While many religions see salvation as an attempt to leave our bodies, not so with Christianity. We will not behold the glory of God without our bodies. Scripture is clear that our bodies are essential to our vision of God in Christ. There is no complete communion with him without our bodies (1 Cor. 15:12ff.; 2 Cor. 5:1–10). But what is this glory? What is glorification?
Glorification is the moment when God’s declaration of righteousness through Christ will find its completion in our actual lives, finally and forever. The sin that has marred, distorted, and warped our bodies will be destroyed completely. The good work God began in declaring us righteous by faith will continue until his last word finalizes that restoration and perfection, making us just like his Son (Rom. 5:5; Gen. 1:26).
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:12).
Glorification makes us more fully and completely human. God’s grace to us in Christ allows us to enjoy God and delight in him as his children for the first time. He does so, not in opposition to our bodily desires and abilities, but through them (Ps. 73:28).
We live in this time before the return of Christ, living by faith in what we cannot fully see (2 Cor. 5:7). A day is coming, though, when that faith will give way to sight, when we will see our Lord as he is. In that moment we will be transformed, glorified like Christ’s glorious body (1 John 3:2). Then we will enter into the rest that God prepared before the foundations of the world for those who love him (Heb. 4:1–2; 8–10; Matt. 25:34).
On that day, our happiness, blessedness, and glory will perfectly coincide with God’s. We have beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten—the Son of God—and have received grace upon grace, who by his Spirit made us partakers of the divine nature! (John 1:9–18; 2 Pet. 1:4). During this time of waiting, the Apostle Paul comforts us with these words:
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Cor. 4:16–17)