And the saga continues. Reading the Christadelphian response, notice what they are doing – or rather, what they are not doing. They are bringing up many elementary objections to Trinitarianism, but they are not walking through Philippians 2:5-11. I walked through it in this article and demonstrated my position. Below (or in the comment thread on the previously linked article) you will find the Christadelphians dancing in and out of Philippians 2:5-11, chasing rabbits, and expecting the final conclusion to be reputable.
My earnest prayer is that we would learn from this dialogue the importance of letting the text of Scripture dictate our theology, instead of our traditions dictating our theology. Further, I pray that the Christadelphians would come to a true understanding of Who their Maker is – Who Christ Jesus is, really.
As before, Christadelphian text (from their latest two comments) appears blocked and italicized. My text is normative.
“6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:6-7 NAS) “6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Php 2:6-7 NIV) Great stress is placed on “morphe” (the Greek word for form) by Trinitarians and others like the J.W.’s who teach that Christ had a pre-human existence. It is argued that “in the form of God” means that Christ had the nature of God before his birth, and it was this which he sacrificed in coming to the earth to live as a human.
My position is not that Christ sacrificed His divinity, but rather that He sacrificed His right to assert Himself as God. This is the decision I perceive in the consideration/counting of verse 6.
First one can wonder why God would have waited so many millennia before coming to do such a theatrical act, coming down to earth in human flesh to fake His temptation, because God can not be tempted, or to fake human beings could do something to Him even kill Him, though God cannot be killed, Him being an eternal Spirit Being Who said about Himself that no man can see Him and live. Many saw Jesus and did not fall dead. Lazarus even stepped out of the dead. The bible tells us God is no liar but when He knows everything and when He is at the same time God and Jesus than He would have told more than ones lies. As such He would be a fraud and a cruel misleading being.
First, Wondering “why God would have waited so many millennia before coming to do such a theatrical act” is extremely arrogant. What are your purposes compared to God’s? What is your knowledge against God’s? The simple answer is that God has every right to conduct history the way He seems fit. Second, Christ as a man was tempted, and it was not fake. Christ as a man was killed, and it was not fake. Christ as a man was seen, and it was not fake. Your misunderstanding of Trinitarianism is clear. I suggest you study Trinitarianism more before writing against it further – James Whites’ The Forgotten Trinity is a good place to start.
But all that aside. If “in the form of God” means the very nature of God, then Christ could not have been “Very God” while on earth, as Trinitarians assert, since this is what he is said to have sacrificed and left behind in coming to the earth.
You are commenting on an article in which I have given a detailed, exegetical argument for the present deity and humanity of Christ. Namely: I have demonstrated that in Philippians 2:6-8, Christ does not sacrifice or leave behind His deity. The text does not say this. I have demonstrated my position with detailed exegesis of Scripture – now it’s your turn.
Jesus also showed his wounds to prove he was or is no spirit, whilst God is a Spirit. “ But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.”” (Ex 33:20 NIV) “ Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”” (Ex 33:23 NIV) “ He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” (Joh 1:8 NIV) “ God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (Joh 4:24 NIV) “ Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2Co 3:17 NIV) “ Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1Ti 1:17 NIV) “ By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Heb 11:27 NIV)
This list of Scriptures is highly irrelevant. First, (Ex. 33:20, 23; John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Hebrews 11:27) Jesus’ wounds prove (among other things) His humanity, but they do not disprove His deity. Jesus is truly God and truly man. Referencing Scriptures which teach God is spirit and Jesus had hands doesn’t refute the Trinitarian argument – and if you think it does, then you don’t understand Trinitarianism. Second, John 1:8 is talking about John the Baptist, not Christ.
The Greek word “morphe” (translated “form”) does not refer to “essential nature” as the Trinitarian cause requires. This is proven by the following: a. “Eidos,” not “morphe” is the Greek word which conveys the idea of “essential nature”. As Liddell and Scott point out in their lexicon, “morphe” means form, shape, fine, beautiful form or shape, figure, fashion, appearance, outward form or semblance. It is opposed to “Eidos” which means “true form”.
