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In verse 1 Corinthians 15:28, what does it mean that “then” the Son will be made subject to the Father?

In verse 1 Corinthians 15:28, what does it mean that “then” the Son will be made subject to the Father? Isn’t it plain, from things Jesus has said, that Jesus was always subject to the Father?

Christ reigns from the time of his resurrection until he subjugates every enemy at the end.  Paul is drawing upon imagery taken from Psalm 110:1

The LORD says to my Lord:

“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”  Psalm 110:1

In Psalm 110:1 the messianic figure (Christ) reigns passively while God crushes the enemies.  God is the agent and source of power, and Christ is the one to whom all things are subjected.

Paul explains why death is to be conquered by saying “God has subjected all things under His feet.”  The subject “He sets” from 15:25 shifts from Christ to God, “he subjected,” because Paul understands God to be the one who raises the dead.  Therefore, God is the one who defeats this last foe.

Paul is summing up his argument in 15:28.  The powers had rebelled against God; the Son subjects himself to God in obedience.  “But when he [God] subjects all things [through the raising of the dead] to him [Christ], the Son himself will become subject [God as agent] to the one [God] who subjected all things to him [Christ].

This denotes submission to the Father.  It is “the Son” who prays to his Father.  Remember “Not my will but yours be done” (Mark 14:36/Matthew 26:10).  The title refers to the subjection of His will to God’s will and does not imply inferiority of His person.

John Calvin (a great Theologian by the way that I am studying about in school ), comments, “Of course we acknowledge that God is the Ruler, but His rule is actualized in the man Christ.  But Christ will then hand back the Kingdom which He has received, so that we may cleave completely to God.”

The Second Coming of Christ or Parousia is the return of Jesus Christ from Heaven to Earth as expected in most Christian eschatology. The anticipated event is predicted in biblical Messianic prophecy. These prophecies include the general resurrection of the dead, the last judgment of the living and the dead, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (also called the Reign of God), including the Messianic Age.

Christian eschatology is concerned with death, an intermediate state, Heaven, hell, the return of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, a rapture, a great tribulation, the Millennium, end of the world, the last judgment, a new heaven and a new earth, and the ultimate consummation of all of God’s purposes.  The second coming of Christ is the central event in Christian eschatology.

We have touched on eschatology briefly in Bible Study.  Maybe I could dedicate a Bible Study for everyone to learn about this in greater detail.  It is an area in Christian Theology that is fascinating and could be broken down into bite size pieces I think !  I’ll present this idea in Bible Study on Wednesday.

What is your understanding of the idea that when everything is put under the Son, God will be “all in all.”?

The affirmation “God will be all things in all” refers to “the unchallenged reign of God alone.”  It applies to the pacification and redemption of the created order and is similar to saying that God is over all.

Scriptures to support Paul’s reasoning:

Romans 9:5

whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 11:36

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 8:6

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

So in summary, this means that in the Parousia, humans will no longer be subject to the destructibe forces of the powers.  Therefore, whoever denies the resurrection of the ead basically denies God’s power over death and that God will reign over all things unchallenged.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


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