A summary of J N Darby’s note on ‘Image and Likeness’ – Notes & Comments vol 1 p 178.
In Genesis 1 God created man in His image. The Greek word used, according to Strong (1503) is εἰκών/eikṓn – a mirror-like, high-definition representation, very close in resemblance. The word is used for ‘statue’. See 1 Cor 11:7 , ‘a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God’ and other scriptures.
In this creation, man had the capability of voluntary thought, which put him into a position of responsibility. He could therefore obey or disobey. We know that he disobeyed, and the motivation was not the fruit, but ‘self’. The fall was total: man gave up God.
Christ, the second Adam, gave up any thought of His own will – He did not use His liberty or power for His will. He came to obey ‘Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.’( Heb 10:7 and Ps 40:7-8). He renounced self. In the midst of ruin, He bound the strong man, whereas in the place of blessing, Adam succumbed. He bore the abandonment, into which man had voluntarily run, to his eternal ruin.
In new creation it is different, man now has the knowledge of what God is, having been created ‘in righteousness and holiness of truth’ (Eph 4:24). We have a powerful, intimate relationship in communion with God, by the Holy Spirit. We have been redeemed. Because of the Lord’s perfect work of grace, we have been brought back, restored and reconciled to God. What a wondrous thing is redemption!