Philippians 2: What Does “Emptied Himself” Refer To?

Per GotQuestions:

“Christ’s ‘emptying’ of Himself was the laying aside of the privileges of divinity, not divinity itself. In heaven, the Son of God possessed infinite honor and glory and adoration. But He chose to leave that position of honor, and He ‘made himself nothing’ (Philippians 2:7). When He came to earth, He veiled His glory and chose to occupy the position of a slave. The kenosis spoken of in Philippians 2:7 was a self-renunciation but not an emptying of deity. Jesus never ceased to be God, and He did not exchange deity for humanity.

What Jesus did was set aside His heavenly glory. And He voluntarily refrained from using His divinity to make His way easier. His miracles were not done to benefit Himself but to help others. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father (John 5:19). John Walvoord explains it this way: ‘The act of kenosis . . . may . . . be properly understood to mean that Christ surrendered no attribute of Deity, but that He did voluntarily restrict their independent use in keeping with His purpose of living among men and their limitations’” (Jesus Christ Our Lord, p. 144). Full article (here).

Friends, God never ceases to be God. Therefore, Jesus never ceased to be God. But Jesus didn’t flaunt His glory as we would… Instead, Jesus came humbly, full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14), to willingly serve and save a dying humanity. May we have the same love leading us today… His love.

Philippians 2

“Twisted Scripture” section of the CSB Apologetics Study Bible by Sean McDowell

Biblegateway (CSB):

If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humilityconsider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.

Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,

who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.[a]
Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and pervertedgeneration, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 16 by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.

19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I too may be encouraged by news about you. 20 For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests; 21 all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his proven character, because he has served with me in the gospel ministry like a son with a father. 23 Therefore, I hope to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 I am confident in the Lord that I myself will also come soon.25 But I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus—my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to my need— 26 since he has been longing for all of you and was distressed because you heard that he was sick. 27 Indeed, he was so sick that he nearly died. However, God had mercy on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 For this reason, I am very eager to send him so that you may rejoice again when you see him and I may be less anxious. 29 Therefore, welcome him in the Lord with great joy and hold people like him in honor, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up what was lacking in your ministry to me.Footnotes2:6 Or to be grasped, or to be held on