Weekly Devotional 5-7-18 Born in the Image of Adam
You have often heard it said that man was created in the image of God, and this is of course is true. Scripture expressly states that on the last day of creation God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Thus, He finished His work with a “personal touch.” God formed Adam from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Accordingly, humanity is unique among all God’s creations, having an immaterial soul/spirit. No other created entity has a spirit. As God is eternal, man’s spirit is eternal, and man’s likeness of God is found in this truth. All other of creation, with the exception of angels, are terminal creations. Each dies corporally. They are no more because they are not beings with a spirit. When someone says that we are created in the image of God they usually are not referring to the above mentioned image or likeness, but are referring to God’s attributes, likening mankind to Him. However, this consideration is in error. For we read from Genesis 5.1-3:1 “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 3And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” Adam’s offspring was born in his likeness and image. This, by extension, includes all of humanity.
By birth, man’s eternal spirit was passed on to Seth through Adam, but also a sin nature that was foreign to God. Adam begat (birthed) Seth in his own image, sinful and defiled, degenerate and corrupt. Even the man after God’s own heart is conceited and born in sin (Pa. 51:5). Adam, having lost the strict likeness of God, could not pass it on to Seth, or any other of his offspring. Seth was in Adam’s likeness, not the true likeness of God. A sinner, which Adam had become, could only pass on a sinful nature. A sinner can only beget a sinner.
But thanks to God, even though we are born into this world baring the image of Adam, God births into those who are brought to faith newness of spiritual life and commences conforming them and us into the image of Jesus Christ, God the Son. Paul confirmed this truth in His letter to the Romans. We read from 8:29 of his letter; “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God predestined those who would come to faith in Him to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. If man was born with the image of God, he would not need to be conformed to that image.
Man, in his unregenerate state, falls short of the glory of God, and the only likeness to Him is found in the eternality of his spirit. There is no true holiness in unregenerate man and in truth, he is at enmity with God. Christians on the other hand, have been regenerated spiritually which commences the process of being conformed to the image of God. Positionally man is perfected in the eyes of God at rebirth, but in practice that perfecting is an ongoing process. We are being conformed. Paul affirms that this conforming is the work of the Holy Spirit. Writing to the Philippians He wrote; “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
All praise therefore belongs to God. He created man (represented in Adam) in His image and likeness, but man fell away and became other than he was created. God restores that image and likeness as He births into those who turn to Him in faith and works continually in that restoration.
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture is from the NKJB