Philippians 3:20-21 “Our Vile Bodies Changed”




Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23





Php 3:20-21 – “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.”



For our conversation is in heaven;

For the believer, although we are not yet in God’s presence in Heaven, we already have our “conversation” (citizenship) there. Heaven, in the very presence of Christ, is our eternal home; it is where we belong. Our current habitation (this fallen earth) is not our home; this is why we are described as being “strangers and pilgrims on the earth”.

Heb 11:13 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”


As citizens of heaven, our thoughts, words and actions should reflect our true homeland. This includes living Godly lives in the midst of the sins of this world…

1Pe 2:11 – “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”




from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:


The same heaven that is our eternal home, is also the home of our Lord. It is from this same heaven that Christ will descend at His second coming.




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.”


Christ at His second coming will transform our fallen sinful bodies of flesh, making it comparable to the glorious body of Christ. The glorification of our bodies is foreshadowed at the Mt. of Transfiguration where our glorified Christ is seen in all His glory…

Mar 9:1-4 – “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.”

The same power that Christ exercises as He reigns over all, is the same power that He uses to glorify our bodies. He is the One, who is able to control the events of our lives, the angels of heaven, the spiritual powers of darkness of this world, and even Satan Himself. He is the same Lord that can easily glorify our bodies and deliver us from all the effects, and even the presence, of sin.





What a day that shall be. For the Christian, our coming eternity with the Lord and receipt of a glorified body are two truths that bring encouragement to their heart. How wonderful it is to know that someday, we will be delivered from the presence and results of sin and live eternally in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

Truly, what a day that shall be!

1Co 15:51-54 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”



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About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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