[CF Devotionals] 2003-09-13 - Philippians

Part 18

  1. The Submissive Mind - Cont'd.

    Verses 9-11: And as a result of the humiliation of Christ, we next see the glorification of Christ. He does not glorify Himself, but He is glorified by the Father. God glorified Christ as a result of Christ’s obedience.

    This is clearly a case of:

    "Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many'" (Matthew 20:26-28).

    Christ’s name, that is He Himself, will be lifted up over all. This is the response to His prayer in John 17:5. "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." Jesus was glorified in the resurrection, ascension and being placed at the Father’s right hand.

    "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." … "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 1:3).

    This is the reverse of the steps down to humiliation, with steps up to glorification. God exalts Christ and gives Him a name that is above all names. But what is even greater significance is that this name will be recognized by all. Keep in mind that as God, Christ’s name was always above all names. But up until now it certainly hasn’t been recognized by all. One day though it will be, whether those who name it want to or not. Paul points this out as a fulfillment of the worlds of Isaiah.

    "It is written: 'As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.. … By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked. Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear'" (Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23).

    This is a vital truth for Paul. It underlies the command to make disciples, because the only question for all is: Will they bow before the Lord willingly or bow as they face the judgment for their sins and eternal damnation? Though every tongue will confess, not every tongue will confess Christ as Savior. Remember, the unsaved are lost because they are in rebellion against God, not because they are ignorant.

    As C. S. Lewis demonstrated in The Great Divorce, those in hell are there because they choose it rather than a Heaven on God’s terms. God through Christ reconciles all things to Himself.

    "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross" (Colossians 1:19-20).

    It should also be noted this chorus of recognition isn’t limited to humanity, but encompasses all created beings. Christ is the creator, and one day all of creation will have the opportunity to unify and give recognition to Who and What He is. As Lightner puts it:

    "No intelligent being—whether angels and saints in heaven; people living on the earth; or Satan, demons, and the unsaved in hell—in all of God’s universe will escape. All will bow either willingly or they will be made to do so." 10

    Finally, Who is ultimately glorified by the work of Christ? It is God. And Who should be glorified as we serve the Lord? It is He. And isn’t this finally humility? We are to do what we do, not to our own glory, but to God’s. So finally, we come back to where we started: Our focus is to be on God, doing His will, as Christ did. Then, nothing can steal our joy, for it comes from our relationship with God and our humble serving of Him and others. And so, we one day will experience the joy of naming the name of Jesus with all His creation.

    Jesus, name above all names,
    Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord
    Emmanuel, God is with us,
    Blessed Redeemer, Living Word. 11

  1. Lightner, Robert P., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Volume 2, “Philippians, Victor Books, Wheaton, IL, 1986, p. 654.
  2. Hearn, Naida, "Jesus, Name Above All Names," The Celebration Hymnal, Word Music, 1997, #86.

Questions or Comments?

[email geoff] gkragen@aol.com