July 23, 2014-“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29 ESV)
-In the Roman world, particularly in the imperial cults, Roman Caesars were thought as divine and were to be worshipped as divine. Not only where they considered divine, they were also thought as the saviors of Rome, according to Josephus. Therefore, Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 challenged the divine status of Caesar, for Scripture declares there to be only one God, Lord, and Savior.
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1. The Universal Proclamation
-“Tongue” (γλῶσσα) refers to the human tongue speaking in a language.
-God created human language in the beginning of time. (Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6; Psalm 33:9)
-The world spoke one language up until the Lord interjected many languages at the Tower of Babel. (Genesis 11:1-9)
-In Scripture, the word “tongue” refers to the action of speaking audibly. (Luke 1:64; 1 Corinthians 14:9; 1 Peter 3:10)
-God holds men accountable to every word their tongues utter. (Matthew 12:36-37;
-What men utter has powerful ramifications for what fruit results in their lives and in the lives of others. (Proverbs 18:21;
-Men either reveal themselves to be regenerate or unregenerate based upon what their tongues proclaim. (Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:2; Matthew 12:37)
-The action of speaking audibly comes from what is residing in the hearts of men. (Matthew 12:34; Matthew 15:18; Luke 6:45)
-One day in the future, the Lord promises to change the language of men to a pure speech in a reversal of the Tower of Babel during His Kingly reign. (Zephaniah 3:9-10; Zephaniah 3:15)
-“Confess” (ἐξομολογήσηται) means “to speak out the same” and refers to vocal, public recognition of a truth to be heralded before all men.
-Confessing in this context means to acknowledge publicly before an audience—usually, the audience is God Himself. (Luke 10:21; Romans 15:9; Revelation 3:5)
-For believers, confession is the vocal declaration of belief and faith in Christ and repentance of sins. (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3)
-For unbelievers, confessing Jesus as the Christ is simply a recognition of who He is, in spite of the persistent unbelief in Him and refusal to submit to Him as Lord. (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Titus 1:16)
-During Jesus’ earthly ministry, even the powers of darkness confessed openly as to who He was and is. (Matthew 8:28-29; Mark 1:23-24)
-In Heaven, the redeemed, the angels, and the elders in Heaven are constantly confessing as to the nature and person of Christ. (Revelation 5:8-9; Revelation 15:1-4)
-In human history, men and women of God confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord, and all those who will be saved prior to Jesus’ second coming will confess Him as Lord. (Psalm 40:3; 1 John 4:15)
-During Jesus’ earthly reign as King in all the earth, all the inhabitants of the world will confess Him as Lord. (Psalm 22:27; Micah 4:1; Habakkuk 2:14)
-At the Great White Throne judgment, all men throughout all of history will confess, both believers and unbelievers, that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Romans 14:9)
2. The Supreme Lord
-“Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ) is the Greek word kyrios, which was used in Greek and Roman culture to be an appellation of respect, a title for a master of slaves, or a confession of supreme authority, divinity, and majesty. In the Septuagint, which was used extensively by Jesus and the apostles in quoting the Old Testament, kyrios is the Greek word used to translate the Hebrew Yahweh (יְהוָ֣ה) and is used to refer to God’s supremely exalted, glorious, sovereign, authoritative, and majestic name.
-“Jesus Christ is Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ) is capitalized in the Westcott and Hort and Nestle texts.
-“And every tongue shall confess that Yeshua The Messiah is THE LORD JEHOVAH to the glory of God his Father.”—Aramaic Bible in Plain English
-“And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”—Weymouth New Testament
-In Rome, Roman citizens were required under pain of criminal penalty to confess two words: “Kaiser Kurios”, or “Caesar is Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ Καίσαρι). In the first century A.D., the cult of imperial worship grew very strong, which led to a widespread exaltation of Caesar as both divine and as supreme lord. To deny this was an offense punishable by death, and many in the early church died in the arenas torn apart by wild beasts or crucified because they would not confess “Kaiser Kurious” (“Caesar is Lord”), but rather “KYRIOS IESOUS CHRISTOS” (“Jesus Christ is Lord”). Polycarp, the disciple of the apostle John and the second-century elder of Smyrna, was brought before the Roman authorities and commanded to confess that Caesar was Lord. Polycarp refused, declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord, and he was subsequently burned to death in a Roman arena as a result.
-As Lord, Jesus Christ possesses the supreme title of Yahweh. (John 8:23-24; John 11:25; John 14:6)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the first and the last. (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the King who reigns over all. (Psalm 93:10; Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the only Savior of men. (Isaiah 43:11; Hosea 13:4; Matthew 6:16-17)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who commands our worship. (Psalm 41:13; Psalm 99:1-3; Psalm 150:6)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the only God among all those throughout history claiming to be gods. (2 Kings 19:15-19)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who speaks with the voice of God. (Lamentations 3:27; Matthew 7:28-29; John 7:45-46)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who judges the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:4-5)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is supremely sovereign among the affairs of human history. (Psalm 135:6; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One with whom we shall reign forever and ever. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Romans 8:17)
3. The Glorious God
-“Glory” (δόξαν) refers to the honor, splendor, renown, and majesty of God.
-Julius Caesar had a temple built to glorify him because some in Rome thought of him as divine. In 44 B.C., the people of Rome thought that the appearance of a comet was thought as Julius’ soul rising into the assembly of the gods. He was voted as a member of the pantheon of the gods by the Roman Senate after his death. Caesar Augustus instituted a sacrificial system in order to deify himself, and he declared that he was the “son of god” during his lifetime. He also was voted as a member of the divine pantheon after his death. Caligula, Nero, and Domitian—three of the worst emperors in Roman history—mandated that they be recognized as divine so as to bring honor and glory to themselves.
-Only God is truly glorious, and He will not yield His glory to any other. (Psalm 66:2; Isaiah 42:8-11)
-God possesses supreme renown over those who would claim such renown for themselves. (Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 22:23)
-God possesses absolute splendor, in contrast to the Roman cults that proclaimed Caesar to be glorious over all. (Psalm 68:4; Isaiah 42:12)
-God’s majesty is unmatched by anybody and is unparalleled by anyone throughout all of time. (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 8:1; Psalm 83:18)
-All that Christ did during His earthly ministry was to bring glory to His father. (John 12:27-28; John 15:8)
-Christ’s supremacy brings supreme glory to His Father as His Father’s exaltation of Him makes the Son supremely glorious. (John 8:54; Hebrews 1:1-6; Hebrews 5:4-5)
-All that God the Son will do at His second coming will glorify God the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:28)
-The glory of God is the ultimate reason as to why everything exists and occurs. (Revelation 4:11)
-The Father is most glorified when His Son is supremely exalted above every name and is made the focus of our worship.
-“For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.” (Isaiah 45:18-25 ESV)