LIFE IN CHRIST
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Philippians - Charles Swindoll = Chart on right side of page
|Partakers of Christ||People of Christ||Pursuit of Christ||Power of Christ|
The city plan above shows those features of the city of Philippi that archaeologists have so far identified as dating from the time of Paul. “Paul’s Prison” is not believed to be an authentic site, but was a cistern later associated with Christian worship. (ESV.org)
Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: And for that reason God exalted him, and granted to him the name which is above every name (Westminster Press)
KJV: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Lightfoot: But as was his humility, so also was his exaltation. God raised him to a preeminent height, and gave him a title and a dignity far above all dignities and titles else.
Phillips: That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Because of which voluntary act of supreme self-renunciation, God also super-eminently exalted Him to the highest rank and power, and graciously bestowed upon Him THE NAME, the one which is above every name, , (Eerdmans Publishing)
Young's Literal: wherefore, also, God did highly exalt him, and gave to him a name that is above every name,
FOR THIS REASON ALSO GOD HIGHLY EXALTED HIM: dio kai o Theos auton huperupsosen (3SAAI):
- Ge 3:15; Ps 2:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 8:5, 6, 7, 8; 91:14; 110:1,5; Isa 9:7; 49:6, 7, 8; 52:13; 53:12; Da 2:44,45; 7:14; Mt 11:27; 28:18; Lk 10:22; Jn 3:35,36; 5:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 13:3; 17:1, 2, 3,5; Acts 2:32, 33, 34, 35, 36; 5:31; Ro 14:9, 10, 11; 1Co 15:24, 25, 26, 27; Heb 2:9; 12:2; 2Pet 1:17; Rev 1:5; 3:21; 5:12; Rev 11:15; 19:16
JESUS IS "SUPER
For this reason (dio) begs the question why is it "there for?" (see importance of pausing to ponder terms of conclusion)
Keith Krell on for this reason - The phrase “for this reason” shows a cause-effect relationship between Christ’s self-humbling (Php 2:8) and His exaltation (Php 2:9). First, there was the cradle, then the cross, and then the crown.
Steven Cole - Because Jesus was willing to humble Himself and be obedient to death on the cross, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name above every name....putting His stamp of approval on Jesus’ death as the satisfaction of the penalty for our sins. As Peter proclaimed to the Jewish Sanhedrin (Ac 5:30, Ac 5:31): “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” The exaltation of Jesus proves that He defeated Satan, who could not keep Jesus in the grave (Col 2:13-15). Men did not exalt Jesus. They cast insults and abuse at Him. They jeered and spit upon Him and called Him names. But the Father gave Jesus the name above all names, the name “Lord,” which is equivalent to the Old Testament name of God, Yahweh, a name so sacred that the Hebrews would not even pronounce it. When they were reading the Scripture and came to Yahweh, they would read, “Adonai,” which means “Lord.” “Jesus is Lord” means “Jesus is Yahweh,” eternal God. That this is Paul’s meaning becomes obvious when you compare Php 2:9 with Is 45:22, Isa 45:23: “Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue swear allegiance.” To whom? To God! Citing these verses, Paul says that every knee will bow to Jesus. Jesus is God, Yahweh, Lord!
Peter affirmed the same truth on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 2:33-36):
“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Spurgeon on For this reason - That is, because of His previous humiliation. There is a marvelous connection between that shame, and spitting, and the bending of the knee of seraphs; there is a strange yet mystic link that unites the calumny and the slander with the choral sympathies of adoring angels. The one was, as it were, the seed of the other. Strange that it should be, but the black, the bitter seed brought forth a sweet and glorious flower, which blooms forever. He suffered and He reigned; He stooped to conquer, and He conquered for He stooped, and was exalted for He conquered. O Christian! Sit down and consider that your Master did not mount from earth’s mountains into heaven, but from her valleys. It was not from heights of bliss on earth that He strode to bliss eternal, but from depths of woe He mounted up to glory. What a stride was that, when, at one mighty step from the grave to the throne of the Highest, the man Christ, the God, did gloriously ascend. And yet reflect! He in some way, mysterious yet true, was exalted because He suffered.
The psalmist foretells of Messiah's exaltation writing...
Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness. Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee With the oil of joy above Thy fellows. (Ps 45:6,7-note)
In another psalm we see a prayer that speaks of His exalted Name...
May His Name endure forever. May His Name increase as long as the sun shines. And let men bless themselves by Him; Let all nations call Him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. and blessed be His glorious Name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. (Ps 72:17, 18, 19-note)
Spurgeon comments: It is, and ever will be, the acme of our desires, and the climax of our prayers, to behold Jesus exalted King of kings and Lord of lords. He has done great wonders such as none else can match, leaving all others so far behind that He remains the sole Wonder-Worker; but equal marvels yet remain, for which we look with joyful expectation.
