Monday, December 05, 2011

December 5, 2011 … Christ Remained God

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 6 - 7 [see highlight passage in bold/underlined] … 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

My Journal for Today: In all of this discussion from Phil. 2: 5-11 about Christ becoming a human – a man – it is important for Christians to understand that Christ did not lose any of His deity. Yes, as Jesus, The Christ, did empty Himself of His glorious POSITION in the Godhead for a season of earthly time. However, He lost none of the PERSON of God in the process. And so, rather than losing anything in the emptying process, Christ’s choice of manhood to fulfill the Old Covenant actually added humanity to his Godhood, the second Person of the Trinity.

In His discussion of this emptying by Christ in Strength for Today, John MacArthur, reminds or enlightens his readers that the incarnation of Christ required what is called “kenosis” in theology, which comes from the Greek verb “kenoo,” found in today’s text. When one reads the connecting phrase, “…but made Himself nothing …” in the NIV above, in the NASB it is translated, “…but emptied Himself;” and the term “emptied” is that Greek word, “kenoo,” which literally means “to empty or make void.”

It is difficult – well really, impossible - for my finite mind to fully comprehend the extent of Christ’s sacrifice in this process of voiding His claim to His glory and majesty in His incarnation while He became a human. But it is truth. He lost nothing of His Godhood; and we see that often in the New Testament account of His life and ministry. For example, we read [in Matt. 8, Mark 4, or Luke 8] where He calmed a raging storm with a simple command. How often do we read of Christ speaking or gesturing and bringing complete healing to people who had had lifelong physical or health maladies or even raising the dead to life? So, we know of Jesus’ full deity as was evidenced in Scripture. He was 100% God and 100% Man. However, to become man, Jesus had to lay aside [i.e., empty Himself of] His heaven-bound glorious majesty for that time on earth when he would carry out the will of the Father and fulfill all the prophesies for The Messiah … until the time when He was resurrected and ascended again into Heaven to be re-glorified and re-crowned in majesty by God, The Father, as the King of Kings for eternity.

To me this passage of Scripture (i.e., Phil. 2: 6 – 11) is the best Christmas story of all; and there is even more to it. … So, in this Advent Season, stay tuned for more!

My Prayer Today: How blessed I am that You, Lord, became a man … for me … and all who read here! Amen

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