26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--
13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
1Cor 15:45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Matthew 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living."
Only those in Christ, i.e. the elect, are alive to God in Him. (Romans 6:11) Christ is the last Adam. All men are born into the nature of the first Adam, who was made in God’s image and likeness, when God first spoke creation into existence. God has since “recreated” through Christ, the Word of the original creation made flesh. Christ, the word, entered into creation to put to death the first Adam, and all in the first Adam, that is, all of mankind.
Paul makes it clear that the first Adam, and by default all mankind, were/are dead in their sins, and have been since the fall in Eden. Christ’s coming in the likeness of sinful flesh, puts to death the flesh (fallen Adam) and its’ deeds. He bore the wrath and judgment of God to save those whom the Father elects (foreknows) that is, God’s vessels of mercy ; thus insuring the condemnation of those chosen to be God’s vessels of wrath. He did not bear the wrath for them. They will bear it for themselves. (Romans 9:18-24)
Therefore all in the first Adam are most assuredly “dead men walking”, while those in Christ walk in the newness of life right now, and will have their redemption sealed at the return of the Lord. (Hebrews 9:27-28; 1 Cor 15:20-24)
All of the redeemed have their existence in the finished work of Christ, and all of its benefits, right now (Acts 17:28). Thus the kingdom of heaven that is manifest in the earth, in the midst of the saints, is truly the “land of the living”. (Psalm 116: Luke 17:20-21)
The resurrected, Jesus Christ is the express image of the living God. Only those for whom He died, placed in Him by the Father, alive to God in Him, exist in the image and likeness of God. The rest of mankind, the children of wrath, do not exist as such. (Ephesians 2:1-7)
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Psalm 142:5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
Soli Deo Gloria