Philippians 2:7
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Sermons
Christ a ManJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
Christ a SlaveJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
Christ DegradedJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
Christ's Humiliation and ExaltationBishop Andrewes.Philippians 2:7
Christ's Obedience unto DeathJ. Hutchinson, D. D.Philippians 2:7
Condescension of ChristM. O. Mackay.Philippians 2:7
Emptied HimselfE. B. Pusey, D. D.Philippians 2:7
HumilityJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
Obedient unto DeathR. Jefferey, D. D.Philippians 2:7
Obedient unto DeathW. Harris.Philippians 2:7
The Cross the Fountain of MeritW. H. Hutchings, M. A.Philippians 2:7
The Death of the Cross WasR. H. Giles, B. A.Philippians 2:7
The Humanity of ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
The Humiliation of ChristT. Manton, D. D.Philippians 2:7
The Humiliation of ChristJ. Flavel.Philippians 2:7
The Humiliation of ChristPhilippians 2:7
The Mystery of Christ in the Form of a ServantPhilippians 2:7
The Obedience of ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 2:7
The Passion of Our Blessed SaviourL. Barrow, D. D.Philippians 2:7
The Possibility of Christ's HumiliationA. Raleigh, D. D.Philippians 2:7
The Saviour's FashionJ. Irons.Philippians 2:7
Exhortation to Unanimity and HumilityR. Finlayson Philippians 2:1-11
A Communion DiscourseJ. G. Butler, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian ConcordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union -- StrengthJ. Hutchinson, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union How ObtainedE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristS. Lavington.Philippians 2:1-13
How Unity is ObtainedDr. Hamilton.Philippians 2:1-13
Love Promotes UnityLife of Brainerd.Philippians 2:1-13
Mutual HarmonyW. M. Statham.Philippians 2:1-13
Paul's AppealJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Shoulder to ShoulderT. T. Shore.Philippians 2:1-13
The Apostle's AppealH. Airay, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Christian Doctrine of SelfW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Emotional in ChristianityJ. B. Thomas, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Excellence of Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
The Tender Sympathy of ChristTalmage.Philippians 2:1-13
Jesus Christ the Supreme Example of Humble-MindednessT. Croskery Philippians 2:5-8
The Self-Sacrifice of ChristR.M. Edgar Philippians 2:5-8
An Appeal for the Cultivation of a Right SpiritJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
Christ is Our PatternPhilippians 2:5-11
How to Obtain the Mind of ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:5-11
Lessons Taught by the Humiliation and Exaltation of ChrisT. Lessey, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
Paul's Method of ExhortationC. S. Robinson, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Christian TemperG. Burder.Philippians 2:5-11
The Great ExampleR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 2:5-11
The Humiliation and Glory of ChristA. Raleigh, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Imitableness of Christ's CharacterJoseph Fletcher, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Lesson of HumilityE. B. Pusey, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind in ChristE. P. Ingersoll.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind in Christcf. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind of ChristJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind that was in Christ JesusC. Girdlestone, M. A., H. B. Rawnsley., J. W. Reeve, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind that was in Christ JesusW.F. Adeney Philippians 2:5-11
The Moral History of the Christly SpiritD. Thomas Philippians 2:5-11
The Obedience of ChristC. Bradley, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
The Problem of the AgePres. D. S. Gregory.Philippians 2:5-11
The Supreme Example of Self-RenunciationW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Humiliation of ChristV. Hutton Philippians 2:6-8
The Form of GodJ. Daille.Philippians 2:6-10
The Three EstatesT. Sherlock, D. D.Philippians 2:6-10

I. THE HEIGHT FROM WHICH HE. CAME IS THE MEASURE OF THE DEPTH TO WHICH HE DESCENDED. He was for ever "in the form of God;" i.e. with the essential nature of God (cf. John 13:3, 4).

II. HIS HUMILIATION WAS NO LOSS OF GLORY OR ESSENTIAL WORTH. He is for ever in the form of God; this he could not renounce. He laid aside for a time his external equality with God. This he considered not to be a possession of any great importance. How contrary to ordinary human ideas, which "catch at" anything which confers external honor!! But to catch at an external resemblance argues that we do not possess the essential likeness. Only the truly great can afford to humble themselves.

III. HIS HUMILIATION A REALITY. He takes the" form of a servant;" i.e. he actually becomes such, as he was actually in the "form of God." He assumes also the "likeness of a man," becoming in appearance, as in reality, one of ourselves.

IV. HE ACCEPTS THE TRUE POSITION OF MAN, WHICH IS THAT OF OBEDIENCE, This is man's truest and essential glory. The true man cannot live any other life than that of obedience and service. His obedience is to death, even to a death of shame, if such is required of him. Our glory is to accept whatever may be the will of God for us. - V.W.H.







But made Himself of no reputation
I. HOW FAR CHRIST WAS LESSENED.

1. His Godhead was obscured by the interposing veil of our flesh. He emptied Himself of the Divine glory, not by ceasing to be what He was, but by assuming something He was not before.

2. His dignity was lessened. It was a condescension of God to take notice of man's misery (Psalm 113:6), much more to take part in it. Three steps in this condescension may be noted.(1) He who thought it no robbery to be equal with God is made less than God (John 14:28), as Mediator.(2) He was not only lesser than God, but lesser than the angels (Hebrews 2:7).(3) In the human nature He was depressed beyond the ordinary condition of man (Psalm 22:6; Isaiah 53:3; Mark 9:12). Born of a poor virgin, His cradle a manger, etc., lived a life of poverty, etc.

II. THIS WAS HIS OWN VOLUNTARY ACT. This is in no way inconsistent with the action of the Father in sending Him.

1. What He was to do and undergo was proposed to Him and willingly accepted (Hebrews 10:6-7; Isaiah 7:5; Proverbs 8:31).

2. The Scripture assigneth this work to the love and condescension of Christ Himself as the immediate cause of His performance of it (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25-26; Revelation 1:5-6; 2 Corinthians 8:9).

III. THIS WORK WAS FOR OUR SAKES.

1. As our Mediator.(1) He emptied Himself that we might be filled with all grace.(2) He was born of a woman that we might be born of God (Galatians 4:4-5).(3) He was made a curse that we might have a blessing (Galatians 3:13-14).(4) He was made poor for us that by His poverty we might be made rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).(5) There are some things in the mediation of Christ which belong to ministry and others to authority. Those which belong to ministry as to be in servant's form, and to die; he must be a man for that. Those which belong to authority as to bring us to God convey to us the spirit; and He must be God for that.

2. As our pattern (ver. 5).(1) The power of Christ's example is general.(a) It is perfect, for His life is religion exemplified, a visible commentary on God's Word.(b) Engaging. Christ's submission to a duty should make it engaging to us (John 13:14; 1 John 2:6). Alexander the Great achieved most of his exploits by his example. When hard beset, he would make the first in every action.(c) Effectual (2 Corinthians 3:18).(d) Encouraging (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15).(e) An armour of proof against all temptations (ver. 5; 1 Peter 4:1).(2) What He teacheth us by making Himself of no reputation.

