Does Philippians 2:11 show that Paul taught that Jesus and God are equal?
In Philippians 2:11 Paul states "that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Doesn't this show that he taught that Jesus and God are equal?
Answer: Not at all. In Philippians 2:5-11, we have another Pauline statement of Jesus' subservient position to God: "The attitude you should have is the one Christ had: Although he existed in the form of God he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave and came to be in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient until death, even on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name. And so, in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and of those underground. And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The statement that Jesus had the "form of God" could not mean that he was God or even one-third of God. Paul's Jesus is not equal to God but is an angelic being considered to have been raised to an exalted position by God. That which is not equal to God cannot be God. Furthermore, Jesus is proclaimed Lord, but Paul does not use "Lord" and "God" here as synonymous terms.
Paul considers Jesus to be a highly honored angelic being, but does not make him equal with God.
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