Since we’re stacking scholars on this point, here are two supporting a broader meaning of the word morphe – please note this list is not exhaustive. My position here is that you are constricting the semantic range of morphe unnecessarily.
- 3671 μορφή (morphē), ῆς (ēs), ἡ (hē): n.fem.; ≡ Str 3444; TDNT 4.742—1. LN 58.2 nature, character (Php 2:6, 7+), for another interp, see next; 2. LN 58.15 visual form, outward appearance (Php 2:6, 7+; Mk 16:12 v.r.), for another interp, see prior
- 58.2 μορφήa, ῆς f: the nature or character of something, with emphasis upon both the internal and external form—‘nature, character.’ ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων ‘he always had the very nature of God’ Php 2:6; μορφὴν δούλου λαβών ‘he took on the nature of a servant’ Php 2:7. In view of the lack of a closely corresponding lexical item such as ‘nature,’ it may be necessary to restructure the form of Php 2:7 as ‘he became truly a servant.’
Further, you are quoting Liddell and Scott subjectively. They also include “kind, sort” in the semantic range and metaphorical uses such as, “God adds a crown of shapeliness to his words.” Morphe often refers to a physical shape, but can also refer to immaterial qualities and character, if an author so desires to use it this way. Morphe in Philippians 2:6 contrasts Christ’s pre-incarnation state with His incarnation state, and defining the pre-incarnation state as one of divine nature/aspect. Morphe does not refer to the manner of one’s life, which is what you have suggested. (see argument below)
b. In the context of this passage, it is stated that Christ “took upon him the form of a servant”
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” (Php 2:7 Webster) But what is the form of a servant (Grk. “doulos,” a slave)? The “essential nature” of a slave is the same as that of any other human being. The form, therefore, must refer to the semblance or demeanour of a slave as the distinguishing characteristic.
I agree, as my argument details above.
c. “morphe” occurs in only one other place in the N.T.- “ Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country.” (Mr 16:12 NIV) and here it clearly does not mean “essential nature”. Jesus appeared “in another form,” but this could not refer to a change of his essential nature since the reason why he appeared to be in another form was because the disciples’ “eyes were holden”. “ but they were kept from recognising him.” (Lu 24:16 NIV) “ At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.” (Joh 20:14 NIV) “ Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.” (Joh 21:4 NIV) Not even a Trinitarian or a J.W. would be prepared to say that Christ’s essential nature was changed after his resurrection and glorification.
My argument has never been that morphe always means “essential nature.” This word has a considerable semantic range, which I believe is being well utilized between Mark and Paul. So, to be clear: I agree that Jesus did not appear in a different nature in Mark 16:12. However, I don’t believe Philippians 2:6-7 uses morphe in the same way Mark 16:12 does.
How was Christ in the form of God? He had the semblance and demeanour of the Father mentally and morally. His character was the express image of his Father’s person.
Morphe cannot refer to Christ’s moral character. Morphe does not refer to a way of life, or to ethics, or to a manner, mode, or mind of law keeping. Morphe points to an ontological outline, whether within or without, or sometimes both. You will not find a definition of the word, from a credible source, which says otherwise. Second, if morphe refers to a moral disposition or state in verse 6, then what is being entered into in verse 7? It cannot be godliness, for that is what you’re arguing He possessed in verse 6. If it is not godliness, then it is ungodliness, which makes no sense of why Paul presents Christ as a righteous example. Neither can morphe in verse 7 be a basic human nature (which is my argument), because Paul places the forms in parallel: they are distinct, metaphysical categories of existence, yet metaphysical categories of existence nonetheless. Your argument presents morphe in verse 6 as an ethical category of existence, which isn’t how Paul is using the word. In conclusion, your definition of morphe does not line up with scholarship nor Paul’s reasoning in this passage.
