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Man is not in the Image of God

This is an extract from the complete Bible commentary, which includes the 'Topic
Notes' referred to below. The whole is available entirely for free at
Spiritually speaking, we are no longer 'in the image of God'.
We may have once been made in His spiritual image, but that is temporarily outof-date. To keep repeating something no longer true, is self-delusion.
Jesus, however, the Son and Image of God was made in the spiritual likeness of
his Father. He was called the 'spiritual man', 'the New Man'. He did not need to,
like all other men, turn back to God. He was the heir who was not disowned.
Eph 4:22-24 that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the
old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit;
23 and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and put on the new man, that after God
['in the likeness of God' in several translations]
hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Jesus was not subject to the corruption of mortal flesh -- he was not in the latter
image of Adam -- begotten without God's Spirit. He was perhaps the only one
born in the flesh who has not been given over to unholiness:
Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades,
Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.
Adam, the son of God, was made in the flesh.
And flesh procreates more flesh.
So when listing genealogies, Adam is the 'son of God', and 'likeness' means 'son'
(in the flesh):
Gen 5:1-3 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
in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own
likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
Luk 3:38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
..and Jesus was descended from Adam, in the flesh, in the same genealogy:

Luk 3:23 And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years
of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
But Jesus was not in Adam's likeness, in the spirit.
Rom 1:3-4 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according
to the flesh,
4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of
by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
Genealogies trace fleshly and genetic links. They do not declare any spiritual
Here is the physical side of our heritage:
Act 17:28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of
your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he
commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:
The need for all to repent is talking in spiritual terms.
Jesus was called the 'second Adam'.
1Co 15:45-48 So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul
[breathing body, of flesh].
The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then
that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy:
the second man is of heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy:
and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
Those made in the image of Adam, being made of corruptible flesh and blood,
'cannot inherit' eternal life, in the body.
The Image and Likeness of Satan
Adam, in the spirit, was disinherited, exiled, disowned.
As a 'son', he had put off the glory of his Father, and had (almost by default)
taken on the image of Satan, the Serpent, the Deceiver and Murderer.
We do not all seem to naturally (by birth) fit the mould of Satan incarnate, but

neither do we automatically (by birth) fit the mould of a righteous prophet owned
as a son of the Father God.
Here is Jesus calling us spiritually evil, despite our natural goodness:
Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts unto your children,
how much more shall your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Jesus was of a different spiritual order to 'all men':
Joh 2:24-25 But Jesus did not trust himself unto them,
for that he knew all men,
25 and because he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning
for he himself knew what was in man.
Spiritually dead, even while physically alive:
Mat 8:22 But Jesus saith unto him,
Follow me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead.
Spiritually alive, even while physically dead:
Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
So there are two meanings to 'living'. The physical one is but a poor image of the
spiritual life, and the spiritual life has little to do with what we call 'alive'. It has a
lot to do with which spiritual 'father' you belong to (there is a very limited
The distinction between spiritual behaviour and ordinary behaviour
Ordinary bad or animal-like behaviour, such as drunken adultery or violence, is
almost genetically programmed into us (and so is natural affection and altruism);
But spiritual badness, such as hating God, martyring His saints, or worshiping
idols to spite God, comes from the spirit of the Devil, and is not normally made
manifest, unless provoked by things like prophecy, miracles, warnings, preaching
the gospel, or having God visit us. Likewise divine spiritual behaviour rarely
manifests, even in converts, but only as things like prophecy, prayer which works,
compassion which works miracles, and other gifts of the Spirit, while they

Here are those who manifest outright opposition to God and His children:
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father it is your will to do.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he
speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar, and the father thereof.
Mat 12:34 Ye offspring of vipers,
how can ye, being evil, speak good things?
for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Rom 3:12-15 They have all turned aside,
they are together become unprofitable;
There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre;
With their tongues they have used deceit:
The poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
1Jn 3:12 not as Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother.
And wherefore slew he him?
Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Our spiritual heritage needs to be provoked into manifestation before it can be
seen for what it is; and ordinary life simply does not do this.
Ordinary death, though, has a way of provoking spiritual thoughts -- and is one
ordinary proof that we are not perfect before God, for otherwise we would not
need to die.
Heb 2:14-15 Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood,
he also himself in like manner partook of the same;
that through death he might bring to nought
him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 and might deliver all them who through fear of death
were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
One more ordinary way in which we seem to be all 'under sin', is how we each try
to put on an appearance of being right. It is as if we know that inside we fall short
of what everyone recognises as perfect. It is out of a deep feeling of shame, that
we all try to justify ourselves, to ourself and to others.
1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God,
and the whole world lieth in the evil one.

