FINDING THE PROMISED LAND
By The Rev. Arsben D. Jennings
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“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 MAN; AND BEING FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS.”—PHILIPPIANS 2: 6-8
The author of the book of Philippians is the Apostle Paul who wrote this book while he was in prison in Rome around A. D. 61 in acknowledgement of a monetary gift he had received from the church at Philippi through Epaphroditus. Paul’s relationship with this church was very special because of their readiness to support the poor members of the body of Christ in Jerusalem and in other areas of Asia.
This particular church evidently had many rich wealthy members because Philippi was one of the wealthiest cities in the Roman Empire because of its trade routes. Philippi was situated in the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece and was the first church established by the Apostle Paul on European soil. Philippi was also a military resort for retired military personnel who were allotted parcels of land for their military service.
In this book Paul is expressing the need to rejoice and have joy in the midst of tribulation and suffering and also the need of unity and humility as servants of Jesus Christ. He uses as an example of humility our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in his incarnation and transformation from God or deity to God-man. The Word of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us was an operation of the Holy Spirit which is the creating force of God.
The Bible says that the angel of the Lord spoke to Mary and said that seed that is in your womb is of the Holy Ghost. In other words the Holy Ghost or Spirit took the Word of God which was God including the spoken and written Word of God from Genesis to Malachi concerning Jesus Christ and created a human seed and placed it into the womb of Mary.
The Word of God is drenched and saturated and soaked with Faith therefore the Holy Spirit is obligated to create whatever the Word of God has spoken or written. If we as God’s children believe God’s word or have faith in God’s word; the Holy Spirit which is God’s creating force according to Psalms 104: 30, is obligated to create within us whatever word we have believed and embraced or is fully persuaded by. Jesus Christ was God in essence, purpose, power, quality, design, action, and agreement. Yet the Word of God who was Jesus Christ humbled himself and became mankind. How did he accomplish this feat? He did not become Jesus Christ until he humbled himself and became mankind for before that he was “I Am” Yahweh or Jehovah, the Son of God, the Almighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, Emmanuel, Elohim, and Adonia.
First of all Paul here is expressing Christ’s humiliation as an act of thoughtfulness and love and concern for others but not for himself. It was through his death and dying on Calvary that gave mankind the opportunity to be redeemed from sin and have the penalty and judgment and wrath of God against sin which was death(physical, spiritual, and eternal death) removed. Christ died and shed his blood in his manhood for the sake of mankind because he loved mankind beyond words or any essence or substance. Yet while he was dying in the form of a man he did not give up his deity he was both God and man.
The word “being” in the Greek in verse 6 means he continued all the while he was man to be God. He was not part God and part man but he was wholly God and wholly man while on earth. The Word of God voluntarily humbled himself and became man, he was not forced or coerced or told to do so.
In verse 7 it states, “But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant;” the phrase “made himself of no reputation” in the Greek is Kenosis which means he emptied himself. This was a voluntary act of God. What did he empty himself of we find in St. John 17: 5 he emptied himself of his glory in order to become man because he asked the Father to restore it back like he had before the foundation of the world. The word glory means the position and recognition and status he had before the world was made. Also glory means to think which means that his thinking while he was man was not independent of the Father because he said while on earth that everything he says or thinks come directly from the Father. For his thinking before he became a man was that he was equal with God. He was not humbled until he emptied himself of his glory. In order for him to become a servant he had to become a man who was touched with the feelings of all our infirmities and have been tempted in every area that mankind can be tempted in.
In order for us as humans on this earth to become true servants we must experience “kenosis” or empty ourselves of our glory and recognition, who we think we are, our titles, our praise and adoration and acclamation and exaltation of mankind, our selfishness, our egos, our self-conceit and self-centeredness, and our selfish pride. Every step that Jesus took was for others, every thought he had was for others, everything he did was for others. He was totally completely obsessed with love for mankind which drove him to be a servant who had experienced “kenosis.” God bless!
The Rev. Arsben Dennis Jennings has served as a pastor in number of places, including Lima, Ohio and Boise, Idaho. Listen to the Rev. Jennings teach the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek text of the scriptures at www.blogtalkradio.com/arsben.
Category: Spiritual Matters