Paul’s letter to the Philippian church is a rich theological treatise that includes topics such as joy, humility, our union to Christ, our fellowship in the church, our citizenship in heaven, and God’s grace. At its base though it is simply a letter, a letter to a group of people that Paul loved deeply, a people that loved Paul deeply as well. This personal investment, this “affection” as Paul labeled it, is evidently the result of working closely in partnership for a time and is also an overflow of God’s own love being shown to and through everyone involved.
This love made visible is highlighted in a spectacular “Messiah poem” which is at the center of the book of Philippians. There in Philippians 2:6-11 Paul artfully and gloriously unveils a portrait of the exalted Christ who was given “the name that is above every name.” The reason Paul gives for this exaltation is that Jesus humbled himself and served more than any other “name” ever had. Jesus had in his very grasp the reality of being equal to God and he did not consider it something to hold onto but rather made himself nothing and took on the form of a servant. Throughout all of human history we have never witnessed anyone like this.
Because of his humility, God exalted him. No name is greater than Jesus.
This great act of humility which resulted in Jesus being given The Name is central to everything that Paul teaches throughout Philippians. In this series we will take one passage at a time to unfold these glorious truths. In time we’ll see how following Jesus in this humble service is truly the only way to live. This pursuit envelopes and affects every facet of our lives and every moment in which we draw breath. May God’s grace open our eyes to behold the true glory of the name above every other name.