GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

03-27-2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

GBIBLE.ORG

PDF:GBC03272022NOTES

Christian Soldier 61, Doctrine Of Kenosis, Part 2.

The Celebrity-ship of the Lord Jesus.

 

We begin with the greatest passage on the Celebrityship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let’s read the passage and then we will note the verses more in detail on the Celebrityship of Christ.

 

PHI 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;

 

PHI 2:4 do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

PHI 2:5  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

 

PHI 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

PHI 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men.

 

PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

PHI 2:9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

 

PHI 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,

 

PHI 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

So, in PHI 2:6, we now meet TLJC as He was before the incarnation.

 

Verse 6 answers the question, what was Jesus Christ like before the first advent before He became a member of the human race?

What was Christ like before the incarnation?

 

Before the virgin birth?

 

This question must be answered in order to understand

and see what happened at the incarnation.

 

To see what the humiliation of our Lord really was.

 

And so we continue in more detail our study on the Celebrityship of Christ so that we will be in awe when we see Him for the first time at the Big Genuflex which happens immediately after the Rapture.

 

PHI 2:6  who (TLJC) although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

This verse refers to the fact that before the virgin birth Jesus Christ preexisted as the divine, majestic, and glorious nature of God Himself.

 

There is your True Celebrityship.

Morphe emphasizes the nature or character of something with emphasis upon both the internal and external form.

 

And it simply means that:

 

The Lord Jesus Christ did not give up His deity or empty Himself of His deity but that He simply chose not to function under His deity unless it was a part of the Father's plan.

 

Morphe does not refer to the outward shape but also the inner essence of the object.

 

The essence of Jesus Christ before the incarnation is the essence of God.

 

He was, is, always will be eternal God.

 

And this means that in eternity past, Jesus Christ as God possessed all of the characteristics of divine essence and exercised all of the qualities of God.

 

And this means groups like the JW's,

the Way International,

the Mormons known as the Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ,

the Muslims,

the Buddhists,

Christian Science,

the New Age Movement,

Hare Krishnas,

Hinduism,

Islam,

the Koran,

the Moonies,

Mohammed,

Scientology,

the Unification Church,

 

And then the lesser thinkers, atheists all of these are absolutely wrong and evil because they all have one thing in common....,

 

They deny that Jesus Christ is God.

 

And here's the point:

 

The deity of God the Father and even God the Holy Spirit are universally admitted, but the deity of the Son is constantly questioned and challenged.

 

This doubt would not have arisen had the Son not become human, but He did.

 

The Scriptures leave no doubt as to who the Lord Jesus Christ is.

 

From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we have passage after passage describing and revealing His deity.

 

You might ask,

 

Why do so many different religions deny the deity of Christ?

 

The answer to that is found in one passage.

 

2CO 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

 

2CO 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

Satan, the god of this world, doesn't care if you are a JW, or a member of the Way International, or a Mormons, or a Muslim, a Buddhist, Christian Science, Zen, the New Age Movement, Hare Krishnas, Hindu, Islam, or a Moonie, as long as you deny that Jesus Christ is God.

 

John warned us of these individuals in 2JO

 

Look at 2JO 1:7  For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

 

2JO 1:8 Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.

 

2JO 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

 

2JO 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;

 

2JO 1:11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

 

Since God cannot change this means that we will be spending a great deal of time studying principles concerning the deity of Christ, the incarnation, the hypostatic union, kenosis, and all of the other related subjects.

 

 

So, PHI 2:6 in corrected translations says:

 

PHI 2:6  who [Jesus Christ], although He preexisted in the essence of God,

 

 

We closed Wednesday evening by noting:

 

We build our happiness on Who and what Christ is — not on who and what people are.

 

There is no shortcut to this relaxed mental attitude.

 

It requires the daily function of the “PMA of doctrine” under the pastor-teacher consistently communicating doctrine and the believer learning doctrine on a daily basis.

 

The only purpose for the worship service and for the existence of a pastor-teacher is to enable believers to advance to the highest stage of super-grace.

 

There is no greater life for the Christian Soldier then living in the realm of the recognition of the Celebrityship of Jesus Christ.

 

Now, PHI 2 is the greatest chapter in the Bible that reveals the Celebrityship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We already noted PHI 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

 

Keep on having this mental attitude in you which also in Christ Jesus.

 

The Greek word for attitude is phroneo which means “to think objectively or to think of others.”

 

When our mental attitude” meets the standards of this word, we have arrived at the highest and noblest point in the Christian life.

 

Mental attitude divine viewpoint is having the mind of Christ which is the objective and command for every believer.

The only way you can obey this command is to have doctrine IN YOU in the right lobe.

