Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Philippians 2:5-9

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.

The Original Intent

1) Did Jesus consider Himself lesser or weaker than God?

Jesus plainly taught that He Himself was God. In John 10:30, Jesus states that He and the Father are one. It was for this claim that Jesus was crucified and was so hated by the Pharisees. (John 10:33) In John 5:18 it says He was equal with God. Whenever we are studying Scripture, it’s vital that we allow the very clear verses to help us understand less clear ones.

When we read that Christ “did not count equality with God as something to be grasped”, it doesn’t mean that Christ saw Himself so lowly, that “God-likeness” was entirely out of reach, but rather that “God” was indeed Himself. It wasn’t a status He was trying to attain, one that was just out of reach, or one He was trying to steal as Satan attempted to do before being cast out of Heaven. Jesus simply was fully God with all the rights and privileges and authority that came with it.

The Everyday Application

1) Did Jesus consider Himself lesser or weaker than God?

Theology literally means the study of God. The more that we study and understand God and His character, the steadier the foundation is for our life. When real, everyday problems rock our life, we can lean steadfastly into the unchanging character of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Paul’s explanation here of Jesus being fully God fills us with overwhelming power and security making us want to echo Paul’s victorious shout in Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us?!”

The Original Intent

2) What is meant by “emptying Himself”?

Kenosis 
is the Greek word used here in this passage for “emptying”. In the context of these verses where Paul is pointing the Church towards humility and considering others before themselves, the “emptying” of Christ does not mean a “setting aside” of His glory of God, but rather a humbling of Himself to “put on humanity” with all of its limitations in order to save us.

Jesus was still entirely God while He was on the earth, but He chose to limit Himself to a human body. For example, because He was in a human body, He couldn’t be omnipresent (be everywhere at all times). He would also bleed, and laugh, and cry, and get hungry and tired. He was entirely 100% human and 100% God.

The Everyday Application

2) What is meant by “emptying Himself”?

The astounding concept of God wrapping Himself in humanity’s temporal flesh for the purpose of rescuing us from our sin is so utterly delightful! That knowledge alone should comfort our hearts like nothing else. Such vast love that God Himself would literally enter in to all that we are and limit Himself willingly to the flesh, making Himself like one of us, that we might be reconciled to Him.

Right now, in this moment and in the next. In your chaos and your quiet. In your tears and your fears. In your brokenness and in your joys, Jesus wades right into the middle of it all. He is not a distant God who doesn’t understand. He has lived within humanity’s restraints in order to love you!

The Original Intent

3) Who or what was Jesus obedient to?

I love this question because it practically bursts with the fullness of the gospel! Jesus wasn’t obedient to Death. We must read the passage slower. He was obedient. Stop. Even to the point of Death. Stop. Jesus was obedient to The Law. He purposefully put Himself as the righteous God of the Universe, under the Law (Galatians 4:4). He carried out every single obligation of the Law of Moses entirely 100% perfectly.

But Jesus went farther and carried out the penalty of the Law, which is Death, though He clearly did not deserve such punishment. He did this to redeem those who were under the law, yet were guilty of breaking it (which is every single person in the human race). “He redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us.”

The Everyday Application

3) Who or what was Jesus obedient to?

How deeply freeing to know that Christ already fulfilled every single requirement of the law perfectly for us!! We have no obligation to be better, or work harder to be “good enough”. We are free because Jesus paid the penalty of our sin for us! 

Praise You, Jesus for such a glorious gift! Is that gift yours? Are you living in that freedom? If you aren’t sure if you really truly have that gift of freedom, why not send us an email? We’d love to help answer some of your questions!

The Original Intent

4) What is Paul’s main point of this passage?

Despite the elegance and extremely rich theology of these brief verses, Paul’s main point is simply using Christ’s submission within the godhead as the supreme example for the Church.

Paul is imploring the Church to walk together in harmony, to honor one another before themselves, to submit to each other in love and honor. Everything we see Jesus exemplifying here is meant to encourage us to do the same because we have been so deeply loved!

The Everyday Application

4) What is Paul’s main point of this passage?

We may claim to value unity, but often our speech or our actions condemn us in very small ways. Gossip slips in to conversations with ease, and small complaints about church or leadership or others within the Body begin growing quickly, gathering momentum as we speak.

Paul beseeches us to think carefully about the way we interact with and view people within the Body of believers, which often includes members of our own immediate family.

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