Glorification

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This refers especially to the time when, at the parousia, those who died in Christ and the living believers will be given the resurrection of the body, a final and full "redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23), preparatory for and suited to the final state of the Christian believer. As a theological term it is a synonym of immortality, when immortality is thought of as the glorification which believers will receive, and not, as erroneously thought of, as simply the continued existence of both the believers and the finally impenitent.

Glorification, therefore, is only for believers, and it consists of the redemption of the body. At that time "this perishable" will "put on the imperishable," and "this mortal," the body, will "put on immortality" (I Cor. 15:53). Then death, the Christian's last enemy (I Cor. 15:26), will be swallowed up in victory (I Cor. 15:54).

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The finally impenitent will be resurrected, but this is a second resurrection, to damnation, the "second death" (Rev. 2:11). Scripture does not refer to this second resurrection as either immortality or glorification.

Our special glory seems to consist, in part, in the hope we hold to: that we will be glorified. Paul also seems to teach that after the believers are glorified, the whole created world will undergo a fundamental renewal: "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility,... in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its corruption into the freedom of the glory of [or glorification of] the children of God" (Rom. 8:19-21 NASB).

J.K. Grider
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)



The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

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