And that every tongue should confess - That all those before mentioned should acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, or absolute governor, and thus glorify God the Father, who has exalted this human nature to this state of ineffable glory, in virtue of its passion, death, resurrection, and the atonement which it has made, by which so many attributes of the Divine nature have become illustrated, the Divine law magnified and made honorable, and an eternal glory provided for man.
Others by things in heaven understand the holy angels; by things on earth, human beings generally; and by things under the earth, fallen spirits of every description. Perhaps the three expressions are designed to comprehend all beings of all kinds, all creatures; as it is usual with the Hebrews, and indeed with all ancient nations, to express, by things in heaven, things on earth, and things under the earth, all beings of all kinds; universal nature. See similar forms of speech, Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:17, Deuteronomy 4:18; Psalm 96:11; and Ezekiel 38:20. But intelligent beings seem to be those which are chiefly intended by the words of the apostle; for it appears that nothing less than absolute rule over angels, men, and devils, can be designed in these extraordinary words, and by confessing him to be Lord we may understand that worship which all intelligent creatures are called to pay to God manifested in the flesh; for all should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. And the worship thus offered is to the glory of God; so that far from being idolatrous, as some have rashly asserted, it is to the honor of the Divine Being. We may add, that the tongue which does not confess thus, is a tongue that dishonors the Almighty.
And that every tongue should confess - Everyone should acknowledge him. On the duty and importance of confessing Christ, see the notes at Romans 10:9-10.
That Jesus Christ is Lord - The word “Lord,” here, is used in its primitive and proper sense, as denoting owner, ruler, sovereign; compare the notes at Romans 14:9. The meaning is, that all should acknowledge him as the universal sovereign.
To the glory of God the Father - Such a universal confession would honor God; see the notes at John 5:23, where this sentiment is explained.
Impartation of Christ's Grace—The riches of the grace of Christ which He is ever ready to bestow upon us, we are to impart in true, hopeful words. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” If we would guard our words, so that nothing but kindness shall escape our lips, we will give evidence that we are preparing to become members of the heavenly family. In words and works we shall show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Oh, what a reformative influence would go forth if we as a people would value at its true worth the talent of speech and its influence upon human souls!—. VSS 22.1
Counsel, Encouragement, and Reproof—The talent of speech was given to us that we might speak, not words of faultfinding, but words of counsel, words of encouragement, words of reproof.—The Review and Herald, July 20, 1905. VSS 22.2Read in context »
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 2:9-11. HP 358.1Read in context »
“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” “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.” “... Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:14, 15). HP 41.4Read in context »