Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
In the beginning, God created humanity, not according to its own unique “kind,” as were all the plants or animals of sky, earth and sea, but in His own image and according to His likeness — that is, to be like Him. Another way to say this is that we were created to reflect and reveal the glory of God.
The problem is that mankind, in the person of the first pair, rebelled against God — and we have all been corrupted by that rebellion. Paul put it this way: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Though created to bear the glory of God, which is the highest calling, we fell short. But that is why Jesus the Messiah came, to restore us back to God, so that we might once again reflect His glory, “being justified by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
This is not automatic, however. We take hold of this grace, this redemption, this restoration, by faith in the Lord Jesus. We are new beings in Christ, who is in the process of making all things new. We are new creations, part of His new creation. In Him we are no longer the same beings we once were. So we must put off the old ways we used to live and think, and allow the Spirit of God to renew our thoughts and attitudes, will and emotions. And as the NIV says, we must “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).