How can we be made in the image and likeness of God if he is a spirit?

Since God is a spirit, without shape, color, weight, or anything that defines any physical appearance, how can one say that God has created us in his image and likeness? Perhaps I am misunderstanding this term and am welcome to interpretations.

Personally I believe that the image is a reference to our souls, which of course are spirit.

With this in mind if you love God then you can love all people since God is in us all. It also helps to be able to forgive people too since our personalities are a small part of what we are and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, are fallable?

According to my Bible this image description refers to the physical and spiritual nature of man being a microcosm of the universe and therefore God. God then being both physical and spirit.

very funny! But I make my point yes?

In fact I may always spell it like this to make my point…and it’s all thanks to you Lisaandlena, :wink:

I’ve always taken it to mean that, like God, humans are rational beings, possessing an intellect and a will, capable of knowing and loving.

This is a great question. Many people have attempted to answer the question what does it mean to be made in the “image of God.” I think few people believe that being made in God’s image (the Hebrew term actually means something more akin to a carving or engraving) is referring to our physical form. Some believe that the image of God has something to do with our ability to reason. This could be it, but even some animals show signs of rational thought. I tend to think it has more to do with God’s creating us for the purpose of exercising dominion over his creation. In other words, we have been placed here to be the image of God to the creation, and care for it. Let’s check the passage out in Genesis 1:

In verse 26 God says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all creatures that move along the ground.”

Immediately after creating man, God blesses man and woman and gives them the instruction to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

So in the context of the passage, it seems that being made in the image of God has something to do with God’s creating us to exercise dominion over the creation.

Here is the interesting thing. In Genesis 3, we have the fall. And at the fall, when God is delivering the curses for our original sin, God says to the serpent that he will put enmity between the serpent and the woman, and his offspring, and hers. The serpent’s role in creation is now twisted or skewed from God’s earlier command that man should exercise dominion over all creatures. Then to Eve, her role in creation similarly becomes off-kilter. Now instead of being blessed in childbirth, she will bring forth children in pain, and rather than being obedient to her husband, her desire will be to master him. Similarly, Adam, who was put on earth to tend to the creation and work it (Genesis 2:15-17) will now do so in toil and pain, and he will die. Everything becomes out of whack here. Though we are still responsible to exercise dominion, all of creation is out of whack, off-kilter, not quite right due to our sin. Our ability to exercise the dominion that God created us to do is now tainted by sin. We once lived in grace, and now we have chosen to live under God’s law by transgressing his word. Now check out Genesis 5, something interesting happens here when Shem is born in the genealogy of Adam: When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

It is interesting here that the author draws this distinction between being made in God’s image pre-fall, and now being made in Adam’s image post-fall. Paul seems to pick up on this in Romans. See next post.

As I said before, Paul seems to pick up on this in Romans: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned – (note the difference Paul picks up on)…But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgement followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For, if by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Similarly, Paul addresses the world that was subjected to the sin of Adam: For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.

So we were created in God’s likeness, through our sin, we lost that. But now, in Christ, we are and will be restored to the likeness of God, and all of creation will be restored, put back, to live in the grace that God created us to live in from the beginning. This imago dei thing is pretty cool.

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The image of God is love. We are made for relationship, and the essence of that is Trinitarian love.
So just like Father loving Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we are also made for relationship.
The fullness of Trinitarian love is the incarnation of Christ. In Christ, we have full humanity and full divinity, so that is more than just spirit.
Imago Dei.

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The idea is that God isn’t just a spirit. He is spirit and the physical Universe and we are created in His image because we are both spirit and physical too.

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Our souls, our heart, our spirit

I was just reading in Sirach and it talks about how we are made in the image of God. Sirach 16:17-23 discusses how we are not hidden from God, and from verse 24 through chapter 17 it describes how He made us.

Sirach chapter 16 RSV

For one only man has an internal conversation. So He can be in us and us in Him. There is no ‘In’ about an angel. An angel can be in God but Not visa versa. Only humans got that with God.

We have intellect and will.

This is the best answer. :+1:

Love, Love, Love.

God didn’t create Adam when He formed a statue out of the dust, but when He breathed in Adam, and Adam became a living soul.

It is the living soul that is created in the image of God.


God doesn’t have physical form, Exodus?

Are you thinking about when God allows Moses to see His “back”, but not His “face”?

We’re made in the image of God in that we have rational souls and are made to spend eternity with Him (even though not all of us will, this is what God wants for us).

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