Emptying Himself

“The all-inclusive Christ is nothing less than God. But even though He is equal with God, He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of men” (v. 7).

He did not regard His equality with God as a thing to grasp. Rather, He laid aside this equality and emptied Himself.

This does not mean, however, that Christ was no longer God. It simply means that He put aside His outward expression of God. Although He subsisted in the form of God, He took on the form of a slave and became in the likeness of men and in the fashion of a man.

As a result, He had the appearance of a man instead of the expression of God. On the one hand, having the form of God, Christ emptied Himself. On the other hand, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and that the death of a cross.

As the Savior, Christ has both divinity and humanity. He both emptied Himself and humbled Himself…

Philippians 2:9 says, “Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

This verse indicates that God came in to exalt Christ. For Christ to be exalted means not only that He was uplifted to the third heaven from the lower parts of the earth; it also means that in a glorious way He was brought back with His human nature to the form of God.

Before His incarnation, Christ did not have the human nature. But through incarnation He took on humanity.

Then He brought this human nature to the cross, shedding His blood for our redemption. After His resurrection, He was uplifted to the heavens and with His human nature was brought back to the form of God in glory.

Now He is our pattern…the God-man Savior who emptied Himself and humbled Himself and who was exalted and glorified by God.

Witness Lee, Life-study of Philippians, excerpted from chapter 43

To hear more on the experience of taking this Christ as our pattern:

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