The Glory of Christ
Today I want to encourage you that what you see going on in the world today is not all there is. God has something in store for the world and the course of human history in the near future that would be absolutely unbelievable if it had not come from the mouth of God Himself.
The world and nations of mankind give very little attention to the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is relegated to a historical religious figure who has no real significance in the way nations govern themselves, make their laws, or engage in commerce. More than this, many of the people of the world have either never heard of Him, or if they have, give Him little attention. According to the Joshua Project website, the world’s population is 6.9 billion, and of those 6.9 billion, 41.3 percent remain unreached and have had little or no gospel witness. Safe to say that more than two thirds of the world’s population give little or no attention to Christ, who He is, or how He affects the way they live their lives. Most of the people of the world ignore Jesus Christ, and pay no attention to Him at all.
What is striking about this is that Christ is in fact the exalted and supreme King of Glory, the God-man come to earth from Heaven, crucified and killed by men, but raised from the dead in power by God, and who even now sits at the right hand of God, demanding the homage and willful submission of every person on earth, and offering a free pardon for all the crimes they have committed against Him. More than this, He is the judge of the living and the dead, who has promised to return again in power and glory to render to every man and woman in history according to their deeds.
Matthew 16:24-27 – 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. 26 "For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. NASB
Jesus is in fact the central figure of human history, having come to the earth to redeem mankind as the Lamb of God, a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world, according to the plan of redemption decreed by the Creator of the world and of mankind, God the Father. All people of human history have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and are accountable to God for their sins, and will experience eternal separation from God if they do not come to receive Christ as Savior and Lord by faith in His atoning work. This of course is the Gospel that has gone out into all the world for some 2000 years now. Christ is the sufficient means and way of being reconciled to God through the sacrifice of atonement, whereby He came from heaven to earth, the eternal Son of God, to offer Himself as the great High Priest of God and means of reconciliation to God through His priestly work. God has offered a free pardon for the crimes of each person committed against Him, through the work that Christ has done to fulfill the justice of God and reconcile people to Him. Moreover, He has promised to give eternal life, in joy and bliss forever, to those who will believe upon Him by faith and repent of their sins to follow Him as their Lord. Therefore, in the church, and in the mind and heart of the true believer, Christ is the King of Glory and power, the wonderful Savior of their souls, and the supreme object of their affections and worship.
Jesus is the supreme, central and sufficient person who has ever lived on this globe. Jesus Christ is NOT a great man, He is an incomparable man of glory and power, far above every person who has ever lived. He is God incarnate, who gave Himself in sacrifice for the sins of the world, who was killed and raised from the dead in power, the reigning King and the right hand of God, and bringing human history to the end for which God the Father has created it. The destiny of every single person in human history hangs on their relationship to Christ the King. He is either the exalted King of glory and power who is the Savior of the world to all who believe in Him by faith, or He is that terrible Judge who will meet out His perfect justice for their arrogant life of blasphemy and crimes against His Father, the Creator and sustainer of all that is. There is no middle ground with Christ. He is either Savior or Judge, and God has now in the gospel offered a free pardon to all who will repent and believe upon Him (Acts 17:31). This is the testimony of the Bible, the Word of God.
Acts 17:24-31 – 24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’ 29 "Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." NASB
Since this be true, then let us consider that Jesus should take this rightful place of Savior and King in our hearts. Let us test ourselves by this rule. Does He reign in our hearts? Does the way we live our life demonstrate that Christ is in fact our Savior and King? Let us not be self-deceived thinking that some vague profession of faith will be our merit before God, but let our lives be a powerful demonstration that we do in fact believe in Him, that He is our Lord and Savior, and that He alone is our merit before God. We are pardoned and blessed because of Him, and His mighty work to redeem us and secure for us an eternal and glorious life forever with Him, in the New Heavens and Earth that he will create.
To bring some context to today’s text, Philippians 2:9-11, which concerns the exalted state of Christ, let me first read the preceding verses, which discuss his humility and condescension.
Philippians 2:5-8 – 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. NASB
Jesus left the Glory of Heaven to humble Himself and become obedient to death on a cross. But consider that the lowly state to which Christ humbled Himself is not fit for a king. Should Jesus remain in that low estate to which He condescended forever, even though the Scripture should proclaim that “humility comes before honor?” (Prov 15:33) Jesus the God-man will of course be a man forever, having taken on the additional nature of man, but He shall not be a humbled man, but One who is greatly exalted.
Philippians 2:9-11 – 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NASB
See here that God has exalted Christ in His humanity and given Him a name among men and angels which is “above every name.” Because Jesus became obedient to death to serve God’s purpose in redemption as a man (Phil 2:6-11), God has “therefore also highly exalted Him!” Consider the nature of this exaltation, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.” See here that now Jesus the man will be exalted by all God’s creatures, and they shall be made to publicly confess His Lordship and pay homage to His great name, and this to “the glory of God the Father!” Consider what a contrast this is with His humiliation at Calvary. Jesus, who was scorned, shamed and beaten to death by men, shall now be their exalted King and Sovereign Judge! Thomas Watson comments..
