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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, March 22, 2019

Philippians 2:12-13 - (L 17)



Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)
  
Welcome and thank you for choosing to study your Bible with us.  From the get-go one of my goals was to get people interested in what God said and to whom it was written and we’re seeing this take place here at HBS – praise God! 

One of the first things I stopped doing as an immature Believer was letting someone tell me what the Bible says.  Not only is this confusing the end result may be less than desirable.  In other words, your salvation (where you will spend eternity) may be at stake.  So, don’t rely on me or your religion to tell you what’s true and what isn’t.  The better program is you becoming intimately acquainted with the Word of God, for only then will you be able to identify “false teaching” when you hear or read it (2 Corinthians 11:13).  Do not be deceived:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18).

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6).

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 2:16).

Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).

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In last week’s Bible lesson we learned “God gives grace to and exalts the humble:”

Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (Proverbs 3:34).

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility (Proverbs 18:12).

A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit (Proverbs 29:23).

Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off (Psalm 138:6).

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation (Psalm 149:4).

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12).

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (Romans 12:16).

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:3-4).

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (Colossians 3:12).

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (1 Peter 5:5-6).

Our Apostle Paul recently taught the Philippian saints the Lord Jesus Christ epitomized humility as the Son of Man; and in Philippians 2:2-8 urges them to  Imitate Christ” because it is the will of God the Father (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 11:1). 

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Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:12-13.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling - in the Dispensation of Grace (the Church Age) people do not work for their salvation.  In his letter to the Believers in Rome, Paul wrote:  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).  If you reimburse someone or work for a gift, it is no longer a gift; it becomes something due you because you earned it.  Paul used the word “wages” to express this meaning. 

A gift by definition is freely given.  Since this is true, Paul must be referring to something else, but what?  I offer an illustration because I think it will help you understand this oft misinterpreted scripture verse.  When the USA moved from a conscripted military to an all volunteer force, they utilized various marketing strategies (radio and television ads) to attract men and women to enlist in one of the branches of the military.  I remember one of the slogans the US Army came up with and used for quite some time it went like this, “Be All You Can Be in the US Army.”  This was not only a catchy slogan it rhymed.  This jingle implies the individual that strives to do their very best while applying their diverse abilities, skills, and talents, in support of the US Army’s goal of defending this great nation will be recognized and awarded. 

With this in mind, let’s review Paul’s previous remarks concerning the exaltation of Jesus Christ by the Father:  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (2:9-11). 

Ask yourself a question.  Has this happened yet?  Has every person bowed a knee to Jesus Christ and declared Him their Lord to the glory of God the Father?  The answer is “No.”  It’s generally understood no unsaved individual recognizes Jesus Christ as their Savior let alone their Lord.   So, Paul’s statement in 2:9-11 depicts an event that will take place one day future.   What event is that?  The answer is linked to Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:2-5: “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things (interests), but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Paul’s writing to the Believers in Philippi, so it stands to reason the biblical event we’re in search of involves the Body of Christ, a.k.a. the Church.  So, this future church event deals with the Believer’s conduct (behavior), and I can only think of one such event and that’s the Judgment Seat of Christ. 

When Paul wrote, “Wherefore, my beloved (2:12a)” he could have easily said “For this reason, my beloved.”  We now know the reason.  Sometime after the Rapture of the Church every true Believer will give an account of all they’ve done in their body, whether good or bad before the Lord (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians  5:10).   

Tying this to my illustration, it’s understood these Philippians had Paul’s heart, so he expressed his sincere desire that these folks not miss out on an opportunity to do their very best for the Lord in seeking each other’s “highest good” or as he put it “the things (interests) of others” thus fulfilling the Law of Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 6:2). 

Paul’s telling the ambitious, self-seeking people not to think too highly of themselves.  He challenged them to not miss an opportunity to use their God-given abilities, skills, and talents in service to those who have a need and not half-heartedly, but as though they were serving the Lord Himself.  At the Judgment Seat of Christ their sincere love for one another will be recognized and awarded:

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (at the same time) - 1 Corinthians 12:5-7.

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:1-3).

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). 

Let’s go to verse 2:12b. 

as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence… - Paul appreciated the Philippians response to his apostleship and his grace message.  But he didn’t want them to be on their very best behavior only when he was with them.  The true test of one’s spiritual maturity is manifested when we are alone without supervision.  This is when accountability comes into play.  The Philippians (and all of us) are accountable to God and to one another at all times.  So Paul’s saying “Be on your best behavior always and not only when I’m with you.

