Does Philippians 2:7 teach that Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity?      By Jack Kettler


“But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7 ESV)


Philippians 2:7 has been a perplexing passage to some. The passage does say what Jesus emptied himself of during the time of his Incarnation. Because of this, speculation has arisen.


One misconception of this passage says Jesus emptied Himself of His Deity; in other words, Jesus ceased to be God during the period of His Incarnation. An idea like this would make Jesus merely a man.


An additional misunderstanding that would follow from the error is that Jesus would be a fallible human being with human limitations such as not knowing the future.


The examination of the Philippians text will involve lexical and commentary entries along with confessional conclusions.


Digging deeper from Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:




A — 1: κενόω


(Strong's #2758 — Verb — kenoo — ken-o'-o)


“to empty,” is so translated in Philippians 2:7, RV, for AV, “made ... of no reputation.” The clauses which follow the verb are exegetical of its meaning, especially the phrases “the form of a servant,” and “the likeness of men.” Christ did not “empty” Himself of Godhood. He did not cease to be what He essentially and eternally was. The AV, while not an exact translation, goes far to express the act of the Lord (see GIFFORD on the Incarnation). For other occurrences of the word, see Romans 4:14; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 9:15; 2 Corinthians 9:3. In the Sept., Jeremiah 14:2; 15:9.

A — 2: σχολάζω


(Strong's #4980 — Verb — scholazo — skhol-ad'-zo)


from schole, “leisure,” that for which leisure is employed, such as “a lecture” (hence, “the place where lectures are given;” Eng., “school”), is used of persons, to have time for anything and so to be occupied in, 1 Corinthians 7:5; of things, to be unoccupied, empty, Matthew 12:44 (some mss. have it in Luke 11:25). See GIVE (oneself to).

B — 1: κενός


(Strong's #2756 — Adjective — kenos — ken-os')


expresses the “hollowness” of anything, the “absence” of that which otherwise might be possessed. It is used (a) literally, Mark 12:3; Luke 1:53; 20:10,11; (b) metaphorically, of imaginations, Acts 4:25; of words which convey erroneous teachings, Ephesians 5:6; of deceit, Colossians 2:8; of a person whose professed faith is not accompanied by works, James 2:20; negatively, concerning the grace of God, 1 Corinthians 15:10; of refusal to receive it, 2 Corinthians 6:1; of faith, 1 Corinthians 15:14; of preaching (id); and other forms of Christian activity and labor, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:1; 3:5 . The synonymous word mataios, “vain,” signifies “void” of result, it marks the aimlessness of anything. The vain (kenos) man in James 2:20 is one who is “empty” of Divinely imparted wisdom; in James 1:26 the vain (mataios) religion is one that produces nothing profitable. Kenos stresses the absence of quality, mataios, the absence of useful aim or effect. Cp. the corresponding adverb kenos, “in vain,” in James 4:5, the noun kenodoxia, “vainglory,” Philippians 2:3, the adjective kenodoxos, “vainglorious,” Galatians 5:26, and the noun kenophonia, “vain,” or “empty,” babblings, 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:16.” (1)


A sampling of other translations:


“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7 KJV)


“Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7 NIV)


“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form.” (Philippians 2:7 NLT)


“But emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].” (Philippians 2:7 AB)


Commentary entries:


The Pulpit Commentary explains it like this:


“Verse 7. - But made himself of no reputation; rather, as R.V., but emptied himself; not, he indeed, of the Godhead, which could not be, but of its manifestation, its glory. This he did once for all, as the aorist implies, at the Incarnation. The word “emptied” involves a previous fullness, “a precedent plenitude” (Pearson on the Creed, 2:25). The Divine majesty of which he emptied himself was his own, his own rightful prerogative; and his humiliation was his own voluntary act - he emptied himself. “He used his equality with God as an opportunity, not for self-exaltation, but for self-abasement” (Alford). “Manebat plenus, John 1:14, et tureen perinde se gessit ac si esset” (Bengel). And took upon him the form of a servant; rather, as R.V., taking the form. The two clauses refer to the same act of self-humiliation regarded from its two sides. He emptied himself of his glory, taking at the same time the form (μορφήν as in Ver. 6, the essential attributes) of a servant, literally, of a slave. Observe, he was originally (ὑπάρχων) in the form of God; he took (λαβών) the form of a slave. The Godhead was his by right, the manhood by his own voluntary act: both are equally real; he is perfect God and perfect Man. Isaiah prophesied of Christ (Isaiah 49 and Isaiah 52; comp. Acts 2:33, in the Greek or R.V.) as the Servant of Jehovah; he came to do the Father's will, submitting his own will in all things: “Not as I will, but as thou wilt” (comp. Matthew 20:27, 28; Mark 10:44, 45). And was made in the likeness of men; translate, becoming, or, as R.V., being made (aorist participle). This clause is another description of the one act of the Incarnation he was God, he became man. Form (μορφή) asserts the reality of our Lord's human nature. Likeness (ὁμοίωμα) refers only to external appearance: this word, of course, does not imply that our Lord was not truly man, but, as Chrysostom says ('Hom.,' 8:247), he was more. than man; “We are soul and body, but he is God and soul and body.” The likeness of men; because Christ is the Representative of humanity: he took upon him, not a human person, but human nature. He is one person in two natures. As Bishop Lightfoot says, “Christ, as the second Adam, represents, not the individual man, but the human race.” Philippians 2:7” (2)


