Genesis 1:26 asserts that humankind is made in the imago Dei (quite literally “the image of God”). While we do not share the incommunicable attributes of God—his omnipotence, omniscience, or omnipresence—we do share in a finite and imperfect way such communicable attributes as spirituality (John 4:24), rationality (Colossians 3:10), and morality (Ephesians 4:24). As such, we, the crowning jewels of God’s creation, are reflections rather than reproductions of God.
First, we should note that, despite the fall, humanity continues to reflect the image of God. This reflection of his divine image in us has been blemished yet not obliterated. James, the half brother of Jesus, affirmed this truth when he wrote that men are “made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9).
Furthermore, through sanctification, God is renewing an image that as yet is blemished and broken. We have taken off the “old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge i n t he image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9–10).
Finally, it is liberating for believers to recognize that God will completely restore the imago Dei in fallen humanity. Paul wrote, “Just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49). We have the certain promise that one day the imago Dei now reflected in the crowning jewels of God’s creation will be completely restored in Christ, who “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
Though we will never be like God who has “life in himself” (John 5:26), we will through Christ “participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4).
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009).