“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” (Colossians 3:10)
Man’s body is made of the same “earth” material (Genesis 2:7) as the animals (v. 19) and as the earth itself (Genesis 1:10). Furthermore, he shares the created “soul” (Hebrew nephesh) and “spirit” (Hebrew ruach, same as “breath”) with the animals (compare 1:21; 7:15, where nephesh and ruach respectively are used of the animals). However, he shares the created “image of God” (1:27) only with God Himself.
Ever since Adam and Eve first sinned, all people have been born in innate rebellion against Him. The image of God in man has been grievously marred, and we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
However, as our text reminds us, the image of God in man can be “renewed” through the great miracle of the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). And this includes more than just our soul/spirit nature, for we have His gracious promise that our own resurrection bodies will be “fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21) when He comes again.
Evidently, God had all this in mind from the very beginning, when “in the likeness of God made he him” (Genesis 5:1). That is, He foreknew that He would one day become man, in the person of Jesus Christ, and so He created man in the image and likeness of that body/soul/spirit complex which He Himself would eventually assume.
In some mysterious way, Christ Himself is, in His eternal and glorified human body, the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), and God amazingly has even predestinated us “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29), and “we shall be like him” when we finally “see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM