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Highly Exalted

April 12, 2020 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series: Special Services

Topic: Resurrection Verse: Philippians 2:9–2:9

Theme: All people - sinners & saints - will acknowledge that Jesus is preeminent in Heaven and on Earth.

 “Easter” is a term that is derived from an old Hebrew word meaning “appearing,” “dawning” or “breaking through.”  Of course, this is the perfect word to describe the glorious event of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – a dawning of eternal life.  It is through the Resurrection of our Lord that sin and death were both conquered, and the Lord of glory returned to His rightful place in glory.  It is in this way that Scripture states that “God highly exalted Him” – Let’s look at the importance of this statement: 

I. The Willingness for His Exaltation (For this reason also, God highly exalted Him …)

A. God Was Willing Because of Jesus’ Servility 

  • There are two primary features that are noted in the verses immediately preceding this section that point to the reasons Jesus was exalted by the Father.
  • Jesus Christ was exalted by the same God that required His humiliation – we are told that Jesus “humbled Himself.”
  • He was therefore not the victim of Caiaphas or Pilate, but rather a willing and humble servant.
  • It is clear that the exaltation of Jesus Christ would be in exact proportion to the depth of His humiliation – which is described as follows: “but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” – Philippians 2:7.

B. God Was Willing Because of Jesus’ Suffering

  • Not only was Jesus willing to humble Himself, He also provided, through His actions, the necessary basis for redemption.
  • First, He lived a perfectly sinless life – qualifying Him to step into our place to receive the wrath of God toward sin – 1 Peter 3:18.
  • He then consummated His sinless obedience to the will of God “by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – cp. Hebrews 5:8-9.
  • Thus, His obedience was complete even to the point of laying down His life – “to the point of death.”.

Application:

  1. How does Jesus’ example of humbling Himself challenge your own view of your significance?
  2. Jesus’ equality with God was not something that He “grasped,” but humbled Himself – why do we so tightly cling to our own sense of significance?
  3. Where does pride prevent you from doing “the right thing,” that is, the thing that is the best for others?

II. The Work of His Exaltation (God highly exalted Him)

A. God Raised Him from the Dead 

  • Whereas Jesus “humbled Himself,” God has “highly exalted Him” – through the resurrection from the dead – 1 Peter 1:21.
  • This is the promise of God to those who humble themselves – cp. James 4:10.
  • Immediately we perceive from this statement that the Lord Jesus was delivered from the scourge and shame of death by the resurrection – cp. Acts 2:24.
  • But there are others who have been raised from the dead, but who were not “exalted.”  Thus, the second element must be applied as well.

B. God Reinstated Him to Glory 

  • Having raised up Christ Jesus from the dead, He “exalted Him” and restored to Him the glory that He had before His humiliation – cp. John 17:5, 24.
  • “Exalted” [ὑπερύψωσεν] from a word that means to “raise τινά someone to the loftiest height”
  • The idea is that it is impossible for Him to become “higher,” more significant, or lofty than He now is.
  • Specifically, It is to the right hand of God that Jesus was exalted – cp. Acts 2:33; 5:31; Ephesians 1:20-21.
  • This reference is to the highest place of honor possible for several reasons:
  1. It refers to a place of “loftiest” accomplishment
  2. It refers to a place of “loftiest” rest
  3. It refers to a place of “loftiest” power
  4. It refers to a place of “loftiest” unfading glory.

 

Application:

  1. Does God promise to bless those who humble themselves by exalting them? What does it take for this to happen?
  2. Does Christ Jesus have the highest place of honor in your eyes?
  3. What changes would happen in your life if He were to have the place of highest honor?

III. The Witness to His Exaltation (and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name)

A. The Provision of a Name

  • The final element in the exaltation of Christ Jesus is the testimony or witness to the fact that He has been so exalted.
  • One of the ways this has been done is through the provision of God’s blessing on the Name of Jesus – “and bestowed on Him the name . . .”
  • Thus, “Jesus” is the name He possessed prior to the resurrection, but it is newly endowed with honor in connection to the resurrection – cp. Romans 1:4.
  • “Jesus” is actually the Greek form of the Hebrew equivalent – Joshua and means: “Yahweh Saves.” 
  • “Jesus” is clearly the name referenced here as indicated in the next verse: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee …”
  • In addition to the name Jesus, the resurrection and ascension of provides an indication of other titles “bestowed” upon Him: Acts 2:32-36.
  • However, forevermore associated with the name “Jesus” will be the sovereign title “Lord” – “… confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…”

B. The Preeminence of the Name

  • We are told that this name is “above every name” – clearly declaring it to be preeminent.
  • The Posture Demonstrating Preeminence – “… every knee will bow …”
  1. The preeminence is seen in the universality – “every knee”
  2. The preeminence is seen in the inevitability – “will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (the subjunctive mood indicates both probability and intentionality).
  • The Proclamation Declaring Preeminence – “… and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord …”
  1. The preeminence is seen in the universality – “every tongue …”
  2. The preeminence is seen in the inevitability – “will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord …”
  • This title of “Lord” places Him in the position of Sovereign Ruler over all things – a position indicated as well through statements concerning His authority – cp. Ephesians 1:19b-22.
  • Even now every man, woman, and child is under the authority and rule of Jesus Christ.  
  1. Many refuse to bend the knee to acknowledge the rightful place of Jesus Christ, clinging instead to their sin – Romans 2:4-8.
  2. Some have responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, have repented and trusted in the grace of God and the work of Christ for the forgiveness of their sin and reconciliation to God.
  3. However, both groups will one day acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ – the only difference will be to what end?
  4. Some will bend the knee in a forced way which will result in condemnation and judgment;
  5. Others will bend the knee in an expression of gratitude, worship and affection for the redemption supplied through faith in the Son of God.
  6. To which group do you belong?  If you have never confessed your sin to Christ Jesus and depended upon His mercy and grace for the forgiveness of your sin through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, believing Him to have risen from the dead triumphant over sin and death, and able to give eternal life on all who come to Him by faith, do so today – cp. 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2.

Application:

  1. In addition to the name Jesus, God gave Him other titles of “Lord” and “Christ” – what significance do these titles have for you?
  2. Given that all people will confess and bow before Jesus, how important is it that you do that today instead of tomorrow?
  3. Is it sufficient to merely confess Christ with your mouth, or does one’s life need to demonstrate submission to Him? How can your life more effectively demonstrate Jesus is Lord?

 

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