by Jonathan McLeod

This content is part of a series.

The Self-Emptying of Jesus (4 of 5)
Series: The Real Jesus
Jonathan McLeod
Philippians 2:3-8

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!


But made himself nothing [kenoo] (v. 7a).

But emptied himself (NASB).

But made himself of no reputation (KJV).

When Jesus became a man:

• He did not give up some of His divine ATTRIBUTES.

This is nowhere mentioned in Scripture.

"Beginning with [Philippians 2:5-7], several theologians in Germany (from about 1860-1880) and in England (from about 1890-1910) advocated a view of the incarnation that had not been advocated before in the history of the church. This new view was called the "kenosis theory," and the overall position it represented was called "kenotic theory." The kenosis theory holds that Christ gave up some of his divine attributes while he was on earth as a man. (The word kenosis is taken from the Greek verb kenoo, which generally means "to empty," and is translated "emptied himself" in Phil. 2:7.) According to the theory Christ "emptied himself" of some of his divine attributes, such as omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, while he was on earth as a man. This was viewed as a voluntary self-limitation on Christ's part, which he carried out in order to fulfill his work of redemption." (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 550)

Some conservative theologians believe that Christ laid aside during the incarnation the independent use of His divine att ...

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