 

In verse 6, we read:

 

PHI 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

This speaks of the Celebrityship of Jesus Christ in the preincarnate Christ,

 

Preincarnate means before our Lord became true humanity.

 

This is the corrected translation:

 

PHI 2:6  Who [Jesus Christ] preexisting in the essence of God in His grace-thinking thought it [His deity] not a treasure retained being equal with God.

 

This is the doctrine of Kenosis which refers to the fact that the Lord denied Himself of the proper function of His deity to live as true humanity.

And so we pick up this passage on the Celebrityship of TLJC in PHI 2:7 but He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 

In verse 7 our first word is but, the adversative conjunction alla which sets up a contrast with the deity of Christ and the Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

In other words, He is God but:

 

He will live as man by denying Himself the use of His deity and solving His problems in His Humanity by using human resources and not His divine resources.

 

Next in  PHI 2:7 we are told that He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 

“emptied himself” is a Greek phrase made up of two words "heauton ekonosen"

 

Heauton is a reflexive pronoun translated "Himself".

This means that from our Lord's own volition, He made a decision from His sovereignty to become true humanity.

 

And…..

 

The greatness of this decision can never be overemphasized because our salvation and our very existence and our eternal future are all based upon this decision to deny Himself.

 

There are two great decisions related to our salvation.

 

The first is the decision of sovereign deity which is described in this passage as "heauton ekonosen" which means that our Lord deprived Himself of the proper function of His deity.

 

The second was the decision of His true humanity mentioned in MAT 26:39 "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

 

The same thing is in MAR 14:36 when He said "Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."

 

These verses and even more indicate the tremendous decisions involved in all that we have right now.

 

You are alive.

 

You are going to spend eternity in the presence of God.

 

All because of what He has done for you!

 

The cup refers to the cross and the cup is therefore the key to everything we possess or ever will.

 

The cup was where the sins of the world were poured out upon Jesus Christ.

 

Now, the word emptied is the aor-act-ind of the verb kenoo which is where we get kenosis which means to empty one’s self, to lay something aside, to deprive oneself of one's proper function or rights.

And that's the meaning here.

 

It means that you do it yourself, on your own.

 

The verse so far says PHI 2:7  but He deprived Himself of the proper function of His deity,

 

This is where we get a doctrine that increases our love for our true Celebrity.

 

So, let's begin

 

The Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

Point 1.  The Origin of the Doctrine.

 

It is derived from the Greek word “kenoo” which means to empty oneself or to deprive oneself of a proper function, Phi 2:7a.

 

Point 2.  The True Humiliation of the Incarnation.

 

During the dispensation of the hypostatic union, our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes in compliance with the Father's plan for the Incarnation.

 

This means that Jesus Christ did not use the attributes of His divine nature to benefit Himself, to provide for Himself, or to glorify Himself.

 

It means to act independently of the plan of God for the Church-age by the compromise of the spiritual life.

 

One compromise of the human nature of Jesus Christ to the spiritual life and there would not be any spiritual life in the Church-age.

 

The objectives of this dispensation of the hypostatic union were related to the human nature of Jesus Christ.

 

To resist this temptation, the human nature of Jesus Christ must not call on the divine nature for help.

 

He had to use the mechanics of the spiritual life to maintain His human perfection and to be qualified to go to the Cross and be judged for the sins of the world.

 

During this period of time:

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes in compatibility with His own objectives and purpose in living among men with their limitations.

 

By so doing, He established in His humanity a spiritual life which is precedent for the Church-age.

 

Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes, but certain functions of deity continued to function, such as holding the universe together.

 

Jesus Christ gave up the independent exercise of His divine attributes only during the dispensation of the hypostatic union.

 

He did not give up His divine attributes--that is a heresy.

 

During the dispensation of the hypostatic union, our Lord veiled the preincarnate glory of His deity by giving up the outward appearance of God and voluntarily taking on Himself the form of man.

 

This means that the glory of Christ was veiled, but never surrendered.

 

In fact,…..

 

This glory was temporarily revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration, and at Gethsemane there was just a flash of that glory.

 

MAT 17:1  And six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *brought them up to a high mountain by themselves.

 

MAT 17:2  And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

 

MAT 17:3  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

 

MAT 17:4  And Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

 

MAT 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!"

 

There was a flash of this glory also in JOH 18:6  When therefore He said to them, "I am {He}," they drew back, and fell to the ground.

 

Even though the humanity of Christ in the hypostatic union was perfect and impeccable, nevertheless, the deity of Christ was united with unglorified humanity.

 

Jesus Christ surrendered no attributes of His deity.

 

This is called the doctrine of the humility of Christ.

