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What does "in the image of God" mean?

What does "in the image of God" mean?

In this article we will discuss who man is in relation to God.
We will cover items such as:
1. We are made in the image [likeness] of God.
2. Jesus is made in the express [exact copy] image of God.
3. Is redeemed man a little God?
4. Summary and conclusions.

This is the only place in the New Testament where an exact copy of God (5481) is used and it is used for Jesus only. Nowhere is that term used about man.


Some people on television and in print say that we are little gods. Instead of being a new revelation of God, it is actually an old heresy of Apotheosis that was condemned about 1500 years ago.

When used about man, THE GREEK OR HEBREW WORD for image is always 6754 or 1504, an illusion, a likeness. We are not created on terms of equality with God. We are not an exact duplication of God. We are not little gods.

Some people try to use John 10:34 to show that we are little gods.

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?"

What they really show is their poor way of studying the bible. This verse refers to Psalms 82:6 which is really making fun of the judges. They are judging unjustly and are acting like gods. God is saying in verse 6 "ye are gods." but he is really mocking them because in verse 7 he is saying that they will die like men.

Now back in John 10:34, they are trying once again to judge him as gods like they did in Psalms 82, so by using Psalms 82:6, he is once again mocking them.

In Exodus 4:16 Moses was to act as a godlike judge over Pharaoh. In Exodus 21 and 22, the Israelite judges were called gods because they held the power of life or death over men.

Satan is referred to as a god in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Does that mean that he is an exact duplicate of God? Of course not! See how easy it is to WRONGLY divide the word of truth!

Let's look at another way to wrongly divide the word of truth.
We are only sons of God by adoption, not by nature Galatians 4:5-8.
Only Jesus is God by nature
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh
Philippians 2:6 Who,...did not consider it robbery to be equal to God.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word
Galatians 4:8,9 ...

It is dangerous to take a verse out of context without seeing what the rest of the chapter is talking about or what the qualifications are. Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Satan wants to be as God and anyone who is thinking that they are little gods has been listening to the deceptive lure of Satan.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

We are only deified in the sense that we are adopted as sons of God, indwelt by the Spirit of God, and brought in communion with God which ultimately leads to glorification.

4: Summary:
1. We are a representation, a likeness, an illusion of God: 1Corinthians 11:7
2. As a Christian, our relationship with God has now been restored. We do not look thru the glass quite so darkly. The veil between us and God has been removed.
3. We are created for righteousness and true holiness: Ephesians 4:24
4. We are renewed in knowledge: Colossians 3:10
5. We are his workmanship, created for good works: Ephesians 2:10
6. We are to be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4
7. We are the elect, thru sanctification of the Spirit: 1 Peter 1:2
8. We are sons of God by adoption, not by our nature: Ephesians 1:5
If you run across people who say they are little gods, run from them. They will be wrong about a lot of other things also.