TRANSFORM THE BODY OF
OUR HUMBLE STATE: os metaschematisei (3SFAI) to soma tes tapeinoseos hemon: (1Co
15:42, 43, 44, 48-54) (See Dr John Macarthur's exposition "Reaching
for the Prize")
Christ is not only the Savior of
our soul but also the Savior of our body, as Paul explains in this
passage. Believers have assurance of the forgiveness of our sins
because of His death and assurance of our future resurrection and
glorification of our bodies because of His resurrection. Hallelujah!
Paul appears to be speaking
especially of the Rapture (rather than the Second Coming) and
the transformation that will take place in the twinkling of an eye,
although a few commentators do refer this event to the Second
Coming. (See related topic
Table comparing Rapture vs Second Coming)
Dwight Pentecost reminds us
Because God has an eternal purpose
for this physical body, it is important how we treat it and how we use
it now. That is the argument of the apostle as he deals with an
important doctrinal problem concerning the Philippians. The
Philippians are giving ear to false teachers who are leading them to
licentiousness. Because they despise the law of God and the holiness
of God as revealed in the Mosaic Law, they have concluded that they
can live as they please... Paul’s defense against the perversions that
are being practiced by these lawless ones in Philippi is to remind
them of the destiny of this human body. (Pentecost,
J. D. The Joy of Living: A study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)
(3345) (metaschematizo from metá =
exchange or change of place or condition + schematízo = to form
<> from schema =
shape, outward form or fashion, the form that is seen) means to change the outward form or appearance of something.
To alter the outward appearance in such a way as to deceive or to
feign to be what one is not (see uses in 2 Cor 11:13, 14, 15)
UBS Handbook notes that...
This compound verb focuses on the
unstable outward shape and appearance, as against the inner stable
United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series
TDNT adds that...
The only LXX instance is in
(apocryphal book) 4 Macc. 9:22 for the transforming of martyrs at
Philo uses the verb for “to change
into a new form.” Josephus has it for changing clothing or disguising
as well as transforming.
When Christ the Savior of the body
returns, He will transform our physical body so that, while it will be the same
body, it will no longer be subject to sin, lust, suffering, weakness,
misuse, and neglect. Hallelujah!
Vincent writes that
indicates a change in what is
outward and shifting.
The meaning of metaschematizo is illustrated by what it would mean to
change a Dutch garden into an Italian garden -- this would be
but to transform it into something wholly different, like a city is
. (English "metamorphosis").
Wuest explains that
means “to change one’s outward
expression by assuming from the outside an expression that does not
proceed from nor is it representative of one’s true inner nature.” The
word “masquerade” is an exact English translation. Satan was
originally the holy angel Lucifer. As such he gave outward expression
of his inner nature as an angel of light, which expression proceeded
from and was truly representative of that nature.
That was morphoomai. Then he sinned and became an angel of
darkness, giving outward expression of that darkness. That was
morphoomai. Then he changed his outward expression from that of
darkness to one of light by assuming from the outside, an expression
of light, which outward expression did not come from nor was it
representative of his inner nature as an angel of darkness. That is
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Wuest in his comments on
Jude 1:4 ("certain persons have crept in unnoticed") draws a
parallel from the verb metaschematizo explaining that this
refers to the act of an individual
changing his outward expression by assuming an expression put on from
the outside, an expression that does not come from nor is it
representative of what he is in his inner character. Lucifer did that
after he struck at God’s throne and became the fallen angel, Satan. As
a fallen angel he gave expression to his sin-darkened heart. But he
knew that he could not attract the human race that way. He must
impersonate God if he expected to be worshipped as God. He therefore
assumed an outward expression of light, put on from the outside and
not representative of his inner sinful being. He disguised himself as
an angel of light. His ministers, (servants), Modernistic preachers,
have done the same (Jude 1:15). Using evangelical terms such as
“salvation, faith, regeneration, atonement, resurrection,” they put
their own private meanings upon them (which negate the orthodox view),
and pose as orthodox exponents of Christianity. Reader, do not trust a
Modernist any farther than you would a rattlesnake. A rattlesnake will
give you warning before it strikes, but not a Modernist. The eternal
welfare of your soul depends upon what you believe regarding the
person and work of our Lord on the Cross.
is possible for Satan to metaschematizo, transform himself into an
angel of light (see 2Co 11:14 below) by changing his outward appearance.