 

The union of Christ to unglorified humanity is a necessary factor of humiliation.

 

While the deity of Christ was united to a perfect true humanity, He was still subject to temptation, distress, weakness, pain, sorrow, limitation, and to more temptations than we will ever face, Heb 4:15.

 

HEB 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as {we are, yet} without sin.

 

And therein lies the truth of the humiliation of the First Advent.

 

Our Celebrity solved these problems of the spiritual life by the use of the problem-solving devices.

 

The glorification of the humanity of Christ was not completed until He was resurrected, ascended, and was seated at the right hand of the Father.

 

Therefore,….

 

During the Hypostatic Union, no attribute of our Lord's divine nature was changed.

 

There was no suppression of divine essence.

 

In the Hypostatic Union, the divine and human natures are united without transfer of attributes.

 

The divine nature of Christ was not changed by the incarnation, nor was it changed by being voluntarily restricted, His deity was available at all times.

 

No divine attributes were transferred to His humanity and no attributes of humanity were transferred to His deity.

 

The attributes of deity cannot bleed over into humanity and the attributes of humanity cannot bleed over into deity.

 

To rob God of a single attribute of His deity would destroy His divine nature.

 

To rob the humanity of Christ of a single attribute of humanity would destroy His humanity in the hypostatic union.

 

Point 3.  Definition.

 

Kenosis is based on the fact that the union of the deity of Christ to unglorified but true humanity is a necessary factor in His humiliation.

 

This is why He taught us that:

 

JOH 15:20 "A slave is not greater than his master."

 

And He said in:

 

JOH 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

 

1JO 3:16  We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

1JO 3:17  But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

 

Under the true doctrine of Kenosis, our Lord became true humanity in order to fulfill the Father's plan for the dispensation of the hypostatic union.

 

And…..

 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily took on Himself true humanity in order to redeem mankind from sin, in order to propitiate God the Father, and to reconcile mankind to God.

 

Therefore,

 

During the incarnation, Jesus Christ did not even once exercise the independent use of His own divine attributes either to benefit Himself, to provide for Himself, or to glorify Himself.

 

Point 4.  The Manifestation of Kenosis in our Lord's Evidence Testing.

 

The true doctrine of Kenosis is illustrated by the humanity of Christ in facing evidence testing, MAT 4:1-10.

 

In all three tests in this passage, He utilized the power of the Word provided by the omnipotence of the Father and the power of the Spirit provided in the PPOG for His life.

As true humanity, Christ had utilized the prototype PPOG and fulfilled the pattern of spiritual growth.

 

At the outset of His public ministry, our True celebrity was immediately taken into the desert, alone, to face evidence testing.

 

Evidence testing is the highest form of testing that a mature believer can have, like Job, Paul, and of course our Celebrity, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

MAT 4:1  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

 

The lesson for the believer can be found in the first word of MAT 4:1.

 

"Then" indicates that evidence testing was the first item on the agenda for Christ's public ministry.

 

Prin: No believer is qualified for maximum Christian service until he has advanced to spiritual maturity and passed evidence testing.

By the way, I did not say that no believer is qualified for Christian service until he has advanced to spiritual maturity and passed evidence testing.

 

I said No believer is qualified for maximum Christian service until he has advanced to spiritual maturity and passed evidence testing.

 

Service for God increases in quality as the believer grows spiritually.

 

The marvelous thing is that when you are occupied with your True Celebrity, serving God happens automatically.

 

Zeal to serve the Lord does not automatically qualify the Christian for service.

 

Enthusiasm can exist in the immature as well as in the mature.

 

In fact, religious zeal can characterize even morally degenerate unbelievers.

So, This is not to discourage Christian service by any believer at any level of spiritual growth but to anticipate maximum service as a result of maximum preparation.

 

Evidence testing is the final category of suffering for blessing.

 

The Christian life begins with growth, not with service.

 

And……

 

The quality of Christian service improves as the believer accelerates his spiritual growth through each increment of suffering for blessing.

 

Three persons were involved in the testing of Christ: the humanity of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Satan.

 

The humanity of Christ was residing inside the PPOG.

 

He was therefore filled with the Holy Spirit, as He had been since His virgin birth.

 

And……

 

Notice in MAT  4:1, that Jesus was led by the same enabling power of the Spirit that leads the mature believer in the PPOG.

 

By the way,

 

Why in the world would God turn His only Son over to Satan to be tested if there was no angelic conflict?

 

You see whenever someone studies intently and comes up with principles of doctrine that the average loser pastor doesn't understand, instead of searching it out, they have a need to attack!

 

They don't want members of their congregation thinking that someone else knows more than them!

