Question of the week: Genesis 1:26–27 states that God created humans in his own image. Do you think the angels also were made in the image of God? Weren’t they referred to as “sons of God?”
My answer: The term “sons of God” is used in the Bible to refer to either angels or to humans who have been redeemed from their sin. The Bible never refers to angels being made in the image of God but the angels being called the sons of God implies that in some context God did make them in his image. However, the manner in which God created humans in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) is distinct from the manner in which God created angels in his image. Only humans, for example, are recipients of God’s grace and directly experience God’s grace.
That we humans possess the image of God or that angels are referred to as sons of God does not put them anywhere near to being on a par with God. God is superior to both angels and humans (Hebrews 1:4). Both angels and humans are spiritual beings, but Hebrews 1:3 makes a distinction, for example, between Jesus and angels and humans. It declares, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Neither angels nor humans are the exact representation of God’s being, but each possesses some distinct components of God’s image.