PETER, PAUL & JACOB COMMENTARY SAMPLE PASSAGES AND VERSES

A Sample Passage from the Comments on Philippians:

Chapter 3

 

1.   As for the rest (or: For what remains), my brothers (= family; = fellow believers), continue rejoicing (be habitually glad and delighted) within [the] Lord [= Christ or Yahweh].  To be repeatedly writing the same things to you (or: To continue writing these very things for you) [is] surely not troublesome for me (or: delaying me or causing me to hesitate), and for you [it is] something to secure you from stumbling.

 

To be rejoicing is a familiar call from the NT writers.  I suggest that this is more than saying "Keep a positive attitude in all the pressures that you face."  I think that rejoicing is both a defense mechanism and an offensive tool, for it both protects our way of thinking while keeping depression at bay, and it also changes our very atmosphere.

 

Paul is repeating himself to them, but we all need to be reminded of where to focus and how to respond.  As he says, it secures them from stumbling over offenses along their paths.

 

2.  Constantly keep your eyes on and be aware of the dogs (= impudent, shameless or audacious people; scavengers without a master); habitually be observing so as to take heed of worthless workers (craftsmen of bad quality; laborers who are not as they ought to be); keep on seeing so as to continually observe and be aware of [the party of] the down-cision (the mutilation; the incision; the notching or cutting-into; the sacrificial meat-hacking; the wounding or maiming; or: = people who cut things down or off).

 

Here is one of the focuses: watch out for dogs.  The amplified definition on this word gives the best that scholars have come up with for its metaphorical use in this time and culture, and this seems to fit the following context.  We are told that the Jews called the Samaritans "dogs," and William Barclay says that there is a Rabbinic saying that classified the nations of the world as such.  Paul's reference to "worthless workers" would, I suggest, be about those within the called out community who are "building upon the foundation" of Christ.  Recall what he said in 1 Cor. 3:11-17 when he used the figure of "wood, hay and stubble."

 

In the next warning I have coined a word to express the literal elements of the Greek word, and to show the pun that Paul makes in Greek.  He is referring to the Jews who were in the flesh "the circum-cision," but the word that he uses to describe them would mean "the mutilation" (such as castration), or the other meanings given in the parenthetical expansion.  The meaning of "cutting off" could be a reference to his olive tree metaphor in Rom. 11:17, or the meaning of the meat-hacking could refer to animal sacrifices.  He is telling them to be aware that the Jews may infiltrate them and try to turn folks back to the old covenant, or the Jewish Christians who hold to also keeping the Law may try to mix Law in with grace.

 

3.  For you see, we ourselves are (exist being) The Circumcision: the people (or: those) continuously rendering sacred service in a spirit of God (or: by God's Breath-effect; to God's Spirit; with God's breath; [some MSS: service to God in spirit; p46 omits "God," so simply: serving in spirit]) and constantly making our boast (being loud-tongued, vaunting and exulting) within, and in union with, Christ Jesus; even folks (or: those) being people having been persuaded and thus continuing to put no confidence within flesh (= having no reliance upon what is physical: e.g., religious works or natural heritage; or: the estranged human nature; [comment: this could be a reference to animal sacrifices]).

 

This is a statement of the new reality, the new covenant, the Last Adam, the New Being.  We of the ethnic multitudes have been grafted into the olive tree to be producers of oil – the anointing (Rom. 11).  All nations and people groups who have been born into Christ's reign are now "The Circumcision: the people [that are] continuously rendering sacred service in a spirit of God, or, by God's Breath-effect, or, in God's breath and to His Spirit."  Paul said the same thing in Rom. 2:

 

 28.  For you see, the Jew is not the one in the visibly apparent or outwardly  manifest (or: For not he in the outward appearance is a Jew), neither [is] circumcision that [which is] visibly apparent (outwardly manifest) in flesh (= in body),

29.  but rather, a Jew [is] the one within the hidden [place] (or: [that which is] in the     

concealed [realm]), and circumcision [is] of [the] heart in union with Breath-effect (or: within [the] spirit), not in letter, whose praise (applause; full recommendation; [note play on words: Jew is a derivative of "Judah," which means "praise"]) [is] not from out of mankind (humanity), but rather from out of God.

