“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
In Scripture we find that names were very significant and were chosen with care, for they were meant to describe a person’s character and attributes. The name of our Saviour is exalted above all other names; therefore we should honour Him by using it correctly. We live in an age when His name is abused and used as a swear word rather than giving Him honour through it.
The precious name
The name “Jesus” was not uncommon in Biblical days, and we know it is a derivative of “Joshua” meaning “salvation.” But when we refer to the name we are concerning ourselves with the One, who as God’s only begotten Son came to this earth to be the Saviour by dying on the cross. Therefore Jesus is not one of many religious teachers that the world honours; instead He is so far above them that it appears that they cease to have existed at all. There has only ever been one Saviour who has died a sacrificial death to save sinners, and that is the Lord we call Jesus.
The Bible uses over one hundred names or titles to describe the Lord Jesus Christ, these include, “Son of God”, “Son of Man”, “Lamb of God”, “The Good Shepherd”, “Immanuel”, “The High Priest” and “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Each one reveals something of His ministry on earth, but Paul tells us that the name of “Jesus” surpasses them all.
The position of the name
The apostle emphasises the fact that everyone who has ever lived, or will ever live, must one day bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It does not matter if they rejected Him on earth, for they will acknowledge that He is truly the Saviour at the Judgement Seat of God. On earth they may have blasphemed and dragged His name through the gutter, but one day they will be eternally punished for taking His name in vain. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). “That name, by the exaltation, has become the name of the King of kings. It is supreme. Hence, every knee in all the universe bows to its majesty” (The People’s New Testament Commentary). If devils must acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, then it is certain that every human, believer or atheist, must do so too. We are stating that Jesus’ name is above all because He is God Almighty. “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah 45:23).
The power of the name
On the Day of Pentecost the apostle Peter declared, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). That was a bold statement, and it remains so today. If we believe these words, as Peter obviously did, then we are saying that all other religions are meaningless and lead people to everlasting torment in Hell. Peter was not teaching anything more than Jesus taught about Himself, for He said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” It is impossible for anyone to be saved except through Jesus Christ, for no other paid the price to purchase our salvation.
His name is the highest of all because it is in God’s word that we are taught to pray. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). We cannot even approach God the Father unless we come to Him through His Son. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). So it is through the power and authority of His name that we can come to God in prayer.
The preaching of the name
As Paul stated in Galatians, there are other gospels being taught in the world, and sadly in the church too (Galatians 1:4). The Lord Jesus prophesied that there would arise many false teachers heralding a gospel in their own name, culminating in the Antichrist. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). But the true church of Christ must only preach the Gospel that upholds and glorifies His name. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20) … “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Only the true Gospel can save souls because it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If this is replaced with anything or anyone else then souls cannot be saved.
At the name of Jesus, not Buddha, Mohammed or Krishna every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone is Lord. It is Bible-believing Christianity, not Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or any other religion, that has the true message of salvation. Salvation is not found in Mary or the saints; in the pope or the Dalai Lama, instead it is found only in the name of Jesus.