The Kenosis of Christ

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By Rev. Jay Werman

This is one of the most fascinating topic of the Scriptures. There are a lots of details that are explained in the Scriptures relate to the Kenosis of Christ but those that are revealed are very interesting. So, I will do my best to explain these details that are revealed to us in the Scriptures. Now, I have to make something very clear before I begin this subject. If you belong to a certain denomination or religion and already have a preconceived ideas about it, don’t waste your time reading this. In order for the seed to produce results, it must fall in good ground, otherwise the seed won’t produce as it was meant it.

"And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred." Mark 4:8

This is the reason why so many believers are not growing in the knowledge of The Word of God. Preconceived ideas, human philosophies, satanic doctrines, religions, and dogmas, will make the seed ineffective. Lack of spiritual growth is the direct result of being ignorant of what God has revealed in His own Word.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6

So, What’s the meaning of the Greek word “Kenosis”? The Greek word is used in Philippians 2:7.

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men"

The Greek word is “Kenoo”, which means “to empty out of”, “to drain”. Thayer explain it as follow:

1) to empty, make empty – 1a) of Christ, he laid aside equality with or the form of God

2) to make void – 2a) deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect

3) to make void – 3b) cause a thing to be seen to be empty, hollow, false

Total KJV Occurrences: 8 – made, 2 Rom 4:14, 1Co 1:17; void, 2 Rom 4:14, 1Co 9:15; effect, 1 1Co 1:17; make, 1 1Co 9:15; none, 1 1Co 1:17; reputation, 1 Php 2:7

Now, observe how the expression “But made himself of no reputation” in Phil. 2:7 is located between 2 others expressions within the context of the text:

"Who (Christ), being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (v.6) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (v.7) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." v.8

Verse 6 states that Christ “Made Himself of NO REPUTATION, or EMPTY OUT Himself”. The question is “Of what did Christ empty himself? verse 6 filled the gap. “Who, being in the FORM OF GOD”. This is what Christ empty out of. In the Scriptures no specification is found in details of the Kenosis of Christ, but one aspect is very clear; one of the members of The GodHead became a man. Christ willingly laid aside his divine abilities and powers, and he was born as a sinless man. To rescue humanity from eternal perdition, The second person of The GodHead “Made Himself of no Reputation”, even though He was in the form of God.

"In the beginning was the Word (Gr. Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14

The second person of The GodHead became of man the day His was born of Mary. God became of Father that day, and Mary became a mother that day.

"I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Psalm 2:7
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew 1:18-23 

Mary gave birth to a child, who was an eternal God. She didn’t have birth a god as many are teaching today. Before Jesus was conceived by Mary, He exist as one of the three members of The divine Trinity; An everlasting God.

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

God became a Father that day and Jesus became The Son of The Living God. The titles of “The Father and The Son” were put in place for reasons to redeem humanity. In the Scriptures are 247 names and titles use to all the three members of The GodHead.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
"Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Following the question we placed in the beginning of this post, which is “Of what did Jesus emptied Himself? Which is refer in Phil. 2:6. Jesus couldn’t emptied out Himself of His Divine nature, for He was God manifest in the flesh according to The Scriptures. Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Mat. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:1-2, 14; 1 Tim. 3:16. Before He “Took the form of a servant, and was made in the LIKENESS of men” Phil. 2:7, He was an eternal and everlasting God. Mic. 5:1-2; Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8-11.

According to The Scriptures Jesus emptied out Himself of the following:

  1. His EQUALITY with God. Phil 2:6-7; Jn. 14:28; 1 Cor. 11:3
  2. His God Form, which is His bodily shape or form. God’s body is spiritual in essence like there is any other in the spiritual realm. Every member of The GodHead have a spiritual body, Jesus is the one member of the divine trinity with a different body. Phil. 2:6-8; 3:21; Mat. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:35; Jn. 1:14; Lk. 24:37-40; Gal. 4:4; Rom. 8:3. In fact, Jesus’s body will always have the evidences of His sacrifice:
"And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Zech. 13:6

Jesus’s body is different than the spiritual body of The Father and The
Holy Spirit. Observe how in the same chapter of Zechariah 13 The Messiah is called “MY FELLOW”.

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." verse 7

The expression “My Fellow” in the context of the text implied “same kind and nature”. The Hebrew word used for Fellow is “‛âmı̂yth”, which in the context of the passage means “Fellow God, Another God, a Comrade God, An Associate God, a Kindred God”. Only in this passage is translated “Fellow”. The other passages where this Hebrew word is used: “neighbor” Lev 6:2; 19:15; 19:17; 24:19; 25:14-15; “Another” Lev 19:11; 25:17; The different meanings of this word still express the same idea, which is “Of ANOTHER PERSON of the SAME KIND and NATURE. Many different Scriptures shows behold doubts the doctrine of The Holy Trinity of The GodHead.

  1. Jesus emptied out of His Immortality. For God Cannot die, so the second person of The GodHead “Laid aside” His God-like body and took a human body. Phil. 2:7-8
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" 1 Cor. 15:3
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Psalms 16:10
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" 1 Peter 3:18
  1. Jesus Laid aside His Divine Glory; The Glory He possessed with The Father, and before He was conceived by Mary by the power of The Holy Spirit.
"But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Mat. 1:20
"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified." John 12:23
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." John 17:5
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Mat. 16:27

The same idea is expressed by Paul in Phil. 2:5-11.

The Union of the two natures in Jesuschrist:

The two different natures were both complete in themselves, and yet, it didn’t formed a third nature. We are forbidden to teach the contrary. Jesus was the perfect representative of God and man, Jesus was a Divine human being. Christ often spoke of Himself as a single person, and not as two persons. In fact, there is no interchange of speech between the two natures, between two parts of the attributes and powers of both natures, which are accredited to one person. These are use as part of a single person, there is no dual personality as many are teaching today. One single unit of characteristics of both the human and the divine; just as any father and mother to their offspring, making a single person with a characteristics of both. Jesus was unique in His kind, He represented God and man, which is the role of the High Priest. Every single ministerial office introduced in the Old Testament was a shadow of Jesus’s mission to re-unite God and men.

"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." Hebrews 8:6
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" 1 Tim. 2:5

This passage proves that Jesus is a different and separate person from God. A Mediator is “a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between”. Jesus was born for that specific purpose; to create a New Covenant through which He re-conciliated God and men. No one else could done such task.

The Greek word used for “Mediator” is “mesitēs”, which means;

1) one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant

2) a medium of communication, arbitrator

The word is used 6 times in the N. T. Gal. 3:19-29; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24

To be continue..!