Sunday, January 23, 2005

Exalting the Name of Jesus

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him 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 2:9-11)
Many Christians look forward to the day when Christ returns, and every knee bows to Him, and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord. The coming of Christ will certainly bring this to pass in all its fullness. This passage in Philippians, however, is not just talking about some future day. It is just as much for us today. In fact, it was just as true for the believers in the first century. It is an eschatological teaching — God’s truth about the “last days.”

Biblically speaking, we have been in the “last days” for almost two thousand years, ever since the Cross. For that is what precedes the “therefore” in Philippians 2:9. (Whenever you see a “therefore,” find out what its “there for.”)

The Cross is the reason God has exalted Christ and given Him the name which is above every name. First the Cross, then the exaltation. That is God’s way.

Friends, we are now living in the time of the exaltation of the name of Jesus, the time when every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Notice that it is at the name of Jesus that every knee shall bow.

Many Christians are waiting for the return of Christ for every knee to bow. However, it is not just at the return of Jesus that every knee shall bow, but at the name of Jesus. In other words, we do not have to wait for the Second Coming for these things to happen.

We can see them come to pass now, if we will exalt the name of Jesus. You see, Jesus has given us the authority of His name:

He has given us authority to bind and loose in His Name. “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that it two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered togetherin My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:18-20).

When we come together in Jesus’ name, that is, for His purposes and pleasure, the very presence of Jesus begins to manifest, and He never shows up without His authority. So it is in His name, acting on His behalf, that we have the authority to bind and loose upon the earth.

He has give us authority to ask anything of the Father in His name. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16).

“Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24).

We are given the authority of Jesus’ name for the purpose of bringing forth fullness of joy and bearing fruit that remains.

He has given us the authority to perform signs and wonders in His name. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

This is part of the Great Commission which Jesus has given to His Church. It was for then; it is for now. We are called to exalt the name of Jesus, to act on His behalf in the world. As we exercise the authority of His name, demons must acknowledge that He is Lord and bow before Him. Sickness and disease must flee. New tongues come forth to praise and exalt His name and declare His Lordship.

Every believer has authority to bind and loose in the name of Jesus. We have authority to ask in His name. We have authority to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick in His name and expect to see them recover. For at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow before Him, and every tongue must confess that He is Lord. Our job is to believe this and exalt His name over every situation.