I have been studying up on the doctrine of the Trinity: God is three persons in one being. In my studies I have found opposing views regarding the eternal subordination of the Son (Christ). Some say the Son has always been in submission to the Father (different in function and authority, yet not lower in value). While others say only Christ's human nature while on Earth submitted to the Father (and not His divine nature). On top of this debate, is the issue of complimentarianism: The first side applies the idea that the Son submitting to the Father is a model of how the wife submits to her husband, just as the church submits to Christ. Whereas if this model is not true then the application is also unrelated.
I would appreciate your thoughts and help in sorting all this out.
The Bible settles this question definitively. 1 Corinthians 15 teaches on the present and future relationship of the members of the Godhead:
In the midst of a discussion of resurrection and the end of the age, Paul tells us that when the 1,000-year Kingdom has come to conclusion, the Lord will finally defeat the last of His enemies, Satan. We read about his defeat in Revelation 20:
Back in 1 Cor 15 Paul says that all things have been put in subjection to Christ by the Father. In 1 Corinthians 15:27 Paul quotes from Psalm 8, which relies extensively on pronouns, so it’s helpful to replace the pronouns with the names of the Godhead:
Paul says that when Psalm 8 testifies that the Father places all things in subjection under Christ’s feet, it’s clear that the Father Himself is never subjected to Christ. Paul makes this statement to ensure we understand that Christ always remains subjected to the authority of the Father within the Godhead. So the Bible testifies clearly that during this age and during the Kingdom age that follows, the Son remains subjected to the Father.
However, Paul goes on to say in v.28 that once Christ has fulfilled His mission to rule over all things, then Christ returns all authority to the Father, and then Paul says the Son Himself will be subjected to the Father. Again, it’s helpful to replace the pronouns in Paul’s writing with proper nouns:
While we don’t understand this statement fully (i.e., what does it mean that God is “all in all”?), nevertheless we can clearly see that Christ remains subjected to the Father even after the Kingdom is over. So the submission of the Son to the Father is clearly spelled out in Scripture.
Regarding complimentarianism, the Bible refers to Christ’s submission to the Father as a model for our submission to Christ, and a wife’s submission to her husband:
So once again, the teaching of the Bible is consist on these points, and we believe unambiguous: within the Trinity, Christ is submitted to the Father. For a longer discussion on the mystery of the Trinity, we recommend you read the following: