Summary: We cannot begin to appreciate just how precious it is to be a human being created in the image of God.
1. Sailhamer, "The creation of humanity is set apart from the previous acts of creation...whereas throughout the previous account the making of each creature is described as "according to its own kind," the account of humankind’s creation specifies that the man and the woman were made according to the likeness of God, not merely according to its kind...[Human beings are portrayed] as special creatures, marked off from the rest of God’s works...not merely as different from the rest of creation but also to show that they are like God.
Human beings are creatures, but they are [exceptional] creatures, made in the image and likeness of God."
2. We cannot begin to appreciate just how precious it is to be a human being, created in the image of God.
3. The most Exceptional creatures God ever made.
Trans: This is the Explanation of everything that God has done so far - why create this planet; why turn on the light; why the perfect environment; why the abundant food supply; why the ability to tell time; why there are fish, birds, and mammals - all for the capstone of God’s creation...mankind.
F.B. Meyers said it well, "Man was placed in the world like a king in a palace stored with all to please him...The sun to labor for him like a very Hercules; the moon to light his nights...elements of nature to be his slaves and messengers: flowers to scent his pathway; fruit to please his taste; birds to sing for him; beasts to toil for him and carry him; and man himself, amidst all the luxury, God’s representative, His vice-regent. This is as God made him."
I. FIRST, THEY ARE LIKE THE LORD.
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27
Ryrie, "There is no sharp distinction between [image and likeness] linguistically. Image means a fashioned image, a shaped and representative figure, an image in some concrete sense. Likeness refers also to the idea of similarity but more in the abstract or ideal...Man is in some way the concrete reflection of God, but at the same time he wants to spiritualize this toward abstraction."
"Human beings are unique among all creatures in that they were created to be like God. Genesis 1:26-27 teaches that God determined to create man and woman in His own "image" and "likeness" and that they would have dominion over the animal creation.
Both male and female shared this "likeness" to God, which is expressed as eikôn in Greek (Gen. 1:27). While the fall of mankind damaged this “image,” it was not damaged completely. There is still enough in our make-up to hint at what we once were like and what we can become again through the work of Christ.
"When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth." Genesis 5:3 (NASB)
"5 "Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. 6 "Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. Genesis 9:5-6 (NASB)
"With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;" James 3:9 (NASB)
Yet, Jesus Christ is preeminently the image of God, "in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NASB)
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." Colossians 1:15 (NASB)
"And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," Hebrews 1:3 (NASB)
Frequently, this is understood exclusively as a reference to the deity of Christ. To see Christ is to see the Father (John 14:9). However, in the passages cited, Jesus is the incarnate God—the last ‘Adam’ who is all that God intended the first Adam to be. Incarnation means that Jesus is truly a man; and because He is truly a man, He shows us what being made in the image of God should mean.