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THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, January 6, 2013

“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” (Philippians 2:9-11).


Mr. Lee read verses five through eight a few minutes ago. These verses give us the background of our text. They tell us that Jesus “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).

If we think of Jesus only as a man these words won’t mean much. But if we realize that He was “very God of very God” they are astonishing. The Bible teaches that Jesus was God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Thus it was God the Son who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” Thus it was God the Son who humbled Himself to be “made in the likeness of men.” God the Son, who created the universe, made Himself “of no reputation,” as a servant, as a mere human being. He came down from His exalted position in Heaven, and was born in a cold and dirty cow stall, and was placed in the straw that donkeys ate. The next statement is even more astonishing,

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

God the Father sent Him down to earth, into a human body. And in that physical body, Jesus “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” God the Son came down from Heaven into a physical body. In obedience to God He allowed His body to be nailed to a cross. God the Son nailed to a cross! Who could believe such a thing if it were not revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures? They spit in the face of God the Son! They pushed a crown of thorns down on His head, sending streams of Blood down into the eyes of God the Son. They lashed Him across the back, scourging Him until the Blood ran down His legs. They nailed His hands and His feet to a wooden cross. This was how they humiliated, humbled and murdered God the Son! No one pictured it better than Joseph Hart.

See how patient Jesus stands,
   Insulted in this awful place!
Sinners have bound the Almighty hands,
   And spit in their Creator’s face.

With thorns His temple gored and gashed
   Send streams of blood from every part:
His back with heavy scourges lashed,
   But sharper scourges tear His heart.

Nailed naked to the accursed wood,
   Exposed to earth and heaven above,
A spectacle of wounds and blood,
   A sad display of injured love!
(“His Passion” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768; altered by the Pastor).

See the suffering Son of God,
   Panting, groaning, sweating blood!
Boundless depths of grace divine!
   Jesus, what a love was Thine!
(“Thine Unknown Sufferings” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768;
      altered by the Pastor).

The humiliation and suffering of Christ is the backdrop to His exaltation. The humbling of Himself unto death on the Cross is what set Him up to be exalted, as our text makes clear,

“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” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Here we find three great truths concerning the resurrected Christ.

I. First, God has highly exalted Him.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him...” (Philippians 2:9-11).

“Wherefore” is the King James way of saying “therefore.” Because Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be humbled, “therefore” God has highly exalted Him. The world does not exalt Him. The world despises and rejects Him. Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The world hates that! The world shouts, “How dare He say that no one comes to God, except through Him?” “There are many ways to God,” they say. “How could He be so narrow?” They may put up with the baby Jesus in a manger, but they despise and reject Christ as their only Lord and only Saviour. No, the world does not exalt, nor does it praise, Jesus Christ. “He is despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3). No, the men and women of this present world do not exalt, nor do they praise the Saviour.

But God exalts Him! “Wherefore,” because He has suffered to save mankind, therefore “God also hath highly exalted him.” Amen! The world does not honor Him,

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour...” (Hebrews 2:9).

“[God] raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet...” (Ephesians 1:20-22).

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
   In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
   Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Lifted up was He to die,
   “It is finished,” was His cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high;
   Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
(“Hallelujah, What a Saviour!” by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

II. Second, God has given Him a name which is above every name.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

Before Jesus was born in Bethlehem the angel of the Lord told Joseph,

“She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

The name “Jesus” is from the Hebrew “Yehoshua,” which means “Jehovah sets free” or “Jehovah saves.” In the New Testament it is contracted to “Yeshua.” The name of Jesus tells us that He is God the Son, who came to save us and set us free from our sins. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

God says that the name of Jesus is above every other name because Jesus is the only Saviour of our sinful race. Jesus Himself said,

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

The Apostle Paul said,

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15).

Jesus promised to save all those who come to Him. He said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Men break their promises, but Jesus never does.

When I was a very small child a friend of my uncle’s came to our house. He parked in our driveway. Later, he backed his truck out of the driveway and ran over my tricycle. It broke my heart because the tricycle was brand new. The man saw me crying and promised to buy me a new one. I waited, and waited, and waited – but he never kept his promise. It made me feel sad for a long time because it was brand new, and I never got another one. That was the first time I found out that people often break their promises.