(a)Patience under indignities undergone for God's sake (1 Peter 2:21; Hebrews 12:2). Consider if Christ had been unwilling to suffer for us what had been our condition to all eternity! We cannot lose so much for Him as He hath for us (2 Corinthians 8:9). We are gainers by Him if we love the world for His sake (Matthew 10:29-30.)

(b)Humility. We are far inferior to Christ, and shall we stand so much on our reputation (Matthew 11:29; Matthew 20:28; John 13:3).

(c)More exact obedience (ver. 8; Hebrews 5:8-9).

(d)Self-denial (Romans 15:3; John 12:27-28; Philippians 1:20).

(e)Contempt of the world and the glory thereof.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

Took upon Him the form of a servant
Christ is expressly called God's servant (Isaiah 42:1; cf. Matthew 12:18), and "bondservant" (Psalm 11:6; cf. Exodus 21:6).

I. TO WHOM He became a servant. To man's great Lord and Master (Isaiah 49:3). It was with His Father He entered into the contract of service (Psalm 40:6). It was His Father's business He was employed in (Luke 2:49; John 9:4).

II. FOR WHOM He became a servant. For and instead of those who were bound to service, but utterly unable for it.

III. THE NECESSITY of His becoming a servant for us for our salvation.

1. Mankind were constituted God's hired servants by the first covenant, viz., of works, and extend to that in their head the first Adam. Their work was perfect obedience to the holy law; their hire was life (Romans 10:1). The penalty of breaking away from their Master was perpetual bondage under the curse (Galatians 3:10).

2. They never made out their service. Through the solicitation of the great runaway servant, the devil, they violated the covenant, and broke away from their Master. So they lost all plea for the hire, and justly became bondmen under the curse of the broken covenant of works (Galatians 4:24). Their falling under this curse inferred the loss of their liberty, and constituted them bondmen (Genesis 9:25; Joshua 9:23).

3. By the breaking of that covenant they lost all their ability for their service, and were left without strength (Romans 5:6). They had no suffering strength to bear their punishment, and so must have perished under it. They had no working strength, for their work arm, once sufficient, was broken; nay, they had neither hand nor heart for their work again (Romans 8:7; Joshua 24:19).

4. Howbeit the punishment due to them behoved to be borne, and the service to be made out according to the original contract, the covenant of works; or else they could never have life and salvation (Genesis 2:7; Isaiah 42:21; Genesis 28:15).

5. Since all this behoved to be done, and they could not do it, it was necessary for their life and salvation that Christ should come under the curse for them, accept their service, and fully serve it out for them (Galatians 3:3-5, 13).

IV. THE CONTRACT of the service — the covenant of grace made between the Father and Christ. Heaven's device in this case was that Christ should be the worker for life and salvation to poor sinners; and that they should get life and salvation, through Him, by His grace, and so work from life and salvation received, as sons entitled to the inheritance antecedently to all their working (Romans 6:23; Romans 4:4, 5). Here consider —(1) The contract was entered into from eternity (Titus 1:2).(2) Its design was —

(a)To illustrate the Divine glory much darkened by the hired servants of God's own house by sin (Isaiah 49:3).

(b)To save lost sinners (Isaiah 49:6).(3) The service which in this contract He undertook to perform was to fulfil the whole law for them (Hebrews 10:9).(4) The covenanted reward of the service was a glorious exaltation to Himself, and eternal life for them (ver. 9; Titus 1:2).

V. THE FULFILLING of the service according to the contract. It was a hard service, but He went through with it (ver. 8).

1. He entered into this service by His being born holy for us, and remained so to the end. Thus He answered the demand which the law had upon them for original holiness as a condition of life (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:35).

2. He went on in His service in the righteousness of His life, being obedient unto death (ver. 8; John 16:4).

3. Having suffered all His life long, He completed and finished His service in His death and burial; thus answering for them the law's demand of satisfaction for sin (John 19:30). The term of His continuance in this state of servitude was, according to the covenant, till death, but no longer (John 9:4; Job 3:19; Romans 4:9).

VI. WHEREFORE HE ENGAGED in this service.

1. Love to God and man (Exodus 21:5).

2. He took it on Him for releasing us from that state of bondage into which our father Adam, by his mismanagement, had brought all mankind. What Judah offered to do in the case of Benjamin (Genesis 44:33), Christ really performed in the case of His brethren.

3. To bring them into a state of adoption in the family of God. He became a bondservant that they might become sons and daughters (Galatians 4:1-5).

VII. THE USE.

1. To all strangers to Jesus Christ: ye are bondmen under the law, and so —(1) It lies upon you to fulfil the service to which man was bound by the covenant of works, viz., perfect obedience under the pain of the curse (Romans 3:19). As you are unable for this you can never be saved while out of Christ.

2. It lies upon you to bear the punishment due to you for breaking away from your Lord and Master (Genesis 2:17).

2. Let all be exhorted to flee to Christ, and by faith embrace Him, and the service performed by Him as their only plea for life and salvation. Surely it will be glad tidings to the poor broken hearted sinner, who sees that he cannot serve the Lord according to the demand of the law, to know that there is a service performed by the Mediator for him which is perfect in the eye of the law, and that a way of reconciliation is opened.

VIII. IMPROVEMENT.

1. If you have any part or lot in this matter of Christ's service, let it be the business of your life to serve the Lord Christ. Consider —(1) He was in the form of God who served for you, and delivered you from the worst of masters.(2) He has no need of your service, but ye were in absolute need of His service for you.(3) The service He rendered you was hard service; the yoke He puts upon you is easy, and the burden light.(4) Christ fulfilled all righteousness for you to the end that you might serve Him in holiness and righteousness.(5) Christ served you ungrudgingly, do not grudge what you give or do for Him.(6) As Christ was highly exalted after His service so will you be after yours. Be faithful therefore.

2. Redeemed by Christ.(1) In what spirit are we to serve Him.

(a)Not as slaves, but as children (Galatians 4:7). This is the only acceptable service.

(b)Out of love for Him (Hebrews 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 2 Timothy 1:7).

(c)Universally (Colossians 4:12).

(d)Constantly (Psalm 119:112).(2) How are we to serve Him.

(a)By being of a loving disposition towards our brethren.

(b)By doing good as we have opportunity (Galatians 6:10).

(c)Put on bowels of mercies towards those who are in distress (Colossians 3:12).

(d)Show a strict regard for justice in your dealings with men as Christ did in His dealings towards God for you.

(e)Be humble (John 13:14-15).

(T. Boston, D. D.)

The word "servant" does not convey to us the degree of degradation which it meant centuries ago. For service has been dignified since Christ was a servant. We know nothing now more honourable than Christian service. But He first taught us to call our servants "friends."

