Philippians 2:9-11

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Puritan Board Senior
Hi all,

In Philippians 2:9-11, is the description of confessing that Jesus is Lord meant to convey what a) men ought to do now, or b) what all rational creatures, whether saved or lost, will do when Christ returns as judge?

I am inclined toward the latter, since he mentions those in heaven, earth, and under the earth. Under the Earth seems to suggest either demons and/or those who have already died. These will make a good confession one day, even if not willingly.



Puritan Board Senior
He is currently the exalted King. Everyone should (v. 10) do it NOW, but all will (v.16) do it upon his next second Kingly return (the day of Christ).

Edited: @timfost verses added to show the language I am pulling from.
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Puritan Board Senior
He is currently the exalted king. Everyone should do it NOW, but all will do it upon his next second Kingly return.

I understand that both statements are true. I am wondering if Paul's statement encompasses both, or is specifically geared toward one or the other?



Puritan Board Junior
The exaltation in v. 9 happened in Mt 28:18 as Christ ascends to heaven and says, "All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth." He as God-Man assumed the role of universal king when He ascended and entered the gates after completing His greatest and most glorious act (Psalm 24). He was in Phil 2:9 given the name above all names, meaning all submission is due here and now. And this is the reason for the bowing and confessing in v. 10 and 11.

As for the demons, He is their king and they are rebels, for which reason he reserves them for the gloom of darkness in Jude. Psalm 45 His arrows pierce the heart of enemies, and their damnation to the lake of fire and casting away completes the manifest (but not essential) subjection of all things to Christ.

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Paul expresses the same thought in Romans 14:11, and there the context clearly is the last judgment. So it makes sense to think that's what he has in mind (or at least most in mind) in Philippians as well.

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
Harmon seems to think it encompasses both options in the sense that believers already confess His Lordship and all of creation will confess it at the great eschatological consummation:

"Although this universal acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is Lord will take place on the day of Christ (cf. 1:6, 9–10), believers have already bowed their knees and confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom. 10:9–10). Thus we already experience the reign of the true Lord in our lives through the work of the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling in us. That rule is manifested in the life of the church as we worship and live in fellowship with each other. But even with this initial taste of the universal reign of Christ in our lives, our hearts long for the day when all of creation will acknowledge what we already know to be true. What joy we will experience on that day!
At the same time, this truth constitutes a solemn warning and appeal to the unbeliever. Paul excludes none: every knee will bow, and every tongue confess. This would include those who do not currently acknowledge Christ’s lordship. In anticipation of that final Day, we plead with non-believers to bow the knee and confess the lordship of Jesus Christ now in repentance and faith so as to enjoy God’s salvation, before it is too late. If they do not, they will have no choice but to bow the knee in utter terror as they see that the risen and exalted Christ is not only the true Lord of this universe, but also their righteous judge. Even the most hardened rebels who today mock the name of Jesus and kill His people will have no choice but to bow (Phil. 1:28)."

Harmon, M. S. (2015). Philippians: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 232–233). Great Britain; Ross-shire: Mentor.

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
When viewed through the OT background of Paul's words, the future inevitable submission of all seems to be the emphasis, though you can't exclude the present obligation. He is king and you should bow now, but you will bow one day whether you want to or not.

Isaiah 45:22-23 "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.'

RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree that it is the latter (final judgment). I am surprised that the post millennials wouldn't take the verse to mean the former...
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