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Philippians 2:5-7

by Don Costello  
6/17/2008 / Bible Studies

Philippians 2:5, 6

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

1. Amplified Bible: Who, although being essentially one with God and in the from of God possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained."

a. Verse 6 is referring to the Second Person of the Godhead, (Jesus, the LORD, the Word(, before the incarnation; when he was "in the form of God". Before he "took upon him the form of a servant."

2. robbery (725 * harpagmos) a thing held as a prize. Gifford: "Who though he was subsisting in the essential from of God, yet did not regard His being on an equality of glory and majesty with God as a prize and a treasure to be held fast,"

a. Dake's Annotated Bible,Finis Jennings Dake. "Who subsisting in the from of God (by which He from eternity had appeared to the inhabitants of heaven), yet not thinking that this equality with God should be clung to or retained,"

b. The actions of the Godhead were motivated by their unquenchable love for man and mans totally helpless condition.

3. Verses 5 and 6 are not saying that we as Christians should hold in our thinking that we are equal with God. The message of the passage through verse 8 is to humble ourselves to be obedient. If Jesus did it, and his was really a step down, we can do it who have never been anywhere but down. If any of us had ever been" in the from of God", before we were men and women, we could apply this part of the text. But we haven't so we can't.

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:

1. "But made himself of no reputation,"

a. Amplified Bible: "But stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity"

b. madeof no reputation (2758 * keno) to empty, make empty. (Romans 4:14, "make void"; 1 Corinthians 1:17, "make of none effect"; 1 Corinthians 9:15, "make void"; 2 Corinthians 9:3, "be in vain".)

c. When Jesus became a man He made Himself of none effect as far as the characteristics of Deity are concerned.

2. Of what did Jesus empty himself?

a. Jesus emptied himself of the glory of the Godhead that he had before his incarnation, before the world was created.

1). John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

b. Jesus emptied himself of his Omnipotence while on earth. When he ministered on earth he ministered as a man anointed and led by the Holy Ghost. All of the manifestations of the miraculous can be explained as manifestations of the gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost. Jesus did not do one miracle until after he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

1). Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

2). Luke 4:16-21 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."

3). Matthew 12:22-28 "Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth cast out devils, but by Beelsebum the prince of devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you."

c. Jesus emptied Himself of his Omniscience. As a man he increased in wisdom.

1). Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

2). Hebrews 5:7 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."

3). Isaiah 7:14-16 "Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings."

4. Jesus was so full of wisdom that even at the age of twelve he astonished the doctors of the law in his day: "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, bot hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." Luke 2:46, 47.

5. In light of the above Psalm 119:97-100 is surely Messianic: "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts."

d. Jesus emptied himself of His Omnipresence. In his earthly life he could only be at one place at a time.

3. "and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"

a. Some of the reasons for Jesus becoming a man are listed in Hebrews 2:14-18: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."

b. This is also echoed in Hebrews 4:15.

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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