Philippians 2:5-8

The Truth About Jesus


The apostle Paul here uses a pivotal verse 5, which is an exhortation to have the attitude of Christ. A pivotal verse looks backward and forward. Looking back we are to be like Christ in doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind regarding one another more important than ourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Looking forward we see Jesus perfect fulfillment of our redemption by being obedient to His Father’s will. Jesus is our great example of humility; He is also rewarded for His obedience as we shall be sharing in His eternal glory. The apostle Peter puts this looking back and looking forward in its proper perspective. I Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Here the apostle Paul deals with the major tenets of the faith:

  1. The Preexistence of Christ

    1. Preexistent form before Bethlehem – John 1:1-3; John 17:5

      1. Form – “mold” (“like father like son”) Col 2:9

      2. Equal – v.6 “isometric” Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:2-3

  1. The Humanity of Christ

    1. Condescension

      1. Not grasping eternal glory – v.6

      2. Humbled Himself – v.8 Turn To: Isaiah 53:4-12

      3. Bond Servant – Owned nothing

    1. Emptied Himself: v.7

      1. Kenosis text: The most profound passage in all of Scripture.

      2. B.B. Warfield’s comment…

      3. Lenski’s comment

      4. Emptied by adding a body

  1. The Divinity of Christ

    1. The Logos – “enfleshment” – v.9,10

    2. Glory– John 17:4,5

      1. Jesus possessed this glory before the incarnation.

      2. Jesus possessed this glory while on earth but it at times was veiled.

      3. Jesus possessed this glory by finishing the work God the Father gave Him to do – John 17:4-5; cf. Phil. 2:9-11

    3. Defining Glory – dokeo (our English word “opinion” illustrated – Psa. 24)

      1. Glory consists of intrinsic “worth,” the worth or the character of a person. Worship in its origin – “worth-ship”

      2. Glory defined by “praise” miracle of changing the water into wine – John 2:1-11; John 1:14

    4. Expanding on the definition of glory:

      1. We see this Divine radiance on Moses’ face when he spent days upon Mount Sinai with God – II Cor.3:7,13,14

      2. It’s the glory of Jesus that Peter, John and James experience on the Mount of Transfiguration – Luke 9:28-36


  1. Jesus, Our Savior perfectly manifested God’s glory. If you are a child of God, a true believer in Christ, you also will share that same glory – Rom. 8:18

  2. We who know the Lord reflect His glory now – II Cor. 3:18

Pastor Nick Iamaio Reformed Presbyterian Church 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069 Web Site