26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
(The following excerpt is from THE UNSEEN REALM: Recovering the Supernatural worldview of the Bible, Michael D. Heiser)
…Genesis teaches us several things about the image of God—what I call “divine image bearing.” All of what we learn from the text must be accounted for in any discussion of what the image means.
1. Both men and women are equally included.
2. Divine image bearing is what makes humankind distinct from the rest of earthly creation (i.e., plants and animals). The text of Genesis 1:26 does not inform us that divine image bearing makes us distinct from heavenly beings, those sons of God who were already in existence at the time of creation. The plurals in Genesis 1:26 mean that, in some way, we share something with them when it comes to God’s image.
3. There is something about the image that makes humankind “like” God in some way.
4. There is nothing in the text to suggest that the image has been or can be bestowed incrementally or partially. You’re either created as God’s image bearer or you aren’t. One cannot speak of being partly or potentially bearing God’s image…..
…Humankind was created as God’s image. If we think of imaging as a verb or function, that translation makes sense. We are created to image God, to be his imagers. It is what we are by definition. THE IMAGE IS NOT AN ABILITY WE HAVE, BUT A STATUS. We are God’s representatives on earth. TO BE HUMAN IS TO IMAGE GOD….
We have value because GOD values us. SELAH