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The Name Above Every Name

by David Johnson

IMG_0666(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

It is good to be together again as we look into the Word of God and can derive a lesson for our every day life and share these truths with others. The title for the lesson, “The Name Above Every Name” and the text is in the New Testament, the book of Philippians chapter two beginning at verse six though verse 11. Listen to the Word of God.

Who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Wonderful words from this passage of Scripture regarding the Lord Jesus.

The Encyclopedia Britannica is probably the most comprehensive reference of the cumulative knowledge of mankind. Regarding the person of Jesus the Christ there are more than 20,000 words, much more than the articles for Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar or Napoleon, and rightfully so, because Jesus Christ was and is no mere man.  So together in this lesson let’s magnify the magnificence of Jesus our Lord, collaborated by the apostle Paul in probably the classic Christological passage in all of Scripture, Philippians chapter two verses six through 11, which scholars believe was probably originally sung or chanted as a hymn of praise in the early church, revering and venerating our Lord Jesus as we should today revere and venerate him.

In Philippians chapter two and verse six it says: Who being in very nature God. There should be no doubt that Jesus Christ is deity. He is divine. He is God in the flesh. Jesus Christ is the preexistent, eternal God. This is also confirmed in Colossians chapter two and verse nine whereby it reveals very plainly: For in Christ all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form. And then also the Hebrew writer in Hebrews chapter one and verse three where it says, in part: The Son, S O N, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. He is exactly God in the flesh. God the Son deserves our worship, because he is our creator, sustainer, savior.

And then in Philippians chapter two and verse six it continues: Who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Well, what does this mean? Even though Christ had all the privileges and prerogatives and honors of deity, of divinity, his attitude was not to cling to or grasp or hold on to all of those divine things or even his privileged position in the godhead, but he voluntarily gave up some of his privileges temporarily. Yet Jesus Christ is equal to God the Father with the exact same divine attributes and character.  For example, in the gospel of John chapter five and verse 18 it says, in part: He was even calling God his own Father making himself equal with God. And then in John chapter 10 and verse 30 Jesus stated: I and the Father are one. That is, of the same exact essence.

In Philippians chapter two and verse seven it says: But made himself nothing. That is, Christ emptied himself not of his deity, but as a self renunciation he set aside for a season some of his eternal privileges. Well, like what? Well, for example, he gave up temporarily his heavenly glory with God the Father.  He also submitted himself totally to the will of God the Father.  He submitted himself in his humanity to the direction of the Holy Spirit of God.  He emptied himself of his eternal riches. While on earth Christ was poor and Christ experienced insults and hunger and thirst and physical weakness, pain, even agony and death, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness in his incarnation. The Son of God became one of us, a human being, a man of flesh and blood. The creator became a creature. Imagine that. And he did it all voluntarily out of love for us, for the human race.  He has become, evidently, into eternity future God man, fully God and fully man in one essence, permanently.

And then in verse eight it says, in part: He became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Crucifixion was the cruelest, most excruciating, most degrading, humiliating form of death ever devised by wicked men and Jesus was perfectly obedient to it all. And why? Again, because he loves you and me. He loves us so much.

In verse nine it says: Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place. God raised him from the dead, having accepted his atoning sacrifice on the altar of the cross, on our behalf. And he ascended into the highest heaven, the throne room of God, given a place of power and authority at the right hand of God. Our eternal, great high priest who intercedes constantly on our behalf as his Church, our King of kings who will one day return to exercise his rule and reign on this earth and as we believers reign with him.

Also in verse nine it says: And gave him the name that is above every name. And what is this particular name, this unique name? It is Lord, because he is above and beyond all comparison. He is Lord, the Lord, our incomparable Lord. The word Lord synonymous with God as supreme and sovereign master of the universe.

In Revelation chapter 19 and verse 16 it says: On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords. In verse 10 of Philippians chapter two it says: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, should bow. That is, the entire intelligent universe is called to worship Jesus Christ as Lord in heaven—that is, all the angelic creatures and all the spirits of the redeemed and also all believers on earth and even all unbelievers on earth should worship him even though they don’t yet. But they will. It is either voluntarily or it will become mandatory when every knee shall bow to the Lord. And even under the earth, probably referring also to the devil and his demons, the disobedient and unbelievers, spirits in Hades awaiting the white throne judgment. One day every knee shall bow to the Lord even Jesus who is the judge of the living and the dead, delegated to him, all judgment, by God the Father.

