Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

our citizenship (v.20) — strong emphasis on “our”

citizenship (v.20) = the condition or life of a citizen, a noun — same word as conduct (verb) in Philippians 1:27.

The stability and security of the citizen under Roman law filled the thoughts of the time with high conceptions of citizenship and its value. Philippi, being a Roman colony, and its citizens therefore Roman citizens, thought in terms of citizenship. Paul seizes this fact as a good opportunity to illustrate to the saints their heavenly citizenship with its privileges and responsibilities. What a contrast between those mentioned in 3:18-19, who were citizens of this earth, and those spoken of in 3:20-21, who are citizens of heaven! — Wuest, page 102.

our citizenship is (v.20) = exists — a present reality, being, a fixed location

heaven (v.20) — plural in Greek — all the heavenly regions contrasted with earth

from which (v.20) — heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

wait = expect eagerly

The word “look” [wait] is the translation of a Greek word made up of three words put together, the word, “to receive,” which speaks of a welcoming or appropriating reception such as is tendered to a friend who comes to visit one; the word “off,” speaking here of the withdrawal of one’s attention from other objects, and the word “out,” used here in a perfective sense which intensifies the already existing meaning of the word. The composite word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and eager waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to take His Bride to heaven with Him, the attention being withdrawn from all else and concentrated upon the Lord Jesus. — Wuest, pages 102-103.

Savior (v.20) — the capacity in which He is coming — to complete our salvation (glorification) — the redemption of our bodies — also saving us from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

transform (v.21) = fashion anew (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

lowly (humble) body (v.21) = body of our humiliation — subject to suffering, indignity and the effects of sin

conformed (v.21) = transformed — having the same form

His glorious body (v.21) — the body of His glory, His resurrected body with His glory manifested

according to the working (v.21) = according to the energy of His being able — according to the exercise of the power that is His

subdue (v.21) = to arrange under one’s authority, as a general marshals his forces

subdue all things unto Himself (v.21) — perhaps referring to the Father, but all will be subject to both the Father and the Son (1 Corinthians 15:25).

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