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Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology


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In the Scripture the idea of glorification deals with the ultimate perfection of believers. The word "glorification" is not used in the Hebrew Old Testament or the Greek New Testament, but the idea of glorification is conveyed by the Greek verb doxazo [ Psalm 73:24 ; Daniel 12:3 ), the New Testament is considerably fuller and richer in its development, making it explicit that believers will be glorified (Romans 8:17,30 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:12 ).

Despite the fact that one of the key verses (Romans 8:30 ) appears to place glorification in the past, it is in all other passages seen as future, to be hoped for (Romans 5:2 ; Colossians 1:27 ), to be revealed (Romans 8:18 ; 1 Peter 5:1 ), and to be obtained (2 Thessalonians 2:14 ; 2 Timothy 2:10 ). Specifically, glorification arrives with the second coming of Christ (Ephesians 5:27 ; Philippians 3:20-21 ; Colossians 3:4 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:10 ), accompanied by the resurrection of believers (1 Corinthians 15:43 ) and the day of judgment (Romans 2:5-10 ). Its duration is eternal (2Col 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:10 ; 1 Peter 5:10 ).

Like other facets of salvation, glorification is the work of God (Romans 8:30 ). To it believers are called (1 Thessalonians 2:12 ; 1 Peter 5:10 ), brought (Hebrews 2:10 ), and foreordained (1 Corinthians 2:7 ). God both prepares us for glory (Romans 9:23 ) and prepares glory for us (1 Corinthians 2:9 ). It is ours by inheritance (Romans 8:17 ). At the same time, however, we have our part to play: glorification should be sought (Romans 2:7 ), and it will be wrought in us through our affliction and suffering (Romans 8:17 ; 2Col 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:10-11 ).

Glorification involves first of all the believer's sanctification or moral perfection (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; Hebrews 2:10-11 ), in which the believer will be made glorious, holy, and blameless (Ephesians 5:27 ). The process of sanctification is at work in us now (2 Corinthians 3:18 ) but moves from one degree of glory to another until it reaches final glory.

Second, the body participates in glorification (Romans 8:23 ; 1Col 15:43; Philippians 3:21 ), which is the believer's deliverance and liberty (Romans 8:21 ). As a result, the glorified body is immortal (Romans 2:7 ), imperishable, powerful, and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:43-44 ). Moreover, creation itself participates in this aspect of glorification (Romans 8:21 ).

In the third place, glorification brings participation in the kingdom of God (1 Thessalonians 2:12 ), even to the point of our reigning with Christ (2 Timothy 2:10-12 ).

Finally, glorification is in some sense a partaking of God's own glory (Romans 5:2 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:12 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:14 ; 1 Peter 5:10 ).

David K. Huttar

See also Salvation

Bibliography . S. Aalen, NIDNTT, 2:44-52; R. B. Dillard, BEB, 2:869-70; M. R. Gordon, ZPEB, 2:730-35; E. F. Harrison, EDT, pp. 443-44; idem, ISBE, 2:477-83; B. L. Ramm, BEB, 1:869-70.

Copyright Statement
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516-6287.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement.

Bibliography Information
Elwell, Walter A. Entry for 'Glorification'. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 1996.

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