The meaning of being created in the Image of God

We have the privilege of being created in the image of God, but what does it mean? I have often stressed the complexity of the scriptures as a literary masterpiece, but I don’t think my works do it justice. In this case, it also provides the same challenge which will be tackled in this post.

Created in the Image of God


25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26. And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:25-26 (KJV)

To understand how we are created in his image, we must first understand some things about God.

God is Sovereign

5. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
6. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:5-6 (KJV)

The scriptures declare that God is sovereign over everything. There is no God or anyone above him, and he has demonstrated this many times over (Isaiah 46:9-10). The comprehension of his power plus the knowledge that he has created everything, although known by some, the full realisation has not sunk into the world.

God is the only God, which means he is the only one and has dominion over everything. Understanding how man was created in his image demands that we understand and accept the sovereignty of the living God.

Physical Appearance

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24 (KJV)

This passage eliminates the simple assertion that man has the physical appearance of God. This assertion is not the case and is demonstrated by the bordered verses; God is a Spirit while man is flesh.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Genesis 6:3 (KJV)


Lion Exercising Dominion

The passage stating that man was created in the image of God is followed by a description making the comparison that as God has dominion over everything, so does man have dominion over the fishes, fowls (all flying creatures), cattle (all land animals) and over all the earth. Man is to have total power over the land, air and seas, just as the Highest has absolute authority over everything.

While nothing can challenge man in this world, so nothing can challenge God in anything. We were created on this earth to exercise dominion over everything as God exercises control over angels, devils, time, and everything.

Seth the Son of Adam

1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4. And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
5. And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Genesis 5:1-5 (KJV)

Adam had dominion over the entire earth while he was alive, and Seth followed in his wake. This continuity intends to illustrate the system God put in place, the continued dominion over this world from generation to generation.

For fear that I exclude a significant point, the addition that Adam’s dominion over the world goes beyond simple dominance over the animals, the earth, etc., but more so having rulership or reign over the earth. That is to say that Adam falling at the hand of the devil into sin relinquished control over the earth (1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Corinthians 15:45). Then Jesus had to retake dominion through his conquest of sin and sacrifice on the cross.

Parallel Example

The recounting of Exodus shows that God glorified Moses in the sight of Pharaoh and the Egyptians through his signs and wonders—through all the works he wrought with his right hand on Egypt. He proclaims to Moses the following:

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Exodus 7:1 (KJV)

With this in mind, it shows God made a parallel structure in Moses, whereby Aaron was his prophet while Pharoah stood in awe of his power. God has dominion over everything, and whoever he sets up, he sets up, and whoever he takes down, he takes down.

20. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
21. And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
22. He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Daniel 2:20-22 (KJV)


Ultimately man has dominion over the earth, and God has authority over everything.

6. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Psalms 75:6-8 (KJV)

Over the earth, man exercises dominion; but with this power, what should he do?

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

In summary and as always, Worship God.

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