1 Corinthians 15:28
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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28) That God may be all in all.—In these words are expressed the complete redemption both of the race and of the individual. It is the great and sublime conclusion to which the moral enthusiasm and the earnest logic of the previous argument has necessarily brought us.

1 Corinthians 15:28. When all things shall be subdued — Or, rather, subjected, (as υποταγη properly signifies,) unto him, and there is no longer need of a prophet to teach, nor of a priest to make atonement and intercede, nor of a king to deliver, protect, and govern under God, the Father will resume the government; and then, even the Son himself shall be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God — Or the Godhead; may be all in all — May be over all beings, in all places, and the immediate object of their worship and service. Or rather, may be all things in and to his intelligent creatures, saints, and angels, by a full communication of himself to them, and an intimate union with them. “He saith not,” observes Dr. Whitby, “that the Father, mentioned 1 Corinthians 15:24, but that God may be all in all; and so he seems to lead us to that interpretation of the Godhead which comprehends Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and then the import of the phrase, that God may be all in all, will be this: That the Godhead may govern all things immediately by himself, without the intervention of a mediator between him and us, to exact our obedience in his name, and convey to us his favours and rewards, we being then to render all our duty immediately to him, and derive all our happiness immediately from him. So that, as now Christ, God-man, is all in all, Colossians 3:11, because the Father hath put all things into his hands; does all things and governs all things by him; when this economy ceases, the Godhead alone will be all in all, as governing and influencing all things by himself immediately.” “On supposition that this is a proper interpretation of the passage, and that the Son or Word, John 1:1, in conjunction with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is to govern, two questions will occur: 1st, How the apostle came to speak of the Son’s subjection to the Father, seeing he is to reign in conjunction with the Father. 2d, How the Son, under the government of the Godhead, can be subject to himself. To remove these difficulties, it is generally said that the Son is to be subject to the Father in his human nature only. In the present state of mankind, it is suitable to the majesty and purity of God, that all his intercourses with them, whether in the way of conferring blessings on them, or of receiving their worship, be carried on by the intervention of a mediator. But after sinners are completely reconciled to God, and made perfect in holiness, and are introduced into heaven, God will bestow his favours on them, and receive their worship, immediately, without the intervention of a mediator. And thus the offices of mediator and king, becoming unnecessary, shall cease. Yet even in this state, the Son in [or in union with] the human nature, though no longer king, [in the sense in which he was king before,] will still retain the glory of having created all things, described Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:2-3, and the glory of having saved mankind, and of having destroyed the kingdom of Satan, and Satan himself. So that, in respect of personal perfection, and of the veneration due to him for the great things he hath accomplished, he will continue superior to the highest angels, and be acknowledged by them as their superior through all eternity. Now this superiority being considered as a kind of reigning, it is perhaps what the apostle meant when, 2 Timothy 2:12, he said, If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. See also Revelation 3:21.” — Macknight. So also Doddridge: “The union of the divine and human natures in the person of the great Emmanuel, the incomparable virtues of his character, the glory of his actions, and the relation he bears to his people, with all the texts which assert the perpetuity of his government, prohibit our imagining that he shall ever cease to be illustriously distinguished from all others, whether men or angels, in the heavenly world, through eternal ages.”15:20-34 All that are by faith united to Christ, are by his resurrection assured of their own. As through the sin of the first Adam, all men became mortal, because all had from him the same sinful nature, so, through the resurrection of Christ, shall all who are made to partake of the Spirit, and the spiritual nature, revive, and live for ever. There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory. Then shall we rejoice in the completion of his undertaking, that God may receive the whole glory of our salvation, that we may for ever serve him, and enjoy his favour. What shall those do, who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Perhaps baptism is used here in a figure, for afflictions, sufferings, and martyrdom, as Mt 20:22,23. What is, or will become of those who have suffered many and great injuries, and have even lost their lives, for this doctrine of the resurrection, if the dead rise not at all? Whatever the meaning may be, doubtless the apostle's argument was understood by the Corinthians. And it is as plain to us that Christianity would be a foolish profession, if it proposed advantage to themselves by their faithfulness to God; and to have our fruit to holiness, that our end may be everlasting life. But we must not live like beasts, as we do not die like them. It must be ignorance of God that leads any to disbelieve the resurrection and future life. Those who own a God and a providence, and observe how unequal things are in the present life, how frequently the best men fare worst, cannot doubt as to an after-state, where every thing will be set to rights. Let us not be joined with ungodly men; but warn all around us, especially children and young persons, to shun them as a pestilence. Let us awake to righteousness, and not sin.And when ... - In this future time, when this shall be accomplished. This implies that the time has not yet arrived, and that his dominion is now exercised, and that he is carrying forward his plans for the subjugation of all things to God.

Shall be subdued unto him - Shall be brought under subjection. When all his enemies shall be overcome and destroyed; or when the hearts of the redeemed shall be entirely subject to God. When God's kingdom shall be fully established over the universe. It shall then be seen that he is Lord of all. In the previous verses he had spoken of the promise that all things should be subjected to God; in this, he speaks of its being actually done.

