To what extent does the Son submit to the Father? How does that relate to marriage roles?

According to Junia or whoever it was, He endured the shame to demonstrate divinity in the resurrection, is my beholder’s share.

@LM77, thank you for the comment.

I need to start from the beginning. In 325 the Church ruled that Jesus Christ was God and therefore was in no way subordinate to God the Father. Therefore it is a serious mistake to say that Jesus submitted His Will tot5heWillof the Father, voluntarily or not. It is not a matter of will, it is a matter of Nature.
Subordinate means “lower in rank or position.”
Submit means “accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.”

If Jesus is God, and since there is none higher than God, then Jesus cannot be subordinate to anyone. Jesus is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Same with submit If Jesus is God, there is no superior force or authority or will for Him to submit to, because Jesus is God.

Submission is very different from Love. Love is sharing with others. Submission is accepting another persons will as one’s own. For us It might be necessary at times, but God cannot do this without ceasing to be God.

As I said before when Jesus said that He did not want to die on the Cross, He was not saying that He did not want humanity to be saved, He was saying that there must be an easier way. However, when He was assured that there was not, He then agreed to go through with it, not for His joy, but for our salvation.

God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all front and center in the Crucifixion. It is about the Trinity and nothing else. Jesus is the crucified God and not some Superman, who summitted himself to God. Jesus died for us because He loves us, not because of some future benefit or joy, which God does not need.

John 3:16 (NIV2011)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

If Jesus Christ is subordinate to God the Father then He is not God. If Jesus Christ is not God then we can not believe in Him. “You shall have no other “gods” before Me.”

Oh dear, Roger, I really don’t know what to say…

Why are you still conflating ontological subordination and temporary volitional subordination as if the are the same thing? They aren’t. Until you recognise that this conversation is going nowhere.

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Are you trying to say that the Crucifixion does not reveal the ultimate nature of God as Love? Are you trying to say that the Crucifixion reveals the nature of God as Hedonist? (Piper’s word)

Jesus is God. God does not ever change. ESS is right about one thing. Jesus Christ is either subordinate (and not God) forever, or Jesus/Logos is God and therefore not subordinate eternally.

This is the position of the Church, no a personal individualist position.

This is what he is saying, and clearly:


Are you trying to say that there is no gratification in love? Clearly there is, as was spelled out for you above, but for some reason you are blind to it.

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Thank you. This is a good point. However, Paul also uses this simile with how slaves are to obey their earthly masters. It seems, here, that Paul is working within the social construct, not planning on overthrowing that, either?


5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.


i’m not familiar, and unless you can show me the passage in question, i would respectfully dispute. i know of nowhere that he says that obedience to our earthly authorities is rooted specifically in the way that we were created. in general, there are exhortations to obey those in authority over us, whether kings, rulers, or earthly masters, but i’m not familiar with any such similar comparison (nor how it could be? Genesis describes God making man, then wife, and Paul uses that very instance to support his point… i’m not familiar with any other reference he makes to the very reaction that grounds slaves and masters, specifically, in the way we were created, or in some kind of analogy to God and Christ?

In general, the principle of obedience in whatever context should indeed reflect our obedience to Christ, granted. But the male/female dynamic is the one Paul used and grounded in the very nature of God and creation… “Adam was formed first, then Eve…” "Man is head of woman as Godmis the head of Christ… etc. And i don’t see this kind of core dynamic applied to slaves and masters, unless i am missing something?

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You mean as Paul did in Colossians, or as Peter also did… giving commands for wives to submit or be subject to their husbands and while omitting that supposed qualification?

If omitted in one place it does not negate where stated elsewhere, does it? It is quite interesting how often Ephesians 5:22 is quoted without the preceding verse, which I have been told is the only one that has the actual verb submit in it. Seems a little disingenuous as it could be translated “Submit to one another, and that goes for you too, wives.”
Ephesians 5 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands…

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[quote=“Daniel_Fisher, post:144, topic:47283, full:true”]

You mean as Paul did in Colossians, or as Peter also did… giving commands for wives to submit or be subject to their husbands and while omitting that supposed qualification? @Daniel_Fisher

I surely do not thank that the advice of Paul and Peter was meant to take the place of the command of Jesus when He said, Love God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength, and love one another as yourself.

Love is not the same as submission, because love is mutual, while submission is not. The command to love one another as oneself makes this clear as does the command to “Love one another as I (Jesus Christ) have loved you.” John 15:12.

