Jesus Christ's Submission to the Father

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Jesus Christ's Submission to the Father

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Jesus Christ's Submission to the Father

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After Jesus had been sacrificed for our sins and then restored to eternal life, He "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high [that is, the Father]" (Hebrews 1:3 Hebrews 1:3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
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). After He had directly experienced what it was like to be a flesh-and-blood human being, Christ returned to the Father's side—His previous station throughout all past eternity.

Remember His words just before His impending death and resurrection: "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:5 John 17:5And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.
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). In this passage Jesus talks of a time even before the creation account of Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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, when these two divine Beings were together.

Of course, then and always, the Father is supreme. Christ's equality with the Father is in the sense of sharing the same level of existence, both of Them being God. It does not mean, as the Trinity doctrine holds, that the two are equal in authority—for Scripture clearly shows that Jesus is subordinate to the Father.

The Athanasian Creed, in use since the sixth century, states that "in this Trinity . . . none is greater, or less than another." In fact, Trinitarian teaching denies any relationship of command and obedience between the divine persons—as this would imply individual wills and distinct beings and contradict the doctrine. Yet Scripture tells us that the Father gives commands that Christ perfectly and lovingly obeys (John 12:49-50 John 12:49-50 [49] For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. [50] And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.
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; John 14:31 John 14:31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
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; John 15:10 John 15:10If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
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). And Jesus distinguished between His own will and the Father's, yet submitted to the Father's will (Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
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; John 5:30 John 5:30I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
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). Some see this as a temporary façade while Christ was in the flesh, yet His subordination to the Father persists today and will persist through the culmination of the ages.

The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is often rightly called the resurrection chapter. It tells us that everyone in God's future Kingdom will be subject to Christ, with the Father being the only exception: "It is evident that He [the Father] who put all things under Him [the Son] is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:27-28 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 [27] For he has put all things under his feet. But when he said all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. [28] And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
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).

Earlier in 1 Corinthians, Paul clearly states that "the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3 1 Corinthians 11:3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
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). In both of these passages Paul describes two individual divine Beings, with Jesus being subject to God the Father. This is consistent with Jesus Christ's own statements in which He said, contrary to the Athanasian Creed, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28 John 14:28You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
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) and "My Father . . . is greater than all" (John 10:29 John 10:29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
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).

Directly from Scripture, we see that God the Father is the undisputed Head of the family—and that Father and Son are not coequal in authority, as claimed by the Trinity doctrine.

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