Study 10 GLORIFICATION
GREAT WORDS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Romans 8: 28-39)
In Romans 8:29-30 we read of the unfolding of God’s purpose, or intention, for every one of His children in the words “foreknew”, “predestined”, “called”, “justified” and “glorified“. In the purpose of God (2 Timothy 1:9), all the redeemed are already foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified. Here is the guarantee of our eternal security - of the fact that if we are now truly the Lord’s then our certain and ultimate experience will be one of glorification. The following references also bear directly upon the biblical doctrine of glorification - Psalms 73:24; 84:11; 1 Corinthians 15:43; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 2:10 and 1 Peter 5:10. What is meant by all these references to our glorification? Of what does the future glory and blessings of the saved consist?
1. The Glory and Blessings of Being Forever with the Lord.
The chief attraction of future glory will be that we shall be with Him, our beloved Lord and Saviour - look up John 14:3 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Now the Lord is with us (Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 23:4; Hebrews 13:5-6), but then we shall be with Him! The unbeliever cannot enter into this at all, and only those who want Him with them now will desire to be with Him in His glory.
2.The Glory and Blessings of Being Conformed to the Lord’s Likeness.
We shall not only be with Him, but we shall be like Him - look up 1 John 3:2. God’s programme for every believer is ultimate conformity to the image of His Son - Romans 8:29; thus the psalmist says - Psalm 17:15. Every believer will have a body like His body - 1 Corinthians 15:20 and 43 - also look up Philippians 3:21, and compare Ephesians 5:27. We shall not be angels or disembodied spirits, but we shall live in new, glorified bodies, and we shall be like Him!
3. The Glory and Blessings of Living in Perfect Surroundings.
Our first parents lived in a perfect environment in the Garden of Eden, but through the “first man”, Adam, sin entered (Romans 5:12), and thus also the curse, and Paradise was lost. Then, in the fulness of time (Galatians 4:4), “a second Adam to the fight and to the rescue came”, and through His work upon the cross, and by virtue of all that He is in His glorious Person, Paradise has been regained and will be the eternal dwelling place of all believers. Glory for the believer will mean living in a world of perfect order and complete harmony - Matthew 6:10 - and read Revelation chapters 21 and 22 for a prophetic preview of the glories of the Heaven.
4. The Glory and Blessings of Freedom from Earth’s Limitations.
While we are in the body we groan to be freed from it and to enjoy the blessings of the “unlimited expanses of eternity”. Down here sin limits us; we are freed from its guilt and penalty, but we possess a fallen nature and we live in a fallen body which is subject to sin’s power and Satan’s attacks. Down here our bodies give us a great deal of trouble, and we experience weakness, sickness, pain and the infirmities of age, and ultimately death itself – Romans 8:23 tells us this. Meditate upon the things which will be missing in Heaven, such as tears, death, sorrow, crying, pain, etc.! (Revelation 21 and 22).
5. The Glory and Blessings of Fellowship with all the Redeemed.
Often when we meet for fellowship down here we say afterwards, “It has been a foretaste of Glory!” This is true, for when we are glorified we shall meet with the saints of all ages (Luke 13:29) - the Old Testament saints, the New Testament saints, the early Christian martyrs, the Reformers, all our Christian friends and loved ones, and multitudes of children (Matthew 18:10). What a glorious reunion this will be - and, of course, we shall recognise one another! This recognition is implied (1 Corinthians 13:12); illustrated (Luke 9:30-31); affirmed (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18); confirmed (1 Thessalonians 2:19); and guaranteed (1 Corinthians 15:6).
6. The Glory and Blessings of Engaging in the King’s Service.
Revelation 22:3 tells us this, and Matthew 25:21 tells us that all our service here and now is a preparation for service there and then. Compare also Matthew 19:28; Luke 19:17 and 1 Corinthians 6:2-3. It is difficult to conceive in what ways we shall serve Him there, but we shall serve Him and how glad and how glorious such service will be! Remember, however, that faithfulness here qualifies for authority and responsibility there.
7. The Glory and Blessings of True and Unhindered Worship
This study ends where it began, for we emphasise again that the supreme joy and wonder of our glorification will be experienced when we join with “the countless multitudes on high that tune their song to Jesus’ Name, (and) all merit of their own deny and Jesus’ worth alone proclaim.” Do you belong to Him? If so, “those he justified, he also glorified.” Look up Jude, verses 24-25.
I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
Or who can say how great the jubilation
When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
At last the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is King!