Well firstly we must acknowledge that a distinction is being made. Not a distinction in “persons of a co-equal trinity”, but between what God purposed as deity but could only accomplish as man. We know that’s true because the son is “given a name” and anything given had to be to the humanity. If a co-equal person is given the right to something (a name above every name) and is exalted (raised by another to a higher position) then that “person” isn’t equal! The only thing that can be “given” things and “exalted” is not deity, but the man Jesus or the humanity that God became.
The point is there was a change in something in the text. Not even our trinitarian friends would argue that there was a change in Jesus’ deity. The only change was in the humanity. What change? A change of substance? Form? Nature? No, there was a change in function! God as perfect man won the right through obedience to become the Savior! (Phil. 2:9-11) As one man rightly critiques his own denomination that accepts the trinity points out, “To acknowledge Christ is to acknowledge His benefits. Not behold His natures.”
God in the man Jesus won His name in history. Jesus means “the LORD has become my salvation”. So to say with faith “Jesus” or to “name the name of Christ” is to both know and apply what He’s done and receive what He’s provided. He is a savior, and He is our God.
The point of distinction is so we don’t miss what God did as humanity. He became our Savior by stepping into our reality on this earth. One man asked it this way, “Does He help me because He is the son of God? Or is He the son of God because He helps me?” The answer is of course, “Yes!” Substance can only be known in function. He is our Savior because only He has the ability to save!
The language of distinction in Scripture revels in the beauty of God’s saving intention that was only won through the history of true struggle in that body He indwelled!!! To misunderstand Him is to miss Him! To miss Him is to miss the revelation. To miss the revelation is to miss the opportunity. But to those that believe He, not they, gave power to become the sons of God! (Jn. 1:12) What a revelation we have! The beauty in this contrast in Scripture is to show that when we have Jesus, we have access to everything God intends! (1 Jn. 2:23)
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