Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 11, 1958

Exalting Christ

Roger M. Hendricks, Dayton, Ohio

The following declaration from the pen of the apostle Paul is certainly deserving of our careful consideration: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." (Phil. 2:9.) The object of Paul's statement, as seen by the context, is Jesus Christ.

To exalt is to raise high, magnify, extol, or glorify. It is to elevate by praise. The writer states that God has "highly exalted" Jesus. But man, also, can have a part In the exaltation of the Savior. All that man does religiously should be motivated by a desire to exalt Christ and should result in his extolment. The fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation present to us a glorious picture of heaven as seen by John. Viewing this picture with the beloved apostle, we see "a throne." (4:2.) The splendor of him who is seated thereon is revealed. (Vs. 3.) As John gazed intently upon this scene, he saw twenty-four "elders," seven "lamps of fire," a "sea of glass," and four "beasts" or "living creatures." (Vs. 4-6.) In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts stood "a Lamb as it had been slain." (5:6.) John heard the voice of "angels round about the throne" and they exalted the Lamb, Jesus Christ. "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea" John heard saying, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power ... unto the Lamb forever and ever." (Vs. 13.) Certainly Christ is to be exalted! Truly he is worthy of our praise and adoration.

Exalt His Person

Note how the writer of Hebrews pictures Jesus in chapter one. He is "heir of all things." (Va. 2.) He is the maker of the worlds. (Vs. 2.) Jesus is the "brightness" of God's glory and the "express image of his person." (Vs. 3.) Not only was he involved in the creation but he also upholds "all things by the word of his power." (Vs. 3.) He is the purger of man's sins, has been seated at God's "right hand," and made better than the angels. Peter pictures him as the perfect example; our Redeemer. (1 Pet. 2:22.) He is our creed, our belief. (Mt. 16:16; Jno. 20:30,31; Acts 16:31; 2 Tim. 1:12.) He should be exalted!

Exalt The Name Of Christ

Paul declared that Jesus has been given a name which is "above every name." (Phil. 2:9.) The name of Jesus Christ should be highly exalted. We should laud and magnify it. His is a name which should be uttered with the highest respect and reverence. Great care should be given as to how we use the name of the Redeemer — lest we abuse it!

The wearing and exalting of human names results in religious division. (1 Cor. 1,3.) Unity is to be enjoyed only in the name of God's Son. There is a lesson here for the denominational world.

How many members of the Lord's church desecrate the name of Jesus? How many ungodly hypocrites bring reproach to this high and holy appellation? Vainly and blasphemously do many professed Christians abuse his glorious name to their utter condemnation and destruction! The use of the Lord's name in an ungodly, irreverent, and damnable manner is abhorable to loyal servants of the Master.

Exalt The Authority Of Jesus

I know of no controversy in religious matters which has not been the result of a misapprehension of, misapplication of, or disregard for the authority of Jesus Christ.

Authority in the realm of religion has been vested in Jesus; not in a human "pope," councils, elders, majorities, minorities, deacons, preachers, etc. Christ is the one with authority and adherence to his Will results in religious unity.

If there was ever a period in the history of Spiritual Israel when this fundamental lesson was needed, it is now! Brethren continually support and endorse that for which they have no divine authority. It is not surprising to discover brethren who contend that no authority is needed for that in which the church is engaged. Truly we are becoming like the "nations round about." We are following in the footsteps of those who erred from the faith and this is a direct result of an improper attitude toward the authority of the Savior.

Exalt The Word Of Christ

The New Testament is the expression of the authority of the Master. (Jno. 16:12-15.) It is all-sufficient as our guide in religious matters. (2 Tim. 3:16,17; James 1:21,22.) Man must accept all of God's Word which is applicable to him. (Mt. 28:18-20; 4:4.) The need of the hour is for the word of Christ to dwell in us richly. (Col. 3:16.) Christians need to know the word (Eph. 5:17), teach the word (2 Tim. 2:2), and abide in the word. (2 Jno. 9.) Today, as in years gone by, we need to give a 'thus saith the Lord" for all that we do and teach religiously.

Exalt The Church Of Christ

We hear and read a great deal today about churches which bear human names. Our interest should be in the church which Christ promised to establish. (Mt. 16:18.) The Bible teaches that there is only one true church. (Eph. 1:22,23; 4:4.) This, of course, is the Lord's church, Professed Christians quite often bring reproach upon the church of Christ. Various ways of accomplishing this could be mentioned, viz., through covetousness, ungodliness, disorderliness, indifference, etc. But perhaps the most effective manner of bringing reproach upon the Lord's church is by having internal dissentions (church fusses). While not compromising the truth, those who are desirous of exalting Christ will do all within their power to combat such a situation. Perhaps the most essential elements needed for the correcting of such situations are humility, genuine love, understanding, study, and prayer. Where these elements are to be found, problems can generally be settled amicably.

Let us ever strive to exalt the Son of God. May God help us so to do!