Vincent's Word Studies does an excellent job of explaining the Greek:


“Made Himself of no reputation (ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν).


Lit., emptied Himself. The general sense is that He divested Himself of that peculiar mode of existence which was proper and peculiar to Him as one with God. He laid aside the form of God. In so doing, He did not divest Himself of His divine nature. The change was a change of state: the form of a servant for the form of God. His personality continued the same. His self-emptying was not self-extinction, nor was the divine Being changed into a mere man. In His humanity He retained the consciousness of deity, and in His incarnate state carried out the mind which animated Him before His incarnation. He was not unable to assert equality with God. He was able not to assert it.


Form of a servant (μορφὴν δούλου)


The same word for form as in the phrase form of God, and with the same sense. The mode of expression of a slave's being is indeed apprehensible, and is associated with human shape, but it is not this side of the fact which Paul is developing. It is that Christ assumed that mode of being which answered to, and was the complete and characteristic expression of, the slave's being. The mode itself is not defined. This is appropriately inserted here as bringing out the contrast with counted not equality with God, etc. What Christ grasped at in His incarnation was not divine sovereignty, but service.


Was made in the likeness of men (ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος)


Lit., becoming in, etc. Notice the choice of the verb, not was, but became: entered into a new state. Likeness. The word does not imply the reality of our Lord's humanity, μορφή form implied the reality of His deity. That fact is stated in the form of a servant. Neither is εἰκών image employed, which, for our purposes, implies substantially the same as μορφή. See on Colossians 1:15. As form of a servant exhibits the inmost reality of Christ's condition as a servant - that He became really and essentially the servant of men (Luke 22:27) - so likeness of men expresses the fact that His mode of manifestation resembled what men are. This leaves room for the assumption of another side of His nature - the divine - in the likeness of which He did not appear. As He appealed to men, He was like themselves, with a real likeness; but this likeness to men did not express His whole self. The totality of His being could not appear to men, for that involved the form of God. Hence the apostle views Him solely as He could appear to men. All that was possible was a real and complete likeness to humanity. What He was essentially and eternally could not enter into His human mode of existence. Humanly He was like men, but regarded with reference to His whole self, He was not identical with man, because there was an element of His personality which did not dwell in them - equality with God. Hence the statement of His human manifestation is necessarily limited by this fact, and is confined to likeness and does not extend to identity. “To affirm likeness is at once to assert similarity and to deny sameness” (Dickson). See on Romans 8:3.” (3)


William Hendriksen’s New Testament Commentary on Philippians is one of the best entries from a modern commentator:


 “7a. Accordingly, the apostle continues: who, though existing in the form of God. … But what is meant by existing in God’s form? In the paragraph under study two words — morphe (μορφή), that is, form, and schema (σχῆμα), that is, fashion — occur in close connection: “existing in the form of God … recognized in fashion as a human being. Now this very transition from form to fashion would seem to point to a difference in meaning. Besides, from several New Testament passages in which one or the other or both of these words occur, generally as component elements in verbs, it is evident that in these given contexts morphe or form refers to the inner, essential, and abiding nature of a person or thing, while schema or fashion points to his or its external, accidental, and fleeting bearing or appearance.

  What Paul is saying then, here in Phil. 2:6, is that Christ Jesus had always been (and always continues to be) God by nature, the express image of the Deity. The specific character of the Godhead as this is expressed in all the divine attributes was and is his eternally. Cf. Col. 1:15, 17 (also John 1:1; 8:58; 17:24).

  This thought is in harmony with what the apostle teaches elsewhere: 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; 2:9 (and cf. Heb. 1:3).