 

Our boast is in Christ Jesus, not in our race or lineage – we "put no confidence within flesh," whether it be our nationality, our religious works, our human attributes, or (speaking of the Jewish and pagan religions) in animal sacrifices.

 

4.  Even though I, myself, continue holding (or: having) [grounds for] trust and confidence also within flesh, if any other man is in the habit of thinking (or: is constantly seeming) or presuming to have come to a settled persuasion, thus having confidence within [his] flesh, I to a greater degree (more so; for a better reason; rather more):

5.  in circumcision, on [the] eighth day; out of race (from posterity; by birth; as to class or species), of Israel; of Benjamin's tribe; a Hebrew out of the midst of [the] Hebrews (or: = a supreme Hebrew); in accordance to Law, a Pharisee (or: down from custom, a Pharisee);

6.  in accordance to zeal, one constantly pressing, pursuing and persecuting the called-out community; in accordance to fairness and equity in the way pointed out in the Law, one coming to be, of myself, without defect (one becoming blameless).

 

In vs. 4-6 Paul lists all the things of the flesh in which he could have put confidence – in this list he demonstrates that he was an elite of the elite among Israel – but in vs. 7-8 he repudiates all this:

 

7.  But to the contrary, whatever things (or: things which) were being gains (advantages; assets) to, for or in me, these things I have esteemed and now consider (or: regard) as a loss (a penalty; a forfeit; disadvantage; a bad bargain; a detriment) because of the Christ (or: on account of the Anointed One [= the Messiah]).

 

Here we should stop and consider: Paul had everything that many Christians today wish that they had – all the Jewish things: traditions, heritage, rituals, temple, etc.  And Paul considers all this as a loss, a disadvantage, a detriment!

 

8.  But further – indeed, then, as a matter of fact – I even am habitually considering (or: regarding) all things (all; everything) to be a loss (a disadvantage; a bad bargain; damage; a forfeit; a penalty) because of (on account of; for the sake of) the thing that is constantly holding things above and thus having all-surpassing value and superiority: that which pertains to and comes from the experience of the intimate knowledge of my Lord, Jesus Christ (or: of Christ Jesus, my Owner) – on account of and for the sake of Whom I undergo loss of (experience the forfeit of; receive as a disadvantage) all things (everything; the whole life-experience, environment and possessions) and I continue considering (or: regarding) them to be [either] a lot of refuse and filth (pieces of dung; a pile of manure) [or] things that are cast away from the table to the dogs (garbage), to the end that I may have the advantage of Christ (or: could maintain the gain of the Anointing; enjoy the assets of or make a profit from [Messiah]),

 

And why did he consider all old covenant things to be loss and a disadvantage?  Because of "the thing that is constantly holding above" all those things: "that which pertains to the experience of the intimate knowledge" of Jesus Christ.  Let that sink in: all outward religion, tradition and heritage are a bad bargain and a disadvantage when compared to KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ!  And not just "head knowledge," but intimate, experiential knowledge.

 

Note that Paul not only considers all the Jewish things a loss to him, but as being REFUSE, filth, dung, manure, excrement – things to be cast away!  The real advantage, gain, profit and asset is CHRIST!

 

9.  and may be found within Him (or: in union with Him) – not continuing having (or: holding) my pointed-out way (my fairness and equity; my relationships; my basis for what is right; my own righteousness) from out of the Law or custom, but to the contrary, the [fairness and equity which accord with the Way pointed-out] through means of Christ's faith (or: the trust-conviction which is Christ): the [covenant] fairness and equity in right relationships from being rightwised within the Way pointed out [which is] forth from out of the midst of God as a source [and is placed and thus based] upon that faith, confidence and trust –

 

And so now having Christ, then to be "found within Him, and in union with Him" (where the experiential, intimate knowledge is given), and thus have nothing to do with the Law.  Contrary to having the Law, is Christ's faith (or, as a genitive of apposition: the trust and faith which IS Christ) and the right relationships, fairness, equity of being rightwised (turned in the right direction) which come from the midst of God – that which is based upon Christ's faith and lives in a sphere of trust, and not upon keeping a law.  This is the new Reality.