I. Look at SOME OF THE LAWS RESPECTING JEWISH SLAVES so as to estimate the humiliation of Jesus; and these were mild compared with those that obtained among the Romans.

1. No slave could have any right as a citizen. If injured he had no redress. As for our Saviour, when subjected to the most outrageous wrong, no arm of the law was outstretched for His defence. "His judgment was taken away."

2. The slave could hold no property. The Servant of servants had not where to lay His head; no money to pay His taxes; no clothes but such as privileged hands had made for Him.

3. The slave, in the eye of the law, was a mere chattel, which could be bought and sold; for the base sum of less than three pounds Judas sold his Lord.

4. At death the slave might be scourged and tortured as none other might, and the bitterest and vilest death was assigned to Him. See Jesus under the lash and on the cross the slave.

5. The law said the slave was nothing less than a dead man; Christ was "a worm and no man."

II. AS A SLAVE CHRIST HAD TWO DUTIES TO EXECUTE.

1. To His Father.(1) God had made the power of Jesus to do His work depend on His faithfulness. "By His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many." Had He not been righteous as a servant, He could not have justified the sinner.(2) But how perfect was His course of servitude, how continuous, laborious, devoted (Psalm 40; cf. Hebrews 10): The Jewish slave wishing, for the love he bare his master, to continue in his service, had his ear fastened for a while with an awl to his master's door in token of his abiding always in his service. So Christ, in the language of the slave, loves to say, "Mine ears hast Thou opened," and adds the reason, "I delight," etc.

2. To His people. His time while He lived on earth was not His own but theirs. He was at every one's call. His day was all work for the creature; His night communion with the Creator. The smallest things were not beneath His attention (John 13.).

III. INFERENCES.

1. Of all the names a Christian can wear there is not one which places him so near his Master as this — a servant of God. St. Paul put it above his apostleship.

2. To own that title you must not regard it as a figure of speech.(1) Your time is not your own.(2) Your possessions — money, talents, power.(3) Be clothed therefore with humility, and gird yourself with energy.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Made in the likeness of men
1. As soon as the Saviour had resolved to take upon Him the form of a servant, it followed that He should be "made in the likeness of men." Fallen man is the most servile thing in God's universe — a bond slave of Satan, "Sold under sin" — the servant of uncleanness. His passions are his masters, his fears his chains, death his cruel tyrant.

2. We must be careful not to suffer our conviction of the Deity of Christ to weaken our apprehension of His perfect manhood. For if Christ be not absolutely a man, if His divinity come in, in the least degree, to qualify His humanity, then He practically ceases to be an example, and, indeed, a substitute.

I. IT WAS NOT THE BODY OF CHRIST ONLY WHICH WAS HUMAN WHILE HIS SOUL WAS DIVINE, BUT THAT SOUL AND BODY WERE EQUALLY IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN.

1. His bodily presence stood forth always visibly and palpably a man. In the likeness of the infant He lay in the manger, of the boy He sat in the temple, of the man He walked the length and breadth of the land. The labouring man has the privilege of resemblance, for it is not unlikely that He worked at His father's trade. Rest and clothes and food and warmth He needed like us.

2. Let us trace on the likeness into His spiritual being.(1) It is a law of the mind that it grows. Jesus "grew in wisdom."(2) That we are conscious of joy and sorrow. Once Christ rejoiced in Spirit, and twice shed tears.(3) That we must lean on some one, our God and our friend. So did Jesus.(4) That we should be tempted. He imitated us in His conflict with the prince of darkness.(5) In deep thoughts he had the counterpart of ours, the shrinking back of the obedient and willing spirit as it recoils from nature's throes.(6) He was utterly blameless; yet He knew sin by experience, for He bore it.

II. THE MANHOOD CHRIST ASSUMED IS FULL OF THE DEEPEST COMFORT TO HIS CHURCH.

1. All the nature of our race was gathered and concentrated into that one human life. He stood forth as the great representative man.

2. Thus it was that Christ went down to His grave, and when He rose and was glorified the great representative principle went on. He is not the solitary conqueror entered into His rest; but the forerunner and earnest of His saints. He holds ground for us till, in due time, we shall come.

3. And so long as the needful processes of the preparation go on He there lives, and intercedes, and rules, and wears the very form in which He suffered. How certain, then, His sympathy.

III. THEREFORE REVERENCE MANHOOD. Respect a body which has such fellowships; be tender to the corporeal wants of the members of the body of Christ.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

I. IN HIS INCARNATION. The Ruler of all brought to the state of a creature.

1. To the state of an inferior creature, a man, not an angel,

2. At a time when this nature was stained by sin.

3. To be scorned by men.

4. Deprived of the joys of heaven.

5. The offspring of a poor woman.

II. IN HIS LIFE.

1. Born in a stable.

2. Tempted of Satan.

3. Inured to poverty.

4. Ungratefully received by His own and by the world.

III. IN HIS DEATH — that of a malefactor.

(J. Flavel.)

We have no difficulty in conceiving how a man of highest virtue, and noblest birth, and clearest intelligence, could assume an outward garb which would completely belie or hide his real character. A king need not always wear the royal robes and sit on a throne. He may become a shepherd on the him, a sailor before the mast, a servant of his own servants. Missionaries — and in this case the moral analogy is more perfect — after learning the language of a barbarous people, have gone among them, conforming to all their habits as far as they could, living a dark, rude life, submitting to every kind of trial and privation, in order to a great and beneficent end. Is it then to be said, in the ignorance of our pride, in the supercilious presumption of our poor narrow thought, that the Infinite One must always be in Divine state and glory, in one manifestation, in one form of His infinite life, that whatever transpires in the history of the world or the universe, He can do nothing except what He has been forever doing — speak no new word — make no new revelation of Himself? The assertion that God cannot lay aside some of what we may call the accidents of His being, and invest Himself in another way, is almost to assert that He is not God at all.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