“Christ shall judge his judges, he shall judge Pilate that condemned him; kings must leave their thrones and come to his bar. And this is the highest court of judicature, from whence is no appeal….See the different state of Christ on earth and in heaven. Oh how is the scene altered! When he was on earth, he lay in a manger; now he sits on a throne. Then he was hated and scorned of men; now he is adored by angels. Then his name was reproached; now, `God has given him a name above every name.’ Then he came in the form of a servant, and as a servant, stood with his basin and towel, and washed his disciples’ feet; John 13:3, now he is clad in his princes’ robes, and the kings of the earth cast their crowns before him. On earth he was a man of sorrows; now he is anointed with the oil of gladness. On earth was his crucifixion; now his coronation. Then his Father frowned upon him in desertion; now he has set him at his right hand. Before, he seemed to have no form or beauty in him; Isa 53:3; now he is in the brightness of his Father’s glory. Heb 1:1. Oh what a change is here! `Him has God highly exalted.’” UNQUOTE
The Scripture speaks in many places of His exaltation now at the “right hand of God.” The term “right hand” means that God has given Him the greatest honor, dignity, and power, as kings set the next in honor and authority to themselves at their right hands. It is esteemed the place of the highest honor to be seated at the right hand of a king. So, to be seated at the right hand of God, means that Jesus is exalted to the highest honor of the universe. So we are told in Scripture that when Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sat down at God’s right hand, and is awaiting the complete subjection of His enemies “under His feet.”
Psalm 110:1 – 110 The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet." NASB
The Scripture describes the full extent of this honor which the Father has bestowed upon Him. Jesus is above all others. Above all earthly powers and authority, He is the heavenly King!
Ephesians 1:19-23 – 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. NASB
1 Peter 3:22 – 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. NASB
Dear Church, this Jesus whom you have trusted in…. is above all. He has conquered all enemies, including death by His victory at the cross. He is now simply allowing history to take its course, according to God’s plan, until the timing is fulfilled and He comes again in glory and power to take what is rightfully His and take His seat on His earthly throne in Jerusalem. Jesus triumphed over His enemies by the cross, the death blow has been delivered and He awaits the right time to bring His rule into the full view of men and angels. What we are now seeing in the nations of the world todays is the enemy’s last ditch efforts to grab for some hold on earthly authority, but nothing in the course of history will ever come about that will alter God’s plan for Christ to come and bring all earthly powers under His authority and subjection to His great name. Even the evil Antichrist will arise and seek to exalt Himself above God and Christ and will cause of time of great tribulation upon the earth, but Jesus will come and destroy him by the splendor and glory of His coming.
Mark 13:24-27 – 24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven. NASB
Finally consider that Jesus is coming again in power, with all His angels in glory, to arrest and bring under His subjection all earthly powers, governments and authorities, and every single person on earth. When Jesus establishes His throne upon the earth, and after He has ruled for 1000 years, He will then finally destroy all of His enemies, including death, which is the last enemy to be destroyed. This of course is the testimony of the Bible, God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15:22-26 – 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. NASB
So not only did He possess this Sovereignty from all eternity as God the Son, but now the man Christ Jesus sits at the throne of God with a name among His creatures that is exalted above every name! This is what our text had said….
Philippians 2:9 – 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, NASB
But consider here also,
Philippians 2:10 – 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NASB
There is coming a day when all mankind will confess that Jesus is Lord. And they shall give Him the glory due His name, and not a single creature shall fail to glorify Him and confess His Sovereign Glory and pay homage to Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! This vision John sees in Heaven in Revelation 5.
Revelation 5:9-14 – 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped. NASB
The Glory of Christ is awesome and incomparable!….. Consider then how important it is that each one of us be in right relationship with Christ and walking in a manner that pleases Him. Kevin DeYoung comments, “No matter what you think of him now, one day you will stand before Jesus. And on that day you will not see him as a little baby or as a dying man on a cross. He will stand before you as the glorious and exalted Son of Man. You will see the nail marks in his hands, but instead of a crown of thorns, a crown of glory will rest upon his brow. He will be more dazzling than you imagined, his splendor more radiant than you thought possible. There will be no mistaking who he is at that moment—the Lord, the Messiah, the image of the invisible God, the Word made flesh. No one will wonder if there might be other gods besides him. No one will speculate about the plausibility of this or that historical Jesus. No one will dare to think that some clandestine council or some rogue disciple concocted Jesus the Christ. There will be no atheists at that moment. No skeptics on that day. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It will be the immediate and unavoidable conclusion for everyone who sees him. And as you stand before this Christ you will do so alone. You will not be able hide in a crowd. You will not have your family or church or well-wishers to stand in the gap. Just you. Your name will be called and you will rise to stand before him. At that moment what your parents thought of you will be inconsequential. Whether you were popular or rich or intelligent will make no difference. Your diplomas will be of no use to you. Your talents and earthly treasure will not matter. When you see Christ as he is, for who he is, you will not be neutral… No one will equivocate or find some middle ground. You will either thrill to realize that this is the One you have loved and have longed to look upon, or you will hate to look on One so lovely when you’d rather be looking at yourself.”
I would like to add “You will either thrill to realize that this is the One you have loved and have longed to look upon, or you will shudder in fear and dread realizing that all your life you shunned this King of Glory, and at last you have met Him face to face, only to have Him speak those horrifying and final words to you, away from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.”
But there is no reason for such a terrible end as that. Jesus offers to freely pardon. He offers to make you His own, and care for your needs, and heal you from your sins, and give you eternal joy, forever set free from the burden of sin. There is no sin that is so great that can stand between you and the forgiveness of God. His grace is greater than all of our sin. Listen now, even now the King calls to you….
Matthew 11:28-30 – 28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." NASB
Let us not be found in the nakedness of our own self-righteousness, but trusting fully in Christ, and His merits before God in His finished work at the cross. He is indeed worthy of our trust, and nothing less is acceptable to God except the glory of Jesus the Christ.
You can hear this preached here…. http://www.heritageabq.org/teaching/player/the_glory_of_christ/
If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425
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The Lord is the Strength of My Life