 

10.  to intimately and experientially know Him, and the ability – even the power – of His resurrection and also the [other MSS: a] common sharing (participation; partnership and fellowship) of the results and from the effects of His experiences [note: these include good times/feelings and passions, as well as sufferings] – being a person that is being continuously conformed to (being progressively brought together with the form of; being habitually configured to) His death,

 

Paul returns again to what he said in vs. 8 about knowing Him, but here he adds, "and the ability – even the power – of His resurrection."  Then he also speaks of having an experiential partnership in His experiences.  These come from our union and solidarity with Christ, our being a part of Him (being His body), but also infers that He is in partnership and common sharing of our experiences as His body.  Furthermore, I suggest that this union with Christ is the only way in which we can be progressively conformed to His death.  It relates to our having been crucified in Him and buried with Him (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:4), but that spiritual reality is now existentially being lived out in our lives as we pour out our lives for others.

 

11.  since in some way I would arrive and meet down face-to-face unto

 

(or: if somehow I can attain the level [to be] into the midst of; or: if by any means I may meet with the corresponding sphere [leading] into) the out-resurrection (or: the arising and standing back up again from out of the midst) – the one forth from out of the midst of dead folks.

 

It would seem that Paul is speaking of a special or different resurrection, for he adds the prefix "out" to the normal word for resurrection.  Perhaps he was anticipating his death before the coming of a, or the, "general resurrection," and perhaps he had in mind what he had mentioned in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians, in ch. 4:14-17.  Perhaps he wanted to "rise first."  This may also have been what John referred to as "the first resurrection" in Rev. 20:5-6 and the symbolic reigning with Christ "a thousand years."  See my comments on this passage of Rev at greater-emmanuel.org/jm.  We cannot be sure, here, for he gives no explanation.  However, he has brought it up in the context of being conformed to His death and the power of His resurrection, so perhaps it is unwise to stress the importance of this prefix "out."  Yet, if he was referring to the spiritual resurrection that we all now experience through union with the risen Christ, why would he not also have been experiencing that at the time of writing this letter?

 

In a discussion with Don Luther and Steve Dohse on vs. 10-11, I was reminded of what Jesus said in John 12:24.  He had just said, in vs. 23, that the hour had come when the Son of man could be glorified – referring to His death and resurrection.  Then He says, "... unless the grain of wheat (or: kernel of corn; = seed of an agricultural crop), falling into the earth (the ground; the field), should die, it, by itself, continues remaining alone.  Yet if it should die, it proceeds to bear much fruit (= it produces a harvest of many grains, or, seeds)."  This is a picture of an "out-resurrection," where the plant arises and stands back up, out from among the other dead, or dying seeds.  It is a resurrection that yields a harvest.  The power and ability of His resurrection (vs. 10, above) is that it produces life for others.  Paul wants his death, and ensuing resurrection, to produce a crop – the seed of Life in many others.  And so it has!  His words via his letters have given life to, and in, countless millions for almost 2000 years.

 

12.  Not that I already take it by the hand [p46 & D add: or already have been rightwised and made to be one in accord with the Way pointed out with fairness and equity] or have been already brought to the purposed goal and destiny (matured unto perfection and finished), yet I am consistently pursuing (running swiftly in order to catch), since I would (or: if I could) take down by the hand (seize; forcefully grasp and gain control over) even [that] upon which I also was (or: am) taken down by hand (seized; forcefully grasped and taken control of) by and under [the control of] Christ Jesus.

 

Paul wanted to continue growing in the Life of Christ until his seeds were fully ready for harvest.  His focus was to push on to the goal.  He had been apprehended by the fullness of Christ, and now he wanted to apprehend that same fullness.  Christ had taken Paul down, by His hand, forcefully grasping him, and taking control of him.  This had freed Paul, so that now he could in turn run swiftly in order to catch hold of Christ and the full Anointing.  He returns here to the stadium games metaphor.  This is how Paul viewed living a life in Christ.  Because of being within Him and in union with Him, there is more to be gained.  The life in Christ is not static.

 

13.  Brothers (= Fellow believers; = [My] family)!  I am not [other MSS: not yet] calculating (logically considering; reckoning) myself to have taken it down by hand (seized, grasped or gotten hold of it in order to have it), yet [there is] one thing: habitually forgetting, on the one hand, the things behind (or: in the back), and on the other hand constantly reaching and stretching myself out upon the things in front (or: ahead),

14.  I am continuously pursuing down toward [the; or: an] object in view (a mark on which the eye is fixed): into the prize of God's (or: the award which is God's) invitation to an above place (or: an upward calling having the source from, with qualities and characteristics of, God) within the midst of and in union with Christ Jesus.