The Messianic Psalm 110 pictures Jesus exaltation to King of kings...
(A Psalm of David.) The LORD (God the Father) says to my (David's) Lord (Messiah): "Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet." (Ps 110:1-note)
Isaiah records a prophecy of Jesus' exaltation...
Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. (Isaiah 52:13)
Daniel records one of the most glorious descriptions of Messiah's exaltation...
"And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)
Spurgeon - “Now, just pause over this thought - that Christ did not crown himself, but that his Father crowned him; that he did not elevate himself to the throne of majesty, but that his Father lifted him there, and placed him on his throne.
For this reason (therefore) (1352) (dio) begins this section explaining that because of this voluntary act of humility (Phil 2:6-8), God also highly exalted Him, giving Him not only an exalted position, but also an exalted name.
The contrasts with the previous section are striking...
- Jesus humbled Himself <> God exalted Him.
- Jesus sought not a Name for himself <> God gave Him the Name above all others.
- Jesus bent His knee to serve others <> God decrees every knee shall bow to Him.
This section although steeped in profound theology remains eminently practical for the saints at Philippi and for believers of all ages. Paul is presenting the divine paradox, foolish to the natural man, that the way up is down. That a cross precedes a crown. That the road of exaltation by the Father is paved by humble service to others for the Father's glory.
James and Peter both affirm that for believers the way up is down. This is counter to what our world teaches and the flesh desires. It is counter to what Satan sought in Isaiah 14 as see from his successive "I will" statements...
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! 13“But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15“Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit. 16“Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, (Isaiah 14:12-16)
James put it this way...
Peter concurs writing...
He stooped, who can tell how low? He was raised, who shall tell how high? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.” He threw away his name; he emptied himself of his reputation. How high is his reputation now! How glorious is the name that God hath given him as the reward of his redemptive work!
Matthew Poole - The Greek elegancy imports superexalted, or exalted with all exaltation.
Spurgeon - God exalted him Pause over this thought—that Christ did not crown Himself, but that His Father crowned Him. He did not elevate Himself to the throne of majesty, but His Father lifted Him there, and placed Him on His throne. Reflect that man never highly exalted Christ. Put this then in opposition to it—“God exalted him.” Man hissed Him, mocked Him, hooted Him. Words were not hard enough—they would use stones: “They took up stones again to stone him” (John 10:31). And stones failed; nails must be used, and He must be crucified. And then there comes the taunt, the jeer, the mockery, while He hangs languishing on His death-cross. Man did not exalt Him. Set the black picture there. Now put this, with this glorious, this bright scene, side by side with it, and one shall be a foil to the other: man dishonored Him; “God exalted him.”
Highly exalted (5251) (huperupsoo from huper = above or high, intensifies meaning + hupsoo = to elevate, to lift up high) means to exalt to the highest rank and power, to raise to supreme majesty and refers to a super-eminent exaltation. Christ received the highest exaltation possible -- in a class by itself! BDAG - "raise someone to the loftiest height." The idea is to regard a person as being exceptionally honored in view of high status—‘to give exceptional honor.
The only uses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint are in
Ps 37:35 = "I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading (Lxx - highly exalting - huperupsoo) himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil."
Ps 97:9 = "For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted (Lxx = huperupsoo) far above all gods."
Friberg - of status exalt highly or supremely, put someone in the most important position of honor and power
Vine explains that the verb exalted "is in the aorist (or point) tense and refers to the definite act in the past in His resurrection followed by His ascension, viewed as one great historical event. (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)
A T Robertson discussing the phrase "God highly exalted Him" writes that...
Because of Christ’s voluntary humiliation God lifted Him above or beyond (huper) the state of glory which He enjoyed before the Incarnation. What glory did Christ have after the Ascension that He did not have before in heaven? What did He take back to heaven that He did not bring? Clearly His humanity. He returned to heaven the Son of Man as well as the Son of God....Kennedy laments that the term Lord has become one of the most lifeless in the Christian vocabulary, whereas it really declares the true character and dignity of Jesus Christ and “is the basis and the object of worship.” (Greek Word Studies)
Why is Robertson's observation that Jesus took His humanity to heaven so significant? It means that Jesus Christ still bears the scars of His crucifixion in His hands, side and feet, scars which will eternally testify to the New Covenant which He cut with all those who have placed their faith in Him. His covenant scars bear evidence that once genuinely saved, always saved, for once a sinner has entered covenant with Jesus, He will never break that covenant. This picture of the exalted God-Man retaining the scars of Calvary should comfort all believers regarding the absolute eternal security of their salvation.