All His attributes He veiled and hid; His infinity, to abide, like other unborn babes, within the virgin's womb; His eternity, to receive birth in time, younger than His creatures; His unchangeableness, to grow in stature, and (as it would seem) for His earthly form to decay, and be worn by His sufferings; His wisdom, "for our sake and among us to be ignorant, as man," "of that which, as Lord, He knew"; His self-sufficingness, that He, who had all things, became as though He had nothing. He forewent not things without Him only; He forewent Himself He, the Creator, not only made Himself to need the creatures which He had formed, and was without them — He was hungry and thirsty, and wearied — but even in the things which He wrought, He depended not alone on the Godhead within Him but on the Father. His works were not His own works but His Father's. He came not to do His own will, but His Father's. He prayed, and praying was heard, though He Himself was God. He was strengthened as man, by the angel, whom, as God, He created. Again, how must He have "emptied Himself" of His majesty, who, when, with a word, He could have destroyed the ungodly, and "with the breath of His mouth" have "slain the wicked," was Himself sold into their hands for the price of a bondslave. He "hid not His face from shame and spitting," before whom angels veil their faces. He "emptied Himself" of His immortality, and the immortal died. He became subject to death, the penalty of sin. But what seems yet more amazing, He was content to veil even that, in Himself, wherein, so to say, God is most God, the glory of the divinity, His holy being, whereby He hateth all iniquity. He who is "the Truth," was contented to be called "that deceiver." He hid His holiness, so that His apostate angel shrank not from approaching Him, to tempt Him. He veiled the very humility wherewith He humbled Himself to be obedient, so that Satan thought that He might be tempted through pride. He was content to he thought able to covet the creatures which He had made, and, like us, to prefer them to the Father; yea, and the very lowest of the creatures, which even man can despise. They called Him "a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber." "We know," say they, "that this man is a sinner." They reproached Him for disobedience to the Father, and breaking the law which He gave. So wholly was He made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, that man could not discern that He, the holy God, was not (shocking to say) unholy man.

(E. B. Pusey, D. D.)

During one of the campaigns in the American Civil War, when the winter weather was very severe, some of Stonewall Jackson's men having crawled out in the morning from their snow-laden blankets, half frozen, began to curse him as the cause of their sufferings. He lay close by under a tree, also snowed under, and heard all this: but, without noticing it, presently crawled out too, and, shaking off the snow, made some jocular remark to the nearest men, who had no idea he had ridden up in the night and lain down amongst them! The incident ran through the army in a few hours, and reconciled his followers to all the hardships of the expedition, and fully reestablished his popularity.

(M. O. Mackay.)

From eternity there was the idea and image of a man in the mind of God. That man was perfect. Adam was created in his innocence a type or shadow of that man. When Adam lost the likeness, the great design of God was to restore it. To this end, Christ, who was always the real original of that man as he lay in the purposes of God, determined to take our nature. From time to time, in earnest of His future purpose, He appeared as a man to the Old Testament saints. At last, when the appointed period arrived, Christ "came after the flesh, born of a woman." He was not at first that perfect man which lay in the intention of the Father before all ages, but He was like it, as the shadow is to the substance; and He gradually grew into it. By successive processes He attained it. First, He was natural; then, after His resurrection, He was spiritual; then, after His ascension, He was glorious; and now, still a man, entirely a man, wearing our framework, and carrying our affections, He is that very eternal man conceived in the bosom of God, and of which both Adam in Paradise and He in Bethlehem were made to be the copy and the likeness.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

And being found in fashion as a man.
I. THE FASHION IN WHICH CHRIST WAS FOUND — that of a man.

1. Real, not in appearance only.

2. Perfect, both body and soul, with all the attributes of our humanity.

3. Sinless. It was needful for Him to assume this fashion.(1) Otherwise our sins could not be atoned for.(2) Nor could He have become the Head of the Church. It is impossible to admire this fashion too much.

II. WHAT HE ENDURED IN THAT FASHION.

1. He humbled Himself to teach us the sin and folly of pride and the duty of humility.

2. He became obedient to teach us passive and active obedience to God's will.

(1)This obedience was perfect — "to death."

(2)Acceptable.

(3)He endured the cross to teach us self-denial.

III. THE PERMANENCE OF THAT FASHION. Other fashions change. This never. He wears the body that will be His through eternity. Conclusion:

1. This is the only fashion in which salvation can be found.

2. This is the only pattern for our holiness.

(J. Irons.)

1. The expressions which assert Christ's incarnation imply His Deity. Who would say of any merely human being that he was "found in fashion as a man."

2. Christ might have been man without humiliation: e.g., had He assumed the "glorious body" He now wears.

3. The most beautiful feature about Christ's humiliation was that it was never prominent, but always self-forgetful. The grace of a humble mind is that it is too humble to look humble. Our Lord's humiliation may be regarded in four stages.

I. In HIS INCARNATION. How imperceptible that was. No parade. Never did infant enter life with less consequence.

II. In HIS PREMINISTERIAL LIFE.

1. There was the humiliation of the flight and exile into Egypt.

2. His choice of Nazareth as a home, the name of which fastened a stigma and a prejudice upon Him all His days.

3. His life of subjection and labour.

III. In HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY.

1. His submission to baptism. John was struck with the self-abasement of this act. Ordinances, however precious, are humbling because the badge of a fallen state.

2. His temptation. There are things we come in contact with which, though not hurtful, leave a feeling of debasement.

3. His poverty and privation.

4. His intercourse with the coarse and the sinful.

5. His subjection to the cavil of the unbeliever, and the jest of the profane.

IV. In HIS DEATH.

1. The circumstances of His arrest and trial.

2. The character of His punishment.

3. His dissolution. It was humiliation indeed for God to become man; much more, being man, to die.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

In the text we have —

1. The depth of Christ's humiliation.

(1)Specified — "death."

(2)Aggravated "death of the cross."

2. The manner thereof.

(1)Voluntary — "humbled Himself."

(2)"Obedient."The Scripture marks the special stages of His humiliation.

1. He stooped to become a man. Had Christ been made an angel it had been infinitely below Himself.

2. He condescended to put His neck under the yoke of the law. (Galatians 4:4). A creature is indispensably subjected to the law of its Maker, by virtue of its creatureship and dependence, and is involved in no humiliation. But the Son of God is the Law Maker. He submitted to the ceremonial law in His circumcision, and to the moral law in His life; all which subjection was not a debt to God, but a voluntary subscription. "The law is not made," in some sense, "for a righteous man" (1 Timothy 1:9), but is not made in any sense for the glorious God.

3. He appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3). He trod not one step awry in sin, but many of the footsteps of sin appeared upon Him: e.g. —(1) Poverty. Sin was the great bankrupt that brought all to beggary, and so poverty is the likeness of sin.(2) Sorrow (Isaiah 53:3). The same Hebrew word stands for both.(3) Shame and reproach. Sin was the inlet of shame (Genesis 3:7). So Christ (Isaiah 53:3; Psalm 27:6).(4) The withdrawment of the Father and clouding the light of His countenance (Matthew 27:46, cf. Isaiah 59:2).(4) Death. In amplification of this, the principal act of Christ's humiliation, note —

I. WHAT KIND OF DEATH CHRIST HUMBLED HIMSELF UNTO. Not a natural death, nor a mere violent death, but a violent death having three embittering circumstances.

1. Pain. The easiest death is painful, however downy the bed. The first mention of Christ's death is that of bruising (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:10). So painful was it in thought that Christ shrunk from it (Matthew 26:39). Three things made the actual death painful.

(1)The piercing His hands and feet, those sinews and sensitive parts.

(2)The extension and distortion of His body.

(3)The slowness and gradual approach of death. Six complete hours in the heat of the day was Christ in dying (Mark 15:25; cf. ver. 34).