 

Vs. 13 seems to repeat vs. 12, though with some different expressions and the addition of forgetting the past and reaching for the future.  He was forgetting everything listed in vss. 4-6, above, as well as the former covenant and the Law.  Then in vs. 14 he specifies what he is reaching for: the prize which is God's invitation to an above place, etc., and this place is "within the midst of, and in union with, Christ Jesus."

 

But with the genitive of the word "invitation" not rendered in apposition, "the prize of God's invitation" may be seen as the result of God's invitation, and be the same prize that Paul refers to in 1 Cor. 9:24 (the only other place where this word is used in the NT),

 

"Have you folks not seen, so as to know, that those progressively running, on the race-course within a stadium, are indeed all progressively running (or: constantly and repeatedly racing), yet one normally (= each time) grasps (takes; receives) the prize (victor's award)?  Be habitually running (progressively racing) so that you folks can (may; would) seize and take [it] down in your hands."

 

This prize may well be the fruit of his ministry, those to whom he gave himself, or as he says elsewhere, "[his] glory" (1 Thes. 2:20), and below in ch. 4:1 he refers to them as his "winner's wreath."

 

15.  Therefore – as many as [are] people who are mature (ones who have reached the goal, being finished and complete) we should constantly be of this frame of mind (have this attitude and opinion; think this way; be minding and paying attention to this).  And if you folks are habitually thinking differently (are continuing differently minded; are continually having a different attitude or opinion), God will also unveil this to you (or: uncover and reveal, or disclose, this in you).

 

Paul is saying that we should think just as he did – as expressed in the previous verses.  We should be pursuing down toward the object in view: whatever we perceive the goal to be, the prize of God's upward call in Christ Jesus.  He is addressing this admonition to folks who are mature in Christ, who are aware of the finished and complete work of Christ.  He encourages us to have the attitude and mind-set that he described in vss. 13-14.  He is also confident that God will eventually bring everyone to this opinion so as to be minding this.  Their hearts and minds will at some point be unveiled (cf 2 Cor. 3:14-16 for a parallel example).

 

16.  Moreover, into that which we precede [others] (or: into what we went before in; into what we come ahead so as to arrive at; = unto whatever stage we have reached) in the very same thing [our goal is] to be habitually drawn into a straight line and consistently advance within our ranks

 

[Aleph2 and other MSS add phrases to read as follows: Besides, into what we outstrip {others}, by the same standard (measuring rod; rule) {it is for us} to habitually advance in line (i.e., frame our conduct in an orderly routine; or: consider the elements and observe the rudimentary principles by the same standard) – to constantly be intent on and keep thinking of the same thing (or: be of the same frame of mind and attitude)].

 

I suggest that Paul is continuing to use the racecourse metaphor here, especially in the first text.  Wherever we are in this race, to whatever lap around the track we have attained, or mile marker we have reached, stay in your lane.  Within whatever group you are moving, be consistent, stay with it and advance in your proper position.

 

In the Aleph 2 text he first seems to be advising competing by the rules, which include staying in your own line and be orderly while keeping in mind the elements of the game.  The last part speaks to keeping your focus and being single-minded.  Our thinking and our attitude, or frame of mind, are oft-repeated topics in Paul's writings.  How we think, and what attitude we entertain is an important aspect of kingdom living.

 

17.  Brothers (= Fellow believers; = My family), be progressively birthed to be joint-imitators of me (or: unite in becoming my imitators), and continually keep a watchful eye on and take note of those habitually walking about thus (i.e., those who thus live their lives), according as you folks continue having us as a pattern (model; example; type).

 

Here he advises using him as a role model and pattern.  Do the same with other believers who live their lives in this same manner – learn from them and become as they are.  This would include: to consider things of the flesh and religion (vs. 4-6) to be a loss and as dung (vs. 7-8); to gain Christ and be found in Him (vs. 8-9); to know Him and the power of His resurrection while being progressively conformed to His death (vs. 10) and then arrive at the "out-resurrection" (vs. 11) and apprehend that for which they are apprehended (vs. 12); to continuously pursue the prize of His calling in Christ (vs. 14) – and to continue with this mind-set (vs. 15), while playing by the rules of the kingdom (vs. 16).