John describes the exalted Jesus in heaven 3 times as the Lamb that was slain
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:6-12-note)
Comment: Note especially Rev 5:6 describing the Lamb "as if slain" which is the verb sphazo in the perfect tense (perfect tense also in Rev 5:12) which pictures a past completed action (He has been slain = Crucifixion) and the effects of His crucifixion continuing (the scars persist throughout eternity!). Our redemption is eternally secure!
Tony Garland adds this note on sphazo - , perfect passive participle: “of animals, especially when killed as a sacrifice slaughter, slay; metaphorically, of Jesus’ atoning death as the Lamb of God.” By His one-time sacrifice, sin was rendered powerless to prevent those who trust in Him from right-standing before God (Heb. 9:26). It has been said, “the only man-made thing in heaven will be the scars of the Savior.” Isaiah informs us, “His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men” (Isa. 52:14). Heaven and earth will pass away and the former things will pass (Rev. 21:1+, 4+), but will the scars of Messiah ever be erased? For they serve as a testimony of His love, His resurrection from death (John 20:20, 27), and His identity as Redeemer (Luke 24:30-31).
Compare the post-resurrection descriptions of the body of Jesus-
Luke 24:39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
John 20:20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
The testimony of doubting Thomas
John 20:25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
John 20:27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
John 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
The psalmist prophesied of Jesus' exaltation writing...
"I (God the Father) also shall make Him (Messiah) My first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth. (Psalm 89:27)
AND BESTOWED ON HIM THE NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME: kai echarisato auto (3SAMI) to onoma to huper pan onoma:
- Ps 89:27; Eph 1:20, 21, 22, 23; Col 1:18; Heb 1:4; 1Pet 3:22
THE NAME ABOVE
In Colossians Paul wrote of Jesus that...
is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead ( the first one to rise from the dead with a resurrection body); so that He Himself might come to have first place (to be above all else) in everything. (Col 1:18- note)
The writer of Hebrews explains that after Jesus
had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Christ seated indicates the finished character of His once-for-all sacrifice for sin); 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Heb 1:3-4- notes Hebrews 1:3; 1:4)
Bestowed (5483) (charizomai is from charis = grace, unmerited favor) has the basic meaning of to give, and to do so freely and generously. To grant as a favor. To give gratuitously, generously, graciously and in kindness. It means to bestow as a gift of grace or out of grace, and to do so willingly and not under coercion. To give help to those who don't deserve it. To show grace by providing undeserved help to someone unworthy (see Eph 4:32)
Vine adds charizomai means "to bestow a favor unconditionally...then to remit a debt, and hence to forgive...Charizomai primarily denotes to show a favor (charis)...In each case the idea of a free, unconditioned act is involved, and in all save one or two cases this is the dominant thought, cp. Acts 27:24; Philemon 1:22." (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Charizomai - 23x in 19v - NAS = bestowed(1), forgave(2), forgive(3), forgiven(4), forgiving(2), freely give(1), given(1),graciously forgave(1), granted(5), hand(2), things freely given(1).
Luke 7:21, 42, 43; Acts 3:14; 25:11, 16; 27:24; Ro 8:32; 1Cor 2:12; 2Cor 2:7, 10; 12:13; Gal 3:18; Eph 4:32; Phil 1:29; 2:9; Col 2:13; 3:13; Philemon 1:22.
Paul used this same verb charizomai earlier to explain to the Philippians that "to you it has been granted (charizomai = a gift of grace!!!) for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer (Do you accept suffering as a "gift" beloved? We can only accept it in this way when we understand that it has a holy even eternal purpose in the hand of our sovereign God [E.g. conformation to the image of God's Son Who suffered more than any of us will ever suffer - Ro 8:29-note] and is not simply a random event) for His sake." (Php 1:29-note)
Wuest - "The word given is the translation of the Greek word used when God in grace freely gives salvation to the believing sinner. It is so used in Ro 8:32 ("He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give [charizomai] us all things?" see note). It was an act of grace on the part of God the Father toward the incarnate Son who had voluntarily assumed a subordinate position so as to function as the Sin-bearer on the Cross." (Philippians Commentary - Verse by Verse Comments Online)
Spurgeon - He threw away His name; He emptied Himself of His reputation. How high is His reputation now! How glorious is the name that God has given Him as the reward of His redemptive work!
Kent - Paul does not imply by this a universal salvation, but means that every personal being will ultimately confess Christ’s lordship, either with joyful faith or with resentment and despair.
