Philippians 2:5-9

Philippians 2:5-9 says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.”

What does the phrase “being in the form of God” mean? Does this mean that Jesus is the sovereign God himself?

This phrase is evidently set in opposition to the phrase, “took upon him the form of a servant.”

The intent of the passage is to show the degree of the condescension of the Son of God by highlighting the immensity of the humiliation which he embraced when he took humanity upon himself.

The difference between humanity and divinity is infinite, with divinity being at the pinnacle of existence and humanity far down on the scale.

What was the position of Christ before he came to earth? Was he human? Was he angelic? Where would he fall in the classification of beings?

Clearly, he was divine; he was in the category of divinity. He was in the form of God. It was from this position that he descended to the level of humanity. In other words, it was not an angel who came to earth and it was not a human being, but rather it was One who was at the utmost height of existence, even One Who was divine and, in this respect, equal with God.

Let us note that it is not the divinity of Christ which is in question. It is not the fact that he is equal with the Father in nature which is in question.

Rather, the problem is the concept of the Godhead which makes Jesus the sovereign God himself (the supreme Being of the universe). This would destroy the truth that the Father is the highest authority in the universe, the source of all, and that Jesus truly is his begotten Son.

What many find it difficult to come to grips with is the concept that Jesus can be a divine Being, One who is God by nature, yet not be the most high God himself. However, this is the clear teaching of the Bible and it is only as we pursue our studies upon the basis of what the Bible clearly teaches that we can arrive at a proper understanding of biblical truth.

The true relationship of Jesus to the Father is brought out in Colossians and Paul makes the matter very clear.

Colossians 2:9 says: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Here we see that the fullness of the godhead exists in Christ, but as Colossians 1:19 explains, “. . . it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”

Here we see that it is the Father who has ordained that the fullness of the godhead should dwell in Christ. This makes it clear that the Father is greater than Jesus and is the One who has ordained the status of Christ.

This is in perfect harmony with Matthew 28:18 where Jesus said, “All power [exousia (authority)] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Note: All power is his, but it was given unto him by One who is evidently greater than he.

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:27, 28).

Truth about God

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