to explain the various ways we (humanity) have twisted this gift. Hope this helps! I love the question.
Being in the 'image of God' has nothing to do with our first parents being created 'male and female'. God is NOT male and female. Rather, Scripture portrays Him as Him. Nonetheless, He is Spirit. Which means there is no similarity in terms of physical features. As to intellect and knowledge, we know that Adam and Eve were created without the knowledge of good and evil, so that is not the similarity either. The similarity lies, in my opinion, in the fact that just as Adam had Eve within himself when he was created, Gen 2:21-22, so our Father had His Son within Himself from eternity - Proverbs 8:22-26 KJV, Micah 5:2 KJV. It would seem this is the only 'image' that applies both the the Godhead and our first parents. Bless.
God is Love - that is the image. Making humans, male and female, reflects the Love that exists in the persons of the Holy Trinity: 1. Father - source of love, the lover 2. Son - recipient of love, the beloved 3. Holy Spirit - the love shared between the two Man is made to love his wife, and the wife to be the receipient of his love. And the love between them forms a third person - one who they will name nine months later.
The male and female division is only for reproductive purposes, as it is for the animals and plants created previously. In truth God is not a sexual being. God manifests as a male now since the human male dominates more than the female. However, before the Fall the male and female were more equal in this regard. "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..." The use of both words "image" and "likeness" suggest more than simply a spiritual similarity between man and God. How is it that God had real human characteristics long before the creation of man? Perhaps it was predestined that man would be in the image and likeness of God long before his actual creation. If God has no physical human body, then why did the LORD visit Abraham as a physical man along with two angels (Gen 18:1-33)? If the Father has no physical human body, then why did Christ say "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9)? And why is Christ called "the express image of his person" (Hebrews 1: 3) in referring to God? This is not to say that God is nothing more than divine human being. He is much more than that, as everyone acknowledges. But he actually does possess a physical human body to walk the earth when and if he chooses to. Otherwise, in the spiritual realms he is the first and foremost spirit.
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