Philippians 2:9 – 11 The Exaltation of Christ

In Christianity we have become accustomed to the surprising and paradoxical ways of God.
It is more blessed to give than to receive, how happy are those who mourn, those who are
poor will gain a rich inheritance, the meek not the mighty will one day rule the earth;
satisfaction comes in desiring holiness not in satisfying sinful desires. In the portion before
us we are confronted with another one of the paradoxical ways of God, those who humble
themselves will be exalted. We come to consider this matter as Paul is writing to the
Philippians about the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, v9-11, ‘Therefore God has highly
exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ Paul is
dealing with a unity problem in the Philippian church; this is a problem that requires humility
to solve. Paul has no better cure than to take us to Christ that in beholding the glory of His
humility we will be changed from one degree of glory to another, becoming more like Him
towards one another. Perhaps like me you have felt a bit disoriented as you have worked
through this text. On the one hand we are dealing with the mundane and every day
problem of people not getting along; and then we shift gears to gaze upon the infinite glory
of God in a multitude of mysteries. We move from people grumbling and complaining and
building up resentment; only be blinded by the most selfless act beyond our ability to
comprehend. We move from our petty grasping for importance and recognition; to God
making himself nothing. From people making enemies of one another; to God making
enemies into His adopted children. There we were picking sides and dreaming up smart
criticisms and insults; and then we were pulled to our knees and fall on our faces as the
only, overwhelming reality is the glory of God on display in Christ. Maybe you are like me
that having found this place where God in His glory is clear to our minds eye once again we
want nothing to do with sin, all I want to do is behold the beauty of Christ in His humility,
Ps. 27:4 comes to mind, ‘One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I
may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the
Lord and to inquire in his temple.’ Forgive me then as I have to remind us again that Paul
has a point. He is not only wanting us to see and worship the glory of God, but to see the
glory of God that we might learn something that would make us better at being humble,
that would make us better at being united. Paul has lessons to give us not only from the
humiliation of Christ but the exaltation of Christ as well. So today we move from the
humility of Christ to the exaltation of Christ to see what we learn from the glory of Christ for
the purposes of our unity.