The Son Will Be Subject?

Hello everyone. I hope everyone has had a good Saturday night and if you’re reading this at another time, I hope things have gone well for you whatever day it was. We had a good visit with a Jehovah’s Witness today on the question of what happens when we die. Quite good. Do pray for him as I think the light is beginning to dawn and pray for us that we will have the right words of wisdom to say.

Tonight, we’re going to continue our Trinity study by going to 1 Cor. 15. This is going to be again looking at one of the supposed anti-Trinitarian passages. (No passage is anti-Trinitarian after all.) We’re going to go from verse 20-28, but we want to emphasize 28. I wish for all of you to see the surrounding context.

20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Then Son himself will be made subject? Leon Morris’s commentary on 1 Corinthians says that this presents a difficulty, for it seems that one person of the Trinity is inferior to another. I have a great respect for Morris as a commentator and NT scholar, but I just think he’s wrong here. Perchance he means an apparent difficulty rather than an actual one. If so, then we have no problem.

First, we’ve noted several times that submission of person does not mean inferiority of nature. We’ve already had the Son submit in the act of the incarnation. Since that has happened, why should any other submission be a problem?

However, I note that there is a problem for the Arian from the text itself. Then the Son will be made subject. Then. What does that say about the Son now? Paul is speaking of this as something unsual in fact. If the thought was that the Son was always lower than the Father by nature, then we shouldn’t have any surprise at all at this passage. There would even be no need to mention it. It would be understood. Paul makes it a point.

What is his point? His point is that this is the kingdom of Christ we’re talking about and Christ is going to present that to the Father. Some theologians have said the creation was a gift from the Father to the Son. If that’s the case, we could say that this is the Son giving the new creation to the Father. It would be like the parable of the talents where one who had the gift came back with more. That’s speculation of course, but it’s something to think about.

And what would be the point of this? That God would be all in all. In other words, that the Father would be supreme. Mankind and the rest of creation fell away. This is going to be their restoration. This is going to be their glory. The Son will himself submit, but he will not lose his nature. This passage says nothing about the nature of the Son, only that he submits. We’ve already seen that that is not a problem.

We shall continue our study tomorrow.

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