CHANGED INTO THE SAME IMAGE FROM GLORY TO GLORY
In the Letter to the Hebrews, Paul lets us in on a secret. Somehow through the incarnation, Jesus Christ was “made perfect” through sufferings. This occurred despite the fact that all things were made by God for Him, and He Himself (the Logos) made all things. Through the process of the incarnation—the experience of becoming human and living His life in a body like ours—He was enabled to be the ‘first-born’ of many brethren, “bringing many sons unto glory.” Paul refers to Jesus as “the captain of our salvation: “For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10)
IN OUR BOOK, THE REVEALING, WE ADDRESS THE DEEP MEANING OF GODS GLORY AND WHAT IT TRULY MEANS FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST TO BE GLORIFIED. THE FOLLOWING IS DRAWN FROM THIS BOOK. IT COMPRISES ONE OF TWENTY “DEEP DIVES” WRITTEN BY MYSELF AND NUMEROUS SCHOLARS FROM THE PAST 120 YEARS THAT APPEAR WITHIN THE TEXT. THE MYSTERY OF GLORIFICATION IS A REQUIRED UNDERSTANDING FOR ALL BELIEVERS.
FROM THE DEEP DIVE: BEING MADE PERFECT JUST LIKE JESUS
What does Paul mean by being made perfect? Wasn’t Jesus already perfect and without sin? Yes. But follow me. Paul uses the term teleioō (pronounced, tuh-lie-ah-oh)—and repeats this word over ten times in the Book of Hebrews alone (it is used repeatedly in the New Testament as well). Paul is not stating anything regarding the nature of Jesus—no hint exists that Jesus remained less than pure or perfect in regard to sin. Rather, the issue has to do with accomplishing what He set out to do. That is, the term conveys ‘fully completed’ in the sense that the goal was achieved exactly as planned. The word teleioō is translated ‘fulfilled’ in Luke 2:43 and ‘finished’ in John 4:34. Think of its meaning as “mission accomplished.” This word confirms God’s plan is predetermined to be complete in every aspect.
Our tribulations contribute to the process of being made into the glorious image of Jesus Christ. “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)
The Spirit of Christ, given to us as an ‘earnest’ (i.e., a down payment) commands this inner person (and ultimately outer person) ‘makeover.’ Visualize if you will, the following quotation from Paul: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) We might reflect on the various ‘wolfman’ movies where the victim of lycanthropy watches his face change from man to beast, viewing his transformation in the mirror. Here Paul visualizes the opposite. We look in the mirror and see ourselves being transformed into the same glory as Jesus Christ! No more hairy face!
Furthermore, Paul indicates the process has already begun. Perhaps the transformation we witness today seems mostly minor, but it begins nonetheless while we live in our mortal bodies. Our pains are purposeful. And yet, Paul teaches the aches and pains we go through now are nothing compared to the enjoyment and wonder we will experience later
Paul provides a lengthy dissertation on these matters in 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18, 5:1-8. We should review the entire passage:
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight) 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:1-8)
Paul begins by acknowledging even though our fleshly body undergoes ‘entropy’—it runs down and will eventually die and decay—our ‘inner being’ undergoes renewal day after day (verse 16). Our inner being, our spiritual life, becomes more vital. Paul emphasizes that we are progressing toward our objective, as we behold the glory in the face of Christ. We look into His face when we meet Him in His Word, and often, in the faces of those we serve.
Douglas Woodward, Originally from Blood Moon: Biblical Signs of the Coming Apocalypse, (2014), Faith Happens Books, pp. 276-279 (updated) and reprinted in The Revealing: Unlocking Hidden Secrets On the Glorification of God’s Children, pp. 61-62.
 Jesus was “tempted in all ways just as we are yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15)
 It is similar to the word telēo (tuh-lay-oh), used in regard to Jesus accomplishing our salvation on the cross, with the words, “It is finished (telēo)” (John 19:30).