But it would be impossible to apply
to any such
change for this would imply an internal change, a change not of
appearance but of essence, which lies beyond his power.
Here are the 6 uses of
metaschematizo in the NT...
1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these
things (speaking of factions, etc), brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and
Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what
is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in
behalf of one against the other.
Thayer explains: To shape
one's discourse so as to transfer to oneself what holds true of
the whole class to which one belongs, ie, so as to illustrate by what
one says of himself what holds true of all.
TDNT: The use is literary.
Paul does not mean that he is putting things in a figure of speech but
that he is expressing the matter in another form, i.e., showing what
the attitude of believers should be from the example of Apollos and
Ed: The idea is to show a
connection or bearing of one thing on another as when one illustrates
this connection with a figure of speech.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful
workers, disguising (present
tense - this is
their continual practice to "stay under cover"!) themselves as
apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan
disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is
not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as
servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their
Vincent comments: The
changes described are changes in outward semblance (assuming another's
appearance). False apostles
appeared in the outward fashion of apostles of Christ; Satan takes on
the outward appearance of an angel. All these changes are in the
accidents of the life, and do not touch its inner, essential quality.
On the other hand, a change in the inner life is described as a change
of morphe, never of schema.
NIDNTT comments: the
thought is not that pseudo-apostles had transformed themselves into
apostles, but that they had appeared as apostles and were regarded by
some as such. At this time people did not sharply define what
constituted an apostle. Paul’s opponents called themselves apostles
and earnestly presented themselves as such. In the eyes of many, these
opponents really were apostles. It was Paul who first called them
Philippians 3:21 who will
transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the
body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to
subject all things to Himself.
Our humble body - This
describes the body which belongs to and also characterizes our humble
state. It is this physical form that is subject to wrinkles,
change, weakness, sickness, death and decay. This state is far
removed from the purpose for which God created man (and his body).
The physical human body was
created by God to be the vehicle through which we manifest the life
that God has given each of us. In the Garden of Eden, the physical
body was designed to serve God and so to be the instrument through
which Adam and Eve glorified their Creator. There was nothing evil in
their physical bodies as Moses attests recording that...
the man and his wife were both
naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25)
Their lack of shame at
nakedness was because at this time they were still without sin (see
and thus without consciousness of moral guilt. Later, however,
brought an awareness that the
springs of human life had been poisoned, both in themselves and in
their progeny (Ro 5:12-note)
and they were then "ashamed." In addition
resulted in our body becoming
the seat of weakness, sickness, pain and suffering.
Nevertheless, our physical bodies continue to be only instruments, and
as such they can either be misused by serving "Sin"
or they can be used as instruments to serve and glorify their Creator.
Paul addresses this distinction in Romans 8 exhorting believers...
Therefore do not let
reign in your mortal body (the
physical body which itself is not evil) that you should obey its
lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to
as instruments of
unrighteousness; but present (as when offering a sacrifice) yourselves
to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness to God. (Ro 6:12, 13-note)
There is nothing evil about
the human body per se, but the evil lies in the sinful uses of the
body. The mortal or physical body of
fallen man thus serves as an instrument that manifests the lusts of
the flesh and overt acts of sin. And because of sins, the mortal body
is subject to death and decay. But then came the Cross.
John Eadie comments that...
The body of our humiliation
is the body possessed by us in this state, and which also marks its
humiliation. It connects us with the soil out of which it was formed,
and by the products of which it is supported; on which it walks, and
into which it falls at death. It keeps us in constant physical
connection with earth, whatever be the progress of the spirit towards
its high destiny—its commonwealth in heaven. Nay more, it limits
intellectual power and development, impedes spiritual growth and
enjoyment, and is soon fatigued with the soul's activity. Let one will
as he pleases, his body presents a check on all sides, and at once
warns him by the exhaustion he feels, and the curbs which so suddenly
bring him to a pause. In it, too, are the seeds of disease and pain,
from functional disorder and organic malady. It is an animal nature
which, in spite of a careful and vigilant government, is prone to
Epistle to the Philippians - online commentary at Google Books)
the noun derived from adjective
cp the related derivative
tapeinophrosune) means low, not high, not rising far from the ground. It
speaks of one's condition as lowly or of low degree. It described
what was considered base, common, unfit, and having little value.
