Jul 9, 2011

The change of our vile body - Philippians 3:21 - Robert Hawker

"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." [Philippians 3:21]

When GOD the HOLY GHOST, in this scripture, by his servant the Apostle, saith, that CHRIST shall change our vile bodies; and this is said of the saints of GOD; nothing can be more evident, than that the bodies of regenerated believers, notwithstanding the holiness of the spirit, in being born again, whether in the grave, or alive, at the coming of CHRIST, are not changed by grace. If they were changed, they could not be said to be vile. If a perfection in part, even in the smallest part on the body, had taken place, at the regeneration of the spirit; that part, even in the thousandth degree, could no longer be said to be vile: neither could it be capable, as we see, and know it is, in every instance of corruption. Acts 13:36, 37. I conceive this to be so important a point of doctrine, and involves in it so many interesting consequences, that I pray the Reader not to pass away from it too hastily. It certainly is not very generally, if at all, attended to, or considered. The commonly received opinion, even by the godly, on this point is, that at regeneration, we are sanctified in part, both in body, and spirit. Whereas, if, as Paul saith here, CHRIST at his coming, will change our vile bodies; most certain it is, that no change whatever is made on the body at the new-birth, but the vast work is on the spirit only. And this is most plainly the case. The spirit at regeneration, is made as holy as it ever will be, being made a partaker of the divine nature; and having had given unto it, all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3, 4. And the body remains the same, unchanged by grace, but vile, and full of sin. And hence, when it drops to its original dust, it is expressly said to be sown in corruption, to be sown in weakness, to be sown a natural body. And hence, as CHRIST will change the vile bodies of his saints, which are alive at his coming: so, by his resurrection, he will raise up the bodies of his saints, which sleep in the dust, and which were sown in corruption. JESUS will raise them in incorruption, that they may be all fashioned like to his glorious body, whereby he is able, even to subdue all things unto himself. Oh precious JESUS! thou who art the resurrection and the life! May my flesh rest in hope of this assured blessedness!

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