When God said, "in the beginning," (Gen. 1:1) "let us make man in our image and in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26), he did not mean merely the first man, but he meant the race. That work began in Eden and has been going on uninterruptedly ever since; it has been completed thus far only in the case of one man, "the Perfect Man," the Lord Jesus Christ, and hence he has become the pattern and the model after whom all the redeemed shall be fashioned, so that when the question is asked, "What is man?" (Ps. 8:4; Heb. 2:6) the answer is-Jesus; see Heb. 2:5-10. Jesus is the only man thus far finished, completed and perfected; he is the only one as yet in whom the creative proposition has been consummated-"Let us make man in our image and in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26), for he is the brightness of the Father's glory and "the express image of his person." (Heb. 1:3) The first man could not have been in the image and likeness of God in the same sense that Jesus was, because the nature of the two are broadly contrasted in 1 Cor. 15:45-49:
"The first man, Adam, was made a living soul [a soulical or animal man], the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit; howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (soulical), and afterward that which is spiritual; the first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly; and as we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly."