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What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God?

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Author Topic: What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God?  (Read 962 times)
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« on: September 28, 2013, 02:13:09 pm »

What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God?

Answer: On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Thus, He finished His work with a “personal touch.” God formed man from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Accordingly, man is unique among all God’s creations, having both a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit.

Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means, in the simplest terms, that we were made to resemble God. Adam did not resemble God in the sense of God’s having flesh and blood. Scripture says that “God is spirit” (John 4:24) and therefore exists without a body. However, Adam’s body did mirror the life of God insofar as it was created in perfect health and was not subject to death.

The image of God refers to the immaterial part of man. It sets man apart from the animal world, fits him for the dominion God intended him to have over the earth (Genesis 1:28), and enables him to commune with his Maker. It is a likeness mentally, morally, and socially.

Mentally, man was created as a rational, volitional agent. In other words, man can reason and man can choose. This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom. Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image.

Morally, man was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. God saw all He had made (mankind included) and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Our conscience or “moral compass” is a vestige of that original state. Whenever someone writes a law, recoils from evil, praises good behavior, or feels guilty, he is confirming the fact that we are made in God’s own image.

Socially, man was created for fellowship. This reflects God's triune nature and His love. In Eden, man’s primary relationship was with God (Genesis 3:8 implies fellowship with God), and God made the first woman because “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.

Part of being made in God’s image is that Adam had the capacity to make free choices. Although he was given a righteous nature, Adam made an evil choice to rebel against his Creator. In so doing, Adam marred the image of God within himself, and he passed that damaged likeness on to all his descendants (Romans 5:12). Today, we still bear the image of God (James 3:9), but we also bear the scars of sin. Mentally, morally, socially, and physically, we show the effects of sin.

The good news is that when God redeems an individual, He begins to restore the original image of God, creating a “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). That redemption is only available by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior from the sin that separates us from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Through Christ, we are made new creations in the likeness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/image-of-God.html#ixzz2gDTgQXtN
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 02:15:17 pm »

not KJV, but gives the best explanation

What Is the Difference Between the Soul and Spirit of Man?



First, it is vitally important to realize that there is a definite difference between the soul and spirit according to the Bible. Second, it is equally important to realize that our experience of this distinction very much affects our progress in the Christian life.
 
In this post we’ll consider a simple question: what is the difference between the soul and spirit? This study will not mainly be from the side of Bible teaching, but from the aspect of life experience. But before we can come to our experience we must first have a base in God’s word.
 
The Bible reveals man is made with three parts—a spirit, soul, and body.
 
First Thessalonians 5:23 says, “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete…”
 
No one would say that our body and soul are the same, but some people may consider our soul and spirit to be practically the same. However, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells us clearly that our spirit and soul are two distinct parts.
 
Another verse that emphasizes this distinction is Hebrews 4:12:
 
“For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow…”
 
Here there are the “joints and marrow” which refer to the body plus the “soul and spirit,” revealing again that we have these three parts.
 
It’s also important to see that our soul and spirit can be “divided.” Hence, they’re different. They can be compared to “the joints and marrow.” As marrow is hidden inside the joints, so our spirit is concealed in our soul.
 
Just like we have to cut through the joints to get to the marrow, we have to cut through the soul to get to the spirit. This is why it’s often difficult initially to discern our spirit from our soul. I know this was my experience.
 
To illustrate this distinction, we may use the illustration of three concentric circles:
 
The outer circle refers to our body. Our body is our outer part containing our five senses with which we contact all the things of the physical, material realm.
 
The middle circle refers to our soul. Our soul is our inner part containing our mind, emotion and will with which we contact all the things of the psychological realm.
 
The inner circle refers to our spirit. Our spirit is our innermost part with which we contact God and substantiate all the things of the spiritual realm.
 
How can we practically divide our spirit from our soul?
 
So let’s consider how we can apply the dividing of soul and spirit in our daily Christian life.
 
Often our soul is plagued with anxious thoughts, troublesome feelings, and impure intentions. It’s a “mine field” that keeps us from enjoying Christ.
 
Second Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”
 
The Lord is now with our spirit and with Him is grace—God as our enjoyment. But how do we get there? How do get through this deadly “mine field” of our soul?
 
