Pastor David B. Curtis


The Exaltation of Christ

Philippians 2:9-11


What is your attitude this morning toward the Word of God? Are you here to learn, are you teachable? Is your attitude, "God, teach me from your Word, work in my life for your glory." Or is your attitude, "I sure hope David is interesting this morning." Are you a student of the Word or are you just here to audit the class? This material is testable! With knowledge comes responsibility.

Philippians 2:9-11 is God's response to Christ's humiliation. The gospel is not complete without the exaltation of Jesus Christ. The death of Christ alone did not secure our salvation. It doesn't stop at verse 8 with the cross; he has risen and returned.

Philippians 2:6-11 takes us from humiliation to exaltation. This was an early church hymn and the theme of the Christian faith is bound up in this hymn. Peter said that the great theme of the Old Testament prophets was the suffering of Christ and the glory to follow.

1 Peter 1:11 (NKJV) searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

Paul shows us the humiliation and exaltation of Christ in verses 6-11. This is the greatest Christalogical passage in the New Testament. But let's remember why he speaks of this here-- it is an illustration for us of humility. We are to have the attitude of Christ.

Philippians 2:5 (NKJV) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

We are to humble ourselves that God may exalt us.

The main theme of chapter two is unity.

Philippians 2:2 (NKJV) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

The word "like-minded" is from the Greek word phroneo, which means: " to think, here to think the same way." It means that we are all to have the Divine viewpoint. "Same love" -- the word for "love" here is agape. Unity is manifest by love. This is not an emotion but a sacrificial act of service. This flows out of having the same mind. It means: "to love everybody the same." It starts with thinking and manifests itself in love. "One accord" is sumpsuchos. "Being of one accord means: "one-souled," --your passions, ambitions, goals are the same. "Of one mind" is an idiom for: "intent on one objective" -- God's glory.

Unity is evidenced in a group of people who think alike, they are all controlled by the Spirit of God, and they treat each other in love.

God wants our unity and hates disunity:

Proverbs 6:12-19 (NKJV) A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; 13 He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. 15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy. 16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

This is God's viewpoint on disunity-- He hates it. God hates disunity and strife, and the thing that causes strife is pride.

Proverbs 13:10 (NKJV) By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

The theme of chapter two is unity and unity is a product of humility (verses 3-4). If you need an example of humility, look at Christ (verses 6-8). Then in verses 9-11, Paul says, "Christ was exalted" and the implication is, "So will you be exalted if you humble yourself." The illustration doesn't stop at verse 8 with humility, the illustration continues on to verse 11. This is a practical principle that is applicable to all of us. Principle: He who humbles himself will be exalted. Jesus taught this:

Matthew 23:12 (NKJV) "And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

It is one principle with two sides. It is a promise of being brought low to those who exalt themselves, and it is a promise of exaltation to those who humble themselves. We also see the principle in:

Luke 14:11 (NKJV) "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

We see this principle illustrated and stated in:

Luke 18:10-14 (NKJV) "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men; extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 'I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' 13 "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

James gives us the principle in:

James 4:10 (NKJV) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Peter give us the principle also:

1 Peter 5:5-6 (NKJV) Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

Jesus, Peter, James, and Paul all said it. It is a biblical law-- exaltation follows humiliation. Just as sure as the law of gravity, is the law that those who humble themselves will be exalted. And the one who exalts himself will be humbled.

We see the negative side of this principle in the life of king Nebuchadnezzar. He exalted himself and God humbled him:

Daniel 4:29-33 (NKJV) At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" 31 While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.

Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself and God humbled him. Here we see the mighty king of Babylon wondering around eating grass like an animal. But when he humbled himself, God exalted him.

