1 Peter 3:21-22

21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

If Jesus is God, wouldn't the angels be subject unto him already? Why making them subject unto him all over again?

  • How about fallen angels (Phil. 2:10-11)?
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 8:52
  • 2
    Because they were not subject to fallen humanity, which Christ assumed and redeemed.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 8:55
  • How do you know that they were not?
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 10:59
  • @Lucian Christ never fell. Had he fallen, he could never have redeemed humanity.
    – Polyhat
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:30
  • 1
    @Polyhat: No, but we did, and became mortal. He assumed the consequence of our fallen estate, despite being devoid of its thorn.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:32

6 Answers 6


For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (Psalm 8:5, KJV)

Man was made "a little lower than the angels," and Christ was a man. The Bible's teaching is that the man Jesus was not God. God is not a man (see Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29); but Jesus was a man, and the Son of Man (see Matthew 16:13).

If Jesus, as a man, were God, then why would he have called the Father his God?

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17, KJV)

While Christ was not called God, the fact that God was IN Christ is the Biblical teaching.

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19, KJV)


It would be rather odd to say either that "God is God's God" or that "God was in God." Yet there is a distinction made between God and Christ throughout the New Testament that shows them to be separate.

  • It is common for a wife to call her husband my man; does that mean she is not a man as well ?
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 8:54
  • @Lucian I take it you are not a monotheist, then, would that be a fair assumption?
    – Polyhat
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:14
  • Notice how both Genesis 2:24 and John 10:30 seem to echo the same theme of familial unity.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:18
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    @Lucian There is no text of scripture that says or implies that God would leave God's Father (or mother) and become one with his wife...and it would make even less logical sense to say that in leaving they had become one. You might wish to reconsider your assumptions with the Genesis 2:24 application to God. Man is clearly not God. John 10:30, as you would know, can be interpreted in several ways, and in any case, other texts of scripture should be found to help support the interpretation made of it.
    – Polyhat
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:26
  • I simply pointed out that there is no need for a plurality of gods, because of the familial unity echoed in both Testaments, with man being made in God's image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), and the beginning of John's gospel reflecting the first chapters of Genesis.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:40

Even a pagan centurion acknowledges that Jesus Christ is master of all heavenly powers, comparing His authority to those powers to his own authority over his regiment of soldiers (Matthew 8:9). And if He is not, eternally with the Father, the Master of all spiritual creatures, then how does He give power out of His own sovereign authority ("I give you power") to His disciples to expel those creatures (the fallen section of them) from people in His, Jesus' name? (Luke 10:19).

Moreover, is it possible for Creator not to be in a position of authority over His creatures, and conversely, for creatures not to be subject to their Creator? Impossible. And do not we learn that all those spiritual creatures and the entire universe were created by Christ (John 1:1-3; Col.1:16)? Does not also the Psalmist urge angels to worship God? (Psalm 97:7), and this God is identified by Paul with Christ (Hebrews 1:6). Thus, it is impossible for angels and demons not to be subject to Christ from the very moment of their creation by Him.

But then what can be a meaning of 1 Peter 3:22, or Hebrews 1:8, or Psalm 110:1 in which the Lord (who is to sit on the right hand of the Lord, until the Latter will subject all enemies to the Former) Jesus Christ identifies with Himself? If the same authority befits to the Father and the Logos/Son eternally and atemporally, without any hiatus or succession, then how can dynamism and process and time come into the picture? Here's the answer:

The dynamism and process and time comes through the fact of the incarnation of the Father's co-eternal Logos, and Incarnation implies coming to time of the one who is beyond time. Now, the Lord being in human nature always possesses authority over angels and demons, as demonstrated above, however, His human nature is subjected to time and is to reach its fulfillment. It is impossible that this human nature of the Lord may not reach its fulfillment, because it is the human nature pertaining to the eternal divine Hypostasis/Person of Logos. However, it does not and cannot possess this fulfillment immediately without experiencing and suffering the process of this fulfillment. The fulfillment is to love neighbors, even enemies, more than oneself, so as to be able to lay your own life for them (John 15:13); indeed, the Lord had this love all the way during His earthly, historical sojourn, but this love was fulfilled, that is to say, manifested in full in the suffering and death of the Lord on the Cross. Exactly this manifested the fulfillment of the human nature of the Lord and through this fulfillment, which entailed total annihilation of any taint of sin from human nature, He pawed way to all humanity to the Kingdom of Heaven, so that through Him we also may be "sons of God" (John 1:18).

Thus, the eternal and changeless Person of God-Logos suffered in a way a change in the sense of adoption of human nature and undergoing its fulfillment in time, for human nature that has undergone suffering and death on Cross has manifested something that was not manifested before, therefore has reached its fulfillment on Calvary and only on Calvary, expressed and testified by the Lord Himself "It is fulfilled" (John 19:30), for had He not suffered pain and death for the sake of love of humankind, neither would He be able to act the same in and through us (cf. Hebrews 2:18).

This is the meaning of 1 Peter 3:22 that before angels were subject to the Father and the Logos (and the Holy Ghost for that matter), but not yet to the Logos as possessing the fulfilled human nature, which He has only after the death on the cross. In this sense, the angels, after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, are henceforth to worship also the fulfilled human nature while worshiping the eternal hypostasis of the Lord-Logos.

