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Philippians 2:6-9

(A) Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to

but
(B) emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men

And being found in human form,
(C) he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore
(D) God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name

I'm in the middle conversation with some of my Christian friends who hold Hypostatic Union. But although they hold the same thing, it seems there is still a different opinion of the verse between them.

Friend-1
Point A is talking before the Incarnation.
Point B is talking just about the Incarnation.
Point C is talking during the Incarnation.
Point D is because point C not because point B.

Friend-2
point-A is talking during the Incarnation.
point-B is talking during the Incarnation.
Point C is talking during the Incarnation.
Point D is because point B and because point C.

So, which one is correct according to the Reformed tradition?

Thank you.

  • 2
    I lean towards 'neither is fully correct'. I'd suggest something closer to A: pre-incarnate. B: Incarnation to birth. C: Birth to Crucifixion. D: Resurrection, Ascension, and Enthronement, because of A, B, and C. – bradimus Aug 3 '17 at 17:59
  • @bradimus, it seems the Friend-1 almost correct (same with your answer, except in point D) – karma Aug 4 '17 at 3:57
  • @bruisedreed, I will edit my question to specific denomination. (I wonder, how could happen denomination A and B hold the same doctrine but they have different thinking on that same doctrine ?) – karma Aug 4 '17 at 4:05
  • Agreed. And my objection to friend-1's answer does not directly relate to the hypostatic union. – bradimus Aug 4 '17 at 20:21
1

A refers to the fact that He became incarnate, and His humility (motive, "mindset" 2:5). Thus, it implicitly contains what He was thinking before the incarnation, but isn't strictly speaking of a specific time.

B the example used for His humility—that He took on the form of a man. Again, it's not so much a time point, rather than recounting the mindset He had in becoming incarnate in general. Now that he is speaking of the incarnate Word (implicit post-incarnation), He is not likely (and doesn't) go back to speak of Him before the Incarnation.

C He is "in human form" and thus this is speaking post-incarnation.

D He is exalted because God the Father loves the perfect humility of His Son; the incarnation necessarily meant God the Father granted to His blameless and divine Son every privlege, including and included in exaltation.

| improve this answer | |
  • In short, do you mean Friend-1 is almost the correct one, SolaGratia ? Thank you. – karma Aug 4 '17 at 19:28
  • I revised my answer somewhat. I'm not sure what friend-1 's position is precisely. P.S. Mine is not a reformed view, but since you asked 'which is right' I thought it was more of an open question. – Sola Gratia Oct 3 '17 at 13:27
  • Friend-1 thinking something like this, SolaGratia : Before Incarnation : (A) I'm willing to put My God things (B) by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Time past, when He already grown up "I realize that I am God in human form and I now remember that I'm in the form of a servant now". (C) I'm willing to obey the Law fully. So... that's why (D) God exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. – karma Oct 4 '17 at 12:59
  • I'd say that's pretty close, but I'd say (B) doesn't specify a point in time pre- or post-incarnation, only an attitude that was involved in the very idea of God becoming man; and that (D) was not only because He fulfilled the Law, but because He fully had perfect faith and submitted to the Father. Since by the Law no one is justified. – Sola Gratia Oct 4 '17 at 13:49
  • "I'd say (B) doesn't specify a point in time pre- or post-incarnation, only an attitude that was involved in the very idea of God becoming man" ---> I understand that, Sola. It seems Friend-1's interpretation that the "kenosis" already happened before the incarnation in a "Will" form that's why friend-1 put (A) and (B) before the incarnation. While (C), it's not the "kenosis" - but the obedient after He realized that He is God in a human form, after He remember that He is in a "kenosis" state. Something like that :). Thank you. – karma Oct 5 '17 at 0:09

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