If you are reading this, I hope you are waiting for this month’s Pastor’s Pondering with great anticipation. I’ve been looking forward to writing this one and I’m looking forward even more to experiencing what I’m writing about in this edition. Since May of 2014 we have been going through the Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis), which, as you may remember, are the various steps in the process of salvation. It is through this order of salvation that God ultimately brings us to Himself, whole and blameless. We have looked at effectual calling, regeneration, faith, repentance, justification, adoption, sanctification, perseverance, and we close with glorification.
So we have to ask, “what is glorification?” The Westminster Shorter Catechism does not have a question about “glorification.” It has two questions about glorification (37 & 38), neither of them mentioning the term “glorification”, however both describe the process. They are as follows: Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
- The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united in Christ, do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.
- 38. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
- At the resurrection, believers, being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Notice in question 37 that when a believer dies, they are perfected in holiness and go to be with the Lord. That is part of our glorification, the perfecting of our souls. The long process of sanctification is completed. However, this doesn’t capture all there is to glorification, because at the point of death, our bodies and souls are separated, so we are not perfected completely. God created us in perfection as a whole comprised of both body and soul. That is where question 38 comes in to address the eternal state of the body. At the resurrection our bodies will be reunited with our souls in perfection and we will be with the Lord in glory and glorifying Him forever. That is what glorification is about, that is what we look forward to as the ultimate fulfillment of the order of salvation. God is saving us and nothing will keep the believer from being fully glorified in God’s presence.
We read the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 3:2, Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. When we come to that time, then we will experience in fullness our the chief end of man, “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” That is a blessed promise and a blessed hope. This is the end to which Christ saved us; this is our ultimate freedom in Christ. Live today in light of this truth and indeed your life will be glorious.