 

18.  For many – I was often telling you about them, yet now I am also presently weeping (lamenting) in saying it – continue walking about (i.e., are living their lives) as enemies of the cross of the Christ (the Anointed One's execution-stake),

 

We might think of many examples of such lives, but for Paul I think the main enemy was the person who tried to get people to return to Judaism – to the Law and the old covenant – or, as vs. 19 says, people that are focused on the carnal rather than the spiritual.

 

19.  whose goal (eventual end; closing act; final stage; result; finished discharge) [is] ruin and loss (or: waste and destruction), whose god [is their] cavity (or: belly) and [whose] reputation (or: glory; opinion) resides within their shame (disgrace; embarrassment) – people continually thinking about (habitually being intent on; constantly minding) the things existing upon the earth (or: = folks whose minds are earthbound).

 

If in vs. 18 he was referring to Judaizers, then he may here be saying that their eventual end will be the same as Jerusalem: waste and destruction in AD 70.  Instead of focusing on the Jerusalem above – the freewoman – they were focused on the then existing earthly Jerusalem and Mt. Sinai, the Law (Gal. 4:22-31).

 

20.  For you see, our citizenship (result of living in a free city; or: commonwealth-effects; political realm) continues inherently existing (or: continues humbly ruling; continuously subsists; repeatedly has its under-beginning) resident within the midst of [the] atmospheres (or: heavens), from out of where (or: which place) we also continuously receive and take away in our hands from out of a Deliverer (a Savior; One restoring us to the health and wholeness of our original state and condition): [the] Lord (or: a Master), Jesus Christ,

 

This first clause corresponds to Gal. 4:26, the free city "which is above."  This is a figure of the called-out community, and it is from within these folks that we are able to "continuously receive and take away in our hands from out of a Deliverer," our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives with His people, who are His temple.  We constantly receive life, health, healing, deliverance and sustenance from Him through His community.  They perform as a paraclete to those in need.

 

John saw our present situation pictured in a vision of the new heaven, the new Jerusalem, in Rev. 21:1-4 and our current ministry to others, described in 22-27.  See my article "A New Heavens and A New Earth" at www.greater-emmanuel.org/jm.

 

21.  Who will be actively transfiguring (progressively refashioning and remodeling; continuously changing the form of) our body from the low condition and status (or: the body of our humiliation; or: the body which is us, pertaining to this lowliness) into the [situation] for it to be birthed conformed to the body of His glory (or: be brought into existence having the same form together with His body, from that which calls forth praise; [with other MSS: joint-formed by and with the body of His good reputation]), down from (or: in accord with; in the sphere of; along the lines of; to the level of; following the pattern of; stepping along with; commensurate with; following the bidding of; as directed by) the inward operation (energy; in-working) of the [conditions or situation for] Him to be continuously able (or: with power) also to humbly align The Whole to and in Himself (or: to subject and subordinate all things for Himself; to arrange everything under so as to have full control and to support [it] by and with Himself).

 

Christ, by His Spirit (Who/Which also dwells within His called-out folks) and by His Word, will be progressively refashioning, remodeling and transfiguring our body from the humiliation, to be conformed to the body of His glory.  This is what happens as we walk the Path within Him who is the Way.  We have much to anticipate as we live our lives here.  Now the first question that we need to ask is, What body is it to which he is referring?  Is it our individual physical body, or is it the corporate body of Christ?  Reading the personal pronoun as in the genitive of apposition, it reads "the body which is us."  His body is a corporate body (1 Cor. 12:12) and this is the body of His glory (Christ in you the expectation of glory – Col. 1:27).  Recall John 17:22,

 

"And I, Myself, have given to them (or: in them), and they now possess, the glory (the notion; the opinion; the imagination; the reputation; the manifestation which calls forth praise) which You have given to Me, and which I now possess, to the end that they may continuously exist being one correspondingly as (just as; according as; on the same level as; in the same sphere as) We [are] one."

 

That glory was not an outward glory, but an inward one, just as His working is an inward one.  It was the glory that the Father had given to Him, which He then possessed, but could not be seen outwardly.