Then shall the Son also himself be subject ... - It has been proposed to render this, "even then shall the Son," etc.; implying that he had been all along subject to God; had acted under his authority; and that this subjection would continue even then in a sense similar to that in which it had existed; and that Christ would then continue to exercise a delegated authority over his people and kingdom. See an article "on the duration of Christ's kingdom," by Prof. Mills, in Bib. Rep. vol. iii. p. 748ff. But to this interpretation there are objections:

(1) It is not the obvious interpretation.

(2) it does not seem to comport with the design and scope of the passage, which most evidently refers to some change, or rendering back of the authority of the Messiah; or to some resumption of authority by the Divinity, or by God as God, in a different sense from what existed under the Messiah.

(3) such a statement would be unnecessary and vain. Who could reasonably doubt that the Son would be as much subject to God when all things had been subdued to him as he was before?

(4) it is not necessary to suppose this in order to reconcile the passage with what is said of the perpetuity of Christ's kingdom and his eternal reign. That he would reign; that his kingdom would be perpetual, and that it would be unending, was indeed clearly predicted; see 2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14; Luke 1:22-23; Hebrews 1:8. But these predictions may be all accomplished on the supposition that the special mediatorial kingdom of the Messiah shall be given up to God, and that he shall be subject to him. For:

(a) His kingdom will be perpetual, in contradistinction from the kingdoms of this world. They are fluctuating, changing, short in their duration. His shall not cease, and shall continue to the end of time.

(b) His kingdom shall be perpetual, because those who are brought under the laws of God by him shall remain subject to those laws forever. The sceptre never shall be broken, and the kingdom shall abide to all eternity.

(c) Christ, the Son of God, in his divine nature, as God, shall never cease to reign.

As Mediator, he may resign his commission and his special office, having made an atonement, having recovered his people, having protected and guided them to heaven. Yet as one with the Father; as the "Father of the everlasting age" Isaiah 9:6, he shall not cease to reign. The functions of a special office may have been discharged, and delegated power laid down, and that which appropriately belongs to him in virtue of his own nature and relations may be resumed and executed forever; and it shall still be true that the reign of the Son of God, in union, or in oneness with the Father, shall continue forever.

(5) the interpretation which affirms that the Son shall then be subject to the Father in the sense of laying down his delegated authority, and ceasing to exercise his mediatorial reign, has been the common interpretation of all times. This remark is of value only, because, in the interpretation of plum words, it is not probable that people of all classes and ranks in different ages would err.

The Son also himself - The term "Son of God" is applied to the Lord Jesus with reference to his human nature, his incarnation by the Holy Spirit, and his resurrection from the dead; see the note on Romans 1:4. (For the evidence of the eternal sonship, see the Supplementary Note on the same passage.) It refers, I apprehend, to that in this place. It does not mean that the second person in the Trinity, as such, should be subject to the first; but it means the Incarnate Son, the Mediator, the man that was born and that was raised from the dead, and to whom this wide dominion had been given, should resign that dominion, and that the government should be re-assumed by the Divinity as God. As man, he shall cease to exercise any distinct dominion. This does not mean, evidently, that the union of the divine and human nature will be dissolved; nor that important purposes may not be answered by that continued union forever; nor that the divine perfections may not shine forth in some glorious way through the man Christ Jesus; but that the purpose of government shall no longer be exercised in that way; the mediatorial kingdom, as such, shall no longer be continued, and power shall be exercised by God as God. The redeemed will still adore their Redeemer as their incarnate God, and dwell upon the remembrance of his work and upon his perfections Revelation 1:5-6; Revelation 5:12; Revelation 11:15; but not as exercising the special power which he now has, and which was needful to effect their redemption.

That God may be all in all - That God may be supreme; that the Divinity, the Godhead, may rule; and that it may be seen that he is the Sovereign over all the universe. By the word "God" (ὁ Θεὸς ho Theos), Whitby and Hammond, I think correctly, understand the Godhead, the Divine Nature, the Divinity, consisting of the three persons, without respect to any special office or kingdom.

28. Son … himself … subject—not as the creatures are, but as a Son voluntarily subordinate to, though co-equal with, the Father. In the mediatorial kingdom, the Son had been, in a manner, distinct from the Father. Now, His kingdom shall merge in the Father's, with whom He is one; not that there is thus any derogation from His honor; for the Father Himself wills "that all should honor the Son, as they honor the Father" (Joh 5:22, 23; Heb 1:6).

God … all in all—as Christ is all in all (Col 3:11; compare Zec 14:9). Then, and not till then, "all things," without the least infringement of the divine prerogative, shall be subject to the Son, and the Son subordinate to the Father, while co-equally sharing His glory. Contrast Ps 10:4; 14:1. Even the saints do not fully realize God as their "all" (Ps 73:25) now, through desiring it; then each shall feel, God is all to me.