Have you ever had someone break a promise to you? Nearly all of us have. Maybe that’s why some of you haven’t trusted Jesus. You may be afraid that He won’t keep His promise to save you. But Jesus is not like the man who ran over my tricycle. Jesus always keeps His promises. He said, “Come unto me...and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He promised to do that, and He will keep His promise when you come to Him and trust Him. He is not a sinful man that will tell you a lie! Trust Him! Come to Him! He will save you from your sins!

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

He shall save you! There is no doubt about it! He is not a sinful man that He should tell you a lie! His very name shows that He will save you! That is why God has “given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

When I first got saved in 1961 I would go out and preach on the streets of downtown Los Angeles nearly every afternoon, after I got off from work. On a certain corner downtown, a man and his wife, and three or four of their daughters would come to preach. They were all dressed very plainly. I think they were Mennonites. The man would play a guitar, and his wife and daughters would sing. I still remember one sweet, old-fashioned song those girls sang,

Take the name of Jesus with you,
   Child of sorrow and of woe;
It will joy and comfort give you,
   Take it, then, where’er you go.
Precious name, oh, how sweet!
   Hope of earth and joy of heaven;
Precious name, oh, how sweet!
   Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
(“Take the Name of Jesus With You” by Lydia Baxter, 1809-1874).

“Precious name, oh, how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven!” Amen! God has given Jesus “a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). His very name shows that He will save all who trust Him!

III. Third, God has said that every knee will bow to Jesus, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.

“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” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Praise God! Hallelujah! When I started a church near San Francisco in the early 1970s, the young people used to sing this little chorus,

You are Lord, you are Lord.
   You have risen from the dead
And you are Lord.
   Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess,
That Jesus Christ is Lord!

Sing that chorus with me!

You are Lord, you are Lord.
   You have risen from the dead
And you are Lord.
   Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess,
That Jesus Christ is Lord!

Now that doesn’t mean that everyone will be saved. Dr. J. Vernon McGee said that this does not refer to the salvation of those in Hell. Dr. McGee said, “It is clear that those in hell who bow to Jesus are merely acknowledging His lordship...It is interesting that even in hell they must recognize the lordship of Jesus, which will, I think, increase their anguish” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume V, p. 306; notes on Philippians 2:10, 11).

When Jesus came down from heaven He entered a world of sin. Here He was poor and lowly. He had no wealth, no home, no property. He died upon a cruel cross. Then I think that God said, “He has suffered enough. I will give Him a throne. I will exalt his name above every name.”

When Jesus went back to Heaven God put Him on a royal throne at His right hand. Then the inhabitants of Heaven shouted, “with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). Then the Apostle John said,

“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. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:13, 14).

Then a crown will be placed on His head, while a shout rings out through the corridors of Heaven, “God...hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” Sing it!

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
   Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
   And crown Him Lord of all;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
   And crown Him Lord of all!
(“All Hail the Power” by Edward Perronet, 1726-1792;
       altered by John Rippon, 1751-1836).

One Sunday morning Queen Victoria (1819-1901) attended church and heard a sermon on the Second Coming of Christ. After the service that good woman said to the minister that she wished Christ would return while she was still on the throne. The minister asked her why she wished for that. She said, “Because I would like to lay my crown at His blessed feet.”

How we pray that you will come to Jesus now, and lay down your life at His feet. Trust Him as your Saviour! Crown Him the Lord of your life! Do not wait for Him to come again. Bow to Him and trust Him today! He will pardon your every sin. He will give you eternal life. Come to Jesus! Trust the Saviour! Do it now! “O That With Yonder Sacred Throng.” Sing it!

O that with yonder sacred throng
   We at His feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
   And crown Him Lord of all;
We’ll join the everlasting song,
   And crown Him Lord of all!

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Kyu Dong Lee: Philippians 2:5-11.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Take the Name of Jesus With You” (by Lydia Baxter, 1809-1874).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (Philippians 2:9-11).

(Philippians 2:7, 8)

I.   First, God has highly exalted Him, Philippians 2:9a; John 14:6;
Isaiah 53:3; Hebrews 2:9; Ephesians 1:20-22.

II.  Second, God has given Him a name which is above every name,
Philippians 2:9b; Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10; I Timothy 1:15;
John 6:37; Matthew 11:28.

III. Third, God has said that every knee will bow to Jesus, and every
tongue will confess that He is Lord, Philippians 2:9-11;
Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10; I Timothy 1:15; John 6:37;
Matthew 11:28; Revelation 5:12, 13, 14.