Hi

I am going to post this knowing that to some it will be a instant target to shoot at. But, what the heck !!!

I believe to take away the 'divine' out of the nature of christ, does 'weaken' our awe and appreciation of what Christ achieved through his death. If as John Piper right states, that 'God is more glorified in us when we are more satisfied in Him' it stand to reason that we can be more satisfied in Him when we recoginse his divinity, and praise Him accordingly.


Phillipians 2 6-8 says,

'Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross'.

Before His incarnation, Jesus Christ was “in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). From the beginning He had the nature of God. He existed as God, and He possessed the essential Deity which He could never cease to be. If He seems Divine, it is only because He is Divine. He is God. He has always been God. He has all the essential attributes of God.

God “emptied Himself”! He did not lose His Deity when He became man. God is immutable and therefore cannot cease to be God. He always was God the Son; He continued to be God the Son in His earthly stopover as Man. He is God the Son in heaven today, as He will remain throughout eternity. The writer of Hebrews said, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (13:8). That fact never changes.

Christ “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (vv. 7-8). The apostle Paul emphasized the habitual direction of Christ’s thinking. This was His mindset or attitude. Robertson asked, “Of what did Christ empty himself? Not of his divine nature. That was impossible. He continued to be the Son of God . . . Undoubtedly Christ gave up his environment of glory. He took upon Himself limitations of place (space) and of knowledge and of power, though still on earth retaining more of these than any mere man. It is here that men should show restraint and modesty . . . He was without sin, though tempted as we are.” “He stripped himself of the insignia of majesty” (Lightfoot). It was impossible for Christ to divest Himself of His divine nature, but He did of the glories of the prerogatives of Deity. What Christ “emptied Himself” of “was not the possession but the expression of the divine essence” (Wuest). He laid aside the expression of His glory. Christ chose not to assert His rights to the expression of the essence of Deity. This is true humility. It is a picture of deity humbling Himself. “He did not empty Himself of His deity . . . He set aside the outward expression of His deity when expressing Himself as a bondslave. It was the outward expression of the essence of His deity which our Lord emptied Himself of during the time when He was giving outward expression of Himself as a bondslave.” He chose to express one nature and not express the other.

"An illustration of this self-emptying of the Son of God is found in John 13:1–17. Our Lord, girded with a towel, and washing the feet of the disciples, is illustrative of His taking the outward expression of a servant in His incarnation. His outer garments laid aside for the time being, point to His setting aside the outward expression of His pre-incarnate glory while He expressed Himself as a bondslave. The fact that He was still their Master and Lord while kneeling on the floor doing the work of an oriental slave, speaks of the fact that our Lord’s assumption of humanity did not mean that He relinquished His deity. He was just as much God while on earth in His humiliation, as He was before He came and as He is now. His act of taking His outer garments again, tells of the resumption of the expression of His glory after the resurrection" (Wuest).

C. C. Ryrie defines, “The kenosis (emptying) of Christ during His incarnation does not mean that He surrendered any attributes of deity, but that He took on the limitations of humanity. This involved a veiling of His preincarnate glory (John 17:5) and the voluntary waiving of some of His divine prerogatives during the time He was on earth (Matt. 24:36).” Vos asserts correctly, “Many have taught that He actually laid aside one or more qualities of deity. But if Christ gave up even one or more qualities of deity, even one of His divine attributes, He would be no longer God. There is no hint in this passage or anywhere else in Scripture that Christ gave up any aspects of His deity, but in becoming man He did limit the exercise or manifestation of His deity.” John Calvin emphasized that Christ emptied Himself of His majesty and glory.

Since Christ certainly did not empty Himself of His deity, it may not be as much what He “emptied” Himself of as what He took on (v. 7). “He took the characteristic attributes (morphe) as in verse 6 of a slave. His humanity was as real as his deity.” Paul uses the same word “existed in the form of God” and “taking the form of a bondservant.” In the miracle of the incarnation the Holy Spirit fused manhood and deity into a union and in so doing did not cease to be God. Paul simply does not tell us of what Christ “emptied” Himself. Theologians have debated that for centuries and will continue to do so. There is no indication what so ever that Christ abandoned any of the essential attributes of deity. In His Incarnation He did not lay aside “the form of God,” but merely took on something to Himself in addition to deity, i.e. the “form of a servant.” He robed Himself in the flesh of humanity and remained free of any and all sin.

John Walvoord said, “the form of a servant was superimposed upon His deity without taking away His divine attributes. He was like a king who temporarily puts on the garments of a peasant while at the same time remains a king.”

It was in infinite stoop from sovereignty to slavery. God became a man. Just as Christ possessed the full essence of deity, He was “made in the likeness of men” without sin.

The almighty Sovereign stooping to become earthly lowly Servant was a voluntary act on His part in amazing grace. Instead of expressing Himself as one deserving to be served, He revealed Himself as one desiring to serve others. He did not boast of His eternal glory and personal rights as God, instead He demonstrated His humility and desire to stoop and minister to sinful man.

“The Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

So that's my view of it, i hope it helps.

Cheers