James Nisbet Commentary - Philippians 3:20 - 3:21

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James Nisbet Commentary - Philippians 3:20 - 3:21


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

LOOKING FOR THE SAVIOUR

‘For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; 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.’

Php_3:20-21

There are many important truths which concern us all contained in these words of St. Paul. Just notice what we have in these words. This Apostle tells us we are to look for Him from heaven. That was what St. Paul said to the Philippians—if he were here he would say the same to you, he would say we are to look for Jesus Christ from heaven.

I. What is the purpose of our looking for Him?—When we look for a person we expect him to come to us, and so, if the Philippians were looking for the Lord Jesus Christ, they would have a certain purpose in view. The purpose is stated here. It is to change our vile or worthless bodies, our poor corruptible bodies, of which St. Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians 15. It is to change these bodies of ours, or transform them so as to alter their character altogether, not to take away their identity, but to make a real change—a change that will make them like unto the glorious body of our Lord. His glorious body is His resurrected body.

II. The power of His appearing.—Then we are told of the power which is one of the most important points in this passage, ‘the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.’ Now take this passage in connection with what we read in 1 Corinthians 15., where we are told that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death, so that when we talk of death, or when we pass a cemetery or place where the dead are laid, we should be very solemn indeed. By the last enemy is also meant the worst enemy, and you will all agree that death is an awful enemy indeed.

III. And the purpose of all this is that God may be all in all. God the Father is to predominate; and so we can see that the manhood or womanhood that we possess in this world will all be subjected to God the Father. And can we wish it to be subjected to any one else?

Rev. J. J. H. S. Pennington.

Illustration

‘About the nature of the spiritual body it were useless for us to speculate. It is enough to be sure that it will be perfectly adapted for the occupations and engagements which will be found in the presence of God in heaven. And it is enough for us to know that it will be fashioned like to the glorious body of the Redeemer Himself. What more can we want?’

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE CHRISTIAN’S HOME

The comparison instituted is both appropriate and beautiful. ‘Our conversation, our citizenship, or our ideal life as citizens, is in heaven.’ There is our home, our native land.

I. The true-hearted, the saintly, the noble-minded throughout the ages, have sought it whilst they lived on earth. They have, as it were, breathed its atmosphere whilst they dwelt here below.

II. The children of God set their affection upon things above; that ‘where their treasure is, there are their hearts also.’

III. They look for the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Heaven would be nothing to them without Him ‘Who loved them and gave Himself for them.’ Well may they look for Him Who will admit them to the heavenly Jerusalem. ‘Their eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.’

Rev. F. K. Aglionby.

Illustration

‘It is the maintaining of this attitude of expectation which keeps us in the state of preparedness for the greatness of the glory that is coming. When Christ comes, He will find us ready—may He find us all ready! and why should it not be so?—not merely ready for judgment; but, rather, ready in character, in tone, and temper, and spirit, for association with Himself.’