David Platt – Incarnation Lord of All (Part 4 of 4)


Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

This proclamation that Jesus is Lord, is at the central core of the early church. First sermon ever preached in chapter 2:36, Peter stands and says: „God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. And throughout the rest of the New Testament, this proclamation is central. Over and over again, Jesus is proclaimed as Lord. 750 different times in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as Lord.

It is the heart of the incarnation. The fact that this baby, born in a manger, would one day be exalted as the Lord over everything. What does that mean? Even the word Lord, it kind of loses its meaning in our christian vocabularies. I don’t want that to be a lifeless word for us. I want you to see 4 facets of His Lordship, that unfold here in Philippians 2:9-11.

For Jesus to be Lord, it means that:

  1. He reigns in the utmost position. For Jesus to be highly exalted, to be exalted to the highest place, does that mean that He was greater after the incarnation than He was when He came to the earth? That after He died on the cross, rose from the grave, and ascended into heaven, that means He was greater when He was exalted than He was when He became man? Obviously, He was not greater in a sense, as He was fully God before, and fully God after. So the essence of who Jesus is has not changed. WHAT HAS CHANGED? What does Jesus have now in heaven that He did not have before He came to the earth? The answer is clear: It’s His humanity. He became a man, and He was resurrected as a man, and He ascended as a man. And His humanity is with Him forever. He is fully God and fully man through all of eternity. a) He has gone from the humiliation of man to the honor of God. Just as we have seen God exalted throughout the Old Testament, we now see Jesus exalted. What that means is all the praise that belongs to the most high God of the Old Testament, now belongs to Jesus. When you read in Luke chapter 2:11, it says: Today is born to you ‘Christ the Lord‘. The baby born in the manger is the Lord of creation. He is exalted above all gods. He is therefore the object of our worship. 
  2. He holds unending power. We’ve taken the idea of LORD from the Jewish mindset. Now, let’s come to a more greek gentile mindset. For the Gentiles, Lord was used to describe master or owner of slaves. The picture here is of one who has absolute power and absolute authority over others. That’s what it means to be Lord. All authority has been given to Him. 1) First, He has the power to save. He alone is Lord over sin. 2) He has the power to rule. He is sovereign He, is in control over all things. (32:49) It is our decision whether to bow the knee today for salvation, or to bow the knee after death in condemnation.
  3. He deserves universal praise. Worship, adoration. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess- literally means ‘declare openly’ that Jesus Christ is Lord. He deserves universal praise- from every angel, from every people, and from every language.
  4. He fulfills the ultimate purpose. Why did God exalt Him? God exalted Jesus to bring glory to Himself. That is the ultimate purpose and it is the ultimate purpose for which Christ came to the earth, died on a cross, rose from the grave, ascended into heaven so that God the Father would be exalted. „To the glory of God”. John 1:14 „We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth.” That’s what it means for the Word to become flesh. The ultimate reason at Christmas is we look back to His revelation of the Father’s glory. John 12, before Jesus is about to head to the cross, „What shall I say Father, save Me from the cross? No, it is for this reason I came. Father, glorify your name.” John 12:28 „I came to bring glory to your name”. John 13:31 „Now the Son is glorified and the Father is glorified in Him”.  So, at Christmas we look at the Father’s revelation is Christ, but, that is not where we stop. But, at Christmas we also look forward to His return with the Father’s glory. We do not just rejoice that He came, we rejoice because He is coming back. He is coming back for His people and will show the fullness of the Father’s glory. 1 Corinthians 16:22 „Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus. Come”. At Christmas, let’s not just look backward, let’s look forward to the fact that He is coming back for you and me. The Lord has promised that He is coming back. We will be with Him forever. That’s the beauty of incarnation.

Our prayer this Christmas is simple:

  • Open our eyes, so that we may see the magnitude of your glory!
  • Open our hearts that we may feel the weight of your grace
  • And open our mouths so that we might declare the wonder of your Gospel

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