Herman Ridderbos made an interesting and little noticed connection between man as created in the image of God and “glory” in his Pauline theology (p. 71)
He notes these passages:
ESV 1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
ESV 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
ESV Romans 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
ESV 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
ESV Romans 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
ESV Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Any reflections in the comments on the significance of this connection are welcome.
I noticed something else. In almost all the verses there is word that carries the connotation of change or transformation.
My initial thought is the principle of our always being in God’s image, but that image was marred because of sin, then we were/will be changed to His image upon justification and/or glorification.
But that’s just my gut instinct.
My thought on the relationship stems from the definitions Jaeggli gives for “holiness” and “glory,” namely, that God’s holiness is the sum of his attributes, his unique character, and that God’s glory is what men see of his holiness, when they interact with that holiness (unique character).
To bring that into this question, it struck me that God’s image in man (men being, in some way, like God) has much to do with God’s holy character reflected in us. That was the primary change after the Fall – redemption history tells the story of God restoring his image in us – making us more like him. Moral character is the foremost component of that restoration.
Ideally, no redeemed person displays God’s holiness in a vacuum – people see God’s likeness in believers. That display of God’s likeness/image is glory – God is glorified in us, we glorify him, etc. His image is displayed to men.
In the verses above, we find references to “beholding” God’s glory and to that glory shining like sunlight. Our interaction with God’s holy image results in his glory reflected in us.
I could describe it in three steps:
1. God is holy – his nature/characteristics are unique.
2. We see (interact with and respond to) God’s holiness: glory.
3. This produces a second glory when others see the first glory (his likeness in us).
There is a fair bit of overlap of terms in this idea, but I think that’s approriate – the two words are used almost synonymously in I Cor 11.7.
This is just a tentative suggestion – there is something to God’s image/likeness that’s more than just moral (as is evidenced by the general statement in I Cor. 11.7 above).