Can you explain what is meant by the word "glorification"? In what way will we be glorified–and in what way was Jesus glorified?


We read in Romans 8:29-30 that God will glorify those whom He has called in this day and age. It is explained in verse 29 that He predestined those whom He foreknew “to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Even though the Scripture says, in verse 30, that He already “glorified” them, this is still a future event, but it is absolutely certain to occur.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible explains that “they are already glorified in Christ, their head and representative… It is an observation of a Jewish writer… that a thing ‘which is decreed to be’, is spoken of in the past tense: ‘this is the Scripture style concerning things decreed, and such is the glorification of all God’s elect.'”

As Christ was glorified, so His true disciples will be glorified. We read about Christ’s glorious appearance in Revelation 1:14-16: “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire… and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” His glorified state is also described in Revelation 2:18: “These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire…” Christ was a glorified God being before He became a man, and He was anticipating the time, just prior to His death, when He would be glorified once again. He prayed to the Father in John 17, stating in verse 5: “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself [literally: alongside Yourself], with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

When Christ was resurrected, after having been dead and buried in the grave for three days and three nights, He was raised AS a glorified Spirit being. He was not resurrected as a physical human being and then subsequently glorified. Rather, at the exact time and the very moment of His resurrection, His physical body, which had not seen decay or corruption, was changed into a spiritual body. Christ was resurrected in glory. He ascended to heaven in glory. We read in 1 Timothy 3:16, that Christ was received up in glory, with a glorified spiritual body.

Please note these excerpts from our Q&A, “Do you teach a resurrection of the physical body?”:

“When God the Father resurrected Jesus Christ, He changed His physical body (which was still in the grave) into a spiritual body. That is why Christ could later walk through closed doors, and why He could make Himself visible and invisible, as He pleased. We should also note that Christ, when He again became a Spirit being, which is invisible to the human eye, could manifest Himself as a human being, even so much so that He appeared to have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39-40). Of course, as a Spirit being, He did not really have flesh and bone, but He was able to manifest Himself in such a way. Jesus did speak of ‘a spirit’ not having flesh and bones as He did (verse 39). However, He was speaking of demonic spirits not being able to manifest themselves in the flesh. (Compare our free booklet, ‘Angels, Demons and the Spirit World,’ pages 42-43). We have the example of Christ and two angels appearing as men and eating a meal in the time of Abraham (Genesis 18:1-8). This example shows that God (who was Christ in the Old Testament account) and faithful angels could manifest themselves in the physical domain as men.”

It is important to understand that true Christians who died will be resurrected in glory at the time of Christ’s return, or, if they are still alive, they will be changed into glory–or glorified–at that very same time.

We read in 1 Corinthians 15:35-49:

“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?’ Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do NOT SOW THAT BODY THAT SHALL BE, but mere grain–perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God GIVES IT A BODY as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh… there are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies… There is one GLORY of the sun, another GLORY of the moon, and another GLORY of the stars; for one star differs from another star in GLORY. SO ALSO IS the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, IT IS RAISED IN GLORY. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body… And as we have borne the image of the man of dust (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (Jesus Christ).”

Notice this! We will be RAISED IN GLORY. We also read in verses 51-53 that “we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

When we are changed to or raised in glory, we will bear the image of the glorified Jesus Christ, as we read earlier, in Romans 8:29.

We also read in 1 John 3:2: “We know when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

Christ will return in glory—in the glory of the Father and in His own glory. When we will be like Him, we will also be glorified. We will also appear in glory, as Colossians 3:4 states. We shall see Him as He is—and we cannot see the glorified Christ as He is, unless we ourselves are glorified Spirit beings.

If we died in Christ, we will be resurrected in glory. If we are still alive at the time of Christ’s return, we will be changed into glory—and that in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the time of the last trumpet, as we read in 1 Corinthians 15. David said in Psalm 17:15 that he will be satisfied when he awakes in God’s likeness.

Philippians 3:21 tells us that Christ will transform our lowly body that it will be conformed to His glorious body.

When we are glorified, as Christ is glorified, then we will be immortal Spirit beings–like Jesus Christ is. We will be members of the God Family–as Jesus Christ is the Son of God–a glorified member of the God Family. We will be God beings–as Jesus Christ is a God being. Remember, Jesus Christ is the firstborn among many brethren. We are to become like Christ. We are to rule with Christ on this earth (Revelation 20:4). We read in Romans 8:17: “… if [we are] children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be GLORIFIED TOGETHER.”

For more information on our glorification and on our real and awesome potential, please read our free booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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