What does it mean “put all things under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:28)?

Author: BibleAsk Team


The verse in 1 Corinthians 15:28 presents a profound statement regarding the ultimate subjection of all things to Christ. This passage encapsulates the overarching theme of God’s plan for redemption and reconciliation, highlighting the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ over all creation. Through a careful examination of the context, language, and theological implications of this verse, we can gain deeper insights into its significance within the broader framework of Christian doctrine.

Contextual Background

A. The Resurrection and Final Victory:

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 – Paul’s exposition on the significance of Christ’s resurrection and its implications for believers.
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:27 – “For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.”

The broader context of 1 Corinthians 15 focuses on the resurrection of the dead and the victory of Christ over sin and death. Paul emphasizes the transformative impact of Christ’s resurrection, which ensures the defeat of all opposing powers and the establishment of His reign over all creation.

B. The Subjection of All Things:

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:24 – “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
  2. Ephesians 1:22 – “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.”

The theme of Christ’s subjection of all things to Himself is a recurring motif in Pauline theology. This subjection signifies not only Christ’s authority and dominion over creation but also His role as the mediator and reconciler of all things to God the Father.

Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:28

A. “Then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him”:

  1. Philippians 2:9-11 – “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
  2. Hebrews 2:8-9 – “You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”

The statement that “the Son Himself will also be subject to Him” reflects the eternal submission of Christ to God the Father within the Trinitarian relationship. Despite His exaltation and authority, Christ willingly submits to the will of the Father, demonstrating the perfect unity and harmony within the Godhead.

B. “That God may be all in all”:

  1. Ephesians 1:10 – “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”
  2. Colossians 3:11 – “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

The phrase “that God may be all in all” points to the ultimate purpose and goal of God’s redemptive plan. Through the subjection of all things to Christ, God’s sovereignty and presence will permeate every aspect of creation, leading to the restoration of perfect unity and harmony in the divine order.

Theological Implications

A. Trinitarian Relationship:

  1. John 5:19 – “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.'”
  2. John 10:30 – “I and My Father are one.”

The statement in 1 Corinthians 15:28 highlights the mutual submission and unity within the Trinity, affirming the equality of the Son with the Father while acknowledging the distinct roles and functions within the Godhead. This theological concept underscores the mystery and complexity of the divine nature.

B. Eschatological Fulfillment:

  1. Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.'”
  2. Revelation 22:3-4 – “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”

The vision of God being “all in all” points to the eschatological fulfillment of God’s kingdom, where His presence will permeate every aspect of creation, and all things will be reconciled to Him. This ultimate restoration and reconciliation signify the culmination of God’s redemptive plan and the fulfillment of His promises to His people.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:28 holds profound theological significance within the broader context of Pauline theology and Christian doctrine. Through its affirmation of Christ’s subjection to God the Father and the ultimate purpose of God’s redemptive plan, this passage encapsulates the central themes of God’s sovereignty, unity, and eschatological fulfillment. As believers reflect on the implications of this verse, may they be inspired to deepen their understanding of the Triune God and His redemptive work in Christ, anticipating the day when God will be “all in all” and His kingdom will be fully established for eternity.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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