Daniel 4:37 (NKJV) Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Joseph is an example on the positive side, he humbled himself and God exalted him:

Psalms 105:17-21 (NKJV) He sent a man before them; Joseph; who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. 20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. 21 He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions,

Did Joseph really humble himself? Didn't his brothers kind of help him? I wonder if we really understand humility? Could you give a definition of humility? We can't humble ourselves if we don't know what humility is. Humility is not a downcast attitude of one who is unable to look someone in the eyes, and says, "Gosh, I'm really nothing." Biblically, humility is two things; dependance upon God and obedience to him. We saw last week that Christ humbled himself by becoming obedient. A humble person realizes that he is dependant upon God for all he is, has, and does. Secondly, humility is obedience to the revealed will of God.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 (NKJV) "Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers. 2 "And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

God was teaching them to be humble which involved obedience to him and dependance upon him. Pride says, "I don't need to obey God and I am not dependant upon Him."

In God's economy it is by:

Giving, that one receives:

Luke 6:38 (NKJV) "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

Losing one's life, that one finds it:

Matthew 10:39 (NKJV) "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Humbling oneself, that he is exalted:

James 4:10 (NKJV) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

This is the Divine viewpoint-- Human viewpoint is just the opposite. We accept the Divine viewpoint by faith. Do you believe this law-- that God exalts the humble? You do if you believe the Bible. Do you practice it daily in your life? I think most of us would have to say, "No." Why not? Why don't we live out what we believe? Let me try to explain why.

There will come moments in our lives when we receive bad news, or trouble will come, or maybe it's just that we live among a lot of other people who do not believe it, and all at once our emotions will rise up and carry out a sort of blitz on our beliefs. When this happens, we will be conformed to the world. Once you learn a divine principle of God's word, that principle must deliberately be held before your mind for some time every day. This is why Bible study, memorization, meditation, and fellowship are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Belief of a principle will not automatically stay alive in the mind-- it must be fed. Most people who leave the faith, do so by simple drifting away.

Psalms 119:11 (NKJV) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Jesus humbled himself as we have seen in Philippians 2:6-8, now in verses 9-11, we see him exalted. Jesus is exalted and so will you be if you have Christ's attitude of humility.

As we look at our text this morning, I want to give you four points on the exaltation of Christ: The Source, Title, Response and Purpose of the exaltation of Jesus Christ.

1. Source of exaltation-- God.

Philippians 2:9 (NKJV) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

"Therefore God has highly exalted Him" -- God exalted Christ, God gave to Christ. Whatever Christ was given, came from God. God is the source of Christ's exaltation. And it is God, and God alone, who is the source of our exaltation.

"Therefore" begins this section with a ringing contrast. Because of Christ's humility (verses 6-8), his exaltation now follows (verses 9-11). The crown always follows the cross. The two are inseparable. Here we see the Divine principle in operation-- it applies to you, me, and every believer. He who humbles himself shall be exalted.

The words "highly exalted" are the Greek word huperupsoo which means: "to elevate to a surpassing position, to exalt beyond all others, to exalt to the highest, maximum majesty." This particular exaltation is so grand that this particular Greek word is not used anyplace else in the whole Bible. No one ever humbled himself like Christ has, so not one will receive so great a reward.

How did God exalt Christ? The exaltation of Christ involved three things-- the Resurrection, Ascension and Second coming.

Acts 2:32-33 (NKJV) "This Jesus God has raised up, (resurrection) of which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, (ascension) and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Second Coming)

"He poured out 'this' which you now see and hear." The "this" refers to the signs that gave evidence that this was the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (verse 16), thus indicating that it was the "last days" (verse 17), which would culminate in the "great and notable day of the Lord" (verse 20), which is the Second Coming.

The objective aspect of our salvation includes more than the death of Christ, it also includes the resurrection, Ascension, and Second advent. Each of these events attest to the Deity of Christ and thus His exaltation. To demonstrate He is God, is to exalt Him.

1. Resurrection --

the resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrated His deity. It exalted him in that it gave evidence as to who he was.
Romans 1:4 (NKJV) and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Who raised Jesus from the dead? God did!

