For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:18-21
What great gifts await us! What blessing and extravagant grace.
We await a Savior who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. It defies human logic that God would take us—those who by nature glory in our own shame, worship our own appetites, and set our minds on the temporary—that he would take us and transform us into something glorious like his Son.
We don’t deserve this. It would be ridiculous to attempt to earn this. This is grace. It’s embarrassingly generous to our prideful hearts to be given so much and to accept that we just don’t deserve it. It’s humbling.
It’s humbling and as we see ourselves in all our brokenness and sin it could be reason to doubt. Jesus is going to take this?! This body of mine, with all its lowly self-worship and shame-loving? He’s taking this and turning it into something like his own glorious body?! How does that even happen?
It would seem too great a hope were it not for the reminder of the last part of that final sentence.
“…by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Power to subject all things to himself. That is great power. That is magnificent power. That is power that defies us to even begin comprehend how great, how strong, how capable. We cannot fathom the immensity of such power.
And the best news? Jesus doesn’t just turn us and set us on a new trajectory so we’re facing the right direction again. He doesn’t simply wipe the slate clean from our past and tell us to “do better with what we have left.” Jesus doesn’t even give us some new pointers and some “tricks of the trade” so we can be more holy—more like him.
No. Jesus transforms us. He makes us what we weren’t. Jesus takes who we were and replaces it with something we could never be without him. We are wholly different and holy transformed. We stop being enemies and become like him.
This is grace. It is beautiful and hope-filled. Extravagant and reckless. It is wild and purposeful. And it’s for God’s glory. Transforming us is a great and amazing blessing of grace on us, but the primary point is that God would be glorified. That he would be displayed as great and holy.
This is the savior we await. One who brings transformation and hope and glory. We are blessed beyond measure to be citizens of his kingdom. May we pray that we never lose sight of how radically we have been blessed.