We already mentioned that Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the “dividing of soul and spirit.” But the application of this dividing is by God’s living and operative word. It is God’s word, as this sharp sword, that is able to pierce our soul in order to break it away from our spirit.
 
In my last post, “How Bible Reading Can Change Your Life,” I referred to the awesome power of the Scriptures.  My friend’s heart was touched by God’s word to such an extent, that she could no longer remain an atheist, but chose to become a Christian.
 
These same Scriptures are so powerful that they can also cut through our thick soul, dividing our soul from our spirit.  God’s word can stop our anxious thoughts, calm our troubled emotions, and subdue our stubborn will. This has been my experience.
 
As we open the Bible, we just need to open to the Lord, and incline our heart to Him. Then read a few Bible verses and turn them into short, spontaneous prayers to the Lord—thanking Him, praising or petitioning as we feel led. In this way we can enter into fellowship with Him in our spirit.
 
“Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us the difference between our soul and our spirit. Thank you also for giving us Your living and operative word as such a practical way to divide our soul and spirit. Lord, remind us to apply Your word by prayer, thanksgiving and praise so we may enjoy You in our spirit every day.”
 
I hope that this practical consideration of the difference between soul and spirit based on the Bible proves as beneficial to you as it has to me.  In a continuation post on this topic, I present how God wholly sanctifies your spirit, soul and body in the process of His complete salvation and in my post “What is the Function of Your Spirit?” I cover the spirit in more detail.

 - See more at: http://holdingtotruth.com/2012/03/22/is-there-a-difference-between-the-spirit-and-the-soul/#sthash.7aYXadkt.dpuf
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 02:17:35 pm »

This shows the difference BETWEEN animals and humans, and WHY we are in the Image of God, we are Flesh, Spirit and Soul, just like God, Jesus is the flesh, the Holy Ghost is the Soul, and the Lord God is the spirt. Animals do not have a spirit.


Question:

I have a question regarding animals and souls.  Does the Bible state definitively whether animals have a soul or a spirit?  I was raised in the church of Christ and had always been told that animals (companion dogs specifically) do not have a soul.  However, no one has been able to show me that the Bible states it as such. I found the Scriptures and am wondering what each could mean, specifically the scripture from Job. 


Job 12:7-10
 You have only to ask the cattle, for them to instruct you, and the birds of the sky, for them to inform you. The creeping things of earth will give you lessons, and the fish of the sea provide you an explanation: there is not one such creature but will know that the hand of God has arranged things like this! In his hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of every human being!


You are probably wondering about my question.  I just lost my dog of 11.5 years and some say I will see him again that he has gone to a place that Jesus has prepared, others say that dogs have no soul.  Thank you for your time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Answer:

The answer becomes much simpler if you understand the difference between soul and spirit. While we sometimes use them as synonyms, they don't have the same meaning. There are two sermon outlines which go through the difference, and I would like you to work your way through them and read all the passages referenced. See: Soul and Spirit.

The similarity between men and animals is that we both have souls, which means "living." But people have something that animals don't have, a spirit, which means "breath or wind," because we were made in the image of God and God is spirit. The passage from Job is saying that animals' behavior shows that God is in control and that man should realize it as well.

Hopefully, by the time you get through the two lessons things will be clearer. If not, let me know what is still confusing you and I'll try to explain it better.


Quote
Thank you, I do understand to an extent. Does this mean that animals have a soul but not a spirit? Or rather when they die, they are simply dead and return to the ground? Does the Bible definitely say this? Does it say anything about animals going to another place that has been prepared for them? Thanks!

Animals and men share the common characteristic that we both have life; that is, we have souls. But only men were made in the image of God, being given spirits.

In discussing death, Solomon mentions in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 that men and animals face the same fate -- we both die. And Solomon notes that though by faith we are certain that men go to heaven, we can't prove this while living in the physical world. "Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3:21). Though expressed in a form of a question, notice that there are two different fates for men and for animals. Animals return to dust of the world, so do the bodies of men. But the spirits of men return to God. "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

There is no mention of animals living on beyond death in the Bible.

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2009/01-13a.html
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 01:09:23 pm »

Job 12:7  But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Job 12:8  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Job 12:9  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
Job 12:10  In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.


The passage in the above post doesn't use the KJB(so here's the passage) - But yes, I agree, the first 2 verses doesn't try to imply that animals have spirits, b/c if you read the next 2 verses, it shows that it's the Lord that created them too.

