Jesus in the NT :: Philippians

The book of Philippians gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

And as we explore Christ in the Scripture, from the book of Philippians, we learn that Jesus Christ is the EXALTED ONE. The Apostle Paul writes in this book, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being God, thought it robbery to be equal with God and made himself of no reputation.

See God became a Servant to a man to a dead man, but not a dead God.  The April 8, 1966 Time Magazine frontpage cover read “Is God Dead?” and the article began with the statement – Is God Dead? It is a question that tantalizes both believers, who perhaps secretly fear that he is, and atheists, who possibly suspect that the answer is no. but sadly, the very last statement in this article read as follows – Perhaps today the Christians can do no better than to echo the prayer of the worried father who pleaded with Christ to heal his spirit possessed son. “I believe, help my unbelief”

A legal term, res ipsa loquitor (reez ip-suh loh-kwi-ter) in Latin means – the thing itself speaks. Now if God was dead, there is no reason for the world to prove that he is, is there? The fact that people are so caught up in proving that God is dead is res ipsa loquitur that He isn’t and more importantly it is evidence that those who try to prove their case are themselves dead and blind to the truth.

So God became a dead man, but He did not remain there. He rose again and is now Exalted because of His humility to be above all. He is exalted with a Name that is above all names, that at the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is God. Jesus did not find it right to rob God or claim his sonship for our sake, so that he could rob us, the sons and daughters of men, from the bondage of death and the grave.  Petra’s song ‘Grave Robber’ beautifully expresses this.

In Philippians, Jesus is the HUMBLE one who is EXALTED over all other names; Jesus is a robber God.

Points to ponder:
You have heard of pride goes before a fall, but the inverse is true as well. If pride goes before a fall, then humility goes before exaltation. How humble are you and me? Has Jesus Christ robbed your heart to be his.

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Christian Verbs :: E is for Exalting

The word ‘Exalt’ means ‘to lift up’ or ‘to lift high’. We often seek to reach the zenith with a selfish self-aggrandizement attitude. We strive hard to be on the top, and our corporate/work culture pushes us to pursue a status quo as one above the rest, sometimes at the cost of our Biblical virtues, principles, ethics and morals.

Interestingly, the Bible uses the word ‘exalt’, explicitly in two contexts. One is to exalt the Lord and the other is to not exalt ourselves. In fact, it is only the Lord that is to be exalted because He is Holy (Psalm 99:5,9); because He is our God (Psalm 118:28, Isaiah 25:1); because He does wondrous thing (Isaiah 25:1) and because He is Faithful and True (Isaiah 25:1). It is solely the Lord God that is to be lifted up (exalted) and not ourselves. In fact, it is quite the contrary that we need to be doing when it comes to exalting ourselves. Instead of trying to lift ourselves up, we are to be humbling our selves. The Bible cautions that whosoever will exalt himself  shall be abased (brought down low) and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12). A classic example of these very words of Jesus can be seen demonstrated, even before Jesus spoke of it, during the time of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue ninety feet high and nine feet wide, exalting himself above and was abased to the status of a beast of the field, until he repented and acknowledge that it the Lord of heaven who has the power to raise up or to put down. (Daniel 4).

We are to exalt the Lord God, Jesus Christ alone.  God the Father has exalted Jesus the Son, and given Him a name which is above every other name (Philippians 2:9). So the question that remains is if we are doing the same in exalting (lifting up) Jesus. O magnify the Lord (Jesus) with me, and let us exalt (lift up) His Name together. (Psalm 34:3)

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

Psalm 34:4 (KJV)
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.