Exegetical Notes: Phil 3.21

Here’s a new series that will no doubt be ongoing. I think it will prove to be a fun one! In it I will simply cut and paste a very small portion of the exegetical work I do to prepare for a sermon. OK, it may not be purely exegetical, it may simply be a note or something else. However, the point is that it will be a “behind-the-scenes” look. A thought or a bit of research that may not explicitly be in the final sermon but has influenced the sermon in some fashion. Enough preamble…

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On Philippians 3.21

“He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.”

  • When Christ was resurrected his physical body was transformed into a spiritual body. This does not mean that Christ no longer had any part in the corporeal, rather, he was freed from the weakness and limitations and humiliation of the flesh, so that the new mode of his existence could be identified with that of the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17; 1 Cor 15.45) – Christ vanishes from the sight of His disciples on road to Emmaus once they recognize him – once knew Christ according to the flesh, now according to the Spirit
    • in Christ’s resurrection, the human project is complete. Humanity is finally taken up to partake in the very life of God. The mortal puts on immortality. This was always the goal for human creatures, to grow up into the fullness of Christ, to become partakers of the Divine life. In Christ this has happened and it happened via suffering and death whereby death itself is swallowed up. Suffering and death are transformed in Christ. Suffering is the glory of the Christian. Life is hidden in death, so that death becomes for us the way to incorruptible life. While all of this happens in Christ’s own person, he will return and raise us up with him, so that what he has done for us will be done in us and we will be transformed. We will become, finally, truly human creatures. We will, in the fullness of our humanity, be taken up into the life of God so that God will be all in all.
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