It is notable that to the Greeks
tapeinos and derivatives were words of contempt for they saw man
as the measure of all things (sounds very contemporary). To be low on
the social scale, to know poverty, or to be socially powerless was
considered shameful to the proud Greeks. Thus they used tapeinos
almost exclusively in a derisive way, most commonly of a slave.
NIDNTT writes that in
Classic Greek use the root adjective...
tapeinos [word study]
was originally used
(from Pindar in the 5th cent. B.C. on) with the sense of low-lying.
Metaphorical uses were soon developed:
(a) low socially, poor, of little
social position and influence (Hdt., 5th cent. B.C. onwards),
(b) as a result of one’s social
standing, with slavish outlook, a synonym of not free;
(c) despondent, downcast (Thuc.,
5th cent. B.C. onwards; cf. Eng. “I’m feeling down”);
(d) in Socratic and post-Socratic
ethical teaching the word was separated from its social links, but
retained a depreciatory connotation. Men should avoid the two extremes
of arrogance, provocation and pride (hybris), and of grovelling,
servile behaviour and base flattery.
(e) Occasionally the word is used
with a good connotation in individual, social, ethical and religious
contexts. Where this is so, it does not mean humble, but unassuming
(in Xen.), obedient, conforming one’s behaviour to the righteous laws
of the gods (Aesch., Plato).
In all these uses there remains the
memory of the original physical meaning of below, low, in comparison
with that which is above or higher.
tapeinoo [word study] (from Hippocrates, 5th cent. B.C. onwards)
represents in all its varieties of meaning the various shades of
meaning of the adjective.: to level, humble (socially, politically,
economically), harm, make small, make humble, discourage (with fate or
life as subject), make one obedient, or self-effacing, make a person
obey a regulation (of the reason) (and also the appropriate pass.
forms). The reflex. form with heauton and the mid. (from Diod.Sic.,
1st cent. B.C. onwards used also for mental states) meaning humble
oneself, demean oneself, are used normally only in a derogatory sense.
Yet Philodemus of Gadara (1st cent. B.C.) demands that those who
humbled themselves, should be comforted and lifted up (TDNT VIII 4)
and Plut. (1st cent. A.D.) mentions the custom of humbling oneself
before the gods by covering the head during sacrifice and prayer (TDNT
As Barclay explains below the
KJV rendering of tapeinosis describes our body as “vile”
which seems to suggest that this body is evil, and should be despised
and treated with contempt. Stoic philosophy said that everything that
is material is evil, that this body by nature is evil and, because it
is material, it can never be anything but evil and therefore is to be
utterly despised and held in contempt. Paul is not teaching Stoic
philosophy in this verse.
Barclay explains that...
In modern speech (vile) would mean that
the body is an utterly evil and horrible thing; but vile in
sixteenth-century English still retained the meaning of its derivation
from the Latin word vilis which in fact means nothing worse
than cheap, valueless. As we are just now, our bodies are subject to
change and decay, illness and death, the bodies of a state of
humiliation compared with the glorious state of the Risen Christ; but
the day will come when we will lay aside this mortal body which we now
possess and become like Jesus Christ himself. The hope of the
Christian is that the day will come when his humanity will be changed
into nothing less than the divinity of Christ, and when the necessary
lowliness of mortality will be changed into the essential splendour of
deathless life. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
Vine adds that...
There is nothing here or elsewhere
in Scripture to support the Manichaean theory of the vileness (a.v.
“vile”) of our frame, as that for which a contempt is to be
In Romans 8 Paul explained
that all creation must have the condemnation of sin removed from it.
The condemnation of our bodies will be removed by the resurrection,
which is the climax of our salvation. Paul writes...
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 of its own will, 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. (glorification = future tense
see 3 tenses of salvation)
There are 4 uses of tapeinosis
in the NT...
Luke 1:48 For He has had
regard for the humble state of His bondslave (Mary,
human mother of our Lord); For behold, from this time on all
generations will count me blessed.
Acts 8:33 In humiliation
His judgment was taken away; Who shall relate His generation? For His
life is removed from the earth.
Philippians 3:21 who will
transform the body of our humble state into conformity
with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has
even to subject all things to Himself.
and let the rich
man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he
will pass away.
There are 29 uses of tapeinosis
in the Lxx (Gen. 16:11; 29:32; 31:42; 41:52; Deut. 26:7; 1 Sam. 1:11;
9:16; 2 Sam. 16:12; 2 Ki. 14:26; Ezr. 9:5; Neh. 9:9; Est. 4:8; Ps.
9:13; 10:9; 22:21; 25:18; 31:7; 90:2; 119:50, 92, 153; 136:23; Prov.
16:19; Isa. 40:2; 53:8; Jer. 2:24; Lam. 1:3, 7, 9) where it is often
used to translate the Hebrew afflicted.
Genesis 16:11 And the angel
of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear
a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard
thy affliction. (Lxx - tapeinosis)
Ps 136:23 Who remembered us
in our low estate (Lxx - tapeinosis), For His
lovingkindness is everlasting
Spurgeon said that
Humility is to make a right
assessment of oneself....Do not be proud of race, face, or grace.
Spurgeon in his Faith's
Checkbook has this devotional entitled "This Body Fashioned
OFTEN when we are racked with pain
and unable to think or worship, we feel that this indeed is “the body
of our humiliation.” And when we are tempted by the passions which
rise from the flesh, we do not think the word “vile” at all too
vigorous a translation. Our bodies humble us, and that is about the
best thing they do for us. Oh, that we were duly lowly, because our
bodies ally us with animals, and even link us with the dust!
But our Savior, the Lord Jesus,
shall change all this. We shall be fashioned like His own body of
glory. This will take place in all who believe in Jesus. By faith
their souls have been transformed, and their bodies will undergo such
a renewal as shall fit them for their regenerated spirits. How soon
this grand transformation will happen we cannot tell, but the thought
of it should help us to bear the trials of today and all the woes of
the flesh. In a little while we shall be as Jesus now is—no more
aching brows, no more swollen limbs, no more dim eyes, no more
fainting hearts. The old man shall be no more a bundle of infirmities,
nor the sick man a mass of agony. “Like unto his glorious body.”
What an expression! Even our flesh shall rest in hope of such a
Thomas Watson writes that...
Meditation on the shortness of time
should be a means to HUMBLE us. Augustine calls humility the mother of
the graces. Balm sinks to the bottom of the water. A good Christian
sinks low in humility. And what can sooner pull down the flags and
banners of pride—than to consider we are shortly dropping into the
dust! The priest was to cast the feathers of the fowls by the place of
the ashes (Leviticus 1:16). Just so, all your feathers of honor must
shortly lie in the ashes. Shall not he who is clothed with
mortality—be clothed with humility? The thoughts of the grave—should
bury our pride. (Read full dissertation
Oh, you saints, lay aside all your
despondencies and discontents, and comfort yourselves with the hopes
of future eternal happiness! Shall the outward temple of our body be
so splendid and magnificent, like Christ's glorious body, Philippians
3:21? Oh, then, how transcendently shining and beautiful shall the
inward temple of our soul be! What angel can express this! But here I
must draw a veil. We shall never fully understand heaven—until we come
to heaven! (The
CONFORMITY WITH THE BODY OF HIS GLORY: summorphon to somati tes doxes autou:
(Mt 17:2; Col 3:4; 1Jn 3:2; Rev 1:13-20)
The Cross of
Christ made possible the
future transformation Paul is describing. Our resurrected bodies will
be the same body we have today. God will recreate them so that they
are recognizable (cf Peter's recognition of Moses and Elijah in Mt
17:4), but because of the work of Christ, this body will be
transformed into a body like that of our Lord! The word summorphos
suggests that the conformity will not simply be a superficial and
outward change of form, but a complete change of inward nature and
What else does conformity with the
body of His glory imply? Although we see in a mirror dimly even
this "dim" image gives us a preview of a glorious future existence for
these bodies! For example, the
resurrected body of our Lord was not limited by time or space, for He
could appear at one moment in Jerusalem and the next in Galilee. His
body was not restricted by physical substances and thus He could
appear in the presence of the disciples when all natural means of
entrance were sealed. John describing one of the post-Resurrection
appearances of our Lord records...
And after eight days again His
disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors
having been shut (the idea is the door was safely locked), and
stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." (John 20:26)
body although not dependent on food could still consume food. Luke
writing of one of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances records that
while they still could not
believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, "Have you
anything here to eat?" And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;
and He took it and ate it before them. (Luke 24:41-43)
beloved our bodies will be our transformed and conformed to our Lord's
glorious body! No wonder the saints at Philippi (and throughout the
centuries since) were eagerly waiting this final conformation!
with (4832) (summorphos
sun [click discussion of
sun] = together with +
morphe [word study]
= form, regarded as the distinctive nature and character of the
object, contrast with schema = the outward, changeable fashion) means
to have the same form or nature as another
In this context Paul refers to the
conformity of children of God "to the image of His Son", of their
physical conformity to His body of glory, the body in which He appears
in His present glorified state. Our glorified/transformed bodies
will finally permit us to be the creations God intended for us to be
so that we might enjoy perfect fellowship with Him forever.
Vincent commenting on
Philippians 3:21 writes that...
As the body of Christ’s glory is a
spiritual body, this word (summorphos) is appropriate to
describe a conformation to what is more essential, permanent, and
Paul is saying that our outward and
inner man will be brought into conformity with Christ John writing in
a parallel passage...
Beloved, now we are children of
God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that,
when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just
as He is. (1John 3:2-notes)
Although, this process will not be
consummated until Christ's return, it is going on now , Paul
we all, with unveiled face
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are (continually =
(metamorphoo = a continual change of our form proceeding from and
being truly representative of one’s inward character and nature =
Christ in us the hope [absolute assurance of] of glory [glorification]) into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2Cor 3:18)
The related verb
morphoo does not refer to what is outward and
transient, but to what is inward and real. Hence on the
Mount of Transfiguration that glory which was Christ's own, His
essential and eternal inner divine nature, shone outward, for a brief
time and to a limited degree, through the veil that concealed it
during the days of His flesh. Our inner redeemed nature also is one
day to be manifested outwardly, marking a change on the outside
that comes from the inside (an "inside job" so to
speak). Paul is describing "future tense salvation" or glorification.
discussion of the three tenses of salvation).
Paul used the verb form
summorphoo earlier in this chapter writing...
that I may know Him, and the power
of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being
-continually) to His death (Php 3:10-note)
The only other use of summorphos in
the NT is also by Paul who writes...
For whom He (God) foreknew, He also
predestined [to become] (words in brackets added for flow)
conformed (summorphos) to the image of His Son, that He might be
the first-born among many brethren (Ro 8:29-
Paul teaches the same truth
in Colossians and
When Christ, who is our life, is
revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (see
John Eadie writes of
The adjective summorphon
expresses a conformity which is the result of the change, though it
agrees with soma, the object acted on by the Lord Jesus. The term
doxes (glory) characterizes Christ's soma, as containing or
possessing it. For that body is enshrined in lustre, and occupies the
highest position in the universe. We know not all the elements of its
glory. But we know somewhat. The scene on the hill of transfiguration
was an anticipative glimpse, when the face “marred more than any
man's,” glowed with deeper than solar splendour, and the robes, soiled
and tattered by frequent journeys, shone with a purer lustre than the
When He appeared at the arrest of
Saul in the neighbourhood of Damascus, His glory dimmed the mid-day
sun, and before the symbolical apparition in Patmos, the disciple who
had lain in His bosom was so overpowered, that He “fell at his feet as
After He rose, and even before He
ascended, His body had lost all its previous sense of pain and
fatigue, and possessed new and mysterious power of self-conveyance.
Now it lives in heaven.
Our body is therefore reserved
to a high destiny—it shall be like His. The brightness of heaven
does not oppress Him, neither shall it dazzle us. Our humanity dies,
indeed, and is decomposed; but when He appears, it shall be raised and
beautified, and fitted to dwell in a region which “flesh and blood
Man has been made to dwell on
earth, and on no other planet. If he is to spend a happy eternity in a
distant sphere, his physical frame must be prepared for it. If he is
to see God and yet live—to serve Him in a world where there is no
night and no sleep—to worship Him in company with angels which have
not the clog of an animal frame, and like them to adore with
continuous anthem and without exhaustion — then, surely, his body must
be changed, for otherwise it would soon be overpowered by such
splendours, and would die of ecstasy amidst such enjoyments. The glory
of heaven would speedily become a delicious agony. Therefore these
bodies shall cease to be animal without ceasing to be human bodies,
and they shall become “spiritual” bodies — etherealized vehicles for
the pure spirit which shall be lodged within them. “This corruptible
must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Epistle to the Philippians - online commentary at Google Books)
Spurgeon in his sermon
of Christ Illustrated
writes the following concerning the "body of His glory"...
