Philippians 3:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

King James Bible
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Darby Bible Translation
for our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour,

World English Bible
For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

Young's Literal Translation
For our citizenship is in the heavens, whence also a Saviour we await -- the Lord Jesus Christ --

Philippians 3:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For our conversation is in heaven - That is, this is true of all who are sincere Christians. It is a characteristic of Christians, in contradistinction from those who are the "enemies of the cross," that their conversation is in heaven. The word "conversation" we now apply almost entirely to oral discourse. It formerly, however, meant conduct in general, and it is usually employed in this sense in the Scriptures; see the notes at Philippians 1:27, where the verb occurs, from which the noun here is derived. The word used here - πολίτευμα politeuma - is found nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, any public measure, administration of the state, the manner in which the affairs of a state are administered; and then the state itself, the community, commonwealth, those who are hound under the same laws, and associated in the same society. Here it cannot mean that their "conversation," in the sense of discourse or talking, was in heaven; nor that their "conduct" was in heaven - for this would convey no idea, and the original word does not demand it; but the idea is, that they were heavenly citizens, or citizens of the heavenly world, in contradistinction from a worldly community, They were governed by the laws of heaven; they were a community associated as citizens of that world, and expecting there to dwell.

The idea is, that there are two great communities in the universe - that of the world, and that of heaven: that governed by worldly laws and institutions, and that by the laws of heaven; that associated for worldly purposes, and that associated for heavenly or religious purposes; and that the Christian belonged to the latter - the enemy of the cross, though in the church, belonged to the former. Between true Christians, therefore, and others, there is all the difference which arises from belonging to different communities; being bound together for different purposes; subject to different laws; and altogether under a different administration. There is more difference between them than there is between the subjects of two earthly governments; compare Ephesians 2:6, note 19, note.

From whence also we look for the Saviour - From heaven. That is, it is one of the characteristics of the Christian that he believes that the Lord Jesus will return from heaven, and that he looks and waits for it. Other men do not believe this 2 Peter 3:4, but the Christian confidently expects it. His Saviour has been taken away from the earth, and is now in heaven, but it is a great and standing article of his faith that that same Saviour will again come, and take the believer to himself; see the John 14:2-3, note; 1 Thessalonians 4:1, note. This was the firm belief of the early Christians, and this expectation with them was allowed to exert a constant influence on their hearts and lives. It led them:

(1) to desire to be prepared for his coming;

(2) to feel that earthly affairs were of little importance, as the scene here was soon to close;

(3) to live above the world, and in the desire of the appearing of the Lord Jesus.

This was one of the elementary doctrines of their faith, and one of the means of producing deadness to the world among them; and among the early Christians there was, perhaps, no doctrine that was more the object of firm belief, and the ground of more delightful contemplation, than that their ascended Master would return. In regard to the certainty of their belief on this point, and the effect which it had on their minds, see the following texts of the New Testament; Matthew 24:42, Matthew 24:44; Luke 12:37; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:37; James 5:7-8; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20. It may be asked, with great force, whether Christians in general have now any such expectation of the second appearing of the Lord Jesus, or whether they have not fallen into the dangerous error of prevailing unbelief, so that the expectation of his coming is allowed to exert almost no influence on the soul.

In the passage before us, Paul says that it was one of the distinct characteristics of Christians that they looked for the coming of the Saviour from heaven. They believed that he would return. They anticipated that important effects would follow to them from his second coming. So we should look. There may be, indeed, a difference of opinion about the time when he will come, and about the question whether he will come to reign "literally, on the earth - but the fact that Christ will return to our world is common ground on which all Christians may meet, and is a fact which should be allowed to exert its full influence on the heart. It is a glorious truth - for what a sad world would this be, and what a sad prospect would be before the Christian, if the Saviour were never to come to raise his people from their graves, and to gather his redeemed to himself! The fact that he will come is identified with all our hopes. It is fitted to cheer us in trial; to guard us in temptation; to make us dead to the world; to lead us to keep the eye turned toward heaven.

Philippians 3:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
January 27. "This one Thing I Do" (Phil. Iii. 13).
"This one thing I do" (Phil. iii. 13). One of Satan's favorite employees is the switchman. He likes nothing better than to side-track one of God's express trains, sent on some blessed mission and filled with the fire of a holy purpose. Something will come up in the pathway of the earnest soul, to attract its attention and occupy its strength and thought. Sometimes it is a little irritation and provocation. Sometimes it is some petty grievance we stop to pursue or adjust. Sometimes it is somebody
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Laid Hold of and Laying Hold
'I follow after if that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended of Christ Jesus.'--PHIL. iii. 12. 'I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ.' That is how Paul thinks of what we call his conversion. He would never have 'turned' unless a hand had been laid upon him. A strong loving grasp had gripped him in the midst of his career of persecution, and all that he had done was to yield to the grip, and not to wriggle out of it. The strong expression suggests, as it seems to me, the suddenness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Do You Know Him?
Have I imagined emotions which would not be natural? I think not. The most cool and calculating would be warmed with desires like these. Methinks what I have now pictured before you will wake the echoes in your breasts, and you will say, "Ah, it is even so! It is because Christ loved me and gave himself for me that I want to know him; it is because he has shed his blood for me and has chosen me that I may be one with him for ever, that my soul desires a fuller acquaintance with him." Now may God,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

The Power of Christ Illustrated by the Resurrection
Beloved, how intimately is the whole of our life interwoven with the life of Christ! His first coming has been to us salvation, and we are delivered from the wrath of God through him. We live still because he lives, and never is our life more joyous than when we look most steadily to him. The completion of our salvation in the deliverance of our body from the bondage of corruption, in the raising of our dust to a glorious immortality, that also is wrapped up with the personal resurrection and quickening
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Cross References
1 Corinthians 1:7
so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 15:48
As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.

Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

Philippians 1:27
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Colossians 3:1
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Hebrews 12:22
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

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