The Doctrine of Glorification

Posted: February 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

As I briefly summarized yesterday, the doctrine of glorification, or the physical resurrection of Christians upon the Second Coming of Christ is vitally important for every follower of Jesus to grasp. 

Grudem defines it this way, “glorification is the final step in the application of redemption.  It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own.”

As Grudem ably points out, the New Testament evidence for glorification is abundant (See 1 Cor. 15:12-58; 1 Thess. 4:14-16, etc.) and there are even a few Old Testament passages which witness to it, such as Isa. 26:19 and Dan. 12:2.

What will our resurrection bodies be like? They will be like Jesus’ resurrected body (1 Cor. 15:20, 23; Phil. 3:21) i.e., imperishable (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 49), which means they “that they will not wear out or grow old or even be subject to any kind of sickness or disease.  They will be completely healthy and strong forever.” 

Now, some will object to this argument by pointing to 1 Cor. 15:50, which states that “flesh and blood cannnot inherit the kingdom of God…” but the term translated as “flesh” (sarx) actually means that which is finite or perishable.

Remember that we will all be made like Jesus (1 John 3:2), who the disciples touched and who ate (Luke 24:39)! 

Will we look the same? The disciples recognized Jesus, so there is no reason to think that we too will look very similar to how we look now. 

Moreover, not only will we be changed but all creation will be renewed as well.  Adam’s sin cursed the very ground (Gen. 3:17-19)  but it too will be “set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).  This is important because we need to affirm the importance of God’s creation, which was made “very good” (Gen. 1:31) and is important enough to the Father to be redeemed as well.

Next up, Chapter 43 of Grudem’s Systematic Theology, “Union with Christ.”

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