Verse 6

1. Who: relative pronoun referring back to Christ but with a view to the status of the Godhead before the incarnation, in fact, the status of John 1:1.

"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with The God
and the Word was God."

The exhortation to humility is amplified by appealing to the person of Jesus Christ as our perfect example in life and godliness. His example is one of total sacrifice from impartial, beneficent love that always seeks the best for those loved. He knew what was of greatest value for the human race and accomplished what needed to be done in order to provide that value. True "beneficent" love does not consider the character and merits of the one loved but provides what is needed because of its own character and motivations. Motivations that always regards God's value system as the most important thing in life.

"God so loved the world that He provided His only begotten Son," (Jn 3:16)

"But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for the ungodly." (Romans 5:8).


2. While existing: huparchō, present active participle.
Temporal participle to communicate the status of Christ prior to the incarnation and from eternity past.

A. In the form of God: morphā plus theos. This refers to the inner essence of the Godhead which can be summarized by the 10 absolute attributes of the divine character.

B. John 1:1 indicates that whereas the Word was distinct from God, He was nevertheless still equal with God. That equality is found in the phrase, "one in essence" and the distinction within the Godhead is indicated by the phrase, "three in person" or better, "three in structure."

C. This word, morphā, is then explained by the phrase, "being equal with God."

1. The word is isos which is an adjective that means, equal.

2. Plus the articular (definite article) present infinitive of eimi used as a direct object = Lit: the being equal, but means, the state of being equal.

3. Morphā plus isos indicates that the equality exists in the fact that the divine Word possessed the very essence of the Godhead.

D. See topic: the Godhead

E. CT: "Who, while existing in the essence of God, . ."

3. Regarded: hāgeomai means to think or consider. It occurs in the aorist middle indicative which indicates that in a specific point of time in the plan of the Godhead, the Word evaluated His role in that plan and made a decision based on His attribute of divine love.

A. There is no "negative" (not) with the verb so it should be viewed as a positive thought process in the mentality of the divine Word.

B. The object of His consideration is the state of being equal in essence with the other members of the triune Godhead.

C. That equality of essence would manifest itself by the expression of the 10 attributes.

D. He thus looked at His "right" through equal status, to express the attributes of the Godhead, and evaluated that right as NOT something to selfishly cling to and hold on to.

4. NOT a thing to be grasped: Two words. The negative (not), and the word harpagmos. This noun which refers to a treasure which is to be coveted and retained at all costs. It is a word that reflects selfishness and violence in one's actions in order to retain possession of the item.

5. CT: Who, while existing in the (inner) essence of God, decided that the state of being equal with God (in the expression of essence) was not a thing to be selfishly retained."

 Verse 7

1. But: alla - strong contrast to indicate something that is totally opposite to the expression of essence which characterized the Word prior to the incarnation.

2. He emptied Himself: Verb is kenoō, and means to make empty, render inoperative, or make ineffectual. It occurs in the aorist active indicative, which indicates that the Word made a determined decision to empty from Himself the expression of those deity attributes that constitute equality with God.

A. But HOW does He do this? God cannot stop being God.

B. He does it in two ways:

1. By adopting an "attitude" or inner essence of humility and servitude,

2. and by becoming in physical form, a man.

C. The inner essence of a bond-servant is the attitude that places Himself totally under the authority of the Father as is described at

Heb. 10:7, "To do Your will;"

Jn 5:30 and 6:38, "not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me;"

and here in v. 8, "by becoming obedient."

D. As a man and within that restricted "environment" of true humanity with human soul, spirit and body, He functions as a man instead of as God. (hunger, thirst, etc.)

E. Thus, He set aside or "emptied" Himself of the independent use of His deity attributes and depended totally on the Father and the Spirit during the time of his ministry here on earth.

John 5:19-20; 8:28-29; 12:49; 14:10; Luke 4:18-21

3. By taking the essence of a bond-servant:

A. By taking: lambanō as an instrumental participle (aorist active participle) which indicates the "how" of emptying Himself. The verb means to take or receive. The aorist tense indicates that this "adjustment in attitude" took place in a specific moment of time when the Word decided to empty Himself.

B. The form: morphā, again indicates the inner essence and refers to the attitude of subordination to the Father's will in all things.
Morphe is used to show the first step in the "act of emptying" which is theologically called "kenosis."

C. of a bond-servant: doulos indicates voluntary and devoted servitude.
The issue then, is not the "physical condition" of servitude but the attitude that governs the manner in which one serves.

4. By being made in the likeness of men:

A. By being made: This is another instrumental participle from the verb, ginomai (aorist middle participle), which means to become.

1. It is the same word used at Jn. 1:14, "and the Word BECAME flesh."

2. It refers to taking on a physical form He did not have before.

B. In the likeness: homoiōma - physical form, appearance, similarity.
Again, this is clear from John 1:14 with the word, "flesh."

C. Of men: The "physical" structure of man is body, soul and spirit.

1. 1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12
2. All men also have a sin nature: Ps. 51:5; Rom. 7:14-18
3. But Jesus was born sinless: 2 Cor. 5:21

 Verse 8

1. And being found: heuriskō in the aorist passive participle, describes the status of the Word after the virgin birth. The verb means to find or discover, but idiomatically in the passive voice it indicates a condition or sphere of existence.

2. In appearance: schāma refers to outward form or physical pattern.
It indicates that the Word was now functioning in a human body with human restrictions.

3. As a man: hōs anthrōpos indicates TRUE humanity (body, soul and spirit).

4. He humbled Himself: The verb, tapeinoō occurs in the aorist active indicative. Humility means to recognize oneself as totally under the jurisdiction of God's viewpoint and policy in every area of life.

A. It means then to place yourself under the authority of another.

B. As a man, this is exactly what Jesus did as stated at John 8:29,

"I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

5. By becoming: the verb, ginomai, in the aorist middle participle is instrumental and describes "how" He manifested this recognition of divine authority over His human life.

6. Obedient: hupākoos is an adjective which indicates total subjection to the authority of another.

7. In this case, that authority is God the Father and the extent of His submission is unto death, even death on the cross which fulfills the divine plan for the redemption of the human race.

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İRon Wallace, Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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