MADE ACCORDING TO GOD’S IMAGE
Man was made by God with a definite purpose. God is a purposeful and thoughtful God. According to His purpose He made a plan to create the universe and to create man in the universe to express Himself. Genesis 1:26 and 27 occupy a strong place in the Bible, telling us that when God was going to make man it seemed that the Triune God held a conference. Verse 26 says let "us" make man. The Bible does not record a kind of conference among the Godhead before the creation of the heavens and the earth or the vegetable and animal life. But before God made man there was a kind of conference among the Godhead. The decision was made to create man in their own image and after their own likeness.
We all have to respect ourselves because we are made after God’s kind. In Genesis 1 the vegetables bring forth after their kind, and the animals bring forth after their kind. But mankind is after God’s kind. Our image and our likeness is of God. Don’t think that this means we are God! No! It is like a photograph. If you take a photograph of me you may say that that picture is me, and you also may say that that picture is not me. Both are right. That photograph is not the real person. Every human being is a photograph of God. God only took one photograph, but through the generations there has been a marvelous reproduction. There have been millions of copies made. We all are pictures of God.
A photograph, though, is just a picture. It has no content and no life. So in the second chapter of the Bible, after man was created in the image of God, God brought him to the tree of life. This is a strong indication that the man created by God did not have the divine life of God. So God brought him to the tree of life, indicating that God wanted him to take the tree of life in order to receive the divine life of God into himself. At the beginning of the Bible there is a man made not only by God but also according to God. God made a duplicate of Himself. But this is only in the outward appearance, without the inward content. At the beginning of the Bible there is such an expression of God. Man was made for God’s expression. We should not express ourselves. We should express God because we were made in God’s image and after God’s likeness.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)