“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:49)
One of the most amazing promises of the Word of God is that those who “love God” and are “the called according to his purpose” are those whom “he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:28-29).
Adam and Eve were created in His image physically in the beginning. “So God created man in his own image . . . male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). Presumably this means they were created in the physical form that God knew He would assume when, in the fullness of time, He would become man Himself, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
That image was marred when Adam (and, in Adam, all men) sinned. Nevertheless, it can be restored spiritually when we receive Christ and “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).
But this is not all. As our text reveals, we who have been made in God’s earthly image (both physically and spiritually) will also, in due time, receive His heavenly image. This will take place when Christ returns. At that time, “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye . . . and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
In what way shall we be changed? The Lord Jesus Himself “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). His body, after His resurrection, was still His physical body, but it was no longer subject to pain or death and was able to pass through walls and to speed rapidly from Earth to heaven. That is “the image of the heavenly” to which we shall be conformed some day soon! For “we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM