The Humiliation and Glorification of the Body
Philippians 3:21
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body…


1. If you remember their origin. They are formed from the earth. We are indeed "curiously wrought," and exhibit proofs of the goodness, wisdom, and power of God; but let the body be analyzed, and decomposed, and wherein does it differ from the dust we despise? "God knoweth our frame and remembereth that we are dust." What a fine lesson of humility is here.

2. Our bodies are tainted with sin and therefore vile. Always connect with the meanness of your origin the idea that you are infected with iniquity. We have unclean bodies which are the prisons of our souls. You have but to reflect on your proneness to impurity, to forgetfulness of God, and what but for Adam's fall you might have been, to warrant your saying "behold I am vile."

3. Our bodies are exposed to sickness, and destined to death. "Thou shalt eat bread in sorrow till thou return to the ground." All this is true of all, and yet how many try to hide it in the elaborate trickery of dress and the disgraceful vanities of the age. The body is only valuable as the casket of an inestimable jewel.

II. THE ENNOBLING CHANGE WHICH SHALL PASS ON THAT WHICH IS HOW SUBJECT TO HUMILIATION. It is not intended for our state of vileness to last. To shut out as infidels do the prospects of futurity is an act of unparalleled madness. In the gospel life and immortality are brought to light. But the specific hope of the text is not for those who are "enemies of the Cross," etc., but for those who "count all things loss," etc.

1. The time when this great and ennobling change is to occur. At the coming of Christ at the general resurrection; when the universe shall sink in years, the elements melt with fervent heat, when the last moment of time shall pass, and the whole of our race be assembled.

2. The precise nature of this change — like unto the Saviour's glorious body.

(1) In spirituality. The earthliness of our bodies will be removed, and made light and buoyant, no more gross and material; "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."(2) In holiness. On earth He was "holy, harmless, undefiled" and is so now. None can enter heaven without holiness: therefore our bodies will be purged of sin.

(3) In immortality. "Christ being raised from the dead dicta no more." "Because I live, ye shall live also." The immortal Saviour shall reign over an immortal people.

3. The specific agency by which this great change shall be effected.

(1) By Him whom we call Lord and God. If there be any who are ready to take Him down from His Divine elevation let them mark this Divine prerogative. "As the Father raiseth up the dead," etc. (Romans 14:9).

(2) By His mighty power. What power must he have who raises the dead?

(3) The particular principle is that by which He is able to subdue all things.

III. THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS CHANCE OUGHT TO BE MADE A MATTER OF JOYFUL EXPECTATION. The great sin of men is not looking forward. For time they are ready to give all; for eternity nothing. But we Christians look for the coming of Christ —

1. As we hate sin, because we shall then be perfectly holy.

2. As we desire communion with God, because we shall see Him as He is, and be made like Him.

3. As we wish to arrive at the true grandeur and perfection of our nature, because we shall be changed into the image of moral beauty.

4. As we desire the perfect triumphs of the Redeemer's kingdom, because then all things shall be put under His feet.

5. As we desire a meeting with all the great and good, because then we shall rejoice in an association with the family of God forever.

(J. Parsons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.

The Body of Our Humiliation
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