  • @Down-voter Thanks for your attention, but since you must have got reasons for down-voting, would you communicate them to me, for I am earnestly interested. Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 9:09

1 Peter 3:

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

It is useful at times to distinguish between the eternal personhood of the Son from his temporal roles/functions.

Jesus died. It happened in the dimension of space-time. It was one of Jesus' temporal roles. After that, he earned the right to sit at the right hand of God and resumed his eternal duty and angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

"eternal personhood of the Son" Do you have a verse for that?

Yes, Hebrews 1:

3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

If the Son is not eternal, how could he sustain all things?


Of course the angles have been, are, and always will be subject to Christ. He created them. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. It doesn't matter that our human mind cannot grasp that. Just because we don't understand something doesn't mean we can throw it under the bus. The plain truth is, Jesus said He was God while He was in the flesh. HE SAID IT. THAT SETTLES IT. We are not given the permission to scrutinize if Jesus was telling the truth. Maybe we become frustrated because our particular theology will not allow this apparent impossibility. Once again Jesus said He was God. Just what is the problem with that? Jesus said it. I accept it.


Surely the answer is right in the context of the verse.

who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

"the right hand of God". If Jesus is God, as the OP riddles, how can he be at God's right hand? NO, that would be silly wouldn't it. There is only one God and He doesn't sit beside Himself. If it said, 'Father'... but it does not.

Or course, some here posit that Jesus made everything, but this is without biblical support, relying on mistranslated verses like Heb 1:2 'made the world', or mis-read Col 1:16 'for by Him all things were created'.

An honest and diligent scholar and disciple would be happy to learn that these are not truthfully representing the son of God and tell another story from the mouths on men and not God at all!

The angels are made subject to Jesus, just as he is given life by God and several other things. Note; this is a process that is being completed - so it wasn't always this way.

God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church Eph 1:22

You have put in subjection all things under his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing un-subject to him. But at present not yet do we see all things having been subjected to him. Heb 2:8

The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet. Ps 110:1

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. John 5:26

and made Lord and Christ by God (Acts 2:36), etc, Jesus is nothing without God. Jesus has earned the right and privilege to rule with his Father and God by remaining sinless till his last breath on the cross. On his resurrection and exaltation to God's side, he was given rulership over all - this he did not have before.

  • 1
    If you make much of Jesus being at the right-hand of God, you're going to have to make much more of Rev. 5:6, 7:17 & 22:1 where he is at the centre of that one divine throne in heaven. This Q requires acknowledgement of Jesus have submitted himself to a lower position while on earth, and being elevated after faithfully completing his earthly task. Instead, you have mocked those who see in scripture the uncreated status of the eternal Son of God. Hence my down-vote. I will not respond any further to you.
    – Anne
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 9:41
  • @anne, do you really only read the bits that fit your paradigm? Jesus/the Lamb is noted as distinct from God throughout Revelations. He, now ascended, exalted, etc, still has the same God he declared to Mary at the tomb. No amount of 'lowering' or 'elevating' has changed him 'having a God'! The Gospels explain where Jesus came from - nothing about Mary giving birth to an eternal God.
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 5:57

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22 ESV)

It is written pertaining to the incarnation of the Logos, as the Son of God. These explanations are called economy of salvation or the economic trinity, showing the roles they play in the narrative. The divine Logos became the Son of God, and lowered himself in the form of a man, and truly a man. He was exalted in his resurrection.

Acts 2:35 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

[Acts 5:30-31 RV] The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.

[Acts 13:32-33 ESV] And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’

[Heb 1:1-5 RV] God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become by so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee? and again, I will be to him a Father, And he shall be to me a Son?

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

God appointed the Son as the Messiah and saviour, subjecting the world to him. This doesn't mean God himself ceases to be the saviour and Lord over all. God remains one and same within his personalities or persons while interacting to man. This same Jesus was the saviour of Israel from the beginning, but now he came in the form of the Messiah, viz., the incarnation in flesh as the final messenger of God, whom he appointed the heir of all things. (Matt 21:33-46 etc)

[Jude 1:4 ESV] For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

[1Cor 15:24-28 ESV] Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every 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. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

This is what I mean by saying- these things pertain to the formal process and roles of the persons of Trinity play in the divine plan. Economy of Salvation: Economy comes from the Greek oikonomia (economy), literally, "management of a household" or "stewardship". The transfer of power and authority is merely a formal exchange for our understanding and theology.

  • 2
    You need more support for your answer, eg. scriptures, references, etc.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 9:18
  • Of course Jesus is God and was God even during His time on earth. Jesus said that He and the Father were ONE. John 10:30. He said this while He was on earth in human flesh. Present tense. At no time ever has Jesus ceased to be God. He is eternal.
    – Rick
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 17:06
  • @Rick yet Jesus was 'mastered by death'. Does that sound like God to you - it certainly doesn't to me? If he was God, how did he die, how was he tempted? - God cannot be.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 22:26
  • @steveowen this is why died in the form of a man, Messiah, Son of the most high. You're right God cannot die, and he proved it with the resurrection. He died as a man.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 6:30
  • John 10:30 states clearly that Jesus and His Father are one. The fact that Jesus said this while He was in the flesh as a man should carry all the weight that you need. What more do you want? Jesus said it. If He is wrong about this then how could we ever trust His words. John 17:17 says "your word is truth". Jesus said He is equal to His Father. It cannot be wrong. Even if you don't like it or accept it.
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 15:44

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