There’s an old saying that applies here it goes like this, “You can dress them up, but you can’t take them anywhere.”  This adage is referring to wayward children.  A parent that receives a compliment from a family member, friend, or neighbor about their children’s behavior while in their presence is certainly pleasurable.  Most stunned parents would ask, “Are you sure they were my children?”  Parents do their best in teaching what’s right and what’s wrong to their offspring, wondering if they will ever see evidence of this good work.  When parents receive positive feedback from those outside the family, they realize their efforts were not in vain.  Paul desired to see spiritual growth in these Believers.  He not only wanted them to know the truth, he insisted they walk consistently in it, whether he was with them or absent. 

Let’s move on to 2:12c:

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling – the phrase “work out your salvation” in the Greek language means:  to work fully, to accomplish or to finish.  It’s worth mentioning the only source of divine truth in this present evil age is the Bible.  But while studying God’s Word always remember the biblical principle “CONTEXT IS KING.”  Permit me to insert a for instance.  When Paul said in Romans 9:3, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” is he saying he could actually expect God to trade his eternal inheritance for the souls of lost Jews?   Of course not!   However, once upon a time, I have heard this interpretation taught.  When reading this we understand Paul was showing us the depth of love he had for his lost countrymen (1 Corinthians 1:23).  Taking into consideration all of Paul writings and the context of Romans 10:1, it shows Paul is stating his heart’s desire and his unwavering love for his kinsmen and not a literal exchange of his eternal inheritance. 

Therefore, when we consider the word salvation in the Bible, we understand it is a general term and must be defined by the context surrounding it.  This is the only way to properly determine if physical (Acts 27:1-31) or spiritual (Ephesians 1:3-7) deliverance is the theme.  Many times Paul’s speaks of salvation (deliverance) in the spiritual sense, and that’s what we have here. 

It’s also good to know salvation in Paul’s writings are presented in three tenses past (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 1:8-9), present (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:5), and future (Romans 5:9-10; Hebrews 9:28).  Said differently, our salvation refers to “we have been saved,” “we are being saved,” and someday future “we shall be saved fully” from the wrath to come.  Thus, our salvation (deliverance) won’t be complete until the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, awaiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:18-23). 

By the by, sanctification also occurs in scripture in past (1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:19; Acts 20:32), present (Romans 6:22; 2 Corinthians 7:1), and future tense (Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).  In other words, “we have been sanctified,” “we are being sanctified,” and some one day future “we will be fully sanctified.”  The sanctification process begins when we become a “new creation” (Paul doesn’t use the expression “born again”) and concludes when we are welcomed home in heaven. 

Paul’s challenge to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” was directed primarily at the entire church at Philippi, but it can be applied on an individual basis as well.  Please note Paul said “work out” and not “work foryour own salvation.  Many people miss this.  Salvation is a work of God.  This strong declaration means every aspect of man’s salvation is from God and is entirely dependent on God.  Our Apostle Paul confirmed this truth saying “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36).  That is to say, salvation is God determined, God purchased, God applied, and God secured, over and out.

From start to finish, salvation is of the Lord.   He redeemed (purchased back) fallen man from their sins by grace through faith apart from works; therefore, Paul is speaking about the Philippians’ sanctification in the present tense of their salvation and the term “work out” clearly indicates Paul’s desire for this entire assembly of Believers “to carry out their sanctification fully” or “to completeness.”  It’s been said and rightly so “Every Believer is a work-in-progress.”  This describes the Philippian church to a “T.”  So, Paul challenged these folks to stop arguing and complaining with each other so they could effectively carry out the work of the ministry to which they had all been called (Philippians 2:14).    Why?  Read on.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will (desire) and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  With the word “For” Paul introduces two reasons why these Believers are to work out their own salvation.  Although many people today teach the transcendence of God, they reject His immanence.  That is to say they deny He is actively involved in our daily lives in any form or fashion.  But, this passage of scripture and the one in Ephesians 4:6 clearly teaches God the Father has a plan and a purpose for each member of the Body of Christ.  He is “in us” and “through us” both to desire and to His will. 

