Last in the Ordo Salutis is glorification. It is within the realm of the “already” and “not yet.” Within the Ordo Salutis, Election, Calling, Regeneration, Conversion, Justification, and Adoption all fall under the category of “already”. Meaning that it is a present reality for the believer. For example, we are justified because Christ arose from the dead. Justification is therefore a reality for us today not contingent on anything yet to come, but on what has already accomplished by Christ. On the other hand, Sanctification, Perseverance, and Glorification are present realities in the sense that they will definitely come because the believer has been elected, called, regenerated, converted, justified and adopted by God. Although they are already true of the believer, they are not yet fully complete of the believer. Sanctification, Perseverance and Glorification remain a present assurance for the believer in that it will come to completion when Christ returns.
What is glorification?
Glorification is the final process of Christian salvation, which includes eternal life in heaven and the eternal glorifying of God. 2 Donald K. McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press) 114. .
Scripture tells us that in the beginning God created all things very good. And when He created man He created him in His own image. Forbidding Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit and upon obedience to God they would have earned the right to eat of the tree of life. If they had obeyed God they would have been glorified. Unfortunately, they did not obey. Instead Adam and Eve chose to seek their own glory apart from and even against God. 1 Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, Kindle Loc 9643.
Therefore, there had to be a second Adam; Jesus Christ who would accomplish what the first Adam failed to do. Because God loved us, He did not leave man without any hope. He effectually called us so that we may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:14). This glory was secured for us at Christ’s resurrection.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism question 38 states:
Q: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A: 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.
The glorification that we receive is nothing of our own doing, but is that result of what God has done in raising Christ from the dead. In the resurrection, believers are raised with Christ, being vindicated of all unrighteousness. Although we are not fully glorified yet, we will certainly be glorified in the day of judgement. This is possible because Christ has wiped away our sin before God though Christ’s crucifixion.
We are Glorified in Christ’s Resurrection
Philippians 3:21 states that our lowly bodies will be made like Christ’ glorious body. When Christ rose on the third day he had the same body, but it was a glorified body. Notice that even in Christ’s glorified state, he still chose to have the wounds on this hands and feet (Luke 24:40). Why would he do this? C.H. Spurgeon argued that they are his trophies, his medal of honor. They are wounds from a great victory; defeating Satan and the sting of death. He caries the price of our salvation. Wounds that proclaim a great victory in securing us to himself. Likewise, our glorious bodies will be a sign, a reflection of that victory that Jesus has accomplished for us.
When we speak of glorification, we do not mean that we are becoming like exactly like Christ. To say that would mean we will also possess divinity, for Christ is both God and Man. This is not the case. We will be like Christ as He is the Second Adam. At Christ’s return, we will be truly human, fully capable of loving and enjoying God forever. We will be God’s image bearers without sin. 3 Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way () Kindle Loc. 17279, 17288 In our glorious body we will not groan or be burdened like we are now (2 Cor 5:1-5).