VERSE20:  “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“For our conversation is in heaven;”
Literally:  “For our citizenship is in heaven.”–Rather, “our state” or “our country; our citizenship, our life as citizens.“ We are but pilgrims on earth; how then should we “mind earthly things?”

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.

        CONVERSATION:  (Grk.–politeuma)–This Greek word is found nowhere else in the N.T. 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 bound under the same laws, and associated in the same society.” See 1:27, where the verb occurs, from which the noun here is derived.

         The inscriptions use it either for citizenship or for commonwealth. But Christians are citizens of a kingdom not of this world (John 18:36).  Paul is attempting to impress upon these Philippians why a believer is not to live with only the things of this world in view is that they are actually citizens of another country–heaven.  Believers need to recognize that their residence on earth is only temporary; therefore, they should not become so attached to this world that they treat temporal things as if they were eternal.
         The basic idea is, that there are two great communities in the universe—that of the world, that is governed by worldly laws and institutions, and that of heaven; that is governed by the laws of heaven; 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 (comp. Eph. 2:6, 19).

         Here was a picture the Philippians could understand.  Philippi was a Roman colonia (colony).  Roman-style clothing was worn; Roman magistrates governed; Roman justice was administered; Latin was spoken.  It was as if a fragment of Rome had been dropped into a spot in Greece, or where ever such a colonia existed.  Even in the most remote regions, they remained unshakably Roman.  
         Paul was proud of his Roman citizenship and found it a protection. The Philippians were also proud of their Roman citizenship.  Paul is saying to these Philippian believers, “Just as the Roman colonists never forget that they belong to Rome, you must never forget that you are citizens of heaven; and your conduct must match your citizenship.”

                 IS:  (Grk.–huparchei)–Literally:  “has its existence.”

                IN HEAVEN:  (Grk.–en ouranois)-Literally:  “in the heavenlies.”

“from whence also we look for the Savior”
Literally:  “From where also we earnestly wait for a Savior.”  Who will return from heaven. 

        LOOK FOR:   (Grk.–apekdechomai)-Literally:  “eagerly await.”  This means that a time of reckoning is coming.  Perhaps there is no greater determining factor in the way a person lives than what he thinks about personal accountability.  Therefore, the qualities one builds into his life are more important than the possessions and pleasure of this world. 

         This vividly pictures Paul's eagerness for the Second Coming of Christ as the normal attitude of the Christian colonist whose home is 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, (II Pet. 3:4,) but the Christian confidently expects it.
         Our Savior has been taken away from the earth, and is now in heaven, but it is a great and standing article of our faith that this same Savior will again come, and take the believer to Himself (John 14:2-3; I Thess. 4:14). 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 leads us:
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.

         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 their souls?     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 Savior 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.
         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.  Hard as it is sometimes for the believer to keep his perspective straight, he must realize that everything he sees is passing; only that which is not seen has eternal significance. 
         Those who do not believe there is any accountability live for the things of this earth because theirs is an eat-drink-and-be-merry philosophy.  The Christian, however, expects the Lord to return and therefore honors Him during this life, not only because he knows he will need to give an accounting, but also because he appreciates all that Christ has done for him.  The Christian sees that the spiritual qualities of life are what really count, not just what one experiences on a human plane.

“the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Literally:{The} Lord Jesus Christ.”  Paul left no doubt who the Savior is: “The Lord Jesus Christ.”  This is the Name that is above every name, and Paul said a day is coming when every knee will bow to Him and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord (2:10-11).  The Lord Jesus Christ is God, and He will ultimately be victorious over all.

“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.”

“Who shall change our vile body,”
Literally:  “Who will transform the body of humiliation.”--Who will refashion, or alter the fashion and condition of the body of our humiliation; this body that is dead—adjudged to death because of sin, and must be putrefied, dissolved, and decomposed. I Cor. 5:1, and following.  It will then be purer than the unspotted firmament, brighter than the luster of the stars and, which exceeds all parallel, which comprehends all perfection.

        CHANGE:  (Grk.–metaschēmatisei)–Literally:  “will transfigure; will transform.”

This passage needs more accurate translation. It should be, who shall change the fashion of the body of our humiliation, to be conformed to the body of His glory.

        VILE BODY:  (Grk.–sōma tēs tapeinōseōs)–Literally: “body of the humiliation.”  This Greek word (tapeinōseōs) here rendered as “vile” and here used in reference to the body means “a humble station” or “humility.”  It is not that the body itself is evil, but that it has been affected by evil.; of as it is in its present state, being subject to its infirmities, disease, and death. Because sin entered into the human race, the body of each person experiences degenerative processes which result in death.

