Submission of the Son to the Father
Among the persons of the Godhead, while Scripture describes the Father and Son as equal (John 1:1–3; Phil. 2:5–8; Col. 2:9), the submission of the Son to the Father is clearly taught. Paul wrote, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).
The Father created all things through His Son (John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). The Father has “chosen us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). And the Father has sent His Son into the world to save us (John 3:16, 17; 17:18).
The seating of Christ at His Father’s right hand following Christ’s ascension (Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55, 56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:13; 8:1; 10:12, 13; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22) is evidence to the Father’s supreme authority. In the ancient world, to be seated at the right hand of a a king meant that the one thus honored was second in authority.
If this authority is committed to the Son by the Father, the ultimate authority is, in fact, the Father’s. It is the Father who acts through the Son. Before returning from earth to His Father in heaven, Christ declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18); this power was clearly granted by the Father on account of His Son’s triumph over sin and death.
The Holy Spirit relationship to Father and the Son
The relationship of the Holy Spirit to Christ is another proof of the order within the persons of the Godhead. While the Son is subject to the Father, the Spirit is subject to the Son. Just as the Father sends the Son into the world (John 3:16, 17; 17:18), so the Son sends the Spirit into the world from the Father (John 14:26; 15:26). The Spirit “shall not speak of Himself ” but of Christ (John 16:13). And just as the Son’s incarnation reveals the glory of the Father (John 14:9; 17:4), so, the Spirit reveals the glory of the Son (John 15:26; 16:14).
Thus, the Bible teaches us that among the persons of the Godhead— who are co-eternal, equal in being, and equal in person-hood—there nevertheless exists an order of authority and diversity of responsibility.
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In His service,