John 2:19 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

Jesus is God and he raised himself from the dead. Christ said he would rise from the dead and he did.

2. Ascension --

Our Lord is seated at God's right hand.
Acts 1:9-11 (NKJV) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

Our Lord changed residence in hypostatic union from earth to heaven forty days after the resurrection.

The idea of Jesus going and coming "on the clouds," is familiar apocalyptic language of the prophets to identify himself as God. Only God came on clouds, that was a claim to deity. Jesus was being identified as the "Messiah" of Daniel 7. Christ was exalted by being seated at the Father's right hand, which, in Eastern cultures, is a position of authority.

Ephesians 1:20-22 (NKJV) which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

Christ has been given absolute authority, absolute power-- Christ is exalted in his ascension.

3. Second Coming --

The fact that Jesus Christ was exalted to the right hand of God was demonstrated by Christ's coming in judgement on Jerusalem in the second advent.
Matthew 24:30 (NKJV) "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

When is "then?" "Then" refers to "immediately after the tribulation of those days" (verse 29). After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which was the great tribulation, this sign will be seen. What is the sign? Who asked what the sign of his coming would be? His disciples (verse 3). Who was Jesus talking to? The disciples. Whatever the sign was, it was to appear in 70 AD immediately after the tribulation of those days, which was the destruction of Jerusalem. It was a sign to "that generation," not to us some 2,000 years later.

To understand what this sign was, we first need to have a correct translation. The NIV really adds to the confusion, it reads, "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky." A word-for-word rendering from the Greek reads, "And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven." Notice carefully that the location is heaven, not the sky; and it is not the sign that is in heaven, but the Son of Man who is in heaven. The point is this: The destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple was the sign that the Son of Man was in heaven, and thus deity.

J. Marcellus Kik said, "A sign was not to appear in the heavens, but the destruction of Jerusalem was to indicate the rule of the Son of man in heaven."

John Lightfoot says this, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man. Then shall the Son of man give a proof of himself, who they would not before acknowledge: a proof, indeed, not in any visible figure, but in vengeance and judgment so visible, that all the tribes of the earth shall be forced to acknowledge him the avenger."

The wording of this passage refers us back to the expression, "The Son of Man," found in Daniel 7:13, which Jesus used concerning Himself when referring to His coming.

Matthew 24:27 (NKJV) "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The judgement of Jerusalem was a sign that the Son of Man was in heaven in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NKJV) "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

Here we see Jesus, the Son of Man, coming to the Ancient of days and receiving His everlasting kingdom. This prophecy was fulfilled at the Ascension.

Acts 2:30-36 (NKJV) "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

The "promise of the Holy Spirit" is resurrection (verse 31). The kingdom received from the Ancient of days is none other than the kingdom symbolized by the stone cut out of the mountain:

Daniel 2:34-35 (NKJV) "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The kingdom was given to Christ at His ascension, and this was made manifest to all Israel in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Jerusalem's destruction was a sign that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of God.

Matthew 26:63-64 (NKJV) But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" 64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Here Caiaphas, the high priest, asks Jesus if he is the Son of God, the Messiah. Notice the similarities between Jesus' answer to Caiaphas and what he says in:

Matthew 24:30 (NKJV) "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Jesus told Caiaphas, "You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power." He said to His disciples, "You will see the sign that the son of man is in heaven." He told Caiaphas, "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven." He told His disciples, "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." It is obviously the same event in both passages. Notice Caiaphas' response to Jesus' statement.

Matthew 26:65 (NKJV) Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

What did Jesus say that was blasphemy? Caiaphas understood that Jesus was claiming to be Lord, the Messiah.

So, Jesus Christ is exalted in the resurrection, ascension and the Second Coming. His exaltation is the manifestation of his deity. Now, you might be thinking, "How can Jesus be exalted when he is God?" It is the Theanthropic person that is exalted. His Glory is restored. It is now clearly manifest that Jesus Christ is God. Look at the exalted Christ:

Revelation 1:12-18 (NKJV) Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

As God, He was incapable of elevation, but as God-man, he could be lifted from humility to the highest glory. The God-man is exalted, humanity is exalted above all created beings.

