Philippians Chapter 3, Verse 21

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Book of Philippians
Chapter 3


21: ος μετασχηματισει το σωμα της ταπεινωσεως ημων εις το γενεσθαι αυτο συμμορφον τω σωματι της δοξης αυτου κατα την ενεργειαν του δυνασθαι αυτον και υποταξαι εαυτω τα παντα— edit Textus Receptus
21: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.— edit KJV text
21: Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself.— edit Douay text

Who shall change our vile body. See "1Cor 5:1, and following. The original words, which are here rendered "vile body," properly mean "the body of humiliation;" that is, our humble body. It refers to the body as it is in its present state, as subject to its infirmities, disease, and death. It is different far from what it was when man was created, and from what it will be in the future world. Paul says that it is one of the objects of the Christian hope and expectation that this body, so subject to infirmities and sicknesses, will be changed.

That it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. Gr., "The body of his glory;" that is, the body which he has in his glorified state. What change the body of the Redeemer underwent when he ascended to heaven we are not informed; nor do we know what is the nature, size, appearance, or form of the body which he now has. It is certain that it is adapted to the glorious world where he dwells; that it has none of the infirmities to which it was liable when here; that it is not subject, as here, to pain or death; that it is not sustained in the same manner. The body of Christ in heaven is of the same nature as the bodies of the saints will be in the resurrection, and which the apostle calls "spiritual bodies," See "1Cor 15:44";) and it is doubtless accompanied with all the circumstances of splendour and glory which are appropriate to the Son of God. The idea here is, that it is the object of the desire and anticipation of the Christian, to be made just like Christ in all things. He desires to resemble him in moral character here, and to be like him in heaven. Nothing else will satisfy him but such conformity to the Son of God; and when he shall resemble him in all things, the wishes of his soul will be all met and fulfilled.

According to the working, etc. That is, such a change demands the exertion of vast power. No creature can do it. But there is One who has power entrusted to him over all things, and he can effect this great transformation in the bodies of men. Comp. 1Cor 15:26, 1Cor 15:27. He can mould the mind and the heart to conformity to his own image, and thus also he can transform the body so that it shall resemble his. Everything he can make subject to his will. See "Mt 28:18"; See "Jn 17:2".

And he that has this power can change our humbled and debased bodies, so that they shall put on the glorious appearance and form of that of the Son of God himself. What a contrast between our bodies here -- frail, feeble, subject to sickness, decay, and corruption -- and the body as it will be in heaven! And what glorious prospect awaits the weak and dying believer, in the future world!

-- edit commentary

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