Man was created in the image and likeness of God.(Genesis 1:26) Man is spirit, soul and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Man was given dominion over all the earth. The image and likeness of God is spirit, soul and body having dominion over all the earth.
The word image used in Genesis 1:26 comes from the Hebrew word tselem.It means "representing the original in an imprecise manner". The word likeness comes from the Hebrew word dhemuth. It means "pattern". Therefore, man is an imprecise representation of the original pattern. That pattern is God.
God is Spirit, a Personality and one God in three Persons. Man is one being in three elements -- spirit, soul and body. This is the likeness of God.
The spirit of man is the breath of life. (Genesis 2:7) It is the invisible, immaterial and powerful part of man. Man's spirit reflects the fact that God is Spirit. (John 4:24) It is the means by which man communicates with God. (Proverbs 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:2)
The soul of man is his person. It is the life element. Man's soul contains his personality. Personality is a combination of intelligence, mind, will, reason, individuality, self-consciousness and self-determination. The word soul used in Genesis 2:7 comes from the Hebrew word nephesh. It means "the inner self" or "person". Nephes refers to the person of man. The New Testament (Greek) word for soul is psuche. It means "the immaterial part of man held in common with animals".
The soul came into existence as a result of the spirit entering the body. (Genesis 2:7) Therefore, the soul is the bridge between man's spirit and his body. Man's soul reflects the fact that God is a Personality.
The physical body of man completes the three-in-one aspect of man. It is the means by which he interacts with the material world. This is demonstrated by the fact that God placed man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. (Genesis 2:15)
God created man similar to Himself. Man has anthropormorphic aspects (i.e. the ability to see, hear, smell,etc.) because God has them. God, a Spirit, sees, hears, smells, etc. By telling man he was created in His likeness, God was telling man how to understand spiritual things. (Romans 1:20) Man understands spiritual things in terms of natural things. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Man exercising dominion over all the earth is the image of God. This is an imprecise picture of God. In Genesis 2:19, man exercised dominion over the earth by naming every living creature.
Man is Male and Female
Man is male and female. (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4) The dominion given to man was given to the male and the female. (Genesis 1:28) God commanded the male and female: be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. The male and the female do this by becoming one flesh. (Genesis 2:24,25; Matthew 19:5,6)
The Fall of Man
The Fall of Man is Adam's disobedience to the commanment of God. (Genesis 2:16,17; 3:6) The Bible says the serpent deceived Eve but not Adam. (1 Timothy 2:14) Adam knowingly and deliberately disobeyed God. This is the true definition of sin. Jesus called it iniquity. (Matthew 7:21,23)
The results of Adam's sin are:
- Spiritual death. (Genesis 2:17)
- Women bear children in sorrow. (Genesis 3:16)
- The ground is cursed. (Genesis 3:17,18)
- Exhausting physical labor to subsist. (Genesis 3:19)
- Physical death. (Genesis 3:19)
- Sin entered the world. (Romans 5:12)
Redeemed from the Curse
Jesus Christ came to redeem the world from sin and the curse that resulted from Adam's disobedience. Jesus was hung on a tree to redeem man from the curse of Adam's sin. (Genesis 3:13,14) He was made to be sin to redeem man from sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Men partake of this redemption by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.