“ The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Heb 1:3 NIV) Notice also how Jesus did not come to sit on god His throne but came to sit “at the right Hand of God”
First, at this point in your reply you begin to go way off track by quoting Scripture after Scripture… if your interpretation of Philippians 2:5-11 is correct, then you should be able to walk me through the passage without jumping to other passages every other paragraph. Give me a basic, straightforward, no-strings-attached exegesis of Philippians 2:5-11 – as I have given you. Second, the Scriptures you are now quoting well refute your position. Hebrews 1:3, what creature sustains “all things by his powerful word?” Do you realize how blasphemous it is to attribute such ongoing creative and sustaining power to a mere man? This Jesus is God in flesh, because He “is the exact representation of his being.” If you look at Jesus, you look at God, because Jesus perfectly presents God in human form. We also notice He is God because “he had provided purification for sins,” and only God can provide such purification. Third, amidst the overwhelming testimony of Christ’s deity in Hebrews 1:3, you choose to focus on Christ sitting “at the right hand of God.” This statement is symbolic in the New Testament, for to sit at the right hand is to have authority, which God the Father has given Christ, the God-man. If you say this is not symbolic, then I ask you: does this God referenced in Hebrews 1:3 literally have a “right hand?” Of course not – the meaning here is that Christ Jesus has all authority, as the Messiah, not simply as God the Son. Once again: you would understand this basic point of Trinitarianism if you, well, understood Trinitarianism.
“ The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:14 NIV) “ And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (Joh 17:5 NIV) That glory Jesus had, him having been written in the Book of life, long before Abraham was born, like you too were in that book, but as yet were not born and did not have a pre-existence. For Jesus it was even more special, because long before Abraham He was promised by God and considered as the one who would bring salvation to mankind. That promise was in the Garden of Eden after the fall of man.
Just to be clear: your position is that the “glory Jesus had” was that his name was “written in the Book of life,” a glory “even more special, because” He was the promised bearer of salvation. First, the Scriptures you yourself have quoted speak nothing of Christ’s name being written in the book of life. You have supplied this idea through eisegesis: reading into the text what you want to be there. Second, these Scriptures tell you that Christ existed consciously as God before the incarnation, for He “had” this glory, not simply before His birth, but “before the world began” (i.e. before creation). Before creation, there was only God. The text does not say Christ was chosen before, or promised, or planned, or predestined – rather, Christ possessed (active verb) glory with the “Father.” This is plain in John 17:5, and John 1:14 is no better for your argument. This speaks of Christ’s pre-incarnate existence, that He existed and “came from the Father,” that He possesses a “glory” which is divine. This is only applicable to God the Son.
all of us are created in the image of God, but all of us have faults, whilst Jesus did manage to put his own will aside and do the Will of his heavenly Father. Naturally in case Jesus would have been God he always would have done his own will and than it would have been schizophrenic acts to pray to himself and to ask himself why he abandoned himself (something one cannot do). That man of flesh and blood, born some two millenia ago was a pure human being and as a second Adam can be considered the first one of the New Creation. That is how the apostle John saw his master teacher Jesus, not as God but as the sent one and authorised one from God, who paved the way for mankind to become partakers of that new world.
Once again, you have demonstrated that you don’t understand Trinitarianism. Either you have not read Trinitarian works or have not read to understand them, but merely to skim or something else. I know this because you are arguing basic misunderstandings of Trinitarianism and the hypostatic union of God and man in Christ. God the Son is a separate person from God the Father, though they are equal in substance and essence. John indeed says Christ “is the sent one and authorized one from God,” but he saw Him as much more: He was God Himself, as you have quoted his explicit statements to the case in 1:14 and 17:5. John worshiped Christ, which is inappropriate to do for any creature. You are blinded by your tradition – if you would only slow down and read the Scriptures with your traditions aside!