We touched on this subject recently but here we are again.  Let’s look at Moses in the O.T.   When he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction” with his countrymen, the LORD removed him from Egypt and sent him to the back side of the desert for forty years.  During that time, the LORD God “worked in” his heart to purge him of the ungodly ways of Egypt and to separate him for His purpose.  God then “worked through” Moses, sending him back to Egypt as the deliverer, the lawgiver, and prophet. 

Likewise, God was working in the Philippian assembly to energize them, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, so their ministry would be characterized by grace instead of strife.  Some time ago I mentioned these folks knew they were saved by God’s grace, but they were not extending grace to one another; so Philippians 2:13 emphasizes dependence on God’s power, not theirs, in accomplishing His good pleasure.

(To be continued)

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Philippians 2:9-11 (L 16)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)
  
Welcome to HBS and our study of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians.

The saints at Philippi were suffering disunity due to strife from inside and outside the church, so our Apostle Paul introduced the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as an object lesson to teach them about humility (Philippians 2:7-8).

Paul strongly urged the bickering Believers to “put on” Christ’s attitude of humility saying:  …look not every man on his own things (interests), but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:4-5; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18).

The world-at-large does not recognize vainglory (excessive pride) as a real problem, but it should.  This book reveals pride brought about the downfall of Lucifer (the devil) and played a part in the man’s disobedience in Eden.  It’s all downhill from there, no pun intended.  Pride will eventually cause the ruination of many people because it keeps an individual from recognizing their sinfulness and their need for a Savior:

But if our (what) gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

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Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:9-11.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In this passage of scripture we have  God the Father’s response to Jesus’ substitionary sacrifice for all mankind on Calvary; a term denoting excessive anguish and suffering (Philippians 2:8).  In plain language our Apostle Paul explains God the Father highly exalted His obedient Son.  So, Paul takes us from Jesus Christ’s public humiliation and suffering in verses 2:6-8 to His highly exalted state in 2:9-11. 

This isn’t news.  The Apostle Peter said the great theme of the O.T. prophets was the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow:  

“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them (the O.T. prophets) did signify, when it (The Spirit of Christ) testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:10-11).

Paul conveys a similar message in Acts 26:22-23: 

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ (the Messiah) should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people (the nation of Israel), and to the Gentiles.

Then we have the Lord Jesus Christ Himself confirming the message of the prophets:

“…all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.  For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:  And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death:  and the third day He shall rise again” (Luke 18:31-33).

Note the Lord didn’t reveal this truth in a parable or confused language.  He spoke clearly.  But did they understand what He was saying?  We learn the answer is “No” in verse 18:34.  The Apostle Luke includes himself when he wrote: 

And they (the twelve) understood none of these things:  and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”   

Then later in Luke 24:13-48, on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, we have the account of Him meeting up with and walking along side two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus, but they did not recognize Him (Luke 24:13-16).  These two disciples of the Lord had been walking along discussing what had happened to the Lord.  They did not understand why He was taken away and put to death; they envisioned Him as the Redeemer of Israel.  Adding to their confusion, just this morning, they were astonished to hear two women report His tomb was empty and angels outside the tomb spoke to them saying, “Jesus is not here.  He’s alive!”  

It was at this point Jesus spoke to them saying “Oh fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the (now watch this) prophets have spoken:  Ought not Christ (the Messiah) to have suffered these things, and to enter into (what) his glory?” (Luke 18:25-26)

In verses 18:27-32, we find the risen Lord expounding on the O.T. scriptures with these two men beginning with Moses, and all the prophets, reminding them about the things that had been written concerning Himself.  After this, “their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

The major and minor prophets had communicated the LORD God’s message to the nation of Israel concerning the promised Redeemer, so they possessed the knowledge but did not comprehend it, demonstrating it’s possible to possess knowledge and yet not understand it to the point of belief.  This speaks to the condition of one’s heart:  

 But the LORD said unto Samuel (Israel’s last judge and first prophet), Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13).

Our Apostle Paul speaks of his kinsmen’s unbelief when He said the sufferings of Christ were a stumblingblock to them:  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (1 Corinthians 1:22-23).

Not much has changed.  Have you tried to explain the significance of Jesus Christ crucified to a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor?  What was the response?  More often than not people do not view the death of a person, some 2,000 years ago, as inspirational or meaningful.  Some may even scorn the very idea that someone “had” to die in their place because they are “lost” sinners.  I’ve encountered people who not only disliked the message they took a dislike to me the messenger.   Reasons for this mindset vary, but to be sure pride is part of their makeup. 

