Philippians 2:10-11 10with the result that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The result of God’s exaltation of Jesus to the highest place of honor is that everything ever created will acknowledge this honor. The name of the Messiah is now repeated. There is something special about the name Jesus. No one else can truly bear that name with authenticity and power. There were people named Joshua in the ancient world and people named Jesus even today, but they do not bare the same honor and authority as Savior of the world. When the name Jesus is mentioned, it should elicit awe, wonder, and worship.
There is a time bound and timeless aspect to these verses. People can acknowledge the lordship of Jesus now, in this lifetime, and so receive eternal life, or they can refuse this and be forced to acknowledge this in eternity. There is no compromise in Paul’s statement.The three location descriptions implies that this acknowledgement will take place at judgment. Jesus will be the judge that people will stand before on the day of the reckoning (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1). At that point, every tongue will confess and acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord. The verse does not say enough to determine what in heaven and on earth and under the earth all mean. This may simply be an exhaustive statement that means all people, both living and dead, will confess Jesus’ supremacy.
To confess Jesus Christ as Lord is significant. The description Lord (kyrios) is used for God’s divine name in the Septuagint, the Old Testament Greek translation. It would be significant for a Jew to make this confession. In the Greek speaking world, there were many “masters,” from local householders all the way to the emperor. People were charged to say the statement, “Caesar is Lord.” Christians could not in good faith make this confession and as a result, suffered persecution, imprisonment, and even martyrdom. This confession was central to early Christian faith. Paul wrote, “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). A person can say this only because of the work of the Holy Spirit who brings God’s grace to our dead spirits (1 Corinthians 12:3).
To confess (exomologēsētai) requires outward acknowledgement of an internal belief. However, this must be more than a movement of the voice and mouth. It must come from the deepest recesses of our being. It will require that we put Jesus as supreme in our lives. We must come to the point, like Paul, as say, “to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). This was the most basic need of the Philippian church. If they would begin here, everything else they faced and all the decisions they had to make would fall into place. Their priorities would line up with God’s priorities. To acknowledge the supremacy of Christ will bring glory to God the Father. It would accept God’s plan of salvation. We have been created for this very purpose. We will find our greatest fulfillment in making Jesus our Lord and Savior. This is both the beginning and end of our existence.
For older posts, click here.