“ He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Col 1:15 NIV)
The image of the invisible God, my friend! You see Christ, you see God – Christ is God in the flesh! Open your eyes and gaze upon the eternal glory, everlasting splendor of your Maker, in the face of Jesus!
“ But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law,” (Ga 4:4 NIV) “30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Lu 1:30-35 NIV)
The God Who does not tell lies also declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.
“21 When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,” (Lu 3:21-23 NIV) “16 As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” (Mt 3:16-17 NIV) “10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”” (Mr 1:10-11 NIV) To that God Who had declared he was His son Jesus prayed “ “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”” (Lu 22:42 NIV)
I’m losing count of how many times you have misrepresented Trinitarianism on a basic level. You are confusing concepts of “God the Son” and the eternal generation of the Son, with the historical event of Christ’s physical birth from Mary.
“ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”” (Mt 26:39 NIV) “ Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.” (Mr 14:39 NIV) Like Jesus did not pray to himself, he also asked others to pray to the same God he was praying to and asked also “ your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10 NIV)
I don’t understand what your critique is here.
Sometimes Trinitarians stress that Christ was originally in the form of God-i.e., “being” in the form of God is taken to mean that he was in fact “Very God” before his “incarnation”. The Greek verb “huparchon” refutes this position since it is in the imperfect tense which expresses action yet, or still in course of performance.
I would just like to take time and point out that you are still not in Philippians 2:5-11, where I have given my defense of Christ’s divinity and consequently a Trinitarian theology. You are jumping around making quick comments on dozens of verses, because your theology and doctrine won’t allow you to walk straight through a passage. You couldn’t do it without running into something you need to explain away. Perhaps this is because your theology is not supported by Scripture.
Time signified by an imperfect tense is of a continual, habitual, repeated action, so that “being in the form of God” means “being, and continuing to be in the form of God”. Christ never ceased to be in the form of God since in semblance and demeanour from his birth he habitually exemplified his Father’s character.
First, this is incorrect. Check your information with a good koine Greek, New Testament grammar (I suggest Daniel Wallace or Drumwright, if you don’t have one). The imperfect tense refers to a continual action in the past. I think this might be a typo on your part – which is fine, that happens to me too. In Philippians 2:6, huparcho is perfect, not imperfect. Second, look at the verse you’re pointing to – verse 6! Verse 6 takes place before Christ becomes a man (verse 7). So, Christ continually existed in the form of God before He was incarnate and born. Take off your tradition and see the true Christ for the first time, in the Scriptures which are before your very eyes!
Note the use of “huparchon” in the following passages: a. “ But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.” (Ac 2:30 NIV) -“Therefore being a prophet does not mean “being originally before birth a prophet,” but rather a prophet and continuing to be such.
Huparcho in Acts 2:30 refers to David’s operation as a prophet when he wrote Psalm 16 (Acts 2:25-28). Huparcho does not refer to David as a prophet before his birth because the verse doesn’t actually say that. This doesn’t simply have to do with the meaning of the word, but with the basic words in Acts 2:30.
b. “ A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” (1Co 11:7 NIV) -“Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God” does not mean “being originally before he was born the image and glory of God,” but rather being the image of God and continuing to be.
Huparcho in 1 Corinthians 11:7 refers to any man’s existence as the image and glory of God after he begins to exist, because that’s what the text says. I know you are trying to make an argument regarding the meaning of huparcho, but it is not working in the slightest.
c. “ When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” (Ga 2:14 NIV) -“If thou being a Jew” does not mean “being originally before his birth as a Jew,” but rather if you from the start and continuing to be a Jew.
Right – and that’s what Paul is teaching in this verse. Paul is not communicating, with any words or syntax in Galatians, that Peter was a Jew before he was born.
