Kenosis-Why is it important?!

Recently I came up against the following false teaching and discovered it has a fancy name => Kenosis.

Jesus poured out His divinity before He became flesh. This is based on a greek word “kenoo” used in Philippians 2:7 which means “to empty”.

The teaching then goes on to say:
Jesus performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God…not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us.

Jesus received this power – the Holy Spirit anointing – to do miracles at His baptism.

Let’s look at Philippians 2.

From NetBible Phil 2:7
NASB … but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

  • emptied[2758]kenoo = of no reputation, nothing
  • form[3444] = external appearance, nature
  • bond-servant[1401] = one who gives himself up to another’s will, disregarding their own interests
    – those whose service is used by Christ in extending and
    advancing his cause among men
  • likeness[3667] = resemblance, looking like
    – Jesus looked like other men, but was in fact different from them in that he did not have a sin nature tho He was fully human.

So just looking at this one verse we see that Jesus was fully human BUT without sin. He was no normal man. If He was just a man His sacrifice could not atone for our sins.

The pouring out in Philippians 2 has to do with Jesus pouring Himself out as a drink offering, laying His life down as an atonement for our sins.

Philippians 2:17 NASB … But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

From NetBible Phil 2:17

  • poured out as a drink offering[4689] = used of one whose blood is poured out in a violent death for the cause of God

Isaiah 53:10-12 NASB … But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

The correct doctrine has a fancy name too:  Hypostatic Union => that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.

Colossians 2:8-9 NASB … See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles(spirits) of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form …

From NetBible Col 2:9

  • * In him(Christ) all the fullness of deity lives. The present tense in this verse (“lives”) is significant. Again, as was stated in the note on 1:19, this is not a temporary dwelling, but a permanent one. Paul’s point is polemical against the idea that the fullness of God dwells anywhere else, as the Gnostics believed, except in Christ alone. At the incarnation(birth), the second person of the Trinity assumed humanity, and is forever the God-man(100% God- 100% man).

So Kenosis would also have you believe that Jesus Christ at His birth was not 100% God – the word made flesh – the radiance of the Father’s glory (Jn 1:14;He 1)! Kenosis is exposed as a Gnostic idea and is often associated with another spirit not of God!

1 John 4:1-3 NASB … Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Hypostatic Union


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2 Responses to “Kenosis-Why is it important?!”

  1. khollandsblog Says:

    Kenosis-Jesus poured out His divinity? vs Jesus poured out as a drink offering-Why is this important?

  2. khollandsblog Says:

    Dave Hood:
    Jesus is fully man and fully God, because he is, as our Mediator he is fully able as man, to represent us as man to God, and because he is fully God, able to represent us as God to man. On Earth we have a heavenly presence, the Holy Spirit, in heaven we have an earthly one, the man the Lord Jesus Christ

    1 Timothy 2:5 AMPC … For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus …

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