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The local context of 1 Cor. 15:28 extends from v20 to v28. With that in mind, what would be the answers for the specific questions connected with each of the following phrases in 1 Cor. 15:28 considering that Jesus is God?

  1. “Now when all things are made subject to Him, ...”: who’s “Him”?
  2. “..., then the Son Himself will also be subject ...”: what does this mean?
  3. “... subject to Him who put all things under Him, ...”: who’s the first “Him”? Who’s the second “Him”?

It would be very important to establish the interconnection among all the three points of discussion to address the full meaning the verse, 1 Cor. 15:28.

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The "him" is God the Father. The answer to this question is found in Phil 2:5-11 -

1. Jesus' voluntary humiliation and subjection Phil 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross.

2. Jesus' elevation Phil 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Note that "every knee bowing" has not yet occurred but is still to be fulfilled. That will occur when:

  • 1 Cor 15:28 - And when all things have been subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
  • Rev 11:16-18 - “We give thanks to You, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were enraged, and Your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead and to reward Your servants the prophets, as well as the saints and those who fear Your name, both small and great— and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

This time has not yet arrived but will occur when -

  • 1 Cor 15:23-26 - But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him. Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

This will occur at Jesus' second appearing. Not even God the Father has overthrown death yet.

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  • Up-voted +1. But I would depart from your last sentence and say that death is already overthrown But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 20 '20 at 21:20
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    @NigelJ - thanks - that is part of the expectation tension - the now and not yet idea. That is, we believe by faith that Jesus has the victory but the battle is not yet confirmed. That will be the time when faith becomes sight.
    – Dottard
    Dec 20 '20 at 21:22
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    @dottard In Phil. 2:5-8, Jesus is in the form of God, but not the God the form represents. In Phil. 2:9-11, Jesus is not the God that exalted him (one cannot be almighty God and exalted higher). The two main verses you use demonstrates that Jesus is not God (just like Jesus is not (him) God in 1 Cor. 15:28. Dec 20 '20 at 23:55
  • @JesusSaves - that is NOT what I said. Please do not put words in my mouth. Jesus elevated to the highest AFTER His humiliation. You appear determined to misunderstand?
    – Dottard
    Dec 21 '20 at 2:01
  • @dottard I pointed out some facts about some verses you used in your argument. I did not place words in your mouth. I have not idea what. you mean by "Jesus elevated to the highest after his humiliation." He was elevated to the right hand of the GOD who occupies the central throne. The right hand of God is not elevation above GOD (if this is what you mean). Dec 21 '20 at 2:25
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1 Corinthians 15:26-28 explicitly have the Father as "God", but that because he [the Father] put all things in subjection to him [Jesus], it shows that Jesus became equal with "God" his Father in relation to the "all things" [the whole creation].

Notice that all things will be subjected not to God the Father in order for God the Father to be "all in all". So Jesus appears to be essential to the eschatological fulfillment of God the Father becoming all in all [i.e. that all creation may be one with God the Father]. Again, all creation will be subject first to Jesus and that's the only time all creation will be subjected to God the Father. Thus, this text coheres with another Pauline text which speak of Christ being "all in all" (Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 3:11).

The manner by which he [God the Father] will subject all things to him [Jesus] also shows that Jesus is ontologically [by nature] God. Philippians 2:9-11 speak of everyone -- in the heaven, on earth, and under the earth -- will confess Jesus is Lord [κυριος - Adonai, or YHWH]. Jesus is the fulfillment of the monotheistic eschatological event in Isaiah 45:23. Only when everyone in all creation acknowledge to God the Father that Jesus is YHWH that God the Father is glorified. This coheres with the Johannine text which says that God the Father glorifies Jesus and Jesus glorifies God the Father.

Thus, in conclusion, 1 Corinthians 15:26-28 show that Jesus is both functionally God and ontologically God, and that these are his unity [oneness] with God the Father. Without Jesus Christ, God the Father would not have all creation reconciled with him and glorifying him. And Jesus wasn't a mere agent who does things to give glory to God the Father (a one sided relationship) since God the Father himself "super-exalted" Christ above/beyond "all things" not only in this text but in all the Pauline corpus. Both the Father and Jesus receive glory by glorifying each other (as in the case found in 1 For 15 wherein God the Father subjects all things to Jesus and Jesus gives the kingdom to God the Father and then subjects himself). The catholic orthodox church teaches that this refers to the perichoresis of the Trinity wherein the divine persons are in unison and united in everything as one God in the qualitative sense.

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