The Glory to Be Revealed in Us
By Fred O. Blakely
"I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).
It is certain, as both Isaiah and Paul declare, that there awaits the people of God a fullness of blessedness and glory that is beyond their present ability to conceive of (Isa. 64:4; I Cor. 2:9-10; cf. Ps. 31:19). It is written that when Christ shall appear, then shall we "also appear with Him in glory," being "like Him" (Col. 3:4; I Jn. 3:2-3). So great will be that glory that the whole impersonal creation awaits in earnest expectation its display—"the manifestation of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:19).
We can glean something of the magnitude of the splendor with which we shall be invested from Paul's assertion in Philippians 3:20-21. At His coming, for which we who have "the firstfruits of the Spirit" also look, and earnestly desire (Rom. 8:22-23), our Lord will "fashion anew [change] the body of our humiliation [our vile body], that it may be conformed to the body of His glory [fashioned like unto His glorious body], according to the working [by the power] whereby He is able [which enables Him] to subject all things unto Himself" (ASV).
So shall be consummated the Father's purpose for us in the Son—to be fully conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29). The transformation of spirit is now accomplished in spiritual regeneration (II Cor. 3:18). At Christ's literal coming, the bodily change shall be effected by physical regeneration.
For some idea of the nature of our Lord's "glorious body," or "the body of His glory," we have but to consult Revelation 1:9-18. It is not that of the days of His humiliation, inhabited upon earth, while He was "made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7). Neither shall our glorified body be like that of the flesh. The "body that shall be" is not the one planted in the grave at death (I Cor. 15:37). But, "as we have borne the image of the earthy [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [Christ]" (v.49).
Further indication of the immortal body's glory is apparent from John's reaction to the appearance of the angel who directed him in the Revelation. Twice over, he "fell down" before the angel "to worship him" (chs. 19:10; 22:8-9). Since, in the resurrection, we shall be "as the angels," or "equal unto" them (Mt. 22:30; Lk. 20:36), we can begin to get some notion of the glory that awaits the faithful.
In view of these considerations, the opinion expressed by C.S. Lewis appears to have some validity. We are destined to such glory, he opined, that, if we could now see ourselves as we will be then, we would be tempted to fall down and worship ourselves.
That is somewhat of "the hope of glory" set before the presently humiliated and suffering saints (Col. 1:24). By keeping it singly in our eyes, let us press on toward its complete realization, strong in faith, being fully persuaded that what God has purposed for and promised to us "He is able also to perform" (Rom. 4:20-21).