In what sense did Christ "empty" Himself?
In the midst of preparing a sermon on Philippians 2: 5-11, I began searching out what others have taught on this passage. I came across an outstanding article called "Beyond the Veil of Eternity" by my friend Dr. James White. He writes, "There are only a few times when Godâ€™s Word grants to us creatures the opportunity to peer back before creation itself and delve into the very relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. These passages have formed the core of a precious treasure, entrusted to the Church, wherein we find the very definition of what makes Christianity completely unique. Few passages, however, provide us with the breadth of revelation, the depth of theology, and the weight of importance, as the â€œCarmen Christi,â€ the â€œHymn to Christ as God.â€ This section stands with John 1 and Colossians 1 as the pinnacle of Scriptural revelation on the eternal personality and deity of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the Father."
Many untrue things have been said and written about this passage as people have attempted to answer questions such as "what exactly did Christ empty Himself of?" or "Did Christ cease to be Divine?" or "Did Christ empty Himself of His Divine attributes?" Throughout the centuries, the cults have badly mangled and twisted the passage to their own destruction. But what is the correct interpretation of the passage? How are we to understand it?
So here's my recommendation... sit yourself down with a good cup of English tea (hey, I'm from England - its what we do, whatever the occasion) and read this article here. I believe it will prove to be a very worthwhile use of your time.
Enjoy! - Pastor John Samson