 

The words "down from" is the Greek kata, which as you see has a broad semantic range.  If we use the meaning of "in the sphere of," this corresponds to His inward working – where the transfiguration and remodeling takes place.  The meaning "along the lines of" says the same thing.  It is not an outward, physical transformation, but an inward one – of which he is here speaking.

 

In vs. 10, above, Paul made reference to having the power of His resurrection.  Let us look in 1 Cor. 15 where he also speaks of bodies, resurrection and Christ:

 

42.  Thus also (or: In this way too) [is] the resurrection of the dead people.  It is habitually (repeatedly; presently; one after another) being sown within corruption (or: in union with decay and ruin; in perishability); it is being habitually (or: presently; repeatedly; one after another) awakened and raised up within incorruption (non-decayability; imperishableness).

43.  It is constantly being sown within dishonor (in union with lack of value; in the midst of worthlessness), it is being habitually (or: repeatedly; constantly; one after another; progressively) awakened and raised up within, and in union with, power and ability.

44.  It is habitually (continually; repeatedly; presently) being sown a body having the qualities and characteristics of a soul (a soulish body; or: = a body animated by soul); it is habitually (repeatedly; constantly; presently; one after another) being awakened and raised up a spiritual body (a body having the qualities and characteristics of the Breath-effect).  Since there is a soulish body (or: = body animated by soul), there also is (or: exists) a spiritual one (or: = one animated by spirit).

[comment: note the germinal connection between the two – they are a progression of the same body]

45.  Thus also (or: In this way also), it has been written, "The first human (or: man), Adam, came for existence (or: was birthed) into [being] a living soul" [Gen. 2:7]; the Last Adam into [being] a continuously life-making (life-engendering; life-creating; life-giving) Spirit (or: Breath-effect).

 

Now note the connection of resurrection with power, in vs. 43.  Next, in vs. 44, we see that it is "being awakened and raised up A SPIRITUAL BODY."  Then he tells us that there is a natural body that pertains to the soul – the one which is sown – and there is a spiritual one – the one that is resurrected, and consider my note that this is a progression of the same body.  It is like the seed that fell into the ground that I referred to, above (vs. 11 comments).  Note also the present tense of the verbs: habitually, repeatedly, constantly, presently, one-after-another.  This, again, is an ongoing process that was happening in Paul's day, as it has ever since the resurrection of Jesus.

 

Now note vs. 45 which Paul is relating both to resurrection and to the two bodies.  We have the first human, Adam (the soulish person) and we have the Last Adam Who is a continuously life-making, life-creating, life-giving Spirit.  The resurrected person is a spirit.  This is the spiritual body (the "afterwards" person of vs. 46).  The first Adam was corporate humanity, in this context; the Last Adam is the corporate spiritual body of Christ, with Jesus as its Head.

 

Now let us look further in 1 Cor. 15,

 

47.  The first human (person; man) [was/is] forth from out of the earth (land; ground; soil; dirt), made of moist soil and mud (or: having the quality and characteristics of moist dirt that can be poured; soilish), the Second Human (Person; Man) [is made] of heaven (or: sky; atmosphere).

48.  As [is] the person made of and having the character and quality of moist soil or mud (pourable dirt; soil), of such sort also [are] the people [who are] made of and have the character and quality of moist soil or mud (soilish folks); and likewise, as [is] the Heavenly Person (or: the one made of and having the quality and character of the supra-heaven), of such sort also [are] the supra-heavenly people – those made of and having the quality and character of the supra-heaven (or: finished and perfected atmosphere).

49.  And correspondingly as we bear and wear the image of the dusty person, [p46 adds: doubtless] we can and should [B reads: will] also bear and wear the image of the supra-heavenly One (or: the One having the quality and character of the finished and perfected atmosphere).

 

Vs. 48-49 describe humans transfigured to be conformed to His body of glory, and vs. 47 tells us that they are "[made] of heaven/atmosphere," this latter being parallel to the "made of moist soil and mud" of the first clause.  The "made of heaven" is a figure for the spiritual.  Having the quality and character of the supra-heaven and wearing His image is equivalent to being conformed to the body of His glory.

