John Piper & The Doctrine of Glorification
Glorification is the last link in the so-called golden chain of salvation in the Ordo Salutis, the order of salvation. It is the final goal as well as the purpose for the entire redemptive history of man. It is the last stage of the sanctification process, that is of our ethical sanctification, of actually, truly, being made holy, righteous.
The Christian is heir to a glorious inheritance, but we do not possess it as yet. Romans 8:17. We are children of God, and thus heirs, and our inheritance has been reserved for us at a future time. In Romans chapter 8, the Apostle Paul points us to those future glories for both our bodies and our souls – completed redemption. For now, although delivered from the power and tyranny of sin, we are still surrounded by sin. We still commit it. We are not yet glorified.
We do know that at physical death, we will go to be with the Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:8. What a comfort! Our souls will at that moment become one of the “righteous made perfect.” Hebrews 12:23.
Is that glorification? No, not yet, because the body also must be made perfect. But when? As Paul makes so clear, our bodies are made perfect, glorified, in the future, specifically, at Christ’s second coming, when every saint who has physically died is resurrected, and those who remain alive are translated in the twinkling of an eye into the glory of the image of Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:23.
Note that Paul uses the word shall or will, as in future tense, when he speaks of glorification:
who willtransform the body of our humble state intoconformity with thebody of His glory – Philippians 3:20-21. cf. I Corinthians 15:44
Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. I Corinthians 15:49
In addition to being future, the glorification of the saints is always connected to the destruction of this old earth and being replaced with the new heavens and the new earth:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons,the redemption of our body. – Romans 8:13-23; cf. 2 Peter 3:3-13.
In glorification, we are going to be put on display to the entire world, made known to all as the sons and daughters of God, and in the judgment, vindicated for our faith and lives in Christ while on this earth. In addition to that, we will finally be made free of the original curse God placed on the earth itself, and us with it. Genesis 3:17.
So then, glorification is:
- Connected with the destruction of this earth, replaced by the new.
- When Christians are completely rendered free of the original curse placed on mankind.
Now we could go on, citing biblical references regarding glorification, but I believe those cited are sufficient to make the above 3 points. I am being brief with this doctrine for a reason.
First, look at Romans 8:30
and these whom Hepredestined, He alsocalled; and these whom He called, He alsojustified; and these whom He justified, He alsoglorified.
If God did not elect you unto salvation, you will not be called, justified nor glorified, and in that case, sanctification is a non-issue.
That may seem obvious, and it is. But I would like for you to take a gander at this quote by John Piper because he has a very different, and a very unbiblical view of the doctrine of glorification:
This is probably why in the golden chain of Romans 8:30 the term sanctification is missing: “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called He also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” When Paul jumps directly from justification to glorification he is not passing over sanctification, because in his mind that process is synonymous with the first phase of glorification and begins at conversion. (God is the Gospel, footnote, p. 93).
The first phase of glorification begins at conversion? Regeneration?
This is absurd brethren. And how many ‘phases’ does glorification have? Obviously, Dr. Piper takes this view in order to adhere to his ‘Christian hedonism’ theory and continue to promote the gospel contemplation heresy of ‘beholding is becoming.’
It’s sufficient enough to dismiss John Pipers teaching on glorification knowing that he has denied:
- Glorification is future
- That glorification is connected with the destruction of the present earth and being replaced with a new heaven and new earth.
- And that glorification cannot possibly begin before Christians are completely free from the original curse of sin.
In light of the clear word of Scripture, what Dr. Piper is saying is just plain silly and unhelpful.