“The Doctrine of the States of Christ” (de statibus exinanitionis et exaltationis) (Loc. 6488).
In this second major section of his book Pieper will present several chapters about the humiliation and exaltation of Christ. This is laid out for us in both the Old and New Testaments. “What Scripture says concerning the lowliness of Christ . . . is advanced by the Unitarians and also the Reformed in argumentation against His deity, or at least against the communication of the divine attributes and works to the human nature.” (Pieper 1968, Loc. 6497).
- “The Nature of the Humiliation and the Exaltation”
Pieper is clear that the Formula of Concord affirms humiliation and exaltation affecting only Christ’s human nature, that he always possesses a divine nature, that he really put aside use of divine majesty, but was able to use it had he desired (Ibid., Loc. 6544). Pieper brings in numerous Scripture passages to affirm that the Bible presents Christ as being both the possessor of divine majesty and someone who has poverty and limitations (Ibid., Loc. 6577).
Pieper discusses Philippians 2 at length, observing that though Christ humbled himself we are never told to be like him but rather to have his mind. We do not have the divine nature. Even if we wished, we could not take up the divine glory, which was an option open to Jesus (Ibid., Loc. 6624). Pieper’s final observations are that it was exactly in this garb of weakness that Christ overcame death (Ibid., Loc. 6661).