  A closely related question, namely, “Is Paul speaking here in Phil. 2:5–8 about the pre-incarnate or about the incarnate Christ?” is not difficult to answer. The two must not be separated. The One who in his pre-incarnate state exists in a manner equal to God is the same divine Person who in his incarnate state becomes obedient even to the extent of death, yes, death by a cross. Naturally, in order to show the greatness of our Lord’s sacrifice, the apostle’s starting-point is the Christ in his pre-incarnate state. Then follows of necessity Christ in his incarnate state. This strongly reminds one of 2 Cor. 8:9, “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor.” One might compare this transition to what is found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1:

  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was face to face with God, and the Word was God. He himself was in the beginning face to face with God … And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us as in a tent, and we beheld his glory.”

  Thus, though existing in the form of God, he did not count his existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God something to cling to but emptied himself.

  He did not regard it as something that must not slip from his grasp. On the contrary, he … and here follow the two words that have given rise to much discussion and dispute: emptied himself.

  The question is: of what did Christ Jesus empty himself? Surely not of his existence “in the form of God.” He never ceased to be the Possessor of the divine nature. “He could not do without his deity in his state of humiliation.… Even in the midst of his death he had to be the mighty God, in order by his death to conquer death” (R. C. H. Lenski).

  The text reads as follows:

  “Christ Jesus … though existing in the form of God, did not count his existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God something to cling to, but emptied himself.”

  The natural inference is that Christ emptied himself of his existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God.

  On the basis of Scripture, we can particularize as follows:

      (1) He gave up his favorable relation to the divine law

    While he was still in heaven no burden of guilt rested upon him. But at his incarnation he took this burden upon himself and began to carry it away (John 1:29). And so he, the spotlessly righteous One, who never committed any sin at all, “was made to be sin in our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21). This is basic to all the rest.

      (2) He gave up his riches

    “… because for your sake he became poor, though being rich, in order that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

  He gave up everything, even himself, his very life (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 10:11). So poor was he that he was constantly borrowing: a place for his birth (and what a place!), a house to sleep in, a boat to preach from, an animal to ride on, a room in which to institute the Lord’s Supper, and finally a tomb to be buried in. Moreover, he took upon himself a debt, a very heavy debt. His debt, voluntarily assumed, was the heaviest that was ever incurred by anyone (Isa. 53:6). One so deeply in debt is surely poor!

      (3) He gave up his heavenly glory

    Very keenly did he feel this. That is why, in the night before his crucifixion, out of the very depths of his great heart he uttered the prayer: “And now Father, glorify thou me in thine own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world existed” (John 17:4).

  From the infinite sweep of eternal delight in the very presence of his Father he willingly descended into this realm of misery, in order to pitch his tent for a while among sinful men. He, before whom the seraphim covered their faces (Isa. 6:1–3; John 12:41), the Object of most solemn adoration, voluntarily descended to the realm where he was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3).

      (4) He gave up his independent exercise of authority

    In fact, he became a servant, the servant, and “even though he was a Son, learned obedience by what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). He said: “I do not seek my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30; cf. 5:19; 14:24).

    Impatiently we voice an objection, namely, “But if Christ Jesus actually gave up his favorable relation to the divine law, riches, glory, and independent exercise of authority, how could he still be God?”

  The answer must be that he, who was and is and ever remains the Son of God, laid aside all these things not with reference to his divine nature but with reference to his human nature, which he voluntarily took upon himself and in which he suffered all these indignities.

  In his Commentary on this passage Calvin reasons as follows: It was the Son of God himself who emptied himself, though he did it only with reference to his human nature. This great Reformer uses the illustration: “Man is mortal.” Here the word “Man” refers to man himself, man in his entirety, yet man’s mortality is ascribed to the body only, not to the soul.

  Further than this we cannot go. We stand before an adorable mystery, a mystery of power, wisdom, and love!

       7b. It has become clear by this time that the clause, “He emptied himself” derives its meaning not only from the words which immediately precede it (namely, “he did not count his existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God something to cling to”) but also from those that follow, namely, as he took on the form of a servant. In fact, this clause, “he emptied himself,” “includes all the details of humiliation which follow, and is defined by these” (Vincent). In the likeness of a human being taking on the form of a servant, so that he was recognized in looks and manners as a human being, humbling himself and thus becoming obedient to the extent of death; yes, death by a cross — all this is included in “he emptied himself.” When he laid aside his existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God, he in that very act took upon himself its very opposite (that is, as to his human nature).

  The type of reasoning which we have here in verses 6–8 is not at all similar to that which goes on in the mind of a child who is building with blocks, each block being a unit in itself, separate from all the rest. On the contrary, it is telescopic reasoning: the various sections of the telescope, present from the start, are gradually drawn out or extended so that we see them.

