Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 … The Authority of Christ’s Name

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 9 – 11 [see highlight passage in bold/underlined and my emphasis IN ALL CAPS] … 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9 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 confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

My Journal for Today:
For emphasis and due importance, John MacArthur, in today’s Strength for Today entry returns to highlight the phrase “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD,” emphasized in all caps here and above from Phil. 2: 11. Yesterday we explored the renaming process which Jesus [it would be advisable for you to go back and read my entry for 12/19 if you haven’t read it], the re-ascended God-Man, “Jesus,” has assumed from God, the Father, the Name above all names, being re-coronated as “Lord” and sitting at the Right Hand of His Father in Heaven. And from there Christ, as ”LORD” of all, could intercede as High Priest for all whom had come to Him in faith, declaring Him to be Lord and Savior by their repentance and living worship [Rom. 10: 9-13 and Rom. 12: 1].

As we noted yesterday, the reference to the Name for Jesus as “LORD” is the Greek term “KURIOS,” which can be a general term for a supreme ruler with all authority. However, in this context, it would refer to God, The Messiah, Whom Jews had used the Hebrew equivalent of “J@hovah,” the proper Name in Hebrew for the One true God. An Old Testament example would be in Isaiah 45: 21, where we read, “Was it not I, the LORD [Y@hovah]? And there is no God [Elohiym] apart from Me, a righteous God [El] and a Savior [Yasha]; there is none but Me.”

Here you see [in parentheses] various references in the Hebrew language to the supreme God; but when He refers to Himself, by Name, the Name God, the Holy Spirit, uses in Scripture is “J@hovah,” of which the Greek equivalent was/is “Kurios” and the English is “Jehovah.” I use “Y@hovah” because the Jews of that day would not even write or try to pronounce that name because it was considered so unspeakably holy. Their verbal equivalent was “Yahweh,” which we see referenced in Bible translations occasionally. In other words, names were of vast importance to those who read from the Scriptures in the Old Testament of that day.

And so, here we have the God imposed Name above all names given to the exalted One, Jesus, Who is now our “LORD,” the High Priest in Heaven, the Name to which He should be referred and given all reverence due Him. He is the Savior, J@hovah, to Whom all knees will bow and tongues confess as “LORD.” Yes, He is J@hovah, … Kurios; … he is MY LORD!

Really, this matter is emphasized by MacArthur (and by myself here) to allow us all to understand and declare the reverence Christ deserves to command in our thought processes, our prayers, and our witness. But as I’ve indicated in days past, I’m afraid that all too often I hear others, even so-called “Christians,” trying to humanize THE LORD, giving Him name references, like “The Big Guy” or “Papa God.” I know that the latter comes from a Scriptural reference to “Abba Father,” as we read Jesus referring to His Father in Heaven in Mark 14: 36 or Paul’s similar reference in Romans 8: 15. Others may be able to give our God proper reverence by using a term like “Papa God.” However, I - personally - am uncomfortable using such a personalized reference in referring to “MY LORD.” When I hear that kind of name for God, I recoil a bit; … only because I do not desire, as one of God’s children, whom He created for His glory, to try to bring God down to my level. Others may feel right about such a personal name for God, our Lord; but I am not one of those.

God is not to be humanized. He is God; … and we are not! He is “LORD;” … and we are not!! He is our King of kings; and He is our Lord of lords; and we must give Him the Named authority in our lives to which He deserves. He is J@havoah … Kurios … LORD! Only then can we come to His throne of grace with the humility He deserves as we pray before that Throne and our High Priest in Heaven hears our prayers. And I hope you are reading into my words the fear of God and the reverence to which I hold my “Lord” God. May I never try to Name Him in such a way as to trivialize Who He is in MY heart. Others can call our Lord whatever they are at peace to do so; but when I pray, “In the Name of Jesus,” may I always be thinking and feeling in my heart of hearts that He is now – and ever more will be - my “Lord.”

Yes, we’re being redundant here; but our LORD is deserving of this repetition and emphasis; and there will be more; … so, … yes, … stay tuned!

My Prayer Today: Again, all that needs to be said with regard to Your Name, Lord, is HALLELUJAH! Amen

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