2. Shame. There is nothing so sharp and intolerable, not even pain, to a noble spirit as shame (Hebrews 12:2). The cross was an ignominious death, and Christ endured it amidst circumstances of aggravated ignominy, nakedness, and scorn. All his offices were derided: His Priestly (Matthew 27:42); His prophetical (Luke 22:64); His Kingly (John 19:2-3). Notorious villains were crucified with Him. He suffered without the gate (Hebrews 12:12; Leviticus 24:14).

3. Curse. Pain was bad, shame worse, curse worst of all (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13; Acts 5:30).

II. IN WHAT MANNER CHRIST UNDERWENT THIS DEATH.

1. Willingly. His sacrifice was a free-wilt offering. Neither the Father's ordination nor men's violence constituted the sacrifice (Psalm 40:7-8; John 10:17-18). He might have avoided it (Matthew 26:53), but so far from that He anticipated His executioners (John 19:33). But He was more than willing (Luke 12:50).

2. Obediently. It was His will to die; and yet He died not of His own will, but of His Father's. The two are conjoined in Hebrews 10:7, and John 10:18. This obedience was the best part of His sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22; Matthew 26:39).

3. Humbly and meekly — (Isaiah 53:7) — from His expostulation with Judas (Matthew 26:50) to His last prayer (Luke 23:34) all is that of One who, when He suffered He threatened not (1 Peter 2:23).

III. UPON WHAT GROUNDS CHRIST THUS HUMBLED HIMSELF TO DEATH.

1. That Scripture prophecies might be accomplished (Isaiah 63:1; Genesis 3:15; Luke 24:25, 26).

2. That Scripture types might be fulfilled — Isaac, the offerings, the brazen serpent, etc.

3. That His will and testament might be firm and effectual (Hebrews 9:16, 17; Luke 22:20).

4. That justice might be satisfied (Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:25, 26).

5. That He that hath the power of death might be destroyed (Hebrews 2:14).

6. To take away the meritorious cause of death, namely, sin (Romans 8:3; Romans 6:10-11; Daniel 9:24-26). Application: Three uses may be made of this doctrine.

1. For information.(1) This lets us see the transcendent and inexpressible love of Christ to poor sinners (Galatians 2:20).(2) The horrible and cursed evil of sin to need such a remedy.(3) The exact and impartial justice of God and His most righteous remedy against sin. Rather than that sin should go unpunished He spared not His own Son (Romans 3:25).(4) This is sad and dreadful news to all impenitent sinners (Hebrews 10:29).

2. For exhortation. If Christ shed His blood for sin(1) let us shed the blood of sin (Romans 6:10, 11; Galatians 5:24).(2) Let our lives run out for Christ in a vigorous activity (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15; Titus 2:14).(3) Let us praise Him exceedingly, and raise Him in our esteem above everything and every one else (1 Peter 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Philippians 3:8; Matthew 10:37).(4) Let us prize highly our own souls that were purchased at such a price (1 Peter 1:18).(5) Let us be willing, if need be, to shed our blood for Him (Acts 20:24; Revelation 12:11; Hebrews 12:4).(6) By faith and hearty acceptance of Christ, let us put in for a share of, and get an interest in Christ's blood (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:14).

3. For comfort.(1) Your enemies are foiled. The justice of God is satisfied; the law is fulfilled; Satan is subdued; sin is abolished as it binds over to punishment, and is reflected in the conscience by way of accusation; death is slain.(2) Your person is accepted.(3) Christ is willing to do anything for thee.(4) Heaven is opened to thee (Hebrews 10:19).

(J. Meriton, D. D.)

I. ITS CHARACTERISTICS.

1. Produced by the Spirit. He was tempted and overcame by the Holy Ghost.

2. Perfectly human, or it would be no example to us.

3. Progressive. "Though He were a Son," etc. It grew with the growth of obligations.

4. Active and passive.

II. ITS NATURE.

1. He obeyed the law. "Thy law is within my heart" was the language of His whole life.

(1)As an antitype He fulfilled the whole law of sacrifice.

(2)As a devout Jew, He fulfilled the whole ceremonial law.

(3)As citizen of the world He fulfilled the political law by paying taxes.

(4)As a man, He fulfilled the whole moral law.

(5)As a child of God He fulfilled the spiritual law.

2. Christ was always obeying inward principle. His outward life was the reflection of His sense of duty. How often was "I must" upon His lips.

3. Christ always set His life to the meridian of Scripture — "It is written."

4. He was the most obedient of Sons to His heavenly Father — "I can of Myself do nothing."

III. THE HARMONIOUS ADJUSTMENT OF ITS TWO-FOLD OBLIGATIONS.

1. As a child He was subject to His mother — but if interfered with in His work there were the "Woman; what have I to do with thee?" or "Who is My mother?"

2. As a subject of the state He pays the tribute at the same moment that He asserts His claim and privilege as the Son of God. "Render unto Caesar," etc.

IV. ITS DEVELOPMENT.

1. As an infant He was obedient to circumcision.

2. His childhood and early manhood were subject to parental authority.

3. At thirty His argument for baptism is "Thus it becometh us," etc.

4. In obedience to the Holy Ghost He goes into the desert and conquers by "It is written," etc.

5. The yoke He imposes on His disciples is His own — obedience.

6. He is Lord of the Sabbath, but obeys the Sabbath.

7. The Transfiguration speaks of Sonship and service.

8. His death was the completion of His life of obedience.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The phrase states the landing place of Christ's career of humiliation, the antipodes of the contrast, the nadir below which it was impossible for Him to go.

I. WHAT IS DEATH — especially as expressive of the condition to which Jesus humbled Himself? Our modern conception of death has been so illumined by the doctrine of Christian immortality that we are inclined to conceive of the death of Christ simply as an analogue of ours. But death, in the person of Jesus, was the culminating catastrophe in the history of the "Man of sorrows." To us death is the chalice whose poison has been changed by the chemistry of redeeming love into nectar; to Jesus it was a cup full of the concentrated dregs of woe. To us it is a shaft whose sting has been removed; to Him it was an arrow envenomed by the wrath of God against sin. To us it is a victory over the last and mightiest form of evil; to Him it was a surrender to the masterful forces of disorganization and ruin. To us it is an introduction into the presence and companionship of God; to Him it was an abandonment into darkness unrelieved by a ray of Divine light, and whose solitude was unblessed by a whisper of Divine love. The Atonement was no compromise between the demands of justice and the pleadings of mercy. Justice was exacted of Jesus, and mercy was proffered to man. The Deity of Christ gave inconceivable sensitiveness to the agonized consciousness of Jesus; and who shall say that, in that brief hour, Jesus did not experience a sense of the awful demerit of sin and of the fierceness of God's wrath against it transcending the anguish of a lost soul?