In Philippians chapter two and verse 11 it says and affirms the ultimate name above every name is Lord. Where it says and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

You understand that the name Jesus actually was a common given personal name, given to many Jewish males similar to today like our John or Jack or Jerry.  For example, this is supported in Scripture. In Colossians in the New Testament in Colossians chapter four and verse 11 it says, in part: Jesus who is called Justus also sends greetings.  That is, this man’s given name was also Jesus. But in reverence to Jesus the Christ, they instead called him Justus, because Jesus was a very common name.  Another example in Scripture to support this is in the book of Acts chapter 13 and verse six where it says, in part: There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named bar Jesus, which means son of Jesus, because there were many that were referred to or called or had a given name, a personal given name of Jesus.  And this one was the son of Jesus.  Even Josephus the Jewish historian made reference to at least 12 others named Jesus in his historical writings, including, amazingly four high priests named Jesus. Imagine that.  But this Lord Jesus truly humbled himself like no other. In Isaiah, for example, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah chapter 53 and verse two it says, in part: He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  Jesus Christ was and is a very average outward physically looking man, not handsome, not particularly handsome, not comely, not physically striking according to Scripture.
Now Jesus Christ could have been as handsome as King David, but he was not. And he was given the name of Jesus which was a very common name in the first century AD amongst Jews, yet he could have been given a unique name like Alexander the Great, but he was not.  Jesus Christ could have grown up in Rome or Athens, great cities of antiquity even today great cities. But instead he grew up in the obscure town of Nazareth. And as a Nazarene, which was synonymous at the time with being from a place considered uncultured, uncouth, uneducated, backward, a hick town, even Nathaniel who became one of his apostles commented in the gospel of John chapter one and verse 46: Nazareth. Can anything good come from there? Jesus Christ could have been rich, a rich landowner, for example, but he was not.  He only owned what he wore, what he had on his back.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught for 40 years. Another Greek philosopher Plato taught for 50 years and Socrates for 40 years. Jesus Christ taught only publicly for about three years, yet people 2000 years later still are willing to die for this Jesus and his teachings. Jesus Christ painted no paintings, but inspired a Rafael, a Michelangelo, a Leonardo daVinci. Jesus Christ wrote no poetry, but he inspired a Dante, a Milton, a Browning and a Frost.   Jesus Christ composed no music, but he inspired a Handle, a Mozart and a Beethoven.  Even Napoleon Bonaparte stated these words concerning Jesus the Christ. Quote: Whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, Alexander the Great vanished into thin air, I marvel how a Judean peasant should be able to stretch out his hands across destinies of men and nations. I know men and I tell you. Jesus Christ is no mere man.  Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible comparison. Alexander the Great, Caesar, Charlemagne all found empires which depended on force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love.

What a Savior. What a man God.  Jesus the Christ, the anointed one of God, anointed with power of the Holy Spirit who is the Savior of the world. Won’t you receive him as your own personal Savior?  Because his saving power is only efficacious or effective as we receive him by faith, believing that he is who he said that he is, the Christ, the Son of the living God. Accepting him as our personal Savior and Lord, believing that his work on the cross saves us from our sin, covers our sin as we receive him, as we repent of our sins, as we confess him as our Savior and Lord and as we are baptized, immersed into him and then persevere in him as we receive him a Savior and Lord of our lives, living that out in our life until he either comes from us in the air or until he calls us through the door of death that we may be found in Christ Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord.

Won’t you make that real in your life? And as Christians that we can share these great truths the gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ with others that others may be like us and become by the power of God adopted into his family, sons and daughters of the living God. And there is no other way. It is only in Christ Jesus that we can go to the Father and that we can go to heaven, that we can be saved, that we can have eternal life because life is found only in the Son, the Son of God.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13