What is kenosis?

From GotQuestions.com

Question: “What is the kenosis?”

Answer: The term kenosis comes from the Greek word for the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. The kenosis was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity. Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Jesus did not cease to be God during His earthly ministry. But He did set aside His heavenly glory of a face-to-face relationship with God. He also set aside His independent authority. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

As part of the kenosis, Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6; 19:28). God does not get tired or thirsty. Matthew 24:36 tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We might wonder if Jesus was God, how could He not know everything, as God does (Psalm 139:1-6)? It seems that while Jesus was on earth, He surrendered the use of some of His divine attributes. Jesus was still perfectly holy, just, merciful, gracious, righteous, and loving – but to varying degrees Jesus was not omniscient or omnipotent.

However, when it comes to the kenosis, we often focus too much on what Jesus gave up. The kenosis also deals with what Christ took on. Jesus added to Himself a human nature and humbled Himself. Jesus went from being the glory of glories in Heaven to being a human being who was put to death on the cross. Philippians 2:7-8 declares, “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” In the ultimate act of humility, the God of the universe became a human being and died for His creation. The kenosis, therefore, is Christ taking on a human nature with all of its limitations, except with no sin.

Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll

Why is this important?

Well, there are a number of ministries that teach a ‘kenotic’ view of Jesus. They tell us that All that Jesus did in his ministry years he did as a man filled with the Holy Spirit, but is not as God. They would have us believe that because Jesus operated as a spirit filled man, Spirit filled believers should also be walking around performing sighs and wonders as a normal part of our Christian lives. There is an excellent article here that discusses kenosis and provides a Biblical and theological answer to the doctrine. It s well worth reading.

Pre-Rose Parade Evangelism Report: Discussion with a Pantheist who attacked Christianity

Something to consider from a friend.

The Domain for Truth

pantheist-denying-jesus-is-god

I am all wired up from evangelizing on the Rose Parade route tonight, its something the folks at my church have been doing for almost 10 years now.  People camp outside and we just set up a table to engage in evangelistic conversation.  Believe it or not there are still people who are willing to stop and listen and hear the Gospel.  We need to pray for those opportunities and present the Gospel clearly and faithfully with both passion and compassion.

Contrary to the theme of the blog, in my evangelism these days I rarely go on apologetics’ rabbit trail when I share the Gospel.  Most of the time I focus on the Gospel being understood by the person I’m talking to.  I am a Presuppositionalist in my apologetics but I think even some within my own camp of apologetics can forget the self-evidencing power of the Gospel.

Tonight I…

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Does the Bible Teach ‘Learning’ to Pray in the Spirit?

What follows is the contents of a blog post that caught my attention. I have been conversing with the author now and again, partly because I think I know where he is going since there is a familiarity with a time in my life when I embraced the ‘something more’ teaching I see in these ‘teachings’. There are some good points and others that seem to me to be a bit off – using particular passages to support teaching points I do not l find in scripture. I am interested in others’ views concerning what is quoted below below.

Praying in the Spirit leads to the pouring out of the Spirit. If you want to preach in the Spirit, you must first pray in the Spirit. Let this be you: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19).

The power of a church is not how filled a building is with people, but how filled the people are with the Holy Spirit. There is not power in numbers but in the Holy Spirit.

Natural prayers move men, praying in the Spirit moves God.

Natural prayers only ask for natural things. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).

Natural prayers seek His approval of your will, praying in the Spirit places you into His.

“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). You know you are praying in the Spirit when even the building can’t sit still.

Whatever fills you defines you. If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, then you are just full of yourself. Beware the intellectually filled man who is empty of the Spirit of God.

Prayers without words speak the loudest. “…For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

In your prayers, don’t lower the Lord into your plans, but ask Him to raise you into His.

You know you are praying in the Spirit when you can hear the Spirit. “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:2-3). Never underestimate the power gained through the discipline of fasting and prayer.

Fasting separates you from the natural such that you can step into the spiritual. Spiritual prayers never walk on natural grounds.

Natural prayers can touch the heart of man, but praying in the Spirit places you in the heart of God. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God…” (Jude 20-21).

Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to pray in the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus taught, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…” (John 14:26).

I suggested to the author that I suspected  “scripture abuse” and I explained why I felt using passages to teach something not in the text was abusing scripture. My comment was more for the readers who  offered a chorus of ‘Amens’ to his teaching.

Was I wrong in saying something? Was I too harsh? Am I holding hands with the Devil, as the author has suggested to me?