In last week’s post, I noted that salvation can be broken down into three parts: justification, sanctification, and glorification. In previous posts, we’ve addressed justification and sanctification. In today’s post, we will briefly examine the doctrine of glorification.

Glorification is that aspect of salvation where God makes us like himself. To clarify, we will not be gods or deity in any sense. But in glorification, God will grant us perfection: morally, spiritually, intellectually, and bodily.

Before explaining the wonder of what God will do in glorification, let’s set a biblical foundation. There are several Scriptures that underscore what we mean by glory and glorification.

Psalm 24:10 teaches that God is the King of glory who displays splendor and wealth in his person.

Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory

Psalm 24:10

John 17:1-5 teaches that Christ glorified the Father with the fame, brightness, and splendor worthy only of God.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”

John 17:1-5

Later on in Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, Jesus prayed that his followers would share in this glory.

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

John 17:22-23

Paul reflects on this glory shared with believers as one of the purposes of salvation.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 8:28-29

It is important to note that Christ shares his glory with his followers through his redemptive work on the cross. God’s glory is displayed and declared through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection to a glorified body.

In one sense believers are glorified in two states similar to how we described sanctification. We share at least in part Christ’s glory now (as with positional sanctification). But we await the fullness of glorification until we enter God’s presence and he resurrects our bodies to a glorified state.

The wonder of glorification is that God in his greatness, splendor, wealth, pomp, weight, and magnificence would even notice sinners like you and me. But not only does he notice us, he provides the means for our cleansing and salvation through Christ. Beyond that, his salvation promises that we will share in his glory. When we really consider this, it boggles the imagination. Glorification can be defined in this way:

Glorification is multidimensional. It involves both individual and collective eschatology. It involves the perfecting of the spiritual nature of the individual believer, which takes place at death, when the Christian passes into the presence of the Lord. It also involves the perfecting of the bodies of all believers, which will occur at the time of the resurrection in connection with the second coming of Christ. It even involves transformation of the entire creation (Rom. 8:18-25).

Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 1008.

When God glorifies us, he will make us morally perfect. We will no longer be bound to our sinful state.

When God glorifies us, he will also make us spiritually perfect. We will no longer be subject to internal desires and longings that are outside of God’s will.

When God glorifies us, he will make us intellectually perfect. God will give us right and correct knowledge of himself, ourselves, and all that he has made. While I don’t think this means we will omniscient as God is, I do believe that in our glorified state, our knowledge of God will be more full and clear.

When God glorifies us, he will make us bodily perfect. God will resurrect our body and unite body with soul perfecting us as he intended humanity at creation.

As I finish up this post, I’m humbled. That God would stoop down and step into his creation to save sinners like you and me is an amazing thought. That he would give us the honor of sharing in his glory is astounding. Here are some suggestions on responding to the doctrine of glorification.

  • Praise. God is glorious and he is worthy of our praise. Praise him for his glory and salvation.
  • Pray. God wants us to know him. Thank God for his salvation and that he will hear us when we seek him.
  • Worship. God’s glory deserves our worship. Make time this week to worship alongside other believers for God deserves it.
  • Glorify. God’s grace is beyond imagination. Glorify God that he would save us and privilege us to share in his glory.

Photo by Anna Gru on Unsplash

This week at Wilkesboro Baptist Church we will celebrate. On Wednesday April 21 and Sunday April 25, we will spend our worship services in a debt retirement celebration.

Just a little more than four years ago, Wilkesboro Baptist officially began a sanctuary renovation campaign. Church staff and leadership had the foresight to see the need for renovating our sanctuary and prepared by having the church select a sanctuary renovation committee prior to my arrival at Wilkesboro Baptist as pastor.

Church Interiors began work on the renovation in late December 2016 and completed their work in April 2017. In November 2016, Wilkesboro Baptist kicked off the fundraising campaign to pay for this sanctuary renovation.

Our campaign was titled Renovate 938 based on the following financial targets:

  • $762,000—Sanctuary Renovation 
  • $90,000—Additional property and house
  • Project Total–$852,000 
  • $85,200—Tithe to missions 
  • Total goal for the Campaign $938,000

As of the final week of March 2021, Wilkesboro Baptist Church is again debt free!

In the early months of 2020 we could see the possibility of retiring this debt near the end of the year. We were in the beginning stages of planning a debt retirement push at the church. Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened, and everything shifted.

Even with the challenges of virtual church and slowly returning to in-person worship that we’ve seen over the past year, the members and attenders at Wilkesboro Baptist Church gave generously. Not only did we meet our 2020 proposed budget, but the church gave in excess of budgeted needs. People continued to give to the sanctuary renovation debt, and we were able to see the possibility of retiring the debt early in 2021.

Not only are we now debt free, but thanks to the generous giving of those at Wilkesboro Baptist we were able to give additional funds to local and global mission partners. Through the Renovate 938 missions giving, we were able to assist mission partners in some of the following ways:

  • Help those facing disasters from hurricanes.
  • Send missionaries to other countries.
  • Feed people who were hungry.
  • Shelter people who were homeless.
  • Care for people who were struggling.
  • Encourage people who were hurting.
  • Spread the good news of Christ to those who were lost.

What is awesome is that this missions giving coincided with paying down and retiring the debt at Wilkesboro Baptist Church.

If you gave to the Renovate 938 Sanctuary Renovation campaign, thank you! Thank you for being generous. Thank you for praying. Thank you for supporting. Thank you for spreading the good news.

This celebration remembers our heritage while looking forward to the greater things God wants to do. The following is adapted from our sanctuary dedication service in May 2017:

WHO WE ARE IS WHO WE WERE. A church that prays, gives, and goes on mission is who we will be. A church that prays, gives, and goes on mission is who we have been. Our first pastor, George Washington Greene (1880-1885 and 1886-1890) left Wilkesboro Baptist Church for the mission field. He was a graduate of Southern Seminary when it was in Greenville, SC. He went from Wilkesboro to Canton, China to teach at a seminary there. WBC sent its first pastor on mission with the Foreign Mission Board. He served for 20 years in China and died on the mission field their in 1911. We are a church with a heritage of missions engagement.

WHO WE ARE IS WHO WE WERE. We are a church that will pray for the harvest because we were a church who prayed for the harvest. We are a church that will go into the harvest because we were a church that went into the harvest. We are a church that will give so that others can go because we were a church that gave so others could go. We are a church on mission because we have always been a church on mission. Let us declare boldly and live faithfully our mission to lead our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus.

Sanctuary Dedication Service, May 7, 2017

Let us celebrate God and his blessings.