Tony Evans - Over the years, many celebrities have knelt on the sidewalk outside the Grumman's Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles to leave their hand- and footprints in the cement on the Hollywood walk of fame. Fans always gather to applaud their favorite stars as they leave their imprints. Those who qualify for a place on the walk of fame must have made a name for themselves —one that is recognized, respected, and even revered. If that is the criterion, Jesus Christ would win hands down as deserving the top spot not just on some sidewalk, but the top spot in the universe. After all, when it comes to making a name, “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11). Jesus Christ invites us to bow our knees and our hearts before Him as Savior and then follow Him as Lord over all of life. And then one day when we meet Him in heaven, we will walk down heaven’s “walk of fame.” But there will only be one set of hand- and footprints there, and they belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those prints will bear the marks of nails, because He was nailed to the cross for our sins. As we see those nail-scarred hands and feet throughout eternity, we will be reminded that Jesus and Jesus alone is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. We will pay eternal homage to Jesus Christ—the Celebrity of the universe, the mighty King of Glory, the Son of the living God. Amen and amen! (Who is this King of Glory, page 395)
Paul is not referring here to the physical name as we think of it today but is using "name" as it was used in Scripture to represent the total person. In this sense, the Bible uses one's "name" to speak of the total person, as well as of the office, the rank, and the dignity attached to the person because of his position. Today we use a name as little more than a distinguishing mark or label to differentiate one person from other people. But in the world of the NT the name concisely sums up all that a person is. One's whole character was somehow implied in the name. In this passage "name" speaks not only of the total Person of Christ but also speaks to His title which supersedes forever every title every given to anyone.
In short, the Name of the Lord is what He is, it is Himself.
How this truth about "the Name" of Jesus contrasts with the many "names" by which He was ridiculed and mocked during the days of His flesh (and is still mocked by the unbelieving world), names like "a friend of sinners", "blasphemer", One Who has "lost His senses", etc. Jesus did not live to make His name great in this world, and yet God made His Name the one that is supremely exalted forever in the world to come.
Am I living to make a name for myself on this earth or to lead others to the Name above all names?
Pentecost - An exalted name indicates that one is worthy of adoration and praise. In the Old Testament, men praised and blessed and feared the name of God because the name represented the whole person of the God who had revealed Himself to them. Now God has elevated Jesus Christ to a position of authority over the earth and over heaven and over the expanse of the universe and has attached to Him all dignity and honor and glory and dominion and majesty so that men must bow before Him. (Pentecost, J. D. The Joy of Living: A study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)
Wuest - "That which was graciously bestowed was not “a name,” but “the Name.” The definite article ("to" = the) appears in the Greek text and refers to a particular name. The title, The Name, is a very common Hebrew title, denoting office, rank, dignity. The expression, “The Name of God” in the Old Testament, denotes the divine Presence, the divine Majesty, especially as the object of adoration and praise. The context here dwells upon the honor and worship bestowed on Him upon whom this name was conferred. The conferring of this title “The Name,” was upon the Lord Jesus as the Son of Man. A Man, the Man Christ Jesus, who as Very God had voluntarily laid aside His expression of the glory of Deity during His incarnation, now has placed upon His shoulders all the majesty, dignity, and glory of Deity itself. It is the God-Man Who stooped to the depths of humiliation, Who is raised, not as God now, although He was all that, but as Man, to the infinite height of exaltation possessed only by Deity. It is the answer of our Lord’s prayer “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). It is the glory of Deity, not now seen shining in infinite splendor as in His pre-incarnate state, but that glory shining in perfect contrast to and with His glorified humanity raised now to a place of equal dignity with Deity. It is the ideal and beautiful combination of the exaltation of Deity and the humility of Deity seen in incarnate Deity." (Philippians Commentary - Verse by Verse Comments Online)
Above (5228) (huper) conveys the basic meaning of "over" meaning a degree which is beyond that of a compared scale of extent. Huper is a marker of status which is superior to another status.
The Psalmist foretold of this exaltation writing...
"But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee.
8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.
9 'Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.'" (Psalm 2:6-9)
Jesus exaltation after His resurrection was the basis for His declaration to His disciples that...
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Mt 28:18-20)
Spurgeon - We Are, Like Christ, Exalted through Degradation
If Christ was exalted through His degradation, so will you be. Do not count your steps to triumph by your steps upward, but by those that are seemingly downward. The way to heaven is downhill. He who would be honored forever must sink in his own esteem, and often in that of his fellow men. Think not of the fool, who is mounting to heaven by his own light opinions of himself and by the flatteries of his fellows, that he shall safely reach Paradise. No, that shall burst on which he rests, and he shall fall and be broken in pieces. But he who descends into the mines of suffering shall find unbounded riches there, and he who dives into the depths of grief shall find the pearl of everlasting life within its caverns. Be willing to take the lowest place in the church of God, and to render the humblest service; count it an honor to be allowed to wash the saints’ feet. Be humble in mind; nothing is lost by cherishing this spirit, for see how Jesus Christ was honored in the end.