When he shall come a second time he
will change our vile body and fashion it like unto his glorious body.
What a marvellous change! How great the transformation! How high the
ascent! Our body in its present state is called in our translation a
“vile body,” but if we translate the Greek more literally it is much
more expressive, for there we find this corporeal frame called “the
body of our humiliation.” Not “this humble body,” that is hardly the
meaning, but the body in which our humiliation is manifested and
enclosed. This body of our humiliation our Lord will transform until
it is like unto his own. Here read not alone “his glorious body,” for
that is not the most literal translation, but “the body of his glory;”
the body in which he enjoys and reveals his glory. Our Savior had a
body here in humiliation; that body was like ours in all respects
except that it could see no corruption, for it was undefiled with sin;
that body in which our Lord wept, and sweat great drops of blood, and
yielded up his spirit, was the body of his humiliation. He rose again
from the dead, and he rose in the same body which ascended up into
heaven, but he concealed its glory to a very great extent, else had he
been too bright to be seen of mortal eyes. Only when he passed the
cloud, and was received out of sight, did the full glory of his body
shine forth to ravish the eyes of angels and of glorified spirits.
Then was it that his countenance became as the sun shining in its
strength. Now, beloved, whatever the body of Jesus may be in his
glory, our present body which is now in its humiliation is to be
conformed unto it; Jesus is the standard of man in glory. “We shall be
like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Here we dwell in this body
of our humiliation, but it shall undergo a change, “in a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
changed.” Then shall we come into our glory, and our body being made
suitable to the glory state, shall be fitly called the body of glory.
We need not curiously pry into the details of the change, nor attempt
to define all the differences between the two estates of our body; for
“it doth not yet appear what we shall be,” and we may be content to
leave much to be made known to us hereafter. Yet though we see through
a glass darkly, we nevertheless do see something, and would not shut
our eyes to that little. We know not yet as we are known, but we do
know in part, and that part knowledge is precious. The gates have been
ajar at times, and men have looked awhile, and beheld and wondered.
Three times, at least, human eyes have seen something of the body of
glory. The face of Moses, when he came down from the mount, shone so
that those who gathered around him could not look thereon, and he had
to cover it with a veil. In that lustrous face of the man who had been
forty days in high communion with God, you behold some gleams of the
brightness of glorified manhood. Our Lord made a yet clearer
manifestation of the glorious body when he was transfigured in the
presence of the three disciples. When his garments became bright and
glistering, whiter than any fuller could make them, and he himself was
all aglow with glory, his disciples sew end marvelled. The face of
Stephen is a third window as it were through which we may look at the
glory to be revealed, for even his enemies as they gazed upon the
martyr in his confession of Christ, saw his face as it had been the
face of an angel. Those three transient gleams of the morning light
may serve as tokens to us to help us to form some faint idea of what
the body of the glory of Christ and the body of our own glory will be.
entire sermon )
The Christian who lives above
draws closer to heaven.
Frozen Heads - A newspaper article told about a
California mathematician with a life-threatening brain tumor who wants
to have his head quick-frozen while he is still alive. The process is
known as cryonic suspension. The man believes that scientists will
discover a way to cure his tumor and attach his head to a healthy
body. He is quoted as saying,
"Everyone should be immortal. I am
dying and want to continue to live."
We can't fault that man for wanting
to live forever in a healthy body. But we seriously question his
method of fulfilling his desire. First, he has no assurance that this
expensive procedure will work. Second, even if it did, its benefits
would be only temporary. His new body and old head would die
There is a way, however, to secure all the benefits that he desires.
It is to receive Jesus as his Savior. When Christ returns to this
earth, everyone who has trusted in Him will get a new body that will
last forever and will never be subjected to disease or death.
According to the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ "will transform our
lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body" (Phil.
