In the God-human relationship, consider an ancient principle that is an eternal principle. The principle: humility before honor. The road that leads to being honored by God is the highway of humility. A person must humbly serve God before He exalts him or her.
That principle always has been true in the God-human relationship. It was true of Abraham, the great example of faith. God said, "Leave the city of Ur." Abraham humbled himself and left (Genesis 11:31; 15:7; Acts 7:2-4). God said, "Leave the city of Haran and leave your extended family for a place that I will show you." Abraham humbled himself and left (Genesis 12:1-4). God promised Abraham a son and gave him Isaac. God said, "Sacrifice your son as an offering to me on a mountain in Moriah." Abraham humbled himself, traveled to Moriah, and laid Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22). Because Abraham had the humble faith of submission, God honored him. Several nations descended from Abraham, including the nation of Israel. God sent the Christ to this world through the nation of Israel.
The principle, humility before honor, is still in force for all Christians. Peter wrote this to those "who reside as aliens" (1 Peter 1:1):
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6,7).
Even God's own Son lived on earth under the principle of humility before honor.
Remember last week's lesson: "Philippians, to develop a servant's mind, let Jesus be your example."
In all these ways, Jesus humbled himself.
What did God do to honor Jesus? Read Philippians 2:9-11.
From his birth through his death, list at least five ways that Jesus humbled himself prior to God exalting him to be the Lord and Christ.
Every person who has lived, who lives, or who shall live will bow before Jesus and confess that he is Lord. Some will confess as the saved. They believe. In faith they chose to acknowledge the truth that Jesus is Lord and Christ. They humble themselves before him by choice. Of their own will they surrender their lives to Jesus.
Those who refuse to confess as a free will act of faith will confess as the conquered in judgment. In the first century [and before], the conquered bowed before their conqueror and confessed the conqueror's superiority. All who are God's enemies, all who reject Jesus as Lord, will bow before Jesus and confess his Lordship. They will bow and confess as the conquered (see 1 Corinthians 15:23-28). Their confession will come from defeat, not faith. God has honored His servant Jesus by making him Lord. All shall acknowledge Jesus' Lordship. By faith or by necessity, they will acknowledge Jesus is Lord.
When Israel refused to surrender to God, God declared them to be a "stiff-necked" people (Exodus 32:9; 33:3,5; Deuteronomy 9:6,13). The "stiff-necked" person refused to humble himself or herself before God. Stiff necks refuse to bow. Stiff necks are stubborn and obstinate before God. In judgment, there will be no "stiff-necked."
Thought question: how do you consciously humble yourself before God and Jesus:
Link to Teacher's Guide Quarter 1, Lesson 8
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