Matthew 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Mat 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Mat 6:28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?



Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ecc 3:19  For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ecc 3:20  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Ecc 3:21  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?


Again, read the WHOLE passage, instead of the first couple - this can be a problem with Christians(especially myself) when they read a mere 1 or 2 lines and say, "OK That's IT!". Pt being that verse 21 ends up summing up the whole thing. Ultimately, when men/women and animals die, their flesh turns to dust(as verse 20 says - and I think this is the context of verse 19), but ultimately as verse 21 says, men/women have spirits, and animals don't. So yeah, both eventually die after they live their lives in the flesh, but only men/women have the spirit in them.


According to these passages of scripture, I too don't see anything where animals go to heaven when they die.
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 02:03:11 am »

This shows the difference BETWEEN animals and humans, and WHY we are in the Image of God, we are Flesh, Spirit and Soul, just like God, Jesus is the flesh, the Holy Ghost is the Soul, and the Lord God is the spirt. Animals do not have a spirit.

I thought man has his own "soul"? Isn't it the spirit of a man, which isn't to be confused with the Holy Spirit?

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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 02:22:11 am »

I think he misspoke, because that is quite frankly a terrible explanation.

That's what scripture says. A man's soul IS his spirit.

The Holy Ghost is not a "soul", but a spirit, the spirit of God, what we call "The Spirit".

Jesus is not flesh. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. BIG difference!
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 05:48:49 am »

i didnt misspeak at all. The Bible clearly differentiates between soul and spirit and body.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord God himself is in 3 parts, so why isnt man in 3 parts? I think that is easily seen in scripture, and sets us apart from the animals. God in his full incarnation is spirit. Jesus was flesh and blood, yet still God, and the Holy Ghost while is a spirit, is something different. And all 3 are one, yet different.

1Jo 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

The Spirit is God the Father
the water is the Holy Ghost
the blood is Jesus

3 distinct persons yet one. This is the same with us, we are 3 parts to form a whole. Flesh, Soul and Spirit. That is how we are made in the image of God. Animals are lacking the spirit aspect, they have flesh and a soul, but no spirit.
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 07:23:04 am »

Then show in verse where the soul of a man is different than the "spirit of a man", as I contend that the soul and spirit are the same thing in a man.

The Spirit/Holy Ghost is not a soul. It is the spirit of God.

It's real easy, just look up the word "soul", then "spirit". Do a comparison. I see no difference between soul and spirit.

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7 (KJB)

"The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth." Psalm 11:5 (KJB)

"For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." Psalm 116:8 (KJB)

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;" Numbers 27:18 (KJB)

"But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." 1 Samuel 16:14 (KJB)

"O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live." Isaiah 38:16 (KJB)

"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:" Ezekiel 11:19 (KJB)

"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Job 32:8 (KJB)

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11 (KJB)

Once you go through all the verses, and really, before that, you see a pattern, and that pattern is that soul and spirit is used interchangeably.

Yes, man has a soul. Yes, man has a spirit. They are both separate and the same thing. As we see in Genesis, the soul is breathed into Adam to make him a living soul. One might say that his "spirit" is his personality, his attitude from what scripture says. A man's soul is his life, it's his being alive that separates him from other creations that don't have a soul and are not alive.

When we become born-again, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is Jesus Christ in you. And the Holy Ghost is one of three separate entities of God as you point out from 1 John 5.

6  This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
1 John 5:6-8 (KJB)


Quote
The Spirit is God the Father
the water is the Holy Ghost
the blood is Jesus

Are you sure about that?
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 11:17:04 am »

Quote
Then show in verse where the soul of a man is different than the "spirit of a man", as I contend that the soul and spirit are the same thing in a man.

I have a couple of times now.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

here is another that clearly shows a difference between the soul and the spirit

   Hbr 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Quote
Question: "What is the difference between the soul and spirit of man?"

Answer: The soul and the spirit are the two primary immaterial aspects that Scripture ascribes to humanity. It can be confusing to attempt to discern the precise differences between the two. The word “spirit” refers only to the immaterial facet of humanity. Human beings have a spirit, but we are not spirits. However, in Scripture, only believers are said to be spiritually alive (1 Corinthians 2:11; Hebrews 4:12; James 2:26), while unbelievers are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13). In Paul's writing, the spiritual was pivotal to the life of the believer (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1; Ephesians 1:3; 5:19; Colossians 1:9; 3:16). The spirit is the element in humanity which gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. Whenever the word “spirit” is used, it refers to the immaterial part of humanity that “connects” with God, who Himself is spirit (John 4:24).