With a new, glorified body guaranteed to those in Christ, who would
want a "frozen head"? -- R W De Haan (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
He is coming! I shall know Him,
Jesus, my beloved Lord!
Changed forever to His likeness -
Oh, what joy this will afford! - Dimmock
Because Christ arose with a new
We are guaranteed a new body.
EXERTION OF THE POWER: kata ten energeian tou dunasthai (PPN) auton:
(Isa 25:8; 26:19; Hos 13:14; Mt 22:29; 28:18; Jn 5:25, 26, 27, 28, 29;
11:24, 25, 26; 1Cor 15:25, 26, 27,53, 54, 55, 56; Eph 1:19,20; Rev
1:8,18; 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
Literally this verse reads
"according to the energy of His being able". Not "out of"
but "according to" as one who is incredibly wealthy gives generously.
And this is the same "energy" that created the entire universe, so we
can be sure He is able to complete that which He began in each and
John Eadie comments that...
The language implies that this
change of our bodies is the special function which Christ shall
discharge at His coming. We look for Him to do this—we anticipate it
at His advent. (The
Epistle to the Philippians - online commentary at Google Books)
By (according to)
(kata) means not out of, not just a portion of, but in
proportion to His great mercy. If I am a billionaire and I give you
ten dollars, I have given you out of my riches, but if I give you a
million dollars, I have given to you according to my riches.
The first is a portion, while the second is a proportion of. So in
proportion to the energy presents a picture of indescribable power to
accomplish the goal of glorification of our earthly bodies.
from en = in + érgon = work) describes that
which is effective in causing something to happen or is able to bring
about. Energeia is power in exercise, used only of superhuman
power. Energeia means God's operative power which is effective
in causing this glorious event to transpire in His perfect timing.
gives us our English word “energy”. Although energeia
usually describes the working of God, it is also used of Satan’s empowering
“the lawless one” (the antichrist).
(dunamai cf our English word "dynamic" - see study of
dunamis) means to have power by
virtue of inherent ability and resources and so to be able.
Paul notes not only the power of
God as it resides in Him, but the power as it puts itself into act.
THAT HE HAS
EVEN TO SUBJECT ALL THINGS TO HIMSELF: kai hupotaxai (AAN) auto ta
If any one doubts the power of
Christ to do this transformation, Paul replies that he has power “even
to subject all things to Himself.”
from hupó = under + tasso
= arrange in orderly manner) means to arrange in order of rank or to
manage and so to place under one's authority.
means to submit (to
yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. It is
important to note that many of the NT uses are in the passive
voice with a middle sense which signifies the voluntary
subjection of oneself to the will of another. Husbands and wives
both need to understand the voluntary nature of the submission
called for in the marital relationship lest it be misapplied.
was a military term
meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal, both
troops or ships. In this sense hupotasso described the arrangement of
military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out
Inherent in the idea of arranging troop
divisions in a military fashion under the command of the leader was
that in this state of subordination they were now subject to the
orders of their commander. In this sense hupotasso speaks of the
subjection of one individual under or to another. In non-military use,
described a voluntary
attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, or
carrying a burden.
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Creator and Sustainer of all has the power to order the universe and
will make "all things" in the universe subject to Himself and then
having taken the universe captive will offer it up to God the Father,
then comes the end, when He
delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, (when will this occur?)
when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He
must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet
(this will occur at the end of the
The last enemy that will be abolished is death (see Rev 20:14 where
"death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire"). For HE HAS PUT
ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All
things are put in subjection," it is evident that He (speaking of
God the Father) is excepted Who put all things in subjection to Him
(God the Son). And when all things are subjected to Him (at the end of
then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One (God the
Father) Who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all. (1Cor 15:24-28)
And the power by which He can bring
about this subjection of "all things", is the same power by
which He can raise our bodies out of the grave. It is the same power He has to
make us like Himself, to conform us to the body of His glory. That is
our Lord's promise and our Hope. Such unshakable
certitude, begs the question...
Where is your focus?
on heaven or on earth?
Don't be distracted by the present
but passing world to the point that you miss the encouraging truth
of the blessed hope of a glorified body in a heavenly home.
Jesus is “able to save” (Heb 7:25-note).
He is “able to aid” (Heb 2:18-note).
