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Tuesday
Apr142009

Theological Term of the Week

glorification
The final step in the experience of the salvation process and in the application of redemption to believers, in which, at the return of Christ, the bodies of those believers who have died will be raised and reunited with their souls, and the bodies of all those believers still living will be transformed into resurrection bodies like the resurrection body of Christ, so that all believers will be perfectly conformed to the image of the risen and glorified Christ.

  • From scripture:
    But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

    42So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49 ESV)

    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV)
  • From The Apostles Creed:

    I believe in…the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

  • From The Heidelberg Catechism, Question 57:

    Question 57. What comfort does the “resurrection of the body” afford thee?

    Answer: That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; (a) but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. (b)

  • From Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray:
    The hope of the believer is centered in the coming of the Saviour again the second time without sin unto salvation. Paul calls this “the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13). The believer who knows him whom he has believed and loves him whom he has not seen says, “Amen, come Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). So indispensible is the coming of the Lord to the hope of glory that glorification for the believer has no meaning without the manifestation of Christ’s glory. Glorification is glorification with Christ. Remove the latter and we have robbed the glorification of believers of the one thing that enables them to look forward to this event with confidence, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. “But rejoice,” Peter wrote, “inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye shall be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13)

Learn more:

  1. Desiring God: Will the resurrection of the body be a physical resurrection of the dead?
  2. Desiring God: If our souls are immortal, why do our bodies need to be raised from the dead?
  3. R. W. Glenn: Glorification (mp3)
  4. Ray Ortland: Glorification (mp3)

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. Credit will be given for any of these suggestions I use, too.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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