Man Is Made In the Image and Likeness of God

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Cheon Seong Gyeong 2084

We want the unification of North
and South Korea right now, but what is
the solution to the division? North and
South Korea cannot be united unless a
clearly defined solution is provided. It
cannot happen by either the North or
the South simply saying, “You have to
do as we say.” They cannot be unified if
both have something to lose. It’s possible
only when there’s a plus for both. Isn’t
that so? For example, a man and woman
cannot be one after marriage if they are
both minuses to each other; they must
find something that they can gain from
each other. (61-73, 1972.8.27)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1877

What would happen if the sky, ocean,
plants, and everything else were blue?
You would suffocate. Imagine if they
were yellow or your favorite color. You
would immediately tire of it. Even if you
replace it with another color, you would
soon tire of it. Green is another color of
consolation. Why do people like the col-
or green? The existing world is in har-
mony with the color green. That is why
there are many colors in the soil. The col-
or of soil is usually close to green. That
is why it is logical to say that we, who
were made out of the soil, would like the
color green. That is how you may think.
Since God knew that, He made the sky
and ocean blue. Everything was created
in harmony with the color green, cen-
tering on human beings. How wonder-
ful this is! (119-168, 1982.7.18)

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 3

The Purpose of Human Life

The Image of God

How can we describe a human being’s likeness to the divine? This and the following sections explore this topic from three aspects: Human beings are created in God’s image; we are vessels for God’s indwelling Spirit; and we are God’s beloved children.
Jewish and Christian scriptures teach that man was created in the image and likeness of God. The image of God speaks to the ideal of holiness, truthfulness, righteousness, and charity. The saint or self-realized person is like heaven, manifesting the character of God. To reach this ideal requires a transformation of the inner man, or as Father Moon puts it, a “revolution of character.”
Father Moon’s teaching seeks to get at some of the ways that human beings resemble God. He examines God’s attributes: omnipotence, omniscience, absoluteness, eternity, etc. and explains that human beings strive for these same qualities. Moreover, possessing these qualities is our heavenly birthright.
Furthermore, the scriptures affirm that men and women are equally in the image of God. Since God created human beings to be nothing less than His counterparts with whom to share His complete love, human beings should resemble God to the fullest extent. Thus, had human beings not been marred by the Fall, we could attain the fullest manifestation of God’s image as a man and woman in the union of marriage.

  1. How Human Beings Resemble God

God said, “Let us make man in our image, after
our likeness.” 1
Genesis 1.26

O Son of Man! Veiled in My immemorial being
and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew
My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have
engraved on thee Mine image, and revealed to
thee My beauty.
Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic 3
(Baha’i Faith)

Rabbi Akiba said: Beloved is man, for he was
created in the image of God. But it was by a spe-
cial love that it was made known to him that he
was created in the image of God; as it is taught,
“For in the image of God made He man.” (Gen.
Mishnah, Avot 3.18 (Judaism)

So set your purpose for religion as a man by
nature upright—the nature [framed] of God, in
which He has created man. There is no alter-
ing the laws of God’s creation. That is the right
Qur’an 30.30

Conform yourselves to the character of God.
Hadith of Abu Nuaym (Islam)

Fire blazing from the earth.
The Superior man reflects in his person
Heaven’s virtue.
I Ching 35 (Confucianism)

If we keep unperverted the human heart—
which is like unto heaven and received from
earth—that is God.
Revelation to Mikado Seiwa (Shinto)

Looking first at absolute Justice, Beauty and
Temperance, and again at the human copy, they
will mingle and temper the various elements of
life into the image of a man. Thus is a human
being conceived according to that other Image,
which, when existing among men, Homer calls
the form and likeness of God.
Plato, The Republic (Hellenism)

As God is called merciful and gracious, so you
be merciful and gracious, offering gifts gratis to
all; as the Lord is called righteous and loving, s
you be righteous and loving.
Sifre Deuteronomy (Judaism)

God is never in any way unrighteous—he is per-
fect righteousness; and he of us who is the most
righteous is most like him.
Plato, Theaetetus (Hellenism)

That which is the finest essence—this whole
world has that as its soul. That is Reality. That
is the Self. That art thou.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 (Hinduism)

Veiled by ignorance,
The minds of man and Buddha
appear to be different;
Yet in the realm of Mind Essence
they are both of one taste.
Milarepa (Buddhism)

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to all the con-
gregation of the people of Israel, ‘You shall be
holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.’”
Leviticus 19.1-2

Father, O mighty Force,
That Force which is in everything,
Come down between us, fill us,
Until we become like Thee,
Until we become like Thee.
Susu Prayer (African Traditional Religions)

“Now what do you think, Vasettha… is Brahma
[the supreme Being] in possession of wives and
wealth, or is he not?” 2
“He is not, Gotama.”
“Is his mind full of anger, or free from
“Free from anger, Gotama.”
“Is his mind full of malice, or free from
“Free from malice, Gotama.”
“Is his mind tarnished, or is it pure?”
“It is pure, Gotama.”
“Has he self-mastery, or has he not?”
“He has, Gotama.”
“Now what do you think, Vasettha, are the
brahmins versed in the Vedas in possession of
wives and wealth, or are they not?”
“They are, Gotama.”
“Have they anger in their hearts, or have
they not?”
“They have, Gotama.”
“Do they bear malice, or do they not?”
“They do, Gotama.”
“Are they pure in heart, or are they not?”
“They are not, Gotama.”
“Have they self-mastery, or have they not?”
“They have not, Gotama.”
“Can there, then, be agreement and likeness
between the brahmins with their wives and
property, and Brahma, who has none of these
“Certainly not, Gotama!”
“Then that these brahmins versed in the
Vedas, who also live married and wealthy,
should after death, when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahma, who has none
of these things—such a condition of things is
“Now what do you think, Vasettha, will the
monk who lives according to the Dhamma be
in possession of women and wealth, or will he
“He will not, Gotama!”
“Will he be full of anger, or free from
“He will be free from anger, Gotama!”
“Will his mind be full of malice, or free from
“Free from malice, Gotama!”
“Will his mind be tarnished, or pure?”
“It will be pure, Gotama!”
“Will he have self-mastery, or will he not?”
“Surely he will, Gotama!”
“Then as you say, the monk is free from
household and worldly cares, free from anger,
free from malice, pure in mind, and master of
himself; and Brahma also is free from household
and worldly cares, free from anger, free from
malice, pure in mind, and master of himself. Is
there then agreement and likeness between the
monk and Brahma?”
“There is, Gotama!”
“Then verily, that the monk who is free from
household cares should after death, when the
body is dissolved, become united with Brahma,
who is the same—such a condition of things is
in every way possible!”
Digha Nikaya 13.31-34, Tevigga Sutta (Buddhism)

What is man? Man is not matter; he is not made
up of brain, blood, bones, and other material
elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is
made in the image and likeness of God. Matter
is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot
be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect;
and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must
be so understood in Christian Science. Man is
idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.
Science and Health, 475 (Christian Science)

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