We hear quite often and, in fact, we confess that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. But what does that mean exactly? Fr. Thomas Hopko tackles this topic and asks: Does it mean that God has a body? No, he says, not only does God not have a body but He is completely different from us, which is to say He is holy. In short, this image and likeness for us Christians can mean only the person of Jesus Christ. He is the One, after all, “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). To be – or act – as we are created in the image and likeness of God means that we show in human form that which God is. If God is love, then we must be loving; if God is forgiveness, then we must be forgiving; if God is slow to anger, then we must act accordingly and so forth. Angels can’t do this because they are pure spirits, they can’t express God in human form nor are they male and female. On the other hand, animals have souls but they are not rational. Humans have bee created in the image and likeness of God and have the capabilities – if they so choose – to glorify God.
Listen to this short, five minute clip of Fr. Hopko’s answer here.