The ethics of Jesus is based on Love, not submission. Nothing can or will change that.

Love can mean submission. A fairly nonthreatening example would be submitting to traffic laws. It is not loving to disobey them – accidents caused by failure to submit are absolutely not loving to the victims!

A more pertinent example might be of a marriage where only one spouse is a Christian, the Christian submitting to the unbeliever out of love and as an example of Christ.

Jesus submitted to the Romans out of love for us, even praying for them to be forgiven…

Jesus did not submit to the Romans. If anything, Jesus submitted to the world, which means to us. “God the Father so loved the World…” That is why the prayer. “Father, forgive them” is for all of us and not just for some of us…

But as we have discussed “submission” means surrendering to someone of higher authority. Neither the Romans nor the Sanhedrin nor the world has authority over Jesus, Who is God.

Christians do submit to traffic laws, they follow them, because they come from the government who is us. The only ones who submit to them are those who follow them to the letter, which is no one I know.

Jesus did not submit. He stood up to the Jewish authorities. He stood up to the Romans. He stood up to sin and death. He stood up to those who say “go along to get along.” He refused to back down from His mission and His ministry and that was why He died on the Cross.

Submission is not the example of Christ. Love is.

Thank you, now I understand – it’s all about semantics.

but of course not… but how the teaching is presented elsewhere, independently, and also by a different author, is incredibly valuable in biblical interpretation or exegesis to explore what a phrase - especially if disputed - means.

In this case…, if Paul’s core, deep, and real meaning, that he was carefully trying to communicate, is one of “mutual submission”, and he wanted it to be understood that by “submit to one another” in v21 he really meant to include husbands submitting to wives and vice versa, and the “wives to husbands” was merely an ancillary clarification to remind wives it applied to them also…

then it is especially striking that Paul forgot to mention anything about this “mutual submission in marriage” concept in both Colossians and Titus, but somehow he did in both other cases remember the “wives submit to husbands” part?

And then Peter also, who similarly neglected to mention anything about this mutual submission between husbands and wives, but similarly remembered the “wives should submit to husbands” part?

or, put another way… the repeated omission in other places does communicate that it is not a crucial aspect of the train of thought. After all, the folks in Colossae presumably wouldn’t have had a copy of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in front of them by which they could “reinterpret” his direct and rather unambiguous straightforward words to them about “wives submit to your husbands.” If the “mutual submission” was the main, core part of his message on this topic, it would be striking that he forgot to mention that part but still remembered the rather unidirectional “wives submit to your husbands” part.

Yet no one complains that Col 3:18 (Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord) is quoted without the preceding verse (And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.)… ever contemplate that or wonder why?

Strictly speaking, the submit verb is also in v. 24, where again the reminder is specifically referencing wives submitting to husbands… and speaking of said verb, it is of note that, oddly enough, Paul in Ephesians, like he does in Colossians and Titus, completely forgets to use the “submit” verb in reference to husbands submitting to their wives…

but between v. 21 and 22, yes, only v 21 has the “submit” verb (strictly speaking, a participle), which is carried over to be the understood verb of v22 (which uses the same verb as it is simply part of the same sentence). therefore…

i personally think that interpretation is a bit disingenuous given the obvious, straightforward, and unanimous unidirectional agreement of language of “wives submitting to husbands” principle (and no mention of the reverse), in Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, and 1 Peter (and the similar concept in 1 Corinthians at that)…

And given the use of the verb (and the fact that it is one sentence as you noticed) it would not be disingenuous to translate it, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, specifically: wives, to your own husbands.”

A most woodenly literal translation of 21-22 would be…

“Submitting to one another in fear of Christ, the wives to their own husbands as to the Lord…”

Yes, because back in this day, if it was either women who needed reminder or instruction that they needed to submit to their husbands, or if it was the men that needed to heed Paul’s emphasized guidance that they needed to submit to their wives, then surely it would have been the women who needed the sole reminder, not the men…

Personally, if the “mutual submission” idea is really what Paul was trying to communicate, i find it utterly remarkable that he never felt the need to ever say, either here in Ephesians or anywhere else he addressed the topic… “Submit to one another, and that goes for you too, husbands!

Ah, yes, thus the principle that i can ignore any explicit biblical command or instruction or guidance if i deem it in my personal opinion to be taking the place of the command to love.

