under a special agreement with
presents "New Life in Christ" Course 2
under a special agreement with
"Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God…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…" (Philippians 2:5-9 NKJV)
Take time to study the above diagram. It tells us the most wonderful story in all the world: how the Son of God became a man and died for our sins. And how God highly exalted Him.
In this lesson we will see how Jesus humbled Himself and went down, down, down—even to the death of the cross. Then we will see how God exalted Jesus Christ up, up, up—to the very throne of the universe. Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
Jesus Christ Humbled Himself
Let us think about three ways in which the Lord Jesus humbled Himself.
He humbled Himself to become a man.
Jesus Christ was and is and always will be God, but He did not cling to His rights as God. Instead, He laid aside His mighty power and glory and humbled Himself to become a man. The Bible says,
"Christ Jesus…being in the form of God…was made in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:5-7
God's Son did not come into the world as a great and mighty king. Instead, He came as a tiny, helpless baby. And He was born, not in a magnificent palace, but in a lowly stable!
He humbled Himself to become a servant of men.
Throughout His entire life, the Lord Jesus humbled Himself to serve others. He said, "I am among you as He that serves."
In John 13, we read of the last supper that Jesus had with His disciples before His death. As the guests arrived, it was customary for someone to wash their feet. This was really the work of a slave, but there was no slave to do this.
None of the disciples offered to wash the feet of the guests. Each thought himself too good to do this. But Jesus, knowing that He was the Son of God, took off His robe and wrapped a towel about Him as a slave would do. He poured water in a basin and washed the feet of His disciples. The Bible says,
"[He] made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant…" Philippians 2:7
He humbled Himself to die on the cross.
It was the will of the Father that His Son should die on the cross for our sins, and the Lord Jesus was obedient to His Father. The Bible says,
"He [Jesus] humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:8
There has never been a death as shameful as death by crucifixion. This form of death was reserved for the worst of criminals. But Jesus humbled Himself and went down, down, down—even to die a criminal's death on the cross.
God Exalted Jesus Christ
We have seen how Jesus humbled Himself, even to the death of the cross. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay for our sins. His death on the cross was the end of His humiliation. Now we will see how God highly exalted Him.
God raised Jesus from the dead.
God saw to it that the body of His Son was treated with respect and honor. Jesus' body was wrapped in fine, linen cloth and anointed with costly spices. He was buried in the tomb of a rich man. On the third day, God raised Him from the dead. The Bible says,
"…Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father…" Romans 6:4
God gave Jesus all power.
The Bible says, "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand." God has given all power and authority to His Son. Jesus told his disciples,
"All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18
What an amazing statement! Just a few days before, Jesus had been crucified. Now, as the risen Christ, He tells His disciples that He has been given all power in Heaven and in the earth.
Before the Lord Jesus ascended back into Heaven, He gave this command: "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Then He gave this wonderful promise: "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
As the disciples were looking at Him, the Lord Jesus was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. In His glorified, resurrected body, the Lord Jesus left this earth, and passing through the clouds, He went back to Heaven.
In His hands and in His feet were the prints of the nails. In His side was the print of the spear. On His brow, He bore the scars from the crown of thorns.
God set Jesus at His own right hand.
When the Lord Jesus returned to Heaven, God the Father gave Him the place of highest honor. Where is this place? It is at God's right hand. This is the place God the Father gave to His Son. The Bible says,
"He [God] raised Him [the Lord Jesus] 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." Ephesians 1:20-21
The position given to the Lord Jesus is far above that of anyone or of any spiritual power in the universe. The Bible says God has put all things "under His feet." This means that every creature is under His authority.
God gave Jesus a name that is above every name.
Before the Lord Jesus was born, it was prophesied of Him, "His name shall be called Wonderful." This prophecy has been marvelously fulfilled, for God has given Him a name that is above every name. The name "Jesus Christ" is truly the most wonderful name in all the universe.
We can think of many great names in the Bible. We think of Moses who was called "the man of God," and of David whom God said was a man after His own heart. We may think of other great names in world history. But there is one name that is above every name: the name "Jesus Christ." God says that there never has been a name as great as this name and there never will be. The name "JESUS CHRIST" is above every name in this world or in the world to come. The Bible says,
"God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
God sent His Holy Spirit.
Shortly before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He said,
"I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." John 14:16
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit would not be given until Jesus was glorified. But, when Jesus was exalted as Lord of all, then the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon His believers. Jesus said,
"At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." John 14:20
On the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples gathered in an upper room. They had remembered Jesus' promise, and they were waiting for the Holy Spirit to come.
Suddenly, there was a sound from Heaven as a mighty, rushing wind. It filled the house where the disciples were. Tongues like fire sat on each of the disciples. They were filled with the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit had come; therefore, the disciples knew that Jesus Christ had been exalted as Lord of all. Later on, the Apostle Peter speaking to the Jews said,
"This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:32, 33, 36
What did the coming of the Holy Spirit prove?
It proved that Jesus Christ was Lord of all. From that time forth, the disciples had great power. The man, Jesus Christ, whom they knew so well, was now on the throne of Heaven. He was now reigning as Lord of all, and He was their friend. They went forth everywhere with all boldness telling others about Christ.
Jesus Christ is Lord of All
We have learned many wonderful things about the Lord Jesus. One of the most important of all is the truth we have learned in this lesson: that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
Think of the mighty change that has taken place! The man, Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself to be a servant and to die a criminal's death on the cross, has been made Lord of all! He is now the Ruler of the universe.
Five of the titles given to Jesus Christ in the Bible are:
"Master and Lord" – John 13:13
"Lord and Christ" – Acts 2:36
"Lord of All" – Acts 10:36
"King of kings", and
"Lord of lords" – Revelation 19:16
Jesus Christ Is Our Lord
Many Christians think of Jesus only as their Saviour, but He is also our Lord. He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word "lord" means master. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord and Master, He asks us to give our lives to Him to serve Him.
Why should we give ourselves to the Lord Jesus? Because we belong to Him. The Bible says,
"…you are not your own…for you are bought with a price…" 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We may not understand clearly what is meant by these words, "you are bought with a price." But to the early Christians, the meaning was perfectly clear.
At the time the Apostle Paul wrote these words, there were markets where human beings were sold as slaves. Just as one could go to a market and buy a chicken or a duck, so he could buy a slave.
Whoever paid the highest price became the lord or master of that slave. That slave belonged to his master and had to serve him as long as he lived.
Before you and I were saved, we were slaves of sin and Satan. But Jesus Christ bought us with His own precious blood. He gave His life to redeem us.
Since the Lord Jesus bought us, we belong to Him. He is our Lord and our Master.
Since we belong to the Lord Jesus, we should give our lives to Him to serve Him. The Lord Jesus does not make us do this. He wants us to choose to give our lives to Him because we love Him.
If we could only realize that it is the King of kings and Lord of lords who is giving us the opportunity of serving Him, we would gladly give ourselves to Him. No one can be a truly happy Christian until he gives himself completely to the Lord Jesus.
Have you seen that God has made Jesus Christ Lord of all? Have you realized that He purchased you with His own blood and that you belong to Him? Then, will you give to the Lord Jesus that which belongs to Him? Will you give your life to Him?
Be sure that you mean it when you give yourself to Him because He will take you at your word. From that time forth, He will be the One who directs your life.
Do you choose to give your life to the Lord Jesus right now? If so, here is a prayer to help you.
"Lord Jesus, I have come to see that You are Lord of Heaven and earth. You bought me with Your precious blood and I belong to You. I now give myself to You to do Your will. You are my Lord and Master."