But how is huparcho used in Philippians 2:6? In the same way it is used in your three examples above: Acts 2:30, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Galatians 2:14. The word is perfect and refers to a continual being (your own definition above). In what state was David when he was a prophet? He was already born. In what state is a man when he is the image and glory of God? He is already born. In what state was Peter when Paul called him a Jew? He was already born. We know these three answers because the text tells us what huparcho applies to. Now, what state does huparcho apply to in Philippians 2:6? Not to Christ’s post-birth state – that doesn’t happen until verses 7 and 8! Huparcho in verse 6 applies to Christ’s pre-birth state. Therefore, Christ existed as God before He was born.
“Thought it not robbery to be equal with God” is generally acknowledged to be a poor translation. The rsv reads as follows: “He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Unlike Eve who grasped after the fruit which was to be desired to make one like God (the “elohim”) to know good and evil, Jesus refused to take the kingdoms of the world without the crucifixion of the flesh and the declaration of the righteousness of his Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane he subjected his will to his Father’s, not arrogating to himself prerogatives that rightly belonged to his Father. “ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”” (Mt 26:39 NIV)
Where does Scripture say Eve was equal with God? It could not be said of Eve that she was equal with God and in the form of God. Therefore, your parallel breaks down.
How did Christ take the form of a servant (slave)? Two passages supply the answer: a. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” “ Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (Joh 13:14 NIV) b. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:8-9 NIV)
Here we have found some common ground: I agree that these two passages teach us something of what it meant for Christ to become a slave.
Although Christ was in the form of God in his semblance and demeanour, he took on him the semblance and demeanour of a slave.
First, I have already refuted your concept of morphe as “semblance and demeanour.” Second, if morphe means having one’s mind and will subject to God and completely moral, then what exactly changed when Christ took up the form of a “slave?” Because the godly, moral demeaner of creatures to their Creator is always one of a slave. This is why Paul calls himself a slave of God. This further highlights the impossibility of defining morphe as you do.
Jesus very well knew his position and was humble enoug to let others know he could not do anything withouth his heavenly father, the Only One God of Israel, Who is greater than him. “He humbled himself”; “he emptied himself” rsv “ And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Php 2:8 NIV) This refers to Christ’s deliberate choice to submit his will to that of his Father and not to his own will (see above).
First, I’ve already addressed your misrepresentation of Trinitarianism and the will of the Son. Second, Paul’s point in this passage is to highlight Christ’s great humility, saying, “If Christ humbled Himself in this manner, you have no excuse not to.” Christ being God yet humbling Himself to death on a cross is an act of selflessness which dwarfs anything we could do. But if Christ was and is not God, then His act of humility was nothing special, and Paul’s point is mute.
Several Trinitarians say Christ was worshipped, but forget that word should better translated in English to what it realy means in Greek, to be revered or being paid adoration, not in the sence of being given religious service as to a god or to God. When adoring or revering a person that does not make that person to be God. You may love your wife so much that you adore her or even rever her, but lets hope you do not considr her to be God. The worship is a matter of dignity, reputation, high standing or a position of honouor, though Christ never wanted to take the honour to himself.
“17 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him. 24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. 31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. 33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. 36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (Joh 5:17-36 NIV)
“27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.” (Joh 14:27-31 NIV)
There is a respect which all men are due, but there is a special respect which should only be given to God. For example: “It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you” (Deuteronomy 6:13-14). In this passage and others, we are called to only fear God, or to fear God above all else. This is a special reverence which is only appropriate to give to God. This is a reverence given to Christ in Philippians 2:9-11. You would never bow down and confess your wife as Lord, would you? You would never sing a hymn of worship (which is what Philippians 2:6-11 is, by the way) to your wife, would you? Christ is given the honor of worship in Philippians 2:6-11, and you have demonstrated nothing to the contrary. To say “Christ never wanted to take the honour to himself” is a loaded statement. He had covenanted to achieve that honor through obedience to the Father, but He definitely did want it, as He prayed to be restored to His glory in John.
Like Jesus knew very well his position (first even lower than angels, though God was, is and always shall be the most hing). “ You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honour” (Heb 2:7 NIV) “ A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”” (Mt 8:2 NIV) “ While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”” (Mt 9:18 NIV) Those people did not worhsip Jesus as their god or God but “begged” him.