II. JESUS BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH in that —

1. Death was the objective end of His mission. He came in order to do. It is possible to conceive that Jesus might have assumed our nature without submitting to the law of death. In becoming a man He did not necessarily become mortal, for mortality is not an essential condition of humanity. Adam was human, but he was not created mortal. Mortality, with Him, was a consequence of disobedience; and so Jesus, in becoming human, had He seen fit, might have been exempt from the law of death, or might have passed away by a translation, such as is recorded of Enoch and Elijah, and such as did transpire in His own history after He had risen, to die no more. But neither of these possibilities were consistent with the mission of Jesus. Without dying, His object in coming into the world would have failed of being accomplished. In this respect His death differed from ours; we are not brought into this world simply for the purpose of dying; we die because we cannot help dying. But it behoved Jesus to die. He became obedient unto death. If His object in coming into the world was to save men by the lustre of His living and by the splendour of His philosophy, why need He to have died, and why, especially, need He always have insisted upon the necessity of His death, in order that by dying He might accomplish the object which He had undertaken?

2. By the voluntary surrender of His life. Death, to us, is a surrender to an inevitable, from which we would prefer to be exempt, and at the best in most cases, it is a passive submission to a necessity, but the death of Jesus was Jesus in action.

3. In that His dying was the supreme expression of His submission to the will of the Father. It was the fitting crown of a life whose explanation was "My meat is to do the will," etc.

III. WHY, IN THE ECONOMY OF GOD WAS IT NEEDFUL THAT JESUS SHOULD SUBMIT TO DEATH?

1. Because His subjection to the law of death was the highest, and an exhaustive test of the absolute subordination of His will to the will of His Father.

2. The obedience of Jesus unto death became the exhaustive ground on which God could justly remit the penalty pronounced against the sinner.

3. As the reward of His obedience Jesus was empowered with the prerogative of bestowing the gift of eternal life on all that believe on His name.

(R. Jefferey, D. D.)

I.A VOLUNTARY death.

II.A death of INFINITE LOVE.

III.A death of KINGLY POWER.

IV.A death of TERRIBLE BODILY PAIN AND MYSTERIOUS MENTAL ANGUISH.

V.A death of CALM ASSURANCE.

(R. H. Giles, B. A.)

1. When in consequence of original apostasy from God man had forfeited the Divine amity, when having deserted his natural Lord, other lords had got dominion over him, when according to an eternal rule of justice he stood adjudged to destruction, when all the world stood guilty before God and no remedy did appear, God out of infinite goodness designed our redemption.

2. How could this happy design be compassed in consistence with the glory, justice, and truth of God?

3. God was pleased to prosecute it, as thereby no wise to impair but rather to advance His glory. He accordingly would be sued for mercy, nor would he grant it without compensation, and so did find us a Mediator and furnish us with means to satisfy Him.

4. But how? Where was there a Mediator worthy to intercede on our behalf? Where amongst men, one, however innocent, sufficient to do more than satisfy for himself? Where among angels, seeing that they cannot discharge more than their own debts of gratitude and service?

4. Wherefore seeing that a superabundant dignity of person was required God's arm brought salvation.

5. But how could God undertake the business? Could He become a suitor to His offended self? No, man must concur in the transaction: some amends must issue from him as the offending party. So the Eternal Word assumed human flesh and merited God's favour to us by a perfect obedience to the law, and satisfying Divine justice by pouring forth His blood in sacrifice for our sins. In this kind of passion (the death of the cross) consider divers notable adjuncts.

I. ITS BEING IN APPEARANCE CRIMINAL, as in semblance being an execution of justice on Him. "He was numbered among the transgressors." "Made sin for us." He was impeached of the highest crimes, and, although innocent, for them suffered death. But why such a death, since any would have been sufficient; and why such a death odious alike to Jew and Gentile?

1. As our Saviour freely undertook a life of the greatest meanness and hardship, so we might be pleased to undergo such a death.(1) It has been well said that "no man expresses such a devotion to virtue as he who forfeits the repute of being a good man, that he may not lose the conscience of being such." So our Lord was content not only to expose His life, but His fame, for the interest of goodness.(2) Had He died otherwise, He might have seemed to purchase our welfare at a somewhat easier rate. He industriously shunned a death such as might have brought Him honour when exposed to it by the malignity of the Pharisees. Accordingly this death did not fall on Him by surprise or chance. He foresaw it from the beginning, and regarded it with satisfaction.

2. This death best suited the character of His undertaking. We deserve open condemnation and exemplary punishment, wherefore He was pleased to undergo not only an equivalent pain for us, but in a sort equal blame before God and man.

3. Seeing that our Lord's death was a satisfaction to Divine justice, it was most fit that it should be in a way wherein God's right is most nearly concerned and plainly discernible. All judgment, as Moses says, is God's, or is administered by authority derived from Him, magistrates being His officers. So our Lord, as His answer to Pilate testifies, received the human judgment as God's. Had He suffered by private malice, His obedience had been less remarkable.

4. Our Saviour in any other way could hardly have displayed so many virtues to such advantage. His constancy, meekness, charity, etc., were seen by vast multitudes, and made matters of the greatest notoriety. Plato says that to approve a man righteous, he must be scourged, tortured, bound, have his eyes burnt out, and, at the close, having suffered all evils, must be impaled. The Greeks, then, in consistence with their own wisdom, could not reasonably scorn the Cross, which Christ freely chose to recommend the most excellent virtues to imitation.

II. ITS BEING MOST PAINFUL, which demonstrated —

1. The vehemence of His love.

2. The heinousness of our sins.

3. The value of the compensation.

4. The exemplification of the hardest duties of obedience and patience.

III. ITS BEING MOST SHAMEFUL — a Roman punishment reserved for slaves, answering to the Jewish punishment of hanging up dead bodies. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

1. This, ignominious in itself, exposed the sufferer to the scorn of the rude vulgar.

2. We need not doubt that our Saviour, as a man, endowed with human sensibilities, felt these indignities; and not only so, but the infinite dignity of His person and the perfect innocency of His life must have enhanced His sufferings. And so we read, "See if there be any sorrow like my sorrow."

3. And further, there was the shameful burden of sin which He bore.

IV. ITS PECULIAR ADVANTAGEOUSNESS TO THE DESIGNS OF OUR LORD IN SUFFERING.

1. It was very notorious, and lasted a competent time. Had He been privately or suddenly dispatched, no great notice would have been taken of it, nor would it have been so fully proved.

2. The nature of His kingdom was thereby signified. None but a spiritual kingdom could He have designed who submitted to this suffering.

3. It was a most convenient touchstone to prove the genuine disposition and work of men, so as to discriminate those who can discern and love true goodness though so disfigured, and not be scandalized by the Cross.

4. By it God's special providence was discovered, and His glory illustrated in the propagation of the gospel; for how could such a sufferer gain so general an opinion in the world of being the Lord of life and glory without God's miraculous aid?

