Q. Re: Whose Image Is It? I have a question about God’s image upon mankind post-fall, since as you pointed out, we all “bear the fallen image of Adam…what we call the ‘sin nature’ “. Is there a remaining “image of God” alongside the “fallen sin nature” then?
A. Someone once explained it to me this way. Before the fall if man looked into a mirror he would have seen a clear image of God. After the fall it was as if the mirror had been shattered. Some parts are still clear, some parts don’t line up right, and some parts are beyond recognition. Man has become a shattered image of God.
What’s more each person’s image is shattered differently, which explains why we have unique abilities. We explain this by saying we have a “natural” talent in one area or another. In some folks this “natural” talent seems almost supernatural. But really it’s just that in the area of their talent the image of God is extraordinarily clear. (That part of their mirror wasn’t shattered.) I think before the fall Adam had all the talents common to man and he had them all in abundance.
Colossians 1:15 says Jesus is the (visible) image of the invisible God, and Hebrews 1:3 calls Him the exact representation of God’s being. Romans 8:29 says that God predestined believers to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. That means when we’re perfected the shattered image will be replaced with a perfect one. In the mean time, no matter how we try, we can’t reflect the true and complete image of God.