    Hence, he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. “He emptied himself by taking something to himself” (Müller). Moreover, when he became a servant, he was not play-acting. On the contrary, in his inner nature (the human nature, of course) he became a servant, for we read, “He took on the form of a servant.” (Read what was said previously with respect to the meaning of the word form in distinction from fashion.) This is great news. It is, in fact, astounding. He, the sovereign Master of all, becomes servant of all. And yet, he remains Master. The text cannot mean that “he exchanged the form of God for the form of a servant,” as is so often asserted. He took the form of servant while he retained the form of God! It is exactly that which makes our salvation possible and achieves it.

  It was, moreover, the form of a servant — and not that of a slave — which he took upon himself. From the very beginning of his incarnation he was the thoroughly consecrated, wise and willing servant pictured by Isaiah (42:1–9; 49:1–9a; 50:4–11; and 52:13–53:12), the spontaneously acting servant who resolutely fulfills his mission, so that with reference to him Jehovah said: “Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights.”

  The passage under study has as its starting-point the very beginning of this servant-career, the point where Christ took the form of a servant. But it implies, of course, that he remained servant to the very end of that career. Of his earthly mission it has been truly said, “The only person in the world who had the right to assert his rights waived them” (Wuest). It was Christ Jesus who said, “I am in the midst of you as one that serves” (Luke 22:27). In the very act of being servant to men (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45), he was accomplishing his mission as servant of Jehovah. We see him, Jesus, the Lord of glory … with a towel around his waist, pouring water into a basin, washing the feet of his disciples, and then saying to them:

  “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say (this) correctly, for (that is what) I am. If therefore, I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet, for I have given you an example, in order that just as I did to you, so also you should do” (John 13:12–15).

    And that is exactly Paul’s point. He is saying to the Philippians and to us, “Follow the example of your Lord” (see verse 5).

  Never did any servant serve with more unswerving loyalty, unwavering devotion, and unquestioning obedience than did this one.

  Paul continues, and became like human beings (or more literally, “in the likeness of human beings having become”). When Christ took the form of a servant, he, who from all eternity had the divine nature and who continues to have it unto all eternity, took upon himself the human nature. Accordingly, the divine Person of the Christ now has two natures, the divine and the human (John 1:1, 14; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 3:16). But he assumed that human nature not in the condition in which Adam had it before the fall, nor in the condition in which Christ himself now has it in heaven, nor in the condition in which he will reveal it on the day of his glorious return, but in its fallen and therefore weakened condition, burdened with “the results” of sin (Isa. 53:2).

  Surely, that human nature was real, and in so far just like that of other human beings (Heb 2:17). But though it was real, it differed in two respects from that of other men:

  (1) His, and only his, human nature from its very conception was joined in personal union with the divine nature (John 1:1, 14); and

  (2) Though it was burdened with the results of sin (hence, subject to death), it was not sinful in itself. Therefore, this passage “in the likeness of human beings having become,” and the similar one, “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3) must be read in the light of Heb. 4:15, “One who was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” There was likeness, similarity. There was no absolute, unqualified identity.” (4)


In closing:


To repeat two previous passages:


First, The New Living Translation uses a dynamic writing style that, in many cases, is helpful in understanding the passage.


“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form.” (Philippians 2:7 NLT)


Second, the Amplified Bible uses brackets and inserts words in between the brackets that clarify the text. Even the King James translators inserted words into a passage to clarify the text. Usually, italicized wording is used as in the King James version. In the Philippians passage, the Amplified Bible’s inserted words do an excellent job of clarifying the text. The brackets make it more explicit that these words are not in the original text.   


“But emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].” (Philippians 2:7 AB)


As seen, there is nothing in the Philippians passage that would contradict the teaching that Christ had two natures during His Incarnation, both human and fully divine.


The Protestant Belgic Confession is concise in explaining this: 


The Belgic Confession - Article 19 - The Two Natures in the One Person of Christ:




We believe that by this conception the person of the Son of God is inseparably united and joined with the human nature, so that there are not two sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in one single person. Each nature retains its own distinct properties: His divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life (Hebrews 7:3), filling heaven and earth. His human nature has not lost its properties; it has beginning of days and remains created. It is finite and retains all the properties of a true body. Even though, by His resurrection, He has given immortality to His human nature, He has not changed its reality, since our salvation and resurrection also depend on the reality of His body.


However, these two natures are so closely united in one person that they were not even separated by His death. Therefore, what He, when dying, committed into the hands of His Father was a real human spirit that departed from His body. Meanwhile His divinity always remained united with His human nature, even when He was lying in the grave. And the divine nature always remained in Him just as it was in Him when He was a little child, even though it did not manifest itself as such for a little while.