V. ITS PRACTICAL EFFICACY. No point is more fruitful in wholesome instruction, more forcible to kindle devout affections, more efficacious in affording incentives to a pious life.

1. We are hence obliged with affection and gratitude to adore each person in the blessed Trinity.

(1)The Father giving the Son.

(2)The Son giving Himself.

(3)The Spirit assisting the Son to offer Himself without spot.

2. What surer ground can there be of faith and hope in God "If God spared not His own Son, etc." Who can doubt of God's goodness, despair of God's mercy, after this.

3. It should yield great joy to know that Christ hung there not only as a resolute sufferer, but as a noble conqueror over the devil, the world, the flesh, death, wrath, enmity, and strife, etc.

4. It should give us a humbling sense of our weakness and vileness to know that we needed such succour. Pride is madness in the presence of Him who made Himself of no reputation.

5. But as this contemplation doth breed sober humility, it should also preserve us from base abjectness of mind; for had not God esteemed us, He would not have debased Himself.

6. Can we reflect on this event without detestation of sin, which brought such a death on the Redeemer.

7. What in reason can be more powerful towards working penitential sorrow and religious fear, and stimulating true obedience?

8. It affords strong engagements to charity, to know that out of compassion for us Christ suffered.

9. It should breed a disregard for the world and its vanities, and reconcile us to even the worst condition? For who can suffer as Christ suffered. 10. It will incline us to submit cheerfully to God's will to remember that Christ learned obedience by the things He suffered.

(L. Barrow, D. D.)

I. THE NATURE OF CHRIST'S MERIT.

1. Let us gain a clear idea of a meritorious act.(1) It must be good. Actions claiming the highest regards of God are those which have an intrinsic perfectness, and which, when looked at on all sides, are in entire correspondence with the mind and will of God. Christ's actions in perfectness contrast with those of the creature. Their peculiar goodness arises from the absence of any stain of sin and any material defect: our good actions have both these drawbacks.(2) It must be voluntary. Even an heroic action loses its moral value if necessitated. Personal effort freely made lies at the root of all sacrifice. Christ's actions were of this character (Romans 15:36; Luke 22:42).(3) Our Lord's actions could have obtained no merit, whatever their perfection, had they resulted only from His natural powers. Nature, even when pure, cannot purchase a supernatural reward. Grace must aid and enrich the operation of the human faculties. Even in Christ grace imparted worth to His natural actions (John 5:19). Christ as man had within Himself the foundations of a true merit, and by His Divine personality communicated to His actions an infinite value.

2. Yet after all, with this combination of natural, super natural, and Divine energies in the work of Christ, its claim on Divine retribution must rest on some covenant or promise. Merit in the sense of an action to which a reward is due on grounds of justice can only exist where there is some stipulation. The merit which appeals to goodness sets up no claim; that which rests on fidelity involves a promise; that which trusts to the justice of the rewarder implies a covenant. Not to reward in the one case may be churlishness; in the other it would be to break one's word; whilst in the third there would be positive dishonesty. For God therefore to be liable to any claim, He must have graciously condescended to involve Himself in an obligation. Such a covenant was made with Abraham (Hebrews 6:17, 18). The entering into covenant and confirming by an oath were human types and shadows of the great covenant between God and man in Christ (Hebrews 7:21). God has entered into covenant with man in Christ to crown with a reward those works which Christ first wrought in Himself, and after wards by His grace should work through His members. All is traceable to Divine mercy as its first source (Psalm 62:12), yet it is the Divine justice which is represented as under an obligation to repay the services which are rendered (Hebrews 6:10). There is nothing derogatory to the sacred manhood of Christ in this covenant. If the Son could address the Father, and say, "Lo, I come," etc., we can conceive the human will of Christ in fulfilling the Father's will as resting on the Divine promise (Psalm 16:10, 11; Acts 1:4).

II. THE CROSS AS ITS FOUNTAIN.

1. The merit of the Cross rested on the whole of His life: as He foresaw His passion, so He accepted it.

2. The Cross is the great instrument in the acquirement of merit on two grounds. Merit may be calculated by the condition of the person who merits, or by the difficulty of the action. Thus if Adam in Paradise, and some of His fallen descendants were to perform the same virtuous action, the act of the former would have more merit in the one sense; the act of the latter in the other. In the latter sense the Cross outstrips all other portions of our Saviour's life in its value. In it the activities of endurance were taxed to the utmost limit. To bear up under fierce pain for a few hours is a greater test of moral strength than the lifelong efforts of a healthy person. Not, however, that suffering in itself is acceptable to God; the thief suffered; it was the way in which the purpose for which it was borne which made it acceptable.

3. The Cross completed the treasure of merit. The Cross was the ultimate limit of those labours which purchased a reward. The resurrection, ascension, etc., could add nothing. Merit ceased with the Cross: what follows is reward (John 19:30).

4. The atoning value of the Cross lay in the removal of a hindrance: its meritoriousness acquired a positive gain. The removal of sin was the preliminary to Divine communications. Human nature was not left in a state of neutrality, as if God should look upon it without wrath or favour, hut was again to become the subject of Divine complacency.

III. THE OBJECT FOR WHOM THIS MERIT WAS ACQUIRED.

1. For Himself (ver. 9; Hebrews 2:9; Luke 24:26, 46; Psalm 110:7; Hebrews 12:2). It was not simply glory for His body that He purchased, but exaltation and kingly power; a name above every name.

2. For all. He took the nature of all, and thus merited for all (Hebrews 2:14). But although He merited for all, all do not receive the grace He purchased. A fountain is useless to the thirsty unless they drink. What is necessary therefore is for us to become the recipients of His grace? We must have union with Christ for pardon and life (John 15:16; John 1:16; 2 Peter 1:4). Christ saves by becoming a new principle of life in the soul through the action of the Divine Spirit.

(W. H. Hutchings, M. A.)

(text and following): —

I. "FOR THIS CAUSE."

1. A cause there is. God ever exalts for a cause. Here on earth it is otherwise. Some men as Shebna, Haman, Sanballat, are exalted no man knows wherefor.

2. For what cause? His humility. Of all causes not for that, says the world. The word was not in the list of heathen virtues. Yet this last virtue is the ground of Christ exulting.(1) "He humbled" — so great a person. For one of mean estate to be humble is no great praise, it were a fault were he not; but for a king, nay the King of kings to show this great humility, is a cause indeed.(2) "Himself." Of His own accord. One may be humbled and not humble. Pharaoh was humbled by His ten plagues. Simon was compelled to humble his neck under the Cross. But here is true humility.(3) It was not Absalom's humility, in show, his heart being full of pride and rebellion. And yet it is a glory for humility that even proud men take a pride to shroud themselves in her mantle. But it is not humble courtesy, but humble obedience here.(4) But there is an obedience which cometh from natural reason; but some other there be wherein there is no other reason but the will of a lawful superior. All look to the former, very few to the latter; but even so obeyed Christ.(5) The extent of our obedience is a matter considerable. Obedience in some petty matter is little worth. How far obedient? Until what? Unto humanity had been enough, to servitude were more. But Christ's obedience was unto —(a) Death. That staggers the best of us. We love obedience in a whole skin. And why should obedience come to that? Death is the wages of sin. Obedient and yet put to death? Even so; rather than lose His obedience He lost His life.(b) The worst death. Nay, if He must die, let Him die a honest fair death. Not so.

