“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.”
This passage describes two changes in our physical body at death or the rapture. Our bodies will be “transformed” and “conformed.”
“Who will transform our lowly body”
At Christ’s return, He will “transform” the Christian’s mortal body so that it will conform to the resurrection body. The word “transform” means to change in fashion. The outward appearance is changed. At this transformation, these bodies of ours will be free from sin. Our outer casing will change at the rapture or resurrection of the body.
“Lowly body” is a body of lowliness. This term calls attention to the weakness of the body. Presently our bodies are susceptible to disease, fatigue, age, accident, and death. Our bodies were made low by the fall of Adam. Adam’s mind before the fall functioned perfectly but afterward became disabled. As a result, all of Adam’s sons carry imperfect bodies with them every day. This body humiliates us.
All of that will change at the rapture of living believers and the resurrection of those who previously died. God will transform these bodies into “glorified” bodies that will reflect life in eternity. We will trade in this body for a resurrected body. In the meantime, we need to take care of it. It is like maintaining a garden. If we do not weed regularly, weeds will take over the garden. If we do not take care of the body, the “weeds” will take over. This body is mortal. It is dying while we live. Those of us who have passed 30 know it. We get an inkling of it when we pass 20. We know it for sure when we pass 40!!
The first resurrection (for believers) and the rapture take place at the same time. There will be no glorified body for those without Christ. They are stuck with the body they have.
Our physical bodies have a glorious future beginning at the first resurrection.
Although our bodies are subject to sin, disease, and death, they have a glorious future. We have a body of humiliation at present. It humiliates us! It loses teeth and hair. Eyes dim. Limbs lose their function. It is humiliating to die. However, there is a difference between humiliation and glory. In the future, we are going to have a body of glory. It will be like the glorified, resurrected body of the Lord Jesus.
This is a verse that I stand on in the journey of recovery from addiction. First, "who will" is a promise from God I can rely upon. "Humble state" reflects that the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction can bring us to a point of humility where we realize that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only answer to overcoming and being victorious against the challenges the enemy can bring against us through addiction. "His glory" represents the victory that can be had through Him in this life over addiction. Finally, "subject all to Himself" is a reminder that even in the darkest places that addiction can take us spiritually, if we turn to Him and ask Him to come into our lives in a very real and meaningful way He will subject even the most devastating and consuming addiction to Himself restoring the addict through His love to the person and witness that Christ desires for us to be.
Stephen, I am blessed that you are in the process of recovery.
What are your comments regarding p.375 of the Divine Conspiracy, written by Dallas Willard. “We know even now, and by experience, the reality of a life that is not of the physical body. As we age we should become obviously more glorious. Ageing, accordingly, will become a process not of losing, but of gaining. As our physical body fades out, our glory body approaches and our spiritual substance grows richer and deeper.”
Denise, I am not sure about the context of the quote from Willard. If he is simply saying that presently our physical body is fading but our inner life needs to shine better, I have no problem with that.
Willard does have doctrinal questions, however.