He is “able to keep” (Jude 1:24). And here in Phil 3:21 we learn He is
able to subject all things to Himself.
Vincent notes that
in this verse...
is more than merely subdue. It is
to bring all things within His divine economy; to marshal them all
under Himself in the new heaven and the new earth in which shall dwell
righteousness. Hence the perfected heavenly state as depicted by John
is thrown into the figure of a city, an organized commonwealth. The
verb is thus in harmony with Phil 3:20. The work of God in Christ is
therefore not only to transform, but to subject, and that not only the
body, but all things. See 1Cor. 15:25-27; Ro 8:19, 20; Eph. 1:10, 21,
The True Story
as told by
Dr. John Macarthur...
I want to
close by sharing with you a little story that really moved my
heart. It's a story of man who really lived, his name is Phocas.
He lived in the fourth century. He has been revered through the
years as a real precious saint of God, lived in Asia Minor. He
lived in the city of Sanopae and he had a little cottage outside
the city gate in which he grew a garden. The whole story of the
man is recorded by one of the ancient bishops and somehow has
found its way down through history. The story goes something
like this. Travelers passed his door almost all hours of the day
and night as they went in and out of the city gate. And by the
wholly ingenuity of love, he stopped as many of them as
possible. Were they not weary? Let them rest themselves, sitting
in his well-tended garden. Were they in need of a friendly word?
He would speak it to them in the dear Master's name. But then
quite suddenly one day life was all changed for Phocas. Orders
went out from Emperor Diocletian that the Christians must be put
to death. When the persecutors entered Sanopae they were under
orders to find a man by the name of Phocas and kill him. About
to enter the city one hot afternoon, they passed in front of the
old man's cottage and garden by the gate. In his innocence, he
treated them as though they were his warmest friends, begging
them to pause a while and rest themselves. They consented. So
warm and gracious was the hospitality they received that when
their host invited them to stay the night and go on their way
refreshed the next day, they agreed to do so. "And what is
your business?" said Phocas unsuspectingly. And then they told
him that they would answer his question if he would regard it as
a secret. Well it was obvious to them by now that he was a man
to be trusted. Who were they? Why they were the soldiers of Rome
searching for a certain Phocas who was a Christian. And please,
if their kind host knew him, would he be so good as to help them
identify him? After all, he was a dangerous follower of this
Jesus about whom the Christians talked and he must be executed
immediately. "Oh, I know him well," said Phocas quietly. "And by
the way, he's quite near. Let's attend to it in the morning."
His guests having retired, Phocas sat thinking. Escape? That
would be easy. He had only to leave under cover of darkness and
at daybreak he could be at least 20 miles away and he knew
fellow Christians who would give him hospitality by hiding him.
And when the persecution had passed, he could reappear and once
again cultivate his little garden. The decision to flee into
safety or stay unto death was apparently made without struggle
or delay. We can only imagine what he was thinking. Out in his
garden Phocas went and began digging in the middle of the night.
Was there any earthly thing he loved better than this little
plot of ground, the odor of the humus, the feel of the soil, the
miracle of fertility? What were his thoughts as he went on
digging? Well, there was still time to run away but the Savior
didn't run. He didn't run from Gethsemane and He didn't run from
Calvary. Or perhaps he thought of his fellow Christians to whom
he might go for rest, would not his coming endanger them? And as
for these executioners that now were soundly sleeping under his
roof, they were, after all, only men who were carrying out
orders, and if they failed to find their man, their own lives
likely as not would be taken and they would die in their sins.
Deeper and deeper Phocas dug. Before dawn he was done and there
it was, his own grave. Morning came and with it the waking of
the executioners. "I am Phocas," he said calmly. And we have it
on the word of the Christian bishop who recorded the story that
the men stood motionless in astonishment. They couldn't believe
it. And when they did believe it, they obviously were reluctant
to perform an execution without mercy on a man who had shown
them nothing but mercy. But it was a duty, he reminded them,
that they were required to perform. And he was not bitter at
them. Besides, death did not terrify him, his heart was filled
with hope of heaven. Toward them he bore nothing but the love of
Christ and moments later it was all over. The sword had done its
work and the body of Christ's love mastered man lay in the
stillness of death in the garden he loved so dearly.
The hope of heaven