Glorification of the Christian

The Christian's glorification describes their ultimate and complete conformity to the image of Christ Jesus.

It is the final link in the great golden chain of salvation and it is so certain that it is going to happen that the apostle Paul refers to it as having already happened (Romans 8:30).

Another great promise is given to us in Philippians 1:6. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

God makes us like His Son. To be glorified is another way of saying the believer will be "conformed" to the character of Christ which is God’s ultimate purpose for the Christian. No longer will the Christian "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

God’s great plan of salvation reaches from eternity past to eternity future, and He will accomplish it perfectly. God’s plan is going to succeed. There is always the now and the yet to be in regard to our salvation. We are saved and we will be saved. We are justified and one day we will be glorified. The apostle Paul speaks of a reality that has come and the promise that it is to come.

The apostle Paul was absolutely certain that one day every believer in Jesus Christ would be completely like Christ in character. That great fact should influence the choices we make and our behavior every day. There is no greater encourage for daily living than the fact that we already share the glory of God. Moreover, there is an eternal weight of glory accompanying the believer when he gets to heaven. The more suffering here, the more glory there. 

In the great golden chain of salvation, not a single person is lost. Called, justified, glorified. Our glorification is so certain that in God’s eyes it is as good as done.

The election, effectual calling and justification have already taken place in the believer's experience, but the glorification is yet to take place in the future.

However, the apostle Paul speaks of it as having already taken place. Bible scholars have asked why then, does Paul use the same past tense when he speaks of glorification as he does for the other acts of God? Many scholars suggest Paul is using the Hebrew idea of the "prophetic past" by which a predicted event is marked out as so certain of fulfillment that it is described as though it had already taken place. The Christian has not yet been glorified because it is yet in the future, but their glory is so sure in the eternal purposes of God that Paul can say, "them He also glorified."

J. B. Phillips says, God “lifted them to the splendor of life as His own sons.”

What a wondrous thought that God cares so much about His children that He allows us to participate even now as we will more fully when the great consummation comes (1 John 3:1-2).

We share the glory of God, the blessed hope of Christ’s return. Therefore, nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Since God is for us, all things work together for our good and His glory. The eternal purpose of God is constantly moving toward the fulfilment of that one goal (Rom. 8:17-23, 30; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2)

The conformity of the believer to Christ comprises the transformation of the body of our humiliation to the likeness of the body of Christ’s glory (Phil. 3:21). Paul has in mind the  conformity to the image of the incarnate Son as glorified by His exaltation. However, keep in mind the glorified Christ does not cease to be the eternal Son and it is the eternal Son who is the glorified incarnate Son.

Christ is preeminent among many brethren. He is the "firstborn" among many brethren. Christ is not ashamed to call us his brethren. "For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters" (Hebrews 2:11, The NET Bible). 

The glorification of the Christian has no meaning without the manifestation of Christ’s glory. Our glorification is bound up with the coming of Christ in His glory. And then we shall be like Him.

The Bible teaches us that it is certain that one day we will be with Jesus Christ and completely like Him. We will not become God like the cults teach, but we will be like Christ in His communicable attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, mercy, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, goodness, self-control, etc. Are you becoming like Him today?

"Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1, The NET Bible). That is the best preparation for our coming glorification.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006