For this reason, we profess Him to be true God and true man: true God in order to conquer death by His power; and true man that He might die for us according to the infirmity of His flesh.”


The Westminster Confession - Chapter 8 - Of Christ the Mediator, Sections 1-8, along with Scriptural proofs is comprehensive:


“Section 1.) It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man;(1) the Prophet,(2) Priest,(3) and King;(4) the Head and Saviour of His Church;(5) the Heir of all things;(6) and Judge of the world;(7) unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed,(8) and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.(9)

(1) Isa 42:1; 1Pe 1:19,20; Jn 3:16; 1Ti 2:5 (2) Ac 3:22 (3) Heb 5:5,6 (4) Ps 2:6; Lk 1:33 (5) Eph 5:23 (6) Heb 1:2 (7) Ac 17:31 (8) Jn 17:6; Ps 22:30; Isa 53:10 (9) 1Ti 2:6; Isa 55:4,5; 1Co 1:30


Section 2.) The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature,(1) with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin;(2) being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance.(3) So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.(4) Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.(5)

(1) Jn 1:1,14; 1Jn 5:20; Php 2:6; Gal 4:4 (2) Heb 2:14,16,17; Heb 4:15 (3) Lk 1:27,31,35; Gal 4:4 (4) Lk 1:35; Col 2:9; Ro 9:5; 1Pe 3:18; 1Ti 3:16 (5) Ro 1:3,4; 1Ti 2:5


Section 3.) The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure;(1) having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;(2) in whom it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell:(3) to the end, that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth,(4) He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety.(5) Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father;(6) who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same.(7)

(1) Ps 45:7; Jn 3:34 (2) Col 2:3 (3) Col 1:19 (4) Heb 7:26; Jn 1:14 (5) Ac 10:38; Heb 12:24; Heb 7:22 (6) Heb 5:4,5 (7) Jn 5:22,27; Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36


Section 4.) This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake,(1) which that He may discharge, He was made under the law,(2) and did perfectly fulfil it;(3) endured most grievous torments immediately in His soul,(4) and most painful sufferings in His body;(5) was crucified, and died;(6) was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption.(7) On the third day He arose from the dead,(8) with the same body in which He suffered;(9) with which also He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father,(10) making intercession;(11) and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.(12)

(1) Ps 40:7,8; Heb 10:5-10;Jn 10:18; Php 2:8 (2) Gal 4:4 (3) Mt 3:15; Mt 5:17 (4) Mt 26:37,38; Lk 22:44; Mt 27:46 (5) Mt 26; Mt 27 (6) Php 2:8 (7) Ac 2:23,24,27; Ac 13:37; Ro 6:9 (8) 1Co 15:3,4,5 (9) Jn 20:25,27 (10) Mk 16:19 (11) Ro 8:34; Heb 9:24; Heb 7:25 (12) Ro 14:9,10; Ac 1:11; Ac 10:42; Mt 13:40,41,42; Jude 6; 2Pe 2:4


Section 5.) The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself, which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father;(1) and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him. (2)

(1) Ro 5:19; Heb 9:14,16; Heb 10:14; Eph 5:2; Ro 3:25,26 (2) Da 9:24,26; Col 1:19,20; Eph 1:11,14; Jn 17:2; Heb 9:12,15


Section 6.) Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof, were communicated unto the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed and signified to be the Seed of the woman, which should bruise the serpent's head, and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world being yesterday and today the same, and for ever.(1)

(1) Gal 4:4,5; Ge 3:15; Rev 13:8; Heb 13:8


Section 7.) Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself:(1) yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature. (2)

(1) Heb 9:14; 1Pe 3:18 (2) Ac 20:28; Jn 3:13; 1Jn 3:16


Section 8.) To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same;(1) making intercession for them;(2) and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation;(3) effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey; and governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit;(4) overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.(5)

(1) Jn 6:37,39; Jn 10:15,16 (2) 1Jn 2:1,2; Ro 8:34 (3) Jn 15:13,15; Eph 1:7,8,9; Jn 17:6 (4) Jn 14:16; Heb 12:2; 2Co 4:13; Ro 8:9,14; Ro 15:18,19; Jn 17:17 (5) Ps 110:1; 1Co 15:25,26; Mal 4:2,3; Cor 2:15


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)


“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)




1.      W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, (Iowa Falls, Iowa, Riverside Book and Bible House), p. 355.

2.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Philippians, Vol. 20., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 60.

3.      Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies In The New Testament, (Mclean, Virginia, Macdonald Publishing Company), p. 432-434.

4.      William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House, 1984), pp. 108-110.


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: