Man is a creature created of the highest earthly order in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). In the beginning, as the book of Genesis states, God made Adam from the dust of the ground, and breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7), and then created Eve from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:22). There was no evolution from ape to man, only the miraculous and powerful hand of God at work. When God made man, the Bible teaches us that he made man morally perfect, and without sin (Ecclesiastes 7:29). But, it was when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil that man’s image of God was shattered into a pieces, being irrecoverable to restore that image of his own will (Romans 5:12). From that point on, the human race was cursed by sin unto death, and now enslaved to sin.
Although man today is still an image bearer of God, it is because of sin that the image is marred. Like a mirror, we contain reflections of God because we are His creation, but we are now enemies of God because of our sins against Him (Colossians 1:21). Though we may do “good,” because we are born into sin and have a sinful nature, we naturally gravitate toward the things that God hates and love those things that bring God’s wrath upon us (Ephesians 2:3). It is for this reason that man needs a new nature and must be restored to right relationship with God! But, just like trying to restore a shattered mirror into a billion pieces, it is impossible to do, because the damage has been done.
The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ was born sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5). He was not only man, but God in the flesh (Hebrews 1:8). His moral perfection paved the way to restore us to a right relationship with God. His goodness, all the way to His death on the cross, qualified Him as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf for sin (1 Peter 1:18-9). He was, as the Scripture calls Him, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). His death not only restores us to a right relationship with God, but His life provides a new image, a mirror, in our place. This way, when God sees us, He sees Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). This is a gift that none of us can replicate! It is only by the grace of God that we receive the life of Christ in replacement for our sin. Our image is restored and is being renewed daily into the image of Christ because of the grace of God, not of our works and good deeds (Ephesians 2:8). Unless you are born again, you will remain a shattered and depraved image bearer of God, whose wrath abides upon you daily until you trust Christ by faith in order to receive everlasting life (John 3:36).
In short, we are born sinful because of Adam’s sin. Man has a sin nature from birth and continues to choose sin in life because their will is captive to sin. Unless we are saved from our sin, we remain slaves to it (Romans 6:6). Our image is terrorized by sin, but Jesus came to defeat sin and death, and bring life to all who repent and believe the gospel (John 8:34-36). When we are born again our nature changes from the nature of Adam to Christ. We will desire good, righteousness, and fellowship with God because He is good and righteous. We will no longer avoid the Him, but we will now run to Him as child does to their loving Father (Galatians 4:6). We become God’s children although we were once His enemies. This is truly good news.
Whose image do you bear? Is it Adam’s or Christ? Do you live sin? Or do you love the Savior?