         It is different far from what it was when man was created, and from what it will be in the future world.  Because sin entered into the human race, the body of each person experiences degenerative processes which result in death.  The only exceptions are those who will be living at the time the Lord returns in the air, for they will be changed without having to experience death (I Cor. 5:12).  Paul says that it is one of the objects of the Christian hope and expectation that this body, so subject to infirmities and sicknesses, will be changed. 
        When Paul referred to our “vile body” he was not agreeing with the Greek philosophy of his time.  Greek philosophers taught a dualism:  that is, that matter is evil and the immaterial, or spiritual, is good. This philosophy seems to have infected many Christians of Paul’s day.  Some thought the body was evil because it is matter and that one should not marry because such a relationship expresses the desire of an evil body.  Paul corrected this fallacious thinking in I Cor. chapter 7. It was even thought by some Christians that the soul and spirit would be taken to be with the Lord, but the body would not since it is evil.  Paul countered this fallacious thinking in I Cor. chapter 5.  There he showed that if there is no such thing as a resurrection body, the Christ has not been raised, and if He had not been raised, we are still in our sins (I Cor. 15:16-17).

        The KJV here is dangerously misleading. In the KJV it speaks of our “vile” body.  In modern speech, that would mean that the body is an utterly evil and horrible thing; but in Sixteenth-Century English, the word “vile” still retained the meaning of its derivation from the Latin word vilis, which means nothing worse than “cheap,” or “valueless.”

“that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,”
Literally:  “For it to be conformed to His body of glory.” That it may bear a similar form to the body of His glory.

         That is: the bodies of true believers shall be raised up at the great day in the same likeness, immortality, and glory, of the glorified humanity of Jesus Christ; and be so thoroughly changed, as to be not only capable through their immortality of eternally existing, but also of the infinite spiritual enjoyments at the right hand of God.
         What change the body of the Redeemer underwent when He ascended to heaven we are not informed; nor do we know what is the nature, size, appearance, or form of the body which he now has. It is certain that it is adapted to the glorious world where he dwells; that it has none of the infirmities to which it was liable when here; that it is not subject, as here, to pain or death; that it is not sustained in the same manner. The body of Christ in heaven is of the same nature as the bodies of the saints will be in the resurrection, and which Paul calls “spiritual bodies,” (I Cor. 15:44); and it is doubtless accompanied with all the circumstances of splendor and glory which are appropriate to the Son of God.

         The idea here is that it is the object of the desire and anticipation of the Christian, to be made just like Christ in all things. Paul desires to resemble Christhim in moral character here, and to be like Him in heaven. Nothing else will satisfy him but such conformity to the Son of God; and when he shall resemble Him in all things, the wishes of his soul will be all met and fulfilled.    
         As we are now, our bodies are subject to change and decay, illness and death; the bodies of a state of humiliation compared with the glorious state of the risen Christ. But the day will come when we will lay aside this mortal body which we now possess and become like Christ Jesus Himself.  The hope of all Christians is that the day will come when their humanity will be changed into nothing less than the divinity of Christ, and when the necessary lowliness of mortality will be changed into the splendor of deathless life.

       FASHIONED:  (Grk.–summorphon)–Literally means, to “fashion anew,” or “transform.”  The result is that it will be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ; literally, “to be formed after the body of His glory.” 

“according to the working”--According to that energy, by which He can bring all things under subjection to Himself. Thus we find that the resurrection of the body is attributed to that power which governs and subdues all things, for nothing less than the energy that produced the human body at the beginning, can restore it from its lapsed and degraded state into that state of glory which it had at its creation, and render it capable of enjoying God throughout eternity. The thought of this glorious consummation was a subject of the highest joy and confidence amongst the primitive Christian. This earth was not their home; and they passed through things temporal so as not to lose those which were eternal.

        WORKING:  (Grk.–energian)–Literally: “energy.”–That is, such a change demands the exertion of vast power.  Our English word, “energy” comes from this Greek root word.

No creature can do it. But there is One who has power entrusted to Him over all things, and He can effect this great transformation in the bodies of men (comp. I Cor. 15:26-27).
1.      He can mold the mind and the heart to conformity to His own image, and also..
2.      He can transform the body so that it shall resemble His. verything
3.      He can make subject to His will (Matt. 28:18; John 17:2; and,
4.      He that has this power can change our humbled and debased bodies, so that they shall put on the glorious appearance and form of that of the Son of God Himself.
What a contrast between our bodies here-frail, feeble, subject to sickness, decay, and corruption-and the body as it will be in heaven! And what glorious prospect awaits the weak and dying believer, in the future world!

“He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”
Literally: {Of] Him to be able even to subject all things to Himself.”

             HE IS ABLE:  (Grk.–dunasthai)–This is the root of our English word ðynamite.   The working is the manifestation and that fact that “he is able”  refers to the power.  The result is that “He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself;”  that is, bring all things unto subject to His authority.

In contrast to the antinomian party who lived for the present world and indulged their present wicked body, a Christian is occupied with his coming Lord and his promised deliverance when he will receive a glorious body suited for the presence of the Lord.  Because He is sovereign over all, Christ Jesus is able to accomplish the changing of a body affected by sin into a glorified body that will never experience decay or limitations.  All of this gives the believer an added impetus to live with eternity’s values in view rather than with only the pleasures of this world in view.