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Theology > Salvation > Work of Salvation > Glorification


Whom He justified,
these He also glorified.
Rom. 8:30

Glorification culminates the earthly experience and initiates the heavenly era for the believer. Purpose, foreknowledge, and predestination characterize the beginning of the Christian’s life and glorification marks the conclusion (Rom. 8:28-30).

In glorification all things are made new (Rev. 21:5): new heavens and earth (II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:4), new Jerusalem, new body for the believer, new soul (meaning a life free from all sin), new relationship with the Lord (one characterized by a growing intimacy made possible by an eternal relationship)—all of this translates into a new existence.

Glorification, with the redemption of the body (Rom. 8:11, 18-23), which is the transformation of “our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Phil. 3:21; see: I Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; II Cor. 4:17), brings an end to the curse of corruption.

Glorification is for the whole man, not just the soul, or just the body, but soul and body, or spirit, soul, and body; in other words, the entire man is made a new man (I Jo. 3:2; II Cor. 3:18). The believer will not become something he is not but will become all that he should be, not more than human but fully human. In heaven the believer will experience the potential that was Adam’s before the Fall, a potential that was never realized in Eden.

Note: Some relate glorification to justification, even maintaining that it is the inevitable conclusion to justification: “In justification we are pronounced just and awarded the judgment of life. In glorification the life that results from the pronouncement and award is given to us” (William Ames, The Marrow of Theology, 172). But it would be proper to relate glorification to the final act of the process of salvation, at least the final act in time. According to Rom. 8:30 both justification and glorification are aspects of God’s total and complete work in and for the believer.

Note: Irenaeus and Eastern Orthodoxy give emphasis to theosis, deification, related to II Pet. 1:4; it cannot occur in an ontological sense, that is, the believer cannot become God as He is in His essence; also the believer cannot become the Father, the Son, the Spirit, as each of these is in essence; rather, deification is “the way of participating in the divine glory and not in that of a change into the divine being” (John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 9:31).

As for me,
I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.
Ps. 17:15

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