Skip to main content

Philippians 2:7: But Emptied Himself

Philippians 2:7
[7] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (ESV)

We continue in this grand section of Scripture where the Apostle Paul is describing the character and nature of Christ in his taking on flesh. This verse says that he emptied himself. It is important for us to pause and consider exactly what that means. It does not mean that he gave up his deity. He was still fully God on the Earth. We know that he had power to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and had power over the elements of nature.

What it does mean that Jesus emptied himself is that he laid down certain privileges that he experienced while being in the presence of the Father. Consider that he no longer had the sweet fellowship of the Father. He no longer had all the riches of Heaven. He submitted himself completely to the will of the Father, depending on the Holy Spirit. He lived a lowly life of relative poverty.

He also took the form of a servant. Interestingly, Paul said in the previous verse that he was in the form of God, yet now he is in the form of a servant. Just as he was truly and perfectly God, he is now truly and perfectly a servant. No one has ever demonstrated the selfless character of a true servant in the way that Jesus modeled for us.

He was born in the likeness of men. It is hard to imagine that the Creator of the universe had a toothache, a runny nose, acne, a headache, etc. The fact is, that Christ allowed himself to experience all of the weaknesses that all we as humans face. Why would he lay down his glory, take on the form of a servant, and be born as a human? There is only one answer. Love.

Remember, this passage talking about Christ's character started by saying, "Have this same mind that was in Christ." Be willing to be emptied of any glory, be a servant, and acknowledge your human weakness. Christ did. Have the same mind.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co