Section 7: Salvation – Part 2
Week 4: Glorification
Day 5: When Christ Returns, the Image of God Will Be Fully Restored within Us
1 Jn. 1:1-3
In the discussion of our adoption as God’s children, we noted there is a sense in which our adoption has not yet been fully realized. In part, that’s because the image of God has not yet fully been restored within us. As Thomas Oden explains,
“To be a child of God is to be given grace to refract once again in time and space the holiness and goodness of the Father. That is the primary meaning of the phrase ‘created in the image of God’- able to mirror the goodness of God. Insofar as the sinner is unable to mirror the holy love of God, a major spiritual renovation is required.” [i]
That renovation project has not yet been completed, but it will be when Christ returns. As John says, “We know that when he appears, we shall be like him…” (1 John 3:2). And Paul puts it this way, “We eagerly await a Savior from there [heaven], the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Phil 3:20-21).
Those verses don’t just refer to our receiving bodies that cannot die. Our glorification consists of much more than that. When Christ appears, we will be like him in the sense that we will be fully transformed into his image. And on that day, because he is the image of God himself, we will once again reflect God’s holiness and goodness as we were intended to.
Think about what it will be like to reflect God’s image fully.
When you think about that, what excites you more? Being able to live forever or being fully transformed into Christ’s image. Why?
[i] Thomas Oden, Classic Christianity: Systematic Theology, Three Volumes, ePub edition, HarperCollins e-books (2009), Book 3, Part 2, Chapter 5.