The Berean Expositor
Volume 15 - Page 8 of 160
Index | Zoom
The Deity of Christ.
pp. 1 - 10
Form and Fashion
B.--What do you understand by "equality with God"?
A.--I take it to mean the same essential nature, and that Christ did not aspire to
the supreme Godhead, but was content with His subordinate position as indicated in
John 1: 1.
B.--Seeing that "form" like "formula" means essential nature, this new statement must
indicate something else. The R.V. reads "on an equality with God". Isa Theo indicates
not essential nature, but mode of existence.  Now one mode of existence may be
relinquished for another without touching the nature. The words of II Cor. 8: 9 are an
illustration, "Though He was rich, yet He became poor". "Rich" and "poor" are modes of
existence, but "He" who made the exchange remained the same.
A.--What does the statement mean then?
B.--Christ, though essentially God and therefore surrounded with the accompaniments of
Deity, voluntarily laid all this glory aside and came to earth and was found in fashion as a
man. "The form of God" has as its proper mode the being "on an equality with God".
"The form of a servant" has as its proper mode "the fashion as a man".
The counting it not a prize that He was on an equality with God is further explained by
the words, "He made Himself of no reputation", or more literally, "He emptied Himself".
Of what did Christ empty Himself? The answer must be, He emptied Himself of that
which He did not regard as a prize. He did not lay aside His essential nature, He did lay
aside the glory that was His own proper right. Let us now look at the words:--
"He made Himself of no reputation" (A.V.).
"Emptied Himself" (R.V.).
The two words "Not . . . . . but" leave no room for doubt as to what was "emptied".
The being on equality with God, the ministry of thousands of angels, the glory; this He
voluntarily laid aside. The two statements:--
Himself He emptied.
Himself He humbled.
explain one another. Chrysostom in his commentary on Philippians says:--
"What then should we say in answer to Arius, who said that the Son is of other
substance (than the Father)? Tell me what is the meaning of this--He took the form of a
servant? He became man says Arius. Therefore also subsisting in the form of God, He
was God . . . . . The form of a servant--man by nature; therefore the form of God--God
by nature.