Christ "emptied Himself" (Philippians 2:7)
44. Therefore after this manifold and precise revelation of the presence of the Father's nature in Himself, He goes on to say, For Him hath the Father sealed, even God(5). It is the nature of a seal to exhibit the whole form of the figure graven upon it, and that an impression taken from it reproduces it in every respect; and since it receives the whole of that which is impressed, it displays also in itself wholly whoever has been impressed upon it. Yet this comparison is not adequate to exemplify the Divine birth, because in seals there is a matter, difference of nature, and an act of impression, whereby the likeness of stronger natures is impressed upon things of a more yielding nature. But the Only-begotten God, Who was also through the Mystery of our salvation the Son of Man, desiring to point out to us the likeness of His Father's proper nature in Himself, said that He was sealed by God; because the Son of Man was about to give the food of eternal life, and that we thereby might perceive in Him the power of giving food unto eternity, in that He possessed within Himself all the fulness of His Father's form, even of the God Who sealed Him: so that what God had sealed should display in itself none other than the form of the God Who sealed it. These things indeed the Lord spoke to the Jews, who could not receive His saying because of unbelief.
45. But in us the preacher of the Gospel by the Spirit of Christ Who spoke through him, instils the knowledge of this His proper nature when he says, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to grasp a that He was equal with God, but emplied Himself, taking the form of a servant(6). For He, Whom God had sealed, could be naught else than the form of God, and that which has been sealed in the form of God must needs present at the same time imaged forth within itself all that God possesses. And for this cause the Apostle taught that He Whom God sealed is God abiding in the form of God. For when about to speak of the Mystery of the batty assumed and born in Him, he says, He thought it not a thing to grasp at that He was equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant(7). As regards His being in the form of God, by virtue of God's seal upon Him, he still remained God. But inasmuch as He was to take the form of a 151 servant and become obedient unto death, not grasping at His equality with God, He emptied Himself through obedience to take the form of a slave. And He emptied Himself of the form of God, that is, of that wherein He was equal with God--not that He regarded His equality with God as any encroachment,--although He was in the form of God and equal with God and sealed by God as God.
46. At this point I ask whether He Who abides as God in the form of God is a God of another kind, as we perceive in the case of seals in respect of the likenesses which stamp and those which are stamped, since a steel die impressed upon lead or a gem upon wax shapes the figure cut in it or imprints that which stands in relief upon it. But if there be any one so foolish and senseless as to think that that, pertaining to Himself, which God fashions to be God, is aught but God, and that He Who is in the form of God is in any respect anything else save God after the mystery of His Incarnation and of His humility, made perfect through obedience even unto the death of the cross, he shall hear, by the confession of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth and of every tongue, that Jesus is in the glory of God the Father. If then, when His form had become that of a slave He abides in such glory, how, I ask, did He abide when in the form of God? Must not Christ the Spirit have been in the nature of Gods--for this is what is meant by 'in the glory of God'--when Christ as Jesus, that is, born as man, exists in the glory of God the Father?
47. In all things the blessed Apostle preserves the unchangeable teaching of the Gospel faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed as God in such wise that neither does the Apostle's faith, by calling Him a God of a different order, fall away to the confession of two Gods, nor by making God the Son inseparable from the Father does it leave an opening for the unholy doctrine of a single and solitary God. For when he says, in the form of God and in the glory of the Father the Apostle neither teaches that They differ one from another, nor allows us to think of Him as not existing. For He Who is in the form of God neither ends by becoming another God nor Himself loses His Godhead: for He cannot be severed from the form of God since He exists in it, nor is He, Who is in the form of God, not God Just as He Who is in the glory of God cannot be aught else than God, and, since He is God in the glory of God, cannot be proclaimed as another god and one different from the true God, seeing that by reason of the fact that He is in the glory of God He possesses naturally from Him in Whose glory He is, the property of divinity.
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