II. "GOD HATH HIGHLY EXALTED HIM." This exaltation is —

1. Personal.(1) From whence. From death. His humiliation had been to the ground, into the lowest parts of it; His exaltation was from thence.(2) Whither. From death to life, from shame to glory, from the form of a servant to the dignity of a sovereign. Not to Lazarus' life again, but to life immortal; from shame to the glory of the Father which shall never fade, as all here shall.

2. The exaltation of His name, the amends for the Cross. Without a name what is exalting? Things that are exalted seem not to be so until their name go abroad in the world. And when men are so high that they cannot get higher there is no way to exalt them but to dilate their names, which every noble generous spirit had rather have than any dignity. How will they jeopard dignity and even life but to leave a glorious name behind them. But what name was given here? "the name of Jesus."(1) Of this giving three doubts arise.(a) How given. Him and others had it also (Hebrews 4:8; Haggai 1:1). They had it of men, He of God. All these Jesuses had need of and were glad "to lay hold of the skirts" of this Jesus to be saved by Him.(b) He had it before. True, but by a kind of anticipation, for it never had its perfect verification till after the crucifixion.(c) But if given Him ἐχαρίσατο "of grace," where is the merit then? Answer. That which is due may be cheerfully parted with as though it were a gift. But this grace is not the grace of adoption, but that of union.(2) How is this name above all names.(a) To Him. It is esteemed more than any other title of Deity by Him; because His glory is in it joined to our safety.(b) To us. For it is the only name by which we can be saved. With this name there is comfort in the name of God; without it none at all.

3. "That at the name of Jesus," etc. God, though He have so exalted it, yet reckons it not exalted until we exalt it too. So we are to esteem it above every name, and to show our esteem by bowing with the knee and confessing with the tongue.(1) These are outward acts: so the exalting of the soul is not enough. Our body is to afford her part, and not the upper parts, the tongue in the head, but also the lower, the knee in the leg.(2) "Every knee" —(a) "Shall bow," for what better way to exalt Him than by our humility, who for His humility was exalted. This honour is awarded Christ for the death of the Cross; shall we, then, rob Him of it? And He will not have us worship Him like elephants, as if we had no joints in our knees; He will have more honour of men than of pillars in the Church.(b) Bow to His name. His person is out of sight, but His name is left behind that we may do reverence to it. But why to this name rather than to that of Christ? Christ cannot be the name of God, for God cannot be anointed. Christ was anointed that He might be Jesus — Saviour. But it is not to the syllables of the name that we are to bow. The name is not the sound but the sense — Him who is named. Of course a superstitious use has been made of this act; so there has of hearing sermons. Shall we therefore abandon hearing as well as kneeling? No! Remove the superstition and retain both. It is well to drive away superstition, but it will be well not to drive away reverence with it.(3) He farther requires somewhat from the tongue. And reason: that member of all others is our glory (Psalm 57:8), our peculiarity above the beasts; they will be taught to bow, we have tongues to do something more than they. Besides the knee is only dumb acknowledgment, but a vocal confession utters our mind plainly, and this He calls ἐξομολόγησις. Three things are in it. λόγος we must say somewhat; ὀμοῦ, do it together, not some speak and others keep mute; εξ, speak out, not whisper. And it was the praise of the primitive Church that they did it jointly and aloud; that their Amen, as saith, was like a clap of thunder, and their Hallelujah as the roaring of the sea.(b) Why the knee first — because we thereby put ourselves in mind of due regard to Him in reverence, and are therefore the fitter to speak of and to Him with respect.(c) Every knee and tongue. They in heaven "cast down their crowns and fall down" and confess Him singing (Revelation 4:10); they under the earth are thrown down and made His footstool (Psalm 110:1); they on earth, as in the midst, partake of both. The better sort get to their knees gladly, and cheerfully confess Him. Infidels and Christians little better are forced to "fall backward," and in the end to cry "Vicisti Galilaee," though they guard their tongues when they have done.(d) See our lot. Exalted He shall be with our wills or without them. Either fall on our knees now, or be cast on our faces then; either confess Him with saints and angels, or with devils and damned spirits.(e) Every tongue shall do this, i.e., every speech and dialect in the world. Where are they, then, who deny any tongue the faculty here granted, or bar any of them the duty here enjoined, that lock up the public confession in some one tongue or two?

4. But though thus many tongues, one confession that "Jesus Christ is Lord."(1) Lord whereof? (Matthew 16:19; Revelation 3:7; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 20:2-3).(2) No man can confess this "but by the Holy Ghost."(3) Confess what? that Jesus is a Lord to save (Matthew 14:30), and a Lord to serve (Acts 9:6). The first we like well, but the latter not so (Luke 6:46).

5. "To the glory of the Father," whose great glory it is that His Son is Lord of such servants, that men shall say, "see what servants He hath." How full of reverence to His name! How free and forward to do His will.

(Bishop Andrewes.)

The flower of humility fills the air with perfume, but its leaves lie hidden in the shade.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

His was no mere resignation, for that is the attitude of the soul toward the inevitable, h creature may risk his life, indeed, provided the aim be a true and noble one; but no right is his to throw it away. He is, on the contrary, bound to conserve it, if he car, do so without the sacrifice of higher interests. But Christ Jesus in His perfect obedience died, because He so willed, and when and as He willed. There stands in a Strasburg church a monument suggestive in its sculptured group. It is the figure of a warrior before an open grave. Death at his side is touching him with his inevitable dart, and he is represented as descending with manly step, but saddened brow, into the sepulchre yawning at his feet. Thus is depicted the lot of our common humanity. "It is appointed unto men once to die," and when death comes, he comes resistlessly. Thus are depicted, further, the noble submission and fortitude with which the brave man, brave because he is good, meets death. But with the Captain of our salvation it was far otherwise. He had His life either to give or to keep. He gave His life with all its preciousness, a freewill offering, a priceless sacrifice "of a sweet-smelling savour unto God."

(J. Hutchinson, D. D.)

During the wars of the first Napoleon, in a naval engagement, the son of the captain of a vessel was placed by his father at a certain post and charged to keep it till his return. The captain was killed, and his vessel given over to the enemy. The boy's position became dangerous, and he was urged to quit it. "No," said he, "my father told me to stay till he came back." And so listening in vain for the voice which alone he would obey, he perished in the explosion of the ship.

(W. Harris.)

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