1Jn 3:7-8 My little children, let no man lead you astray:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous:
8 he that doeth sin is [begotten] of the devil;
for the devil sinneth from the beginning.
To this end was the Son of God manifested,
that he might destroy the works of the devil.
'Born (conceived) in sin'?
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity;
And in sin did my mother conceive me.
We tend to miss the spiritual meaning of being 'conceived in sin' -- the ordinary
meaning puts us right off the Biblical doctrine. King David goes on to speak
'take not thy holy spirit from me'
Here we are talking about the difference between being a spiritual 'son' of God,
and a physical son of Adam, and between being a spiritual son of iniquity, and a
physical son of human flesh. So the Biblical message is that we are no longer
spiritually in the image of the Holy God. That's quite believable.
Here is God talking of His 'children' who are 'children' of evil.
Deu 32:5 They have dealt corruptly with him,
they are not his children, it is their blemish;
They are a perverse and crooked generation.
6 Do ye thus requite Jehovah, O foolish people and unwise?
Is not he thy father that hath bought thee?
He hath made thee, and established thee.
There are two sorts of spirit covered -- their good beginning and their bad end -and a genetic line ('people, nation') as well:
Isa 1:2-4 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah hath spoken: I
have nourished and brought up children,
and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not
my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity,
a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly!
they have forsaken Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are estranged and gone backward.

The Christian claim is that we all begin spiritually in the line of the Devil. The
sayings of Jesus back up the claims of Paul, that we are 'born in sin':
This seems to describe many more men than simply those listening to him:
Mat 15:18-19 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of
the heart;
and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornications, thefts, false witness, railings:
How can we not be 'born in sin' if we need to thereafter be 'begotten' by the
Joh 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except one be born anew [='begotten from above'],
he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him,
How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter a second time into his mother's womb,
and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except one be born [='begotten'] of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born [='begotten'] of the Spirit is spirit.
If we were all 'sons of God', why then did Jesus make such a point that he was the
'Son of the Father'?
Joh 3:13 And no one hath ascended into heaven,
but he that descended out of heaven,
even the Son of man, who is in heaven.
Gabriel made it a big point:
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High:
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Paul though, gave us the doctrines we are familiar with:
Rom 5:12 Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world,
and death through sin;
and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned: -

How can we all be 'children of God', if we have to 'receive' the 'spirit of adoption'?
Rom 8:15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear;
but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
How can we be in God's image, when we have yet to be 'conformed to' His 'true
Rom 8:29 For whom he foreknew,
he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
Not all humans are automatically 'children of God', when speaking spiritually -about faith like that of Abraham:
Rom 9:7-8 neither, because they are Abraham's seed,
are they all children: but,
In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God;
but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.
Paul describes the uncomfortable mix of God's Spirit doing battle within us
against our own fleshly spirit:
Rom 8:13 for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die;
but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
The difference between spiritual and physical sin
There is a connection between sins of the spirit and sins of the flesh, in that those
who are given over to rebellion against God, will necessarily be given over to
things which God disallows in the flesh.
Rom 1:28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge,
God gave them up unto a reprobate mind,
to do those things which are not fitting;
Therefore, the false prophets are described as 'lascivious', 'drunken', 'adulterers'
-- as the product of a wrong spirit, more than an object lesson for moralising
against ordinary sins. Ordinary deeds can only be judged, unreliably, by
appearances, but God's righteous judgments concentrate on looking into the
heart, mind and spirit, for the motivation:
1Co 4:5 Wherefore judge nothing before the time,
until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of

and make manifest the counsels of the hearts;

and then shall each man have his praise from God.
Isa 11:3 And his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah;
and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,
neither decide after the hearing of his ears;
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to appearance,
but judge righteous [spiritual] judgment.
We need regeneration
When man cast off the spiritual covering from God, he was left with -- stuck with
-- the flesh he was made of, but without the life-preserving spirit of sonship to
You could describe his present condition as like a man on death-row. He may
repent of crime, turn a new leaf and gain mercy in the form of a delay to his
ultimate death. But if he does not repent, or does not continue in good faith, he
may die early without mercy. That is the analogy, but in reality the death awaiting
the unreformed is the second-death (death of the spirit).
There is a gaping spiritual chasm dividing the spiritually unregenerated, from
those begotten from the Spirit of God above -- without which no-one can enter
the kingdom of God.
2Co 6:14-18 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers:
for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity?
or what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols?
for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they
shall be my people.
17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,
18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty.
[= you are not already so]
To be regenerated is to be re-owned as God's children.
There is one verse in the Bible which seems to contradict what I am saying, but it
can be applied to the spiritual image of God -- the one which matters -- in that,
unregenerated men, such as unbelieving Jews with a mere show of religion, are

blaspheming regenerated men -- those who are converted Christians:

Jas 3:8-9 But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of
deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father;
and therewith curse we men,
who are made after the likeness of God:
Here is the second verse which suggests that we are still in the image of God, but
it also is applied to Christians prophesying -- they have been spiritually
1Co 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled,
[when prophesying in public]
forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:
but the woman is the glory of the man.
In conclusion, 'the image of God' never was a physical form and substance of
flesh, but was always to do with the spiritual sonship, which is a quite different
meaning, which most of us do not normally see in operation.
Unless we are re-owned by God as His children, spiritually, we cannot continue to
claim to be in God's image.