Philippians 3:21

21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Read Philippians 3:21 Using Other Translations

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.
who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

What does Philippians 3:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Philippians 3:21

Who shall change our vile body
Which is defiled with sin, attended with frailty, and is mortal; and being dead, is sown and laid in the grave in corruption, weakness, and dishonour: in the Greek text it is, "the body of our humility"; sin has subjected the body to weakness, mortality, and death; and death brings it into a very low estate indeed, which is very humbling and mortifying to the pride and vanity man: now this vile body, in the resurrection morn, shall be stripped of all its vileness, baseness, and meanness; and be changed, not as to its substance, nor as to its form and figure, which shall always remain same, as did the substance and form of our Lord's body after his resurrection; but as to its qualities, it shall be changed from corruption to incorruption, ( 1 Corinthians 15:42 ) , from mortality to immortality, from weakness to power, from dishonour to glory, and be free from all sin: so the Jews say F2, that

``the evil imagination, or corruption of nature, goes along with man in the hour of death, but does not return with him when the dead arise:''

and this change will be made by the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, when he shall descend from heaven; who as he is the pledge, the first fruits, the exemplar, and meritorious cause, so he will be the efficient cause of the resurrection of the saints; who will be raised and changed by him, by his power, and by virtue of union to him:

that it might be fashioned like unto his glorious body;
or "the body of his glory", as it is now in heaven, and of which his transfiguration on the mount was an emblem and pledge; for glory, power, incorruption, and immortality, the bodies of the saints in the resurrection shall be like to Christ's, though not equal to it, and shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The Jews F3 have a notion, that

``the holy blessed God will beautify the bodies of the righteous in future time, like the beauty of the first Adam:''

but their beauty and glory will be greater than that, it will be like the glory of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, whose image they shall then bear: and whereas this requires almighty power, of which Christ is possessed, it will be done

according to the working,
the energy of his power and might; or as the Syriac version renders it, "according to his great power"; which was put forth in raising himself from the dead, and whereby he was declared to be the Son of God: and

whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself;
not only sin, Satan, and the world, but death and the grave; and so consequently able to raise the dead bodies of his saints, and to change the qualities of them, and make them like unto his own: and now who would but follow such persons, who are citizens of heaven, have their conversation there, look for Christ the Saviour from thence, ( Philippians 3:20 ) , who when he comes will raise the dead in Christ first, put such a glory on their bodies as is on his own, ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ) , and take them to himself, that where he is they may be also? see ( 14:3 ) ( Hebrews 6:12 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F2 Midrash Tillim apud Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. ver. l. 12. c. 2.
F3 Midrash Hanneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 69. 1.
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