555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

184. What Does "God's Image" Mean?

In discussing spiritual things, to be right, no one can go beyond the word of Scripture. The Bible tells us that God gave to man a living soul. In this sense he was in the image of his Maker in his dispositions, temperament and desires, and in his obedience to the divine will; but this condition was forfeited through sin. It could only be said thereafter of those who walked uprightly before God and were inspired of him, that they were "his offspring." (Matt. 13:38; Mark 7:10. See John 12:36; Acts 13:10; Col. 3:6.) Jesus himself drew the distinction when he told the wicked scribes and Pharisees that they were the children of the evil one, and this is the actual condition of every one living in sin, unrepentant and unforgiven. Thus while in his perfect condition man was like his Maker, in a condition of sin he is no longer so, nor has he any of the spiritual attributes and qualities that belong to the perfect condition, or even of the pardoned sinner, who has the hope through Christ of reconciliation and restoration. The Bible nowhere declares that man is of himself and inherently immortal. "The soul that sin-neth, it shall die." When sin entered, then came physical decay and death; man's first condition was lost and with the continuance of sin, and unrepentant and unforgiven, he also forfeited spiritual immortality. Eternal life is the gift of God. Paul declares that Jesus, through his Gospel, brought life and immortality to light for fallen man and showed the path to restoration through repentance, forgiveness and acceptance.