 

So they attack!

 

They discredit!

 

They reject and undermine things they don't understand!

 

But in the end, they will know the truth, hopefully before they die.

 

Prin: Although the humanity of Christ was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, the devil would administer the testing.

 

Second Prin: Intense physical duress was part of the circumstances for Christ's evidence testing.

 

In the desert, He went without food for forty days.

 

MAT 4:2  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.

 

The humanity of Christ was hungry every day and for all forty days, He was alone in the desert.

 

He was famished and already was suffering sharp, constant physical pain when evidence testing began.

 

The first part of our Lord's evidence testing attacked His relationship with God the Holy Spirit.

 

MAT 4:3  And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

 

Now, Satan knows the Bible!

 

Satan knows theology.

 

So, Although he lives to exalt himself and oppose God, Satan knows from observation a great deal of true doctrine.

 

Disarmingly, he approached Jesus with a true point of doctrine only to suggest a false conclusion.

 

Christ is the Son of God.

 

That is accurate information.

 

"Son of God" is our Lord's first royal title as divine royalty; His first royal family is the Trinity.

 

At the time Satan was speaking, Christ held these royal titles.

 

His first royal title is eternal in nature; He has always been God.

 

His second title, "Son of David," was acquired at the moment of His virgin birth, His entrance into the human dynasty of King David.

 

Now…..

 

At thirty years of age, He was embarking on the earthly ministry that would reach its' climax with the strategic victory over Satan at the cross; COL 2:13-15.

 

Hold your place in MAT 4 and Look at the passage.

 

 

COL 2:13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

 

COL 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us {and} which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 

COL 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

 

Our Lord's title of battlefield royalty was in this passage through the cross and His strategic victory in the angelic conflict.

 

This is when He received His third Royal Title, the "King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Bright Morning Star."

 

And,

As the eternal complement to this third royal title, all Church-age believers are His third royal family.

 

So, Satan took his usual arrogant approach.

He is such a brazen liar that he used the true doctrine of Christ's royalty as a weapon against our Lord.

 

This was the very doctrine that most threatened Satan's arrogant plans.

 

In fact,

 

Satan would be strategically and tactically defeated as part of the doctrine of Christ's royalty.

 

So, In a subtle attempt to trip our Lord into defeat, Satan virtually granted Christ the victory in advance.

 

How?

 

Because he did not say “If you are the Son of God,” he said “Since you are the Son of God.”

 

The word tempted, it is the Greek word peirazo which means to test, to scrutinize, to examine, to try or test one's faith, virtue, or character by enticement to sin or to act independently of God.

 

The issue for our Lord is this:

 

If the humanity of Christ even sins once during this test then He cannot go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world.

 

Therefore, He will not only be tempted like we are but He will be tempted far beyond anyone of us!

 

Note that it was God the Holy Spirit who is the One who led our Lord to this test!

 

In evidence testing and the angelic conflict, God the Holy Spirit is not the one who puts us to the test, He is the one who leads us to the test!

 

The Holy Spirit will lead us to the test but He will not tempt us!

That's why JAM 1:13 "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."

 

MAT 4:2  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.

 

The humanity of Christ was hungry every day for all forty days He spent alone in the desert.

 

Now, The first part of our Lord's evidence testing attacked His relationship with God the Holy Spirit.

 

MAT 4:3  And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God [and I know you are], command that these stones become bread."

 

Satan knows the Bible!

 

Satan knows theology.

 

Christ is the Son of God.

That is accurate information.

 

So, Satan took his usual arrogant approach.

 

He is such a pompous liar that he used the true doctrine of Christ's royalty as a weapon against our Lord.

 

This was the very doctrine that threatened Satan's arrogant plans.

 

The basis for Satan's first attack was his knowledge that in hypostatic union the deity of Christ has the power to accomplish any miracle.

 

Learn to rely on yourself and be independent from God like I do.

 

Satan knew that the deity of Christ was faithfully sustaining the universe at that very moment, Col 1:17; Heb 1:3.

 

The act of turning stones into bread would have been a small matter for divine omnipotence.

So, This first part of our Lord's evidence testing was an attempt by Satan to persuade Jesus Christ as the God-man to exercise His deity contrary to the Father's plan for the Incarnation.

 

Satan tempted the Lord to operate independently of the Holy Spirit, who was the Father's provision in the PPOG for sustaining Christ's humanity during His first advent.

 

To fulfill the mission that He voluntarily accepted from God the Father in eternity past, Christ had to rely on the system of provision that the Father designed for Him.

 

This means that He did not use His own divine attributes independently to benefit, sustain, or glorify Himself.

 

This is the true Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

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