Read Philippians 2:5-11
Yesterday this hymn to Christ as God reached its lowest point where Jesus hangs obediently on a bloody cross bearing our shame. In our place condemned He stood! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Yet, that’s not how the story ends. Now, we have the exaltation of Christ. The progress now shifts and moves back upwards to the glories of heaven.
We have the strong “therefore” which stresses a new thought. Now God is the actor. In the previous verses, Jesus was the primary actor. He voluntarily did all of these things. Now God acts. And God does two things to Jesus.
First of all, God highly exalted Jesus.
This word “highly exalted” is the strongest way of saying that Jesus is exalted to the highest station as sovereign over the entire universe.
Read Colossians 1:16-19
Secondly, God gave Jesus the name above every name!
The name of Jesus is very important. In the Old Testament, God was called Yahweh and this word could not be pronounced. It is the word LORD in all caps in the Old Testament. God will not share His name with another, because God’s name is sacred.
For God to bestow the name above all names to another is unheard of. Yet since Christ is equal with God and is the triumphant and risen Savior, God confers upon Him the highest name. It is in the name of Jesus that there is salvation.
There is a lot of generic “god” talk around today, but our faith is in Jesus Christ. The name above all names. There is no other name of salvation. Jesus is the only way to God.
Read Acts 4:12
At His name, the entire creation bows to Him as Sovereign LORD!
Now, this does not mean that everyone will become a Christian. This is not universalism. This shows the absolute sovereignty of Christ that even those who pierced Him, hate Him, and have rejected Him, will still have to bow before Him as the most Supreme Ruler of all.
And every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord
Again, not everyone will be saved, but there will be a public declaration by all creation at the end of the age that Jesus has the sovereign right to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Read Revelation 5:13
We have the privilege and the command today to swear allegiance to Christ alone. We don’t make Him Lord of our lives. He is already Lord by divine right. We submit to Him and surrender to Him alone as sovereign ruler. We gladly bow the knee to King Jesus. We joyously confess Him as our Lord.
God is glorified in the self-sacrificing, voluntary submission of Jesus and obedient death on the cross. God shares His glory only with Jesus.
Why was this entire hymn given in the first place? As an example of Christ’s humility as a way for us to emulate. We are to have this same attitude that Jesus had.
Remember this hymn was to instruct and inspire. I think we’ve been instructed the past few days in the depths of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
But what about inspiration? How has this hymn inspired us? In light of looking at Jesus as our ultimate example of humility, how are we to respond? How are we to imitate Jesus?
We are to voluntarily submit to the will of the Father and not seek to be the Lord of our own life. We must not grasp greedily onto the sin that so easily entangles. We are not to seek our own advantage.
We are to empty ourselves. We are to die to ourselves everday. We are to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him seeking God’s glory and kingdom, instead of our own. We are to give up our rights and privileges and become slaves to Jesus.
We are to be humbly obedient to whatever God calls us to do.
Because of His death and resurrection, we are to bow before Him as Sovereign Ruler and confess Him as Lord.
When we look at the cross of Christ, we immediately get humbled. Humility is so needed in our day. When we look at athletes, movie stars, politicians and the elite in society, there is definitely a lack of humility. And to a degree that’s to be expected from unregenerate, lost people.
But in the church? As believers, we must gently and humbly think of ourselves as we truly are. Sinners saved only by the grace of God through Christ who rightfully deserve hell but have been rescued by His blood. In return, out of gratitude for this great gift of mercy, we are to treat others with the same kind of grace.
C.J. Mahaney has written an excellent book on humility called “Humility: True Greatness” and in this book he writes that it’s possible to admire humility while remaining proud ourselves. He says that “pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride—to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him.”
Jonathan Edwards said this about pride: “it is the worst of vipers that is in the heart and the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts.”
By God’s grace through Christ, let’s strive for this Christ-like humility!
I desire to be like You as I live a life of humility in service to others. Please shatter any vipers of pride that might be hiding deep in my heart. Help me not to glorify my self, but to glorify You! By Your grace, may I submit to the Father’s will and daily die to myself. Help me to have this Christ-like humility as I keep my eyes fixed on You!
In Your Name,