JESUS EMPTIED HIMSELF OF WHAT and FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

JESUS EMPTIED HIMSELF OF WHAT and FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

By Gale Ward Maiden

…An Excerpt from My Book JESUS SON OF MAN ANOINTED

 

But Jesus emptied himself, (by) taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made (generated; caused to be) in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:7 NAS

 

Many Christians wrongfully use this scripture to say that Jesus laid aside or emptied himself of his deity and came to earth as a man. This scripture does not remotely support such a notion. The purpose of this writing is to challenge the traditional interpretation of Philippians 2:7.

The key to rightfully understanding this scripture is to discern what it is that Jesus emptied and for what purpose. As we will see these passages of scripture are very clear in answering these questions.

Remember Jesus in his humanity functioned in the likeness of sinful flesh having a body of flesh and blood. Jesus was tempted by all that the world could offer.

One may draw as a logical conclusion that if Jesus is tempted as is all of humanity then there were things which he needed to divest or empty from within. Again it is of utmost importance to remember that wrong desires are not sin until they are activated in the heart! Jesus never sinned. If the man Jesus did not have fleshly desires then he could not have been tempted. Jesus dramatically demonstrated that he had within a will or desire to bypass the cross when he said concerning his God chosen death on the cross, “Not my will Father but your will be done.”

 

The Apostle James wrote…

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one (including Jesus) is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

James 1:13-15 NASU

 

What is the Form of a Bond-Servant?

The subject verse says that he emptied himself taking on the form of a BOND-SERVANT. A bond-servant title is relegated to men who serve our God and one another. Those of you who are bond-servants to God and all of humanity know that it takes all of the deity nature one can grasp in order to become a bond-servant of God.

If we are to be bond-servants of God, it will take deity capacities in order to successfully fulfill this role. Therefore Jesus in his humanity had to lay aside the desires of the flesh…the root of temptation. So what did Jesus really lay aside?

 

What Must be Emptied from Man That Would Allow a Selfless Bond-Servant Nature? The Answer is Selfishness

It is obvious from Philippians 2:7 that whatever Jesus emptied out or gave up would allow a bond-servant nature to manifest. We know that Jesus is a bond-servant to God and all of humanity therefore Jesus was successful in releasing selfish desires.

The opposite of a bond-servant nature to God and humanity is a bond-servant nature which is self-serving. The preceding verses before Philippians 2:7 (specifically verses 1-4) gives us a clear description of both the true bond-servant nature and the wrong nature needed to be lain aside; to be lain aside not only by Jesus a bond-servant but by all true bond-servant believers.

If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:1-4  NAS

 

Jesus was tempted in every way that the world has to offer. This present world offers desires of the flesh, desires of the eye and the pride of life. All self-desire comes under the heading of selfishness.

Remember that every man (including the man Jesus) is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires. Temptation is not sin. If Jesus was tempted in his humanity then Jesus had to have desires. We know that these challenges to Jesus in his likeness of sinful flesh never were acted upon; therefore Jesus never sinned.

This is where God wants all believers. Jesus by the grace of God (Hebrews 2:9) laid aside all desires of selfishness or empty conceit and made his priority the interests of his Father and of others above his own interest. Remember…temptation is not sin.

 

This wrong bond-servant mentality is self-love without the love of God. It is ungodly fear and self-preservation that keeps one from emptying out so as to take on the Godly nature of a bond-servant to God and humanity.

 

Jesus Functioning as a Total Man in the Spirit of Grace is our Prototype Man

Jesus, who is the most fearless lover known among mankind, is empowered in his humanity to be a bond-servant extraordinaire. Perfect love casts out fear. Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh and was tempted by all that the world could offer yet he never sinned. Romans 8:3 says that Jesus condemned or chose against sin in the flesh. The following two scriptures prove that which Jesus laid aside. He victoriously laid aside all solicitation or temptation to sin as we are called and empowered to do also.

How did Jesus do this? Jesus walked in agreement with the holy spirit voice of God his Father; therefore being full of grace and truth (John 1:14-16).

 

Not Considered Robbery by Jesus to Come into Agreement with God

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

Philippians 2:5-6 NKJV

The word translated equal is the Greek word isos (ee’-sos) and means to agree. Jesus never considered it robbery of himself to agree with God in laying aside selfishness.

 

Jesus the Man Functioned by the Loving Grace of God

John 1:16 says that of Jesus’ fullness have we received and grace for grace. Jesus in His love empowerment victoriously condemned or chose against sin in the flesh rendering powerless the devil’s power of death. Glory to God forevermore!

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 (Jesus) condemned (chose against) sin in the flesh.

Romans 8:3 NAS

 

Since then the children share in flesh and blood, he himself (Jesus) likewise also partook of the same (Humanity…flesh & blood), that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

Hebrews 2:14 NAS

In Conclusion

Jesus by the loving power of God emptied himself of all that would negate the power of a true selfless bond-servant of God. Every Deity capacity afforded Jesus has been given to bond-servants of God.

The irony is that the man Jesus by the spirit of God literally picked up deity abilities instead of laying them aside as has been wrongly taught.

Jesus the anointed man, called the Last Adam has forever restored man’s covenant of life. The first man Adam broke our covenant and since man broke the covenant, a man would have to restore the covenant. That man again is Jesus the anointed, the Last Adam.

Every selfish desire which would destroy our bond-servant ability has to be lain aside. Jesus in laying aside his own desires totally is fulfilling his mediator role in that he as a man ever lives. There is one mediator between God and man and that is the man Jesus.

There is no scriptural evidence found in the subject passage of scripture that Jesus laid aside “deity”. Again the Man Jesus, as all men, required the divine nature of God in order to successfully function as a bond-servant of God and man. This divine nature only comes in leiu of an emptying one’s person of selfishness by the power grace of God.

Let Us…

Search the Scriptures! Abiding in the word brings forth knowledge of truth and truth makes one free.

 

 

 

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