First, Hebrews 2:7 is not speaking about Christ. Second, the leper in Matthew 8:2 called Christ “Lord” and believed He had power of sickness. The ruler in Matthew 9 believed the same. But if they did not believe in the deity of Christ, it would be irrelevant. How on earth would that be relevant?
Jesus performed the works of God, because God authorised His beloved son to act in His name.
“37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”” (Joh 10:37-38 NIV) “ “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Mt 11:27 NIV) “ Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mt 28:18 NIV) “ far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:21 NIV) “ Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,” (Php 2:9 NIV) “25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” (Joh 5:25-27 NIV) “ No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”” (Joh 10:18 NIV) “ Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”” (Joh 19:11 NIV)
All of these references are irrelevant to this discussion, because you are again (I feel like a repeating song) misrepresenting Trinitarianism. You misunderstand Trinitarian theology on a basic level. God the Son chose to become a man and subject Himself to the life of a man, to obey God in our place. Further, in order to accomplish the redemption of His people, God covenanted with Himself (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) to accomplish this redemption. Each person of the Godhead is referred to as divine in Scripture, yet is referenced with different roles in the accomplishment of redemption. To have a distinct role is not to have a distinct nature. There are better people to explain these things to you than I – I am merely pointing out again that you have clearly not done your homework.
Some Trinitarians would argue that Jesus forgave sins and that is only given to God. Strangely enough often that are also Trinitarians who have confession in their denomination or have priests and ministers who say “their sins are forgiven” in front of the peole who get baptised. When we follow their argument those priests and ministers should then be God?!?
In what way does Jesus say, “Your sins are forgiven?” With authority, as one who needs to forgive the sinner Himself. When a preacher says, “Your sins are forgiven,” he is pointing to the gospel, saying, “If you have trusted in Christ, then yes, your sins are forgiven.” But with that said, I believe confession to priests is unbiblical, because yes they cannot forgive your sins. The bottom line is that you have presented another argument against your position: the Gospels present Christ as God by presenting Him as One Who can forgive sins with authority.
Jesus never told the people it was him who forgave the sins. “ Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”” (Mt 9:2 NIV) “ When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”” (Mr 2:5 NIV) “ Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?” (Mr 2:9 NIV) “ When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”” (Lu 5:20 NIV)
He never corrected the assumption of the crowd, and in other instances (e.g. thief on the cross) He made authoritative declarations of salvation.
The Nazarene man of flesh and blood who was called son of man and son of God, never arrogated to himself authority which had not been delegated to him by the Father. In so doing his example was a powerful lesson in humility to the Philippians. But if Christ “being originally, before his birth, while he was in heaven in the form (essential nature) of God thought at his birth, when he descended into the womb, not to be equal with God, but left the form of God,”* where is humility demonstrated?
Do you see how you have twisted Philippians 2:6-11 and read your own theology into the text? Where does Paul say that Christ’s humility was in His neglect of seeking ill-gotten authority? Where does Paul say that Christ was humble, in that He only did what God told Him? He speaks of obedience in verse 8, absolutely – but what about verse 6 and 7? Where is obedience in verses 6-7? Further, I have already explained how my position is the greater demonstration of humility. Why don’t you repeat my position back to me, so that I know you understand it.
Dear Sir you write that you have demonstrated, “then, that in Philippians 2:5-11, Christ Jesus is divine: He was and is worthy of all worship. The interpretation of the Christadelphians is heresy.” But you used all sorts of human interpretations based on the false Trinitarian dogma.
Those reading this comment thread (first of all, you are a trooper haha) will hopefully recognize which side was able to consistently walk through Philippians 2 without jumping around. I am asking you, Christadelphians, to take Philippians 2:5-11 and walk through it, explaining to me what is means, without quoting dozens and dozens of other Sciptures and talking about things which you want to talk about, instead of letting the text determine what you talk about.
