At Genesis 1:27, we read, “So, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” The Hebrew word selem is defined as “image, likeness, or resemblance.” But what does it mean to be created in the image or likeness of God? Is the Bible teaching us that we are somehow physically similar to Jesus Christ, the second member of the Godhead? Or, is the Bible teaching us that we, like God, are now, primarily spiritual beings. John, the Elder, wrote, “For God is spirit, and those who worship Him, must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Perhaps there were ancient hominins that pre-exited modern humans. Some findings suggest there were. However, Adam and Eve were a new, special and unique creation because they were the first hominins to be comprised of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Because we have a human spirit, we are all given the capacity and responsibility to interface with our Creator, who is a spiritual being.
Like many, my wife and I are big dog lovers. I have been convinced for some period of time that a dog is comprised of both body and soul. Our close relationship with our pets is based on the reality that both humans and dogs are soulish beings. Humans cannot have a soulish relationship with an insect or a typical fish. However, in my opinion, dogs are not spiritual beings, and, therefore, they do not have the capacity or responsibility to have a spiritual relationship with their Creator. Dogs are oriented to the earthly. We modern humans are also generally oriented to the earthly, but our primary orientation should be to the Heavenly, meaning to the Godhead.
In addition to modern humans, angelic beings are also spiritual beings. At this time, angelic beings still consist of both obedient and disobedient spirit beings. Because humans and angels are both spiritual beings, angels have the ability and capacity to interact with and influence humans on a spiritual level. In fact, Paul saw the interaction between angels and humans as one of the primary factors and issues in human history. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
In my opinion, there are a number of important differences between angels and humans. These differences have been on display from the beginning when God made us male and female, spiritual beings. In my study of Scripture, the preponderance of the evidence indicates to me that God made angels only male, not male and female. However, there is some evidence to support the existence of some demonic hybrids, which we must leave for discussion at some future time.
At Genesis 2:24, we read, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (See also Eph. 5:31). By creating us male and female, God made us humans most like the image of the Godhead. The Godhead is comprised of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and They have a particular way of functioning as demonstrated in the Gospels, particularly the Gospel of John. They functioned as One (John 10:30; 17:22).
In a similar way, we humans are comprised of two parts, male and female, and we are challenged to function as one (Gen. 2:24). For the male and female to function as one, we must rely on and rest in God’s guidance and direction, via the Holy Spirit. When we function in God’s image (as spiritual beings), we become one with each other and the Trinity. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Jesus and the Father functioned as one because Jesus followed the movement of the Spirit (John 3:34). In a similar way, we must follow the direction and guidance of the Spirit (John 4:24; 6:63; 14:26; 16:13).
When humans were upgraded to become spiritual beings, Satan and the fallen angels immediately grasped the significance of what God was doing. In many important respects, the angels were being supplanted by humans and demoted by God. However, they have failed to grasp that we humans will rule in the likeness and image of Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:30). Our yoke will be easy, and our burden will be light (Matt. 11:30). In contrast, disobedient angels and disobedient humans are inclined to authoritarianism and tyranny. Further, many disobedient humans are also inclined to complacency. Primarily, the grand narrative is a struggle about power, authority, and Who is fit to rule. We should pray for the return of Jesus Christ to Planet Earth (Matt. 6:10).
 “H6754 – ṣelem – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 10 Jul, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h6754/nasb20/wlc/0-1/>.