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

I. THE SUBJECT OF THE PROCESS. In our present fallen state the bodies, even of the saints, exhibit marks of degradation, and furnish the causes by which that degradation is manifested.

1. Our bodies, as they were created, so are they now supported, by nutriment derived from the earth on which we tread.

2. They are liable to be painfully affected by various elements and agencies of physical nature.

3. They are subject to manifold injuries, and sufferings, and diseases.

4. They are ultimately destined to return to the dust from whence they were taken.

5. On these accounts, and with a tacit comparison of what the body is with what it was, with what it would have been, if sin had not marred it — and with what it shall be — that the apostle terms it the body of our humiliation, but too sadly in keeping with the fallen and degraded soul, till renewed by the grace of the Almighty Spirit.


1. Not an absolute change, but a transformation and modification. This presupposes and implies the doctrine of the resurrection.

2. The model, according to which this change is accomplished, is nothing less than the glorified humanity of Christ.

III. THE AGENCY. Surely He who made that which was not can make that which has been to be again. And, therefore, the text refers us to the Omnipotence of God. So wondrous a change is only explicable on the hypothesis of miracle.

IV. THE LESSONS. The doctrine is —

1. Highly illustrative of the glory of the Divine attributes.

(1) How glorious will be that wisdom, which, through all the mutations of time shall keep its eye upon those integral and ultimate parts of the human body, which are essential to its identity, through all their various transitions, and which will collect those scattered particles and recombine them into a beauteous frame.

(2) How glorious that power which will accomplish that purpose.

(3) How glorious that justice which will sooner or later render to every man in his body according to what he hath done.

(4) How glorious that mercy which first makes men saints and constitutes them citizens of heaven, and finally admits them to the city of which they are made free by grace.

2. Calls upon us to remember and recognize with devout gratitude our special obligation to the Christian revelation, which brings this "life" and this "immortality," not only of the spirit but of the body, "to light."

3. Furnishes a powerful motive to submission when we are called upon to suffer bodily infirmity.

4. Affords an antidote against the tormenting fear of death for ourselves in ordinary life, and in the common process of human decay and mortality, as well as a strong consolation on the occasion of the removal of our beloved friends from time to eternity.

5. Shows us the fitness and propriety of that decent and reverential respect, which in Christian lands is ordinarily paid to the interment even of the mortal remains of departed and glorified friends?

6. Ought to convince us of the necessity of glorifying God with our bodies as well as our spirits.

(Jabez Bunting, D. D.)

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 Raiser of the Dead
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