"And given Him the name which is above every name." The word "given" is charizomai, it means: "A grace gift, freely given, whole heartedly given." God gave all this to Christ, it was a gift.

So, the source of his exaltation is God.

2. The title of His exaltation -- LORD

"the name which is above every name."
Hebrews 1:4 (KJV) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

His name is more excellent than the angels.

Whatever name it is, it will be consistent with Scriptures Old and New Testament. It will imply not just a means of distinguishing one person from another, "Joe" or "Mike," but it will imply something of the nature of Christ, something of his person revealing his inner being.

The word "name" is the Greek word onoma, which can mean: "name, rank, or personality." Here the emphasis is on title of rank above all ranks-- position.

Why give him a name? One of the common biblical ideas is the giving of a new name to mark a new stage in a man's life. Abram became Abraham when he received the promise of God. Jacob became Israel when God entered into the new relationship with him. Simon was called to follow Jesus and his name became Peter. The promise of the risen Christ to both Pergamos and Philadelphia is the promise of a new name.

Christ has many names; Jesus, Christ, Son of man, Son of God, Messiah, Immanuel, but here He receives a new name. Some say the it's "Jesus." But it can't be because that is not a new name. God gave him that name at his birth:

Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

Second, no other name than Yahweh (Jehovah) has a right to be called "the name above every name."

Thirdly, the movement of verses 9-11 does not stop at the phrase "gave him the name" but flows straight on to the universal confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, which suggests that the significant thing is the ascription of "LORD" in addition to the names already known.

Fourthly, verse 10 says, "at the name 'of' Jesus" (not at the name Jesus). The name "of" Jesus is "Lord."

Fifthly, verse 10 is a pretty direct quotation of Isaiah 45:23 where Yahweh, having declared himself to be the only God and only Savior, vows that he will yet be the object of universal worship. It is this divine honor that is now bestowed upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

These verses in Isaiah 45:20-25 speak of the uniqueness of the only God. In the Greek Old Testament, the LXX, the Greek word "Kyrios" which means: "Lord" is used to represent the personal name of the God of Israel-- Yahweh.

In most English versions, LORD is spelled with four capital letters when it stands for the ineffable (too sacred to be spoken) name of Yahweh.

Isaiah 45:20-25 (NKJV) "Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, Who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save.

He is speaking here of the heathen idols.

21 Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD (Yahweh)? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.

God is saying, "I'm unique, I'm the only God, there is no other God besides Me."

22 "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23 I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath.

This is where our quote in Philippians is taken from, this is Yahweh, the one and only God, that is speaking.

24 He shall say, 'Surely in the LORD (Yahweh) I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, And all shall be ashamed Who are incensed against Him. 25 In the LORD (Yahweh)all the descendants of Israel Shall be justified, and shall glory.'"

It is in Yahweh that salvation will come. In Isaiah 45:23, we see a strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God. And in Philippians, this title "LORD" is ascribed to Jesus. Jesus Christ is Yahweh, the Lord!

Is Jesus Christ Lord? Yes! Who declared him Lord? God, the Father, exalted him and gave him the name "Lord," which is the name of sovereign God. Jesus Christ is Yahweh!

The Greek word Lord is kyrios, the word by which citizens of the Roman empire acknowledged the divinity of Caesar. This was an imperial title, and it was never used of the emperors until they were thought to be deified through a religious ceremony. Therefore, it was used as a divine title. Within the empire there was a test phrase used to check the loyalty of the people. It was "Kyrios Kaiser," and it meant: "Caesar is Lord." By this phrase, Christians who would not say these words were later singled out from pagans and executed. In those days, when a Christian insisted that Jesus is Lord, he meant that Jesus, not Caesar, is divine. Early Christians died rather than say Caesar was Lord.

