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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

God Highly Exalted Him (Philippians 2.9)
Date Posted: March 9, 2021

"I taught that class everything I know and they are still way below average!" This tongue-in-cheek one liner, or variants of it, have brought smiles for a long time. After all, if I impart all I know to someone else about a given subject and that person's level of understanding is still below par, is it the student or the teacher who is to blame? Lifting someone to my level may be a reality, but it just might not be a point of pride; it all depends on where I am on the scale! Today's message deals with someone lifting another person up and the amazing result.

We begin with a short passage from the apostle Paul: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2.5-11).

How high is God capable of lifting [exalting] a person? Well, in this case, the sky is not the limit! I can exalt you no higher than I have the authority. I could appoint you a Supreme Court Justice, but since I have no authority to act in this manner, I think I'd hold off on getting a new robe! Exaltation can be legitimate or it can be illegitimate. This is true in almost every realm - government, corporate structure, the spiritual arena, etc. Concerning the spiritual arena, there is one method of exaltation that is always illegitimate, and that is self-exaltation. Jesus said, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14.11). God has the ability and authority to exalt a person to whatever level He desires - and the sky is not the limit!

We return now to today's focus text. From the middle of the passage we extract our title phrase, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him." The words highly and exalted come from a compound Greek word that is used only here in Scripture. The first half of this word corresponds to our prefix super or mega. Certain retail stores have the word super before their name if they have both department store and food store components. A church is said to be a mega-church if it has weekly attendance in the thousands. God highly exalted Him. God did not just exalt Jesus, He highly exalted Him! Remember that God has the ability and the authority to exalt to what ever level He desires. It was God's right to lift Jesus to whatever plateau He wished and it was His will to exalt Him to the highest possible position.

Because of God's actions toward Jesus, it is our responsibility to acknowledge Him for who He is. He has a name, more correctly He has THE name, that is above every name! How did He get that name? God gave it to Him! He did not claim it to Himself, nor did men determine that HE should have it. Eternal God bestowed that place of honor upon the Son because of His attitude in bringing us to salvation. Jesus' disposition was such that He humbled Himself to become like us. He wore that robe of flesh until such time as His Father accepted His work on our behalf. His willingness to die for us, was and is the heart of the Gospel. That is why God exalted Him and that is why all men must bow their knee to Him.

To modify a well know passage, "Therefore what God has exalted, let not man profane!"

Questions:

1. What is the literal meaning of the word exalt?

2. According to our focus text, to what level did the Father exalt the Son? What moved Him to elevate Jesus to that level?

3. If God highly exalted Him, who or what else is on an equal level with Jesus?

4. If God sees Jesus in that exalted light, how should we see Him? How do we see Him? How do we or how can we explain the difference in perspectives (God's and ours) of Jesus?

"Word from Scotland" from Sandy Shaw

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Biography Information:
Jim Bullington - A Christian writer whose insight into the scriptures is reflected in practical application lessons in every article. The reader will find that the Bible speaks directly to him/her through these articles. God is always exalted and His word is treated with the utmost respect in this column.
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