Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hebrews 5:8 and Philippians 2:5:rightly dividing the word of truth

This blog is the third(and possibly last,who knows) in a series where I go over texts that I personally think correlate with the humiliation of Christ in Philippians chapter 2,hence properly defining it for us.So that we don't even need to read our own ideas into anything.Of course,the context of Philippians 2 itself should make it very apparent for the discerning how Philippians should be understood.:)In other words,as a rich man(the Son of God,God's image) serving instead of being served.Even dying like a criminal though he didn't deserve such a fate!We're meant to learn something from the example given for Christ in Philippians.Namely,humility and self sacrifice.NOT "deity willing to become human."So the third scripture in this series is Hebrews 5:8.I also,in this blog,get into how "morphe"(form in Philippians) is misused by trinitarians.

Hebrews 5:8:Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered

Now this scripture also correlates explicitly with the one we went over in the last blog on this subject,namely,Matthew 20:28.And we learned from that text that as the Son,he was a MAN in the form of God,as opposed to the second person of a trinity in the form of God.

Trinitarians will read the presupposition "Son of God means Yahushua IS God" into simple texts.What an imposition!The proper humiliation in view in Hebrews 5:8 and Philippians 2 is that although he was a very rich man who deserved to be served(and certainly not to die!),one in the image of God as his Son,Christ still learned obedience from suffering,even unto death.We sincerely find in Luke 1:35 that "the power of the Most High" "overshadowed Mary" and that it was for *that* reason that Christ was God's Son.So working from there,"Son of God" means that the only true God(Jn. 17:3) was the father of the uniquely begotten human being Yahushua,not that Yahushua was "the second person of a triune God essence."Again,let's allow scripture to interpret itself.Yes,let scriptures like Luke 1:35 tell you why Christ is the Son of the Living God and not your pastor(or parents or anyone else) who might contradict or go beyond it.

Yes,"form of God" from Philippians 2 means he was the Son of God,not as pre-existing spirit,but as Last Adam born of God.This correlates with "Son" in Hebrews and in Matthew 20:28.Sons and daughters of God,even the unique one(namely,Christ),are NOT God.They are his children.Though Christ was the forerunner and uniquely born,he was and is still a child of God,not a child of God's first person,but a child of God.Period.And "form of a servant" from Philippians correlates with "learned obedience from what he suffered" in Hebrews.This means he appeared before everyone,not high,lofty,& rich as heir and king,but rather humbly and lowly,serving and suffering for others willingly.

If I am right that Hebrew 5:8 correlates with Philippians 2:5-8,then when we substitute the trinitarian interpretation of Philippians into this Hebrews passage,we get some real problems.This would mean "Son" would have to mean "pre-existing deity"(contradicting Luke 1:35 and Matthew 20:28 where in both instances Christ is Son as a human and not as God) while "learned obedience from what he suffered" would be "God took on a man nature",instead of the truth that a rich man as Last Adam "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death."This apparently happened when he became poor for our sakes so that we too could become rich,as opposed to when the second person of a trinity became man.


I think it would make much more sense to say "Son"(from Hebrews 5:8) means the same as "form of God" from Philippians 2:6(again,as a very rich sinless human being uniquely begotten of God),while "learned obedience from what he suffered" from Hebrews correlates with "took the form of a servant" from Philippians.

Trinitarian theologians will claim something like James White does when he says "form" in Philippians 2:6 means "the outward display of the inner reality of substance"(people are ACTUALLY buying this)which is HIGHLY improbable given the use of the word in other texts where it has nothing to do with an inner substance.(Mark 16:12,2 Timothy 3:5,Dan. 3:19,Is. 44:13)In such texts(please look them up for yourselves)"form" means resemblance or likeness,something having to do with appearance,JUST LIKE eikon(or image),which even the first Adam,who was a type of the Christ to come,had of God.Therefore,morphe does not appear to mean "substance of being."We say someone is in the "form" of something or someone if he behaves like,accomplishes what,or appears like that something or someone by doing so. Christ looked like God in what he accomplished because God was in him working through him as his beloved Son and rich heir(2 Cor. 5:19,Acts 2:22,Jn. 14:9)Sons always resemble their fathers.He said to see him was to see the father,not because they're the same God,but because he was doing and saying what God would say and do because God,again,was IN him.When God is in someone,that means that person ISN'T God.When God or Christ is IN us,that means we are neither one ontologically or in substance of being.We're still humans with our own identity.Despite having God richly within him,fully in fact(Jn. 3:34,Col. 2:9),Yahushua made the decision to appear as a servant,doing things like washing the disciples feet(Jn. 13:5) and dying on a cross.Though he could do things as exceptional as calling for legions of angels if he so desired as the "form of God"(God's Son),he never seized such opportunities.(Matt. 26:53)

The word form (morphe) and image (eikon) are interchangeable. R.P. Martin ("Morphe in Philippians 2:6," Expository Times, Vol. 70, no.6, March 1959, 183-184) states that:

"Morphe and eikon are equivalent terms that are used interchangeably in the LXX."