Over the years I’ve learned religious people, and not lost sinners, are the hardest to reach with God’s truths concerning Paul’s apostolic authority and the revelation of the mystery of grace: 

Now to him that is of power to stablish (confirm) you according to (what) my gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and the preaching (heralding) of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the (who) prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, make known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (Romans 16:25-26). 

This information isn’t found anywhere in the O.T.  You only find it in Paul’s writings.  The mystery (secret) Paul speaks of has been kept secret in the mind of God, since the foundation of the earth.  He saved Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus RD and later revealed the mystery of grace to him (Acts 9; Ephesians 3:1-7; Deuteronomy 29:29).  Thus, Jesus Christ crucified, or the finished work of the cross is the foundation of all our hope, joy, and peace. 

However, there’s a flip-side to just about anything.  The preaching of the cross was foolishness to the nation of Israel, as it is to all those who have partnered with the world.  I’m referring to the covetous, the proud, and the self-seeking; those who presently stand in the way of God’s righteous wrath.  These lost people consider the message of Paul’s gospel a “No go” because it makes no sense to them.  But all those who see the power and wisdom of God in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, in faith, are enlightened by the Spirit of God.  And when they consider the enormity of Christ’s sufferings and sacrifice that provides the opportunity of salvation it helps them appreciate Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:9a: 

Wherefore God (the Father) also hath highly exalted him…”

Paul wants these Believers to know the risen Lord has not only been highly exalted He has been given absolute authority and power over all creation and one day future all things will be “summed up” in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:10-11).  Why?  He obediently humbled Himself “unto death, even the death of the cross.” 

Paul gave these saints in Christ Jesus three purposes for highly exalting the Son of God:

1)      That every human being in the world might one day submit to Him.
2)      That, in addition to the future universal submission (2:10), there will be a universal confession Jesus Christ is Lord (of all).  Right now many people only see Jesus Christ as a man whose luck ran out (2:8), but in the future all will acknowledge Him as Lord, i.e. God.
3)    The ultimate purpose for Jesus Christ’s exaltation is to the glory of God the Father (2:11). 

The term "highly exalted" in Koine Greek is Huperupsoo which means: "to elevate to a surpassing position, to exalt beyond all others."  This particular exaltation is so grand this particular Greek word is only used here and nowhere else in the Bible.  No one has ever or will ever humble themselves as Christ has, so the Lord has no equal on earth, which means no one else will receive such a great “gift” from the Father.  

This brings us to the next section or the response to the Lord’s exaltation – Worship:

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

Again, one day future the entire universe will acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and worship Him.  This is the N.T. equivalent of an O.T. prophecy. 

Let’s compare scripture with scripture: 

A Psalm of David.  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until (this is a word that denotes a future time) I make thine enemies thy footstool (Psalm 110:1; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20).

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment (Bema) seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:9-12).

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, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever (Revelation 5:13).

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest (Revelation 15:4).

Finally, we come to the purpose of Jesus Christ’s exaltation:  The Glorification of God

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images (Isaiah 42:8).

The obvious question here is “What does glorify God mean?”  To answer this question we need look no further than the first commandment.  It is prefaced with this “And God spake all these words, saying I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3). 

The first commandment serves to remind us that everything written in the Pentateuch flows from the love God has for His people.  In the Exodus passage, the LORD God demonstrated His love for Israel by delivering them “out of the house of slavery in Egypt.  His (agape) love for all, both Jew and Gentile, in the Age of Grace was demonstrated by the Son of God’s sacrificial death on the cross. 

There is no greater love than this:  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

But for us also, to whom it shall (righteousness) be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8).

So the principle our Apostle Paul is teaching the Believers in Philippians 2:6-11 is “He that humbles himself will be exalted."  As Believers, we'll all ascend to heaven at our physical death but our heavenly rewards will be in proportion to the Christ-like characteristic of humility.  

The Lord’s reward was great, but so was His suffering, and yet He suffered quietly (Isaiah 53:7).  From this we learn we’re not to complain about our present circumstances.  Instead we’re to humble ourselves and accept the momentary affliction for what it is a teaching moment to help us to mature spiritually: 

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of (what) glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17). 

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem others better than himself,” and God will richly reward you as He did Jesus Christ:

 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, awaiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience await for it.  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  (Romans 8:18-31).

(See Romans 2:6; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9-10; and Colossians 3:23-24).

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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