The word “soul” can refer to both the immaterial and material aspects of humanity. Unlike human beings having a spirit, human beings are souls. In its most basic sense, the word “soul” means “life.” However, beyond this essential meaning, the Bible speaks of the soul in many contexts. One of these is humanity’s eagerness to sin (Luke 12:26). Humanity is naturally evil, and our souls are tainted as a result. The life principle of the soul is removed at the time of physical death (Genesis 35:18; Jeremiah 15:2). The soul, as with the spirit, is the center of many spiritual and emotional experiences (Job 30:25; Psalm 43:5; Jeremiah 13:17). Whenever the word “soul” is used, it can refer to the whole person, whether alive or in the afterlife.

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12). The soul is the essence of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is the aspect of humanity that connects with God.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/soul-spirit.html#ixzz2gOSHNoJh
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 12:37:37 pm »

Isa 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


If the soul consists of mind, will, and emotion, then this clearly indicates that the soul is corrupt without the Holy Spirit’s intervention.

Lk 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Same thing happened with Stephen.

Acts 7:59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60   And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


This says that when we physically die, our soul dies as well. Just as the soul is deeply intertwined with the body, and rules over the flesh, the spirit is the same.

Everything that affects our perception, all the programming and propaganda, enters through the body into the soul. Yet, when the Holy Spirit comes alongside our spirit, there is a quickening. And the soul, the corrupt thoughts, emotions, and will are changed toward the way He would have us be.

Unclean spirits can and do occupy unsaved men, causing them to behave in a way that they think is normal. Some people can sense this spiritual influence over another. (the spirit of goodwill, christmas, anger, lust, greed, FEAR)

2 Tim 1: 7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This verse says to me that fear is a spirit and not an emotion as secular society believes. It also tells me that it didn’t come from God.

This is how I understand it. Thank you Mark for confirming this biblically. When I hear that soul and spirit are the same thing, it creates doubt and confusion within me. I know that I can’t fix myself through my own efforts alone.
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 07:01:39 pm »

Quote
This says that when we physically die, our soul dies as well.

Like I said to Mark, are you sure about that? You might want to clarify.

"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Psalm 16:10 (KJB)

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28 (KJB)

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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 02:45:05 am »

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I contend that the soul and spirit are the same thing in a man.

This is not true. I'm in error for saying that, and I need to retract that statement. I was thinking one thing and didn't get it to text what I intended to say.

Based on the way many verses are worded, and without searching first to make sure of my understanding, I misspoke and was wrong saying it that way. Many verses do appear, at least to me, to use both words interchangeably, but they are in fact two separate aspects.

Quote
I see no difference between soul and spirit.

This isn't an entirely correct statement. I do in fact see a difference, and acknowledge they are two separate things. But in some verses, I see little difference in the usage of the words in scripture.
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 05:51:53 am »

what do you think it means? what is the image of God that we are made in and how does that separate us from the animals?

i have clarified. We have a body a soul and a spirit. The soul and spirit can be intertwined but they are separate.
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 08:13:39 am »

Yes, mankind has a fleshly physical body that is corrupt, a soul which is the breath of life in us, and we have a spirit, which is who we are.

Those aspects separate us from all other life, including animals.

Scripture says clearly that man is one type of flesh, and animals are another kind of flesh...

"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." 1 Corinthians 15:39 (KJB)

The different flesh alone is enough to separate us from animals.

However, it's said that animals don't have a soul, when we see from scripture, the soul is the life in man, but no mention that God breathed life into any animals. Could one say animals have no soul or spirit? Looks to me like we must say that animals have no spirit, at least, if not no soul also.

In the image of God? It must be the spirit that makes us in His image. We are spirits living within a fleshly temporal body, whether we are saved or damned. And God is a spirit, though no man has seen God at any time, do we assume our physical body looks like God's body? Or is it about the spirit only? If the spirit, then who knows but God as we haven't seen God's spiritual form so how could we know? At this point, we can't.
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