Hopefully you and your readers notice that we do not need to use human dogma’s to show what the Bible clearly tells and how God Himself declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.
When we wrote “It looks also you did not want to let your readers see what is written in the Bible, because you did not place our reply with the bible texts to prove what God and Jesus said about each other and what we do believe, but you do not seem to believe. Who the is the honest person in this debate and accusation? In case you have no need to fool people and agrees like we think that “Scripture speaks for itself”, why do you not let the Bible speak for itself by the texts we gave you in our reply to your accusations that we would not follow the Bible’s teachings?.” we had previously already sent to you several Bible quotes to make our vision clear in the light of what the Bible says. Though those verses were not published on your site where we replied to your article and remarks.
But I did not delete your references, so they were clear for everyone to see… I am quite confused.
Therefore, we do appreciate it you are giving the opportunity to make our vision clear and do hope our points of view in relation to the given Bible verses may shed more light into the vision of Christadelphians, who by the way are not just a few bunches in Belgium but are brethren in Christ spread all over the world.
Much light is being shed on the Christadelphians – absolutely. Your vast and fundamental misunderstandings of what Trinitarianism is – that’s being exposed. Your mishandling and flippant use of Scripture – yep, we are seeing that as well.
You also mention “Equality with God” is not complicated in meaning: ho eimi isos theos, explaining that what Christ is contemplating is characteristic sameness and equivalence with God. Christ considered this equality something which was not “a thing to be grasped.” You seem to forget it was an accastion, but never meant Jesus claimed equality to God. You also seem to forget that equality might also having to do of being of the same value and as such does not have to mean it having to be the same person. You may be equal with your wife, but are not your wife. You might be of the same age, rank, etc. with your wife, boss or any other person but that would never you and him or her being the same person.
I’m having trouble understanding your point because I don’t know what “accastion” means. If I take this as a spelling error (perhaps “accusation”) I still don’t understand. Second, notice what you just said: “equality might also having to do of being of the same value and as such does not have to mean it having to be the same person. You may be equal with your wife, but are not your wife. You might be of the same age, rank, etc. with your wife, boss or any other person but that would never you and him or her being the same person.” I don’t think you realize it (because you misunderstand Trinitarianism), but you just explained a Trinitarian view of the phrase “equality with God.” Christ Jesus was equal in “value” but not in “person” – of the same substance, but a different person. Who, may I ask, is equal in value with God? What created thing will you, Christadelphians, place next to your Maker? Put Almighty God on one side of the scale – now, what will you put on the other side, to make it equal? A dog, a human, a star, a galaxy, an ocean, a sunset? There is nothing. No created thing is equal to God. Yet in your own words, Christ is equal to God in value in Philippians 1:6, in the very least. Christ must be God, for only God is equal to God in such worth and being. Christadelphians, behold your Maker, Who formed you in your mother’s womb, Who died on the cross for you sins, and Who calls to you now in sacred Scripture – Who bids you in Philippians 2:5-11 to bend you knee now before Him, before you are forced to bend it when the time of repentance has past.
Equality in the language of the Bible (and our language) and normally in the English language according several dictionaries the condition of being equal or to regard as equal which is not the same as “being one and the same”. Notice also how several English dictionaries point to the fact that equality also means: similarity, correspondence, parity, likeness, uniformity, equivalence, evenness, coequality, equatability, etc.. or give as synonyms: coequality, coordinateness, equivalence, equivalency, par, Concerning the equatation lots of dictionaries say the equality or the state of being equated specifically is a state of close association or identification, and as such would not have to mean the person or even the thing or matter has to be (exactly) the same as the other person or thing (matter). Jesus never equalized himself to God. It were others who thought he did. Neither did Jesus equate himself to God.
Paul did not write in English, he wrote in koine Greek. This comment is irrelevant.
 Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 584). New York: United Bible Societies.
 Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1147). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
 Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1147). Oxford: Clarendon Press.