Thus, we can also excise from our Bibles the command to “Submit yourselves therefore to God”,

And we can cut out the principle, “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”

and we can negate the core principle that “the church submits to Christ

Or maybe Jesus himself should have better followed the ethics of Jesus when
he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.”… and if Jesus had been more familiar with Christ’s ethics based on love not submission, he would never have said something like, “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”…?

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Please review the passage included above, in the note you responded to. I’d appreciate your insight. Thanks. I always appreciate your iron sharpening iron.

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The same Christ who, “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”?

(Not to mention, in this passage, it sounds like the Son will be “subjected” to the Father at the end of this age and into the next… which i understand is supposed to last for a long time… perhaps eternally… now what does that remind me of… Eternal…? Subjection…? Son…?)

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It’s funny how submitting to God precludes loving him.

If i understand your question in relation to this passage, let me try to clarify…

The larger principle of obedience, wherever it is due, should be as wholehearted and glad as what we offer to Christ… insofar as it doesn’t violate the principle that “we must obey God rather than man.” absolutely. i do the same in the military, serving wholeheartedly, as if serving the Lord, not people.

the principle of obedience to authorities in Scripture is recognized as required for whatever for the normal power structures that existed at the time… not only as slaves/masters, as you quoted above… but also…

to “every human institution” (!), including emperors and governors…

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors …

to the “governing authorities”…

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

To “rulers and authorities”…

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,

to the IRS… (!!!)

For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

And it may be argued that Jesus gave at least a tacit endorsement to authority and submission in a military context…

But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

So i wholeheartedly endorse the idea that authority itself, and the idea that people should govern each other, some submitting to others, is indeed reflective of God’s creation order in general and inherently biblical when practiced properly.

However, none of these specific authority structures would have been present at God’s original creation, nor does the scripture anywhere link any of these particular authority structures (slaves, masters, kings, emperors, centurions, tax collectors, etc.) to some aspect of either being made in Reflection of the Trinity, or in the very nature of creation. they are by their very nature a temporary, culturally developed and influenced human institution.

in other words, however genesis 1-3 is interpreted, i think everyone can agree that there were no military officers, emperors, kings, or tax collectors in the garden of Eden.

Men and women, however…? In contrast to other hierarchical relationships noted in Scripture, the hierarchical relationship of men and women are linked both to the relationship between Christ and God (1Cor 11:3, “the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God”), and the specific manner and order of creation itself (1Tim2:12 - “For Adam was formed first, then Eve”)

Bottom line, different cultures across history may or may not have had masters and slaves, kings and subjects, military officers and subordinates, or tax collectors and, um, tax payers… while there will certainly be some authority structure in society, there is no specific one that is somehow tied to the way that God made us or how we were made in his image.

but every culture across the ages have had men and women… something about that being made in the image of God or how he inherently made us or something…? and this dynamic is in Scripture explicitly tied both to the relationship between God and Christ, and to the order of creation.

does this clarify?

Paul’s approach to slavery is equally remarkable. If he really wanted Philemon to set Onesimus free, why didn’t he come out and say so? Instead he underlines Onesimus’ status as slave through saying how he served Paul and joking how he was useful (which is what his name, common for slaves, meant). Paul recognizes Philemon’s ownership by seeking his consent before doing something on Onesimus’ behalf. And Paul’s request insinuates and indirectly suggests – that eternally Onesimus will no longer be a slave, that Philemon will have him back as more than a slave, that he should receive the same welcome as Paul, that Philemon owes his life to Paul, that he should do more than Paul asks, that Paul will be coming to check up on him. Why not just say “free him”?

Answer that, I think, and one also answers why husbands aren’t directly told to submit.

Peter, after discussing a wife’s submission and reverence to her husband as lord, says, “Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives,” honour them, recognize that they’re co-heirs (sons, in their culture!), and if you don’t do this you’ll know why God doesn’t listen to your prayers. Then he commands them all, “have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing” (1 Peter 3:7–9).

Peter nudges and winks towards mutual submission just as Paul nudges Philemon to see Onesimus as an equal brother. If Onesimus remained a slave by title even while Philemon treated him in all ways as a brother, Paul’s message would have succeeded. And if those husbands continued to see themselves as lords of their households even while they treated their wives in all ways as equal heirs in Christ, Peter’s message would have succeeded.

And when some later generations went even further because they saw within these texts a call to do even more than they say, I doubt that caught the Spirit by surprise.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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