The glorification of the Christian is that we shall share in God’s glory when we are in our resurrected bodies in the new heavens and new earth, experiencing deeper fellowship with God and not being at risk of falling away into sin, God’s glory finally being “all in all.”
Understanding the glorification of the Christian begins with understanding the glory of God, the state of incomparable greatness in which God dwells and through which he is perceived by his creatures. As creatures marred by sin, we are separated from this glory in two ways, both by the fact that we are creatures and not the Creator, and because of the effects of our sin upon our nature. The first part of our glorification is thus our dying to sin in this life and our eventual death in this body. The second part is our being raised to new life and a new body with Christ in the new heavens and new earth. This will not simply be a return to the Garden of Eden, but we will live with God and share in his glory forever, enjoying deeper fellowship with God and greater opportunities for praising him than we presently enjoy. This glory does not become our own but remains God’s own glory; we simply share in it as sub-rules and creatures who dwell in his eternal light.
It is not uncommon for me to find theological questions in my inbox from brothers and sisters outside my own church. Unfortunately, I’m rarely able to respond directly to such queries. But some questioners are persistent enough, and some questions seem broadly relevant enough that I figure a brief blog post is in order. Like this question: is glorification conditional? The question was prompted by something John Piper said on a panel to the effect that glorification was conditional. The other panelists, of whom I was one, didn’t seem bothered by Piper’s statement. So this brother who emailed me is...
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John Piper speaks about the glorification of the body in this message at The Gospel Coalition's inaugural 2007 National Conference.