James Dunn states in Christology in the Making pg.115:

"It has long been recognized that morphe and eikon are near synonyms."

So,again,even the first Adam had the image of God.Christ is said to have the image of God in Colossians 1:15.Children of God have the image of God,like the first and Last Adam.And they can also have(or obtain) the image of a servant if they serve.That would be an example of someone rich becoming poor.If that one had the image of God as his Son and king but decided to be a servant of others,even unto death if it came to that.This is the only possible way we could have "this mind in us"(Phil. 2:5),that of the REAL Yahushua in view in Philippians...as children of God/kingdom heirs willing to serve and even die for others if necessary.A mind we could never ever even imagine having would be one of God or Angel willing to become a human being.

In review:
Would you agree that "Son" in Hebrews 5:8 correlates with "form of God" in Philippians?If so,can you prove that he was Son AS God,as opposed to as a human being uniquely begotten of God?Wouldn't texts like Luke 1:35 and Matthew 20:28 explicitly communicate the latter?Doesn't the bible say that we can become sons and daughters of God thanks to Christ?Does this mean we're God?If not,why does child(or Son) of God mean Christ is God if sons of God are never "God"?Being the unique Son by no stretch of the imagination suddenly means he's the same God "being" of his own father.Would you agree that "he learned obedience from what he suffered" from Hebrew 5:8 correlates with ""took the form of a servant" and "became obedient to the point of death" in Philippians ch. 2?If so,did he learn obedience by becoming a man as God,or,as a rich man,by serving and obeying God faithfully,even unto death?In other words,is taking the form of a servant and learning obedience to the point of death an "incarnation" of the second person of a triune essence OR an anointed king and sinless heir with the image of God suffering and serving others and dying in utter humiliation as if he were a criminal,though he really wasn't at all?In scriptures like Mark 16:12,2 Timothy 3:5,Dan. 3:19,and Is. 44:13 does "morphe"(form in Greek,as used in Phil. 2:6) mean "inner substance" as trinitarians often assert or "outward appearance?"If the latter,then wouldn't that definition be synonymous with "eikon"(image in Greek),as many scholars note?Didn't even the first Adam have the image of God?Did that make him God?If not,why does form,or image,of God make Christ God?Wouldn't it rather suggest,reasonably speaking of course when logic isn't thrown by the wayside to accommodate a doctrine, that he in fact ISN'T God,but rather the image or form of Him?If you're the image of your father,do you then partake of his very being or somehow become the very same human?If not,why and how does Christ,by being the image of his father,suddenly partake of the very same "being" of his father,essentially becoming the same entity?

Conclusion:
Although Christ was the Son of God as a rich man,he learned obedience from what he suffered.Although we become rich as children of God,will we learn obedience from what we suffer?

Matthew 16:24:Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."

This is what we're supposed to learn from Philippians 2:5-8 also.NOT that although we're God in essence,we must learn how to become men.It's given as an example for us to follow,not as a fanciful Greek philosophical metaphysical notion we couldn't possibly.Yes,although rich,we must serve others even unto death if necessary!That way we obtain a precious inheritance similar to Christ's.


I may write one final blog on this subject and cover a little more how Philippians chapter 2 compares/contrasts the Last man Adam from the first.This was commonly done at the time Philippians was written,and I think it is very obvious in the case of Philippians 2's humiliation that led to exaltation.Just think of the first Adam's pride that led to humiliation.Will we be like the first Adam and be proud,and hence humbled?OR the Last Adam(also rich as the image of God like the first) and be humble all the way to exaltation?To me,it is obvious in this case that Paul was trying to communicate how Christ is the antithesis of the first Adam.Both rich images of God,one taking advantage and being humiliated for it.One not,and being rewarded for it. Now THAT'S something we can learn from.Right? I personally couldn't apply "deity becoming human" in my own life,nor does it heed,much less do justice,to Paul's context and correlating scriptures.