Gen 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . .’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Cf. Gen 5:3: “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”
Man represents, reflects, and resembles God in some ways—which includes as a result the ruling (subduing, having dominion) over creation, and having the capacity for relationship with God and with fellow human beings.
Even after the Fall, we all remain in the image of God, distorted though the image may be.
Gen 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
James 3:9: “With [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”
When we were united to Adam, our original covenant representative, we bore his image.
1 Cor 15:49a: “We have borne the image of the man of dust. . . .”
Though we are in the image of God, Jesus is the image of God.
Col 1:15: “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God. . . .”
2 Cor 4:4: “Christ . . . is the image of God.”
When we become united to Christ, our covenant head, our goal is to be conformed and transformed into his image.
2 Cor 3:18: “Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
Rom 8:29: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. . . . .”
Col 3:10: “[We] have put on the new self [Greek: man], which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
When Christ returns we will fully and completely reflect the image of Christ.
1 Cor 15:49: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
1 John 3:2: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”