The Self-Emptying of Christ

Part 6

I. The self-emptying of Christ

a. The origin of the teaching

Philippians 2:7 (NASB) but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 

b. False meanings of the teaching

  1. He emptied Himself of His deity

John 4:18 (NASB) for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”  

2. He disguised His Deity

John 14:9 (NASB) He who has seen Me has seen the Father

c. The true meaning of the teaching

Taking the form of a bond-servant 

Being made in the likeness of men

Being found in appearance as a man 

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross  

Hebrews 10:5-7 (NASB) 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,  But a body You have prepared for Me;  6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have taken no pleasure.  7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come  (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)  To do Your will, O God.’ “  

Romans 8:3 (NASB) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 

John 17:4-5 (NASB) 4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 

II. The union of Deity and humanity in the incarnate Christ

a. The character of the union

John 8:18 (NASB) “I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”  

John 8:23 (NASB) And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.  

John 8:58 (NASB) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  

Romans 1:1-5 (NASB)1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,  2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,  3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,  4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,  5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,  

Galatians 4:4-5 (NASB) 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,  5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  

b. The operation of the union

John 4:6 (NASB) and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.   

Matthew 28:18 (NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 

Matthew 24:36 (NASB) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  

Matthew 17:27 (NASB) “However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”   

c. The duration of the union

Matthew 26:64 (NASB) Jesus said* to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see The Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power  , and coming on the clouds of heaven  .”  

Mark 16:19 (NASB) So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 

Acts 7:56 (NASB) and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  

1 Timothy 2:5 (NASB) For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  

Matthew 26:64 (NASB) Jesus said* to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see The Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power  , and coming on the clouds of heaven  .”  

d. False theories of the union

  1. Docetism

John 1:14 (NASB) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

1 John 4:1-3 (NASB) 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 

2. Ebionism

John 1:1 (NASB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  

John 1:14 (NASB) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  

John 8:58 (NASB) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  

John 10:30 (NASB) “I and the Father are one.”  

John 20:28 (NASB) Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  

Philippians 2:6 (NASB) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  

Hebrews 1:8 (NASB) But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,  And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.  

3. Eutychianism

4. Arianism

5. Apollinarianism

6. Nestorianism

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