Have you ever heard a Christian say, "I have been a Christian for a while now but I just made Jesus Lord?" Folks, Jesus Christ "is" Lord, you don't make him Lord, God did that. Our response is to submit to His Lordship.

The Hebrew word for "Lord" is Adonai. The name Adonai assumed an extraordinary importance in Hebrew speech, for in practice it replaced the personal name of God, Jehovah. No Jew pronounced the word "Jehovah," even when reading the Bible. Instead he said, "Adonai." Not only in popular speech but also in Jewish literature and in the writing and transmission of the Old Testament the word "Adonai" became almost synonymous with Jehovah, the personal name of God. Consequently, when the early Christians made their confession -- "Jesus is Lord" -- they were actually confessing that Jesus of Nazareth is the God of Israel, Jehovah, the only true God.

Verse 11 gives the first Christian creed-- Jesus Christ is Lord -- which equals deity. He is God.

The title "Lord" is used in reference to the Second Coming. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13-18, Paul has been talking to the Christians about death, and has argued that since God has raised up Jesus, He will also raise up those who are united to Him by faith. In all of these statements, Paul refers to the Lord Jesus Christ by His personal, most human name, Jesus. When he starts to speak about Jesus' return, however, he switches the names, no longer referring to Jesus as Jesus, but to Jesus as Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 (NKJV) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul associated the second coming with the fact that Jesus is Lord.

1. Source of his exaltation-- God.

2. Title of his exaltation-- Lord.

3. The Response to his exaltation-- worship:

Philippians 2:10-11 (NKJV) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The word "that" indicates a purpose clause-- with the result that at the name of Jesus, which is Lord, the whole universe is called to worship Him.

These verses are a prophecy. They are the New Testament equivalent of an Old Testament prophecy:

Psalms 110:1 (NKJV) The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

This teaches that the One called David's Lord, the Messiah, will one day reign over all things and that all of His enemies shall be defeated.

I think that if you compare Philippians 2:10-11 with Revelation 5 you will see that this is in reference to the second coming.

Revelation 5:13 (NKJV) And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

Twenty two times in Revelation, Jesus is called Lord. As we have said, this title is connected with His second coming:

Revelation 15:4 (NKJV) Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."

Also, the reference to every tongue confessing the name of the Lord is clearly a reference to the second coming in:

Romans 14:9-12 (NKJV) For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

The resurrection and ascension is clearly referred to in verse 9 in conjunction with Christ rightfully earning the status of Lord. But the "every knee shall bow" and "every tongue will confess" in conjunction with judgment is clearly a reference to the parousia and the beginning of heavenly judgment (at the time of each individual's death).

At his coming in AD 70, in the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, he was declared to be "Lord."

"Every tongue should confess." The word "confess" is exomologeo, it means: "to acknowledge, to agree." All acknowledged his lordship at that day-- everybody.

Revelation 19:6 (NKJV) And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!

4. The purpose of his exaltation -- God's Glory.

"To the glory of God the Father."

Isaiah 45 says, "I am God alone," and here he says, "Everyone bows to Jesus Christ which glorifies God." You might expect it to say, "To the 'anger' of God the Father" or "To the 'jealousy' of God the Father, but it says, "glory."

John 5:23 (NKJV) "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

There is no competition between Jesus Christ and the Father, they are one. This is the mystery of the Trinity. One God in three persons. We don't worship God through Jesus Christ, we worship Jesus Christ as God.

So the principle we see in Philippians 2:6-11 is this:"He that humbles himself will be exalted." As believers, we'll all ascend to heaven at physical death but our rewards will be in proportion to our humility on earth. Jesus' reward was great, so was his suffering.

2 Timothy 2:12 (NKJV) If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

Philippians 2 is teaching us this; Let nothing be done through selfish ambition (erethia, self-promotion) or conceit (kenodoxia, empty glory) but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem others better than himself and God will richly reward you as he did Christ.

Media #078a

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