 

And then there is 1 Cor. 15:51, which answers to vs. 10, above,

 

51.  See (Look and consider)!  I am progressively telling you a secret ([the] mystery)!  We, indeed, shall not all be laid to sleep [in death], yet we all will be changed

 

(or: On the one hand, not all of us will be made to [die], but on the other hand, we all will be altered; or: We all shall not be put to repose, and so we all shall be transformed; or: All of us shall not sleep, but we all will be rearranged to be another or made to be otherwise),

 And then,

 

53.  For it continues being necessary (it is habitually binding) for this perishable and corruptible to instantly plunge (or: sink) in and clothe itself with (or: slip on; put on) incorruption and imperishability, and for this mortal (one that is subject to death) to instantly plunge and sink in and clothe itself with (or: put on; slip on as a garment) immortality (deathlessness; undyingness).

 

This sounds very much like 2 Cor. 5:

 

1.  For we have seen, and thus know, that if our house of the tabernacle, which is pitched on the land, would at some point be dismantled (or: that whenever our house, which is the tent upon the earth, should be loosed down), we constantly have (continuously hold; presently possess) a structure (a building) forth from out of the midst of God: an eonian house (a house having the qualities and character which pertain to the Age; a house for the ages) – not made by hands – within the midst of the heavens (or: resident within the atmospheres).

2.  For you see, even within this one we are continuously groaning, utterly longing and constantly yearning to fully enter within and to clothe upon ourselves (to dress upon ourselves) our dwelling-house (habitation) – the one [made] out of heaven (or: from, or made of, atmosphere).

 

Consider in vs. 1-2 here, that we continuously and presently have and possess this house/clothing.  But looking at a couple more verses in 1 Cor. 15, we see another interesting aspect of what we now possess.

 

54.  Now whenever this mortal instantly plunges and sinks in and then clothes itself with (or: slips on; puts on) the Immortality, then will come into existence (will be birthed; will take place) the word (the thought; the idea; the message; the saying) which has been written, "The Death was drunk down and swallowed into Victory (or: overcoming)!" [Isa. 25:8]

 

And then,

 

57.  But grace and joyous favor [is] in God (or: by God) the One presently and progressively giving the Victory (or: the overcoming) to us, in us and for us through our Lord (Owner; Master), Jesus, [the] Christ!

 

So we now have and possess the Victory – God has given it to us – that drank down and swallowed the Death.  This is the final way of being conformed to His death (vs. 10, above), which ended in victory (the "out-resurrection" of vs. 11, above).  Now this was a corporate event that coincided with His resurrection – and this was all the result of "the inward operation (energy; in-working) of the [conditions or situation for] Him to continuously be able (or: have power) also to humbly align (or: to subject; to subordinate; to arrange under so as to have full control of and support) The Whole (or: all things; everything) in Himself (to Himself; for Himself; by and with Himself)."

 

He is able to align the whole of humanity – as well as the whole universe – "in Himself, to Himself, for Himself, by Himself, and with Himself!"  He refashions the whole body of humanity, as well as the universe (the new creation in Christ), to be birthed conformed to the body of His glory.

 

John Gavazzoni has shared this insightful summation on this topic:

"In my opinion, when we get into Paul's head, we find that he considers there to be only 'one body,' and proceeding from that premise, he understands our individual bodies to be members of that one body.  Our individual transformation can come about in relationship to the corporate body.


"I'm with you also on the matter of the relationship of the natural body to the spiritual body as one of procession.  The spiritual body lies within the natural body as its intrinsic constitution.  As I've pointed out a number of times, the corruptible 'it' that is planted in death, and the incorruptible 'it' that emerges in resurrection life, are the same 'it.'


"The natural body is not discarded in favor of the spiritual body, the spiritual body emerges out from within the natural, even from within its darkness.  The body of Jesus of Nazareth, and the body of Christ, are the same body.


"The body of Jesus, would then be the Seed/DNA form of the ultimately emerged corporate body of Christ.  All that He is becomes finally the reality of us all together united in Him."

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GOD'S MESSAGE OF

GOODNESS, EASE

AND WELL-BEING

WHICH BRINGS GOD'S

GIFTS OF HIS SPIRIT,

HIS LIFE, HIS GRACE,

HIS POWER, HIS

FAIRNESS, HIS PEACE

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Jonathan Mitchell

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