E XPOSITION O F <500206>P HILIPPIANS 2:6-8. The passage reads: ?who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant being made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.?
The subject of the sentence is at first (verses 6, 7) Christ Jesus, regarded as the preexistent Logos. Subsequently (verse 3), this same Christ Jesus is regarded as incarnate. This change in the subject is indicated by the contrast between morfh~| qeou~ (verse6) and morfh<n dou>lou (verse 7), as well as by the participles la>bw>n and geno>menov (verse 7) and eujreqei>v (verse 8) it is asserted, then, that the preexisting Logos, ?although subsisting in the form of God, did not regard his equality with God as a thing to be forcibly retained but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, (that is) by being made in the likeness of men. And being found in outward condition as a man, he (the incarnate son of God, yet further) humbled himself by becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross? (verse 8).
Here notice that what the Logos divested himself of, in becoming man, is not the substance of his Godhead, but the ?form of God? in which this substance was manifested. This ?form of God? can be only that independent exercise of the powers and prerogatives of Deity, which constitutes his ?equality with God.? This he surrenders, in the act of ?taking the form of a servant? ? or becoming subordinate, as man. (Here other Scriptures complete the view, by their representations of the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit in the earthly life of Christ.) The phrases ?made in the likeness of men? and ?found in fashion as a man? are used to intimate, not that Jesus Christ was not really man, but that he was God as well as man and therefore free from the sin which clings to man (cf. <450303>Romans 3:3 ? ejn oJmoiw>mati sarko<v aJmarti>av ? Meyer). Finally, this one person, now God and man united, submits himself consciously and voluntarily to the humiliation of an ignominious death.
See Lightfoot, on <502308>Philippians 2:8 ? ?Christ divested himself, not of his divine nature, for that was impossible, but of the glories and prerogatives of Deity. This he did by taking the form of a servant.? Evans, in Presb. Rev., 1883:287 ? ?Two stages in Christ?s humiliation, each represented by a finite verb defining the central act of the particular stage, accompanied by two modal participles. 1st stage indicated in vs. 7. Its central act is: ?he emptied himself.? Its two modalities are: (1) ?taking the
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