• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • December 2012
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Fully God and Fully Man

Hypostatic UnionKenosis and the Bible:

“Kenotic theology” attempts to understand the incarnation of Jesus in light of the kenosis (The renunciation of the divine nature, at least in part, by Christ in the Incarnation) of Philippians 2:7. Its aim is to solve some of the supposed paradoxes arising from Jesus having both a divine nature and a human nature. The danger comes when it is concluded that in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity took on human nature and gave up or lost some of the divine attributes. The doctrine of the two natures of Christ (known as the hypostatic union) maintains that Jesus possessed a full undiminished human nature and a full undiminished divine nature.

What does it mean when Scripture says Christ “emptied” Himself? Deity cannot stop being deity or He would never have been true deity to begin with. Orthodox Christianity maintains that Jesus did not “empty” himself of any of his divinity in the incarnation, although it is true that his divine attributes were veiled. Kenosis theory sometimes concludes that Jesus is or was less than God. This is regarded as heresy.

2 Responses

  1. Colossians 2:9 is clear. It says:

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

    The word “Deity” there is θεότητος (Godhead) not θειότης (Divinity; used in Romans 1:20). The first is the Essence of God and is particular to that verse. The other word used in Romans 1:20 just means Form (though particular to God nonetheless).

    Show that to a Jehovah’s Witness with a Vine’s Expository Dictionary in hand and see them try to wiggle their way out of that one.

    I don’t think it’s difficult to see how God could be fully God and human at the same time (though it did puzzle me for a long time). We all have an eternal soul after being reborn of the Spirit; yet we live in a fallen body.

    The essence can be incredibly powerful, but if it’s in a weak medium its capacity is bound to that medium. Its like an intelligent man’s brain trying to speak through his sickened throat; or a 100 volt battery connected to a 60 volt light bulb.

    Christ took on the fallen body of a man so He may sympathize with us and provide us a bridge to the Father. (Heb 4:15; 1 Tim 2:5) That is a truth that is always novel to me. :}


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