When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. Genesis 5:3 (NIV)
Do you see the difference between Adam and Seth? Adam was created in the image of God, and his son still bears that image, but Adam’s son also bears the image of his father, who is a sinner.
God made Adam upright, but Adam became a sinner and his son was born in the father’s likeness. This is true throughout human history. All the sons and daughters of Adam live with the enigma of the double image—made in the image of God and born in the likeness of Adam.
We need to know this double truth about ourselves. You are made in the image of God. That gives your life meaning, dignity, and worth. You are also born in the likeness of Adam. That means that you are a sinner, alienated from God by nature.
C. S. Lewis catches the enigma of the double image well in Prince Caspian when he says, “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve… And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.”
This doctrine of the double image is foundational to the Christian faith, and it is of huge importance in our understanding of the world.
Are you more likely to focus on being made in the image of God or on being born in the likeness of Adam (a sinner)? How might holding both of these truths together help you live a more fruitful Christian life?