Recollect that you are exalted when you are disgraced. Read the slanders of your enemies as the plaudits of the just. Consider the scoff and jeer of wicked men as equal to the praise and honor of the godly; their blame is censure, and their censure praise. Reckon too, if your body should ever be exposed to persecution, that it is no shame to you, but the reverse. And if you should be privileged (and you may) to wear the blood-red crown of martyrdom, count it no disgrace to die. Remember, the most honorable in the church are “the noble army of martyrs.” Reckon that the greater the sufferings they endured, so much the greater is their “eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:17). So you, if you stand in the brunt and thick of the fight, remember that you will stand in the midst of glory. If you have the hardest to bear, you will have the sweetest to enjoy. On with you, then—through floods, through fire, through death, through hell, if it should lie in your path. Fear not. He who glorified Christ because He stooped shall glorify you; for after He has caused you to endure awhile, He will give you “the unfading crown of glory” (1 Pet 5:4).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? - What's in a name? Plenty, according to Justin Kaplan and Anne Bernays, authors of the book The Language of Names. "Names penetrate the core of our being." In the section of their book where they discuss literary names, Kaplan and Bernays point out that English novelist Charles Dickens was a great master at naming his characters. Seth Pecksniff, Wilkins Micawber, Tiny Tim, Sir Mulberry Hawk, and Thomas Gradgrind are just a few examples of characters whose names reflect who they are.
For Christians, the name above all other names is Jesus. The angelic messenger announced, "You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Mt. 1:21). Jesus' name has become the most exalted and meaningful name on earth and in heaven.
What's in that name? All the grace of God, all the wonder of redemption, all that we believe, and all that we are hoping for. We say it, we sing it, and adoration fills our souls. We anticipate the indescribable glory of that day when every knee will bow and every tongue, by glad choice or by divine constraint, will praise that highest and holiest of all names--Jesus! — Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The name of Jesus is so sweet,
I love its music to repeat,
It makes my joy full and complete,
The precious name of Jesus. --Martin
The name of Jesus is profanity to the sinner
but heaven's password to the saint.
THE NAME - Jesus! No other name draws people together so closely, while at the same time evoking hatred in others.
In 1999, a political candidate answered a question about who had the greatest effect on his life by saying, "Jesus Christ. He changed my heart." This person's honest answer was met with disdain from people who detest the name of Jesus. On the other hand, people all over the world who love Christ meet every week to honor and praise Jesus' name. To them, His name means love, joy, peace, hope, and forgiveness. What is it about this name that divides people so clearly? Why do some treat the name of Jesus with contempt while others hold it in highest esteem? I think the reason some people can't stand Jesus' name is that they don't want to be reminded of their sins. Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), the One who saves us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). People who refuse to ask for forgiveness from sin cannot love the name of Jesus. Yet His name "is above every name," and one day "every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:9,11).
Jesus! Do you love that name? Praise God for that holy name—and tell others what Jesus has done for you. — Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Jesus—O how sweet the name,
Jesus—every day the same;
Jesus—let all saints proclaim
Its worthy praise forever. —Martin
We honor God's name when we call Him our Father
and live like His Son.
Door Of Humility -- Over the centuries, the entrance to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity has twice been made smaller. The purpose in the last case was to keep marauders from entering the basilica on horseback. It's now referred to as the "Door of Humility," because visitors must bend down to enter. As we age, bending our knees becomes more and more difficult and painful. In the physical realm, some people courageously undergo knee replacement surgery. To avoid years of increasingly painful joint damage, they endure several weeks of agony. Like physical knees, spiritual knees can grow stiff over time. Years of stubborn pride and selfishness make us inflexible, and it becomes increasingly difficult and painful for us to humble ourselves. Seduced by false feelings of importance when others submit to us, we never learn that true importance comes from submitting ourselves to God and to others (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5).As we celebrate Jesus' birth, it's good to remember the Door of Humility, for it reminds us that we all need new knees-knees that will bend. Humbly is the only way to enter the presence of God.
What better way to honor the One who bent so low to be with us. —Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Christ's humble birth should help us see
What life in Him can bring;
It's not acclaim that we should seek
But service for our King. -Branon
The road to victory is paved with humble submission to God