Category: Last Things, Word: GLORIFICATION
March 18, 2016 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
DEFINITION: Glorification involves two balanced but distinct aspects. First is God’s work of transforming believers at death so that all sin is removed and they are fit to be in His presence; second is His gift of the resurrection body, received by saints only at Christ’s return.
“Glorification” may be as old-fashioned sounding as “sanctification,” but it is just as important for today’s believers to understand. Glorification is the necessary complement to justification, just as sanctification completes regeneration. New spiritual life (regeneration) is completed by spiritual growth (sanctification). And justification (God’s declaration of legal righteousness) is completed by glorification (God’s transformation into perfect righteousness). Paul made this point by affirming, “Those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom. 8:30).
The noun “glorification “does not actually appear in the New Testament. The noun “glory” (doxa) and the verb “glorify” (doxazo) are frequent. In most instances, they refer to God’s glory and emphasize that human beings have as our purpose glorifying or praising God. (See the article on glory.) Yet glorification is appropriate as a summary word to describe God’s future work in the believer, when He completes in heaven everything that He has begun in our lives on earth.
The Scriptures only hint at what it will mean for sin to be finally removed:
- “Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God” (Matt. 5:8)
- “Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12)
- “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…Let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!” (Rev. 14:13)
The longest passage dealing with the intermediate state of glorification (the period after a believer dies but before Christ’s return) is 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. There Paul implies that believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ after their death (v.10; see also 1 Cor 3:12-15).
Jesus was the first (and thus far only) human to be raised and given a glorified body that can no longer die. At His return, He will raise the saints and give them resurrection bodies like His. The longest passage on the resurrection body is 1 Corinthians 15:12-58. Paul maintained that there is continuity between our earthly body and our resurrection (“spiritual”) body, just as there was continuity between Jesus’ earthly body and His resurrection body. The continuity is like the connection between a seed planted in the earth and the plant that grows out of the seed (1 Cor. 15:34-44). The main point is that “we will also bear the image of the heavenly man [Jesus]” (1 Cor 15:49).
The Christian doctrine of glorification is well summarized in Philippians 3:21: “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”
REFLECTION: Why is it important and to keep in mind that glorification includes two aspects: moral-spiritual as well as bodily transformation. How much do you look forward to being glorified?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I long for the day when I will see You face-to-face because all traces of sin will be gone from my life. Praise You for the glorious promise of the resurrection. Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.