The Son’s subjection to his Father, which is mentioned in this place, doth no where prove his inequality of essence or power with his Father; it only signifieth what was spoken before, that Christ should deliver up his mediatory kingdom to his Father; so manifesting, that whatsoever he had done in the office of Mediator, was done in the name of his Father, and by his power and authority; and that as he was man, he was subject to his Father. Suppose (saith Pareus) a king should have one only son, whom he should take into a partnership with him in his majesty and kingdom; but yet so, that the king should still have the pre-eminence of a father, the son only the dignity of a son in such power and authority: after which this king, having some subjects risen up in rebellion against him, should send his son with armies and his authority against them; he should despatch the work, and at his return yield up his commission to his father, yet still retaining the same nature he had, and authority with which his Father had before clothed him, was a partner in the kingdom and government with him.

That God (saith the apostle) may be all in all; instead of all things which the heart of man can wish; or that God may exercise a full and perfect empire and government over all things; that the incomprehensible glory of God may fill all the elect. But is not God in this world all in all?

Answer. He is; but he doth not so appear ruling in the midst of his enemies here.

2. The government will be altered; God here is sole King of the world, but he partly ruleth it by Christ, as Mediator, whose mediatory kingdom shall then cease, and nothing shall appear but the essential kingdom of God; the power by which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (three persons, though but one God) shall govern and rule all things, when all this sublunary world shall cease. And when all things shall be subdued unto him,.... For all things as yet are not put under him in fact; though in right God the Father has given to him an authoritative power over all things, and a right to dispose of them at his pleasure; but all things are not actually and in their full extent subject to him, yet they will be when the last enemy is destroyed: and

then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him; which must be interpreted and understood with great care and caution; not in the Sabellian sense, of refunding of the characters of the Son, and so of the Father unto God; when they suppose these characters, which they imagine to be merely nominal, bare names, will be no more, and God shall be all; but as the Father will always remain a father, so the Son will remain a son; for, as the Son of the Highest, he will reign over his people for ever, and he the Son, as a priest, is consecrated for ever, more: nor in the Eutychian sense, of the change of the human mature into the divine, in which they fancy it will be swallowed up, and God will be all; but Christ will always continue as a man; he went up to heaven as such, and he will return as a man, and be visible to all in the human nature, and in that be the object of the wonderful vision of the saints to all eternity: nor in the Arian sense, according to the divine nature, as if he was in that inferior to the Father, when he is equal with him, has all the perfections he has, and the whole fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him; it is much better and safer to understand it as it commonly is of him, as man; though in this sense, he was always subject to his Father, ever since he was incarnate, whereas this seems to respect something peculiar at this time. Others therefore think, that the church, the mystical body of Christ, is here meant, which in all its members, and these both in soul and body, will be presented and delivered up to God; but the words are spoken of him under whom all things are put, which is not true of the church; and though that is sometimes called Christ, yet never the Son; and besides, the church has been always subject to God, though indeed, it will not be in all its members, and in every respect subject until this time: it is best, therefore to understand it of the Son's giving up the account of his mediatorial kingdom and concerns to his Father; when it will appear that he has in the whole of his conduct and administration been subject to him; that he has in all things acted in his name, done all by his power, and to his honour and glory; and now having accomplished all he undertook and was intrusted with, gives in his account, delivers up his charge, and resigns his office; all which will be plain proofs of his subjection: when I say he will resign or lay aside his office as Mediator, my meaning is not that he will cease to be God-man and Mediator; but that he will cease to administer that office as under God, in the manner he now does: he will be the prophet of the church, but he will not teach by his Spirit, and word, and ordinances as now, but will himself be the immediate light of the saints, he will be a priest for ever, the virtue of his sacrifice and intercession will always remain, but he will not plead and intercede as he now does; he will also reign for ever over and among his saints, but his kingdom will not be a vicarious one, or administered as it now is; nor be only in his hands as Mediator, but with God, Father, Son, and Spirit:

that God may be all in all; for by God is not meant the Father personally, but God essentially considered, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are the one true and living God; to whom all the saints will have immediate access, in whose presence they will be, and with whom they shall have uninterrupted fellowship, without the use of such mediums as they now enjoy; all the three divine Persons will have equal power and government in and over all the saints; they will sit upon one and the same throne; there will be no more acting by a delegated power, or a derived authority: God will be all things to all his saints, immediately without the use of means; he will be that to their bodies as meat and clothes are, without the use of them; and all light, glory, and happiness to their souls, without the use of ordinances, or any means; he will then be all perfection and bliss, to all the elect, and in them all, which he now is not; some are dead in trespasses and sins, and under the power of Satan; the number of them in conversion is not yet completed; and, of those that are called many are in a state of imperfection, and have flesh as well as spirit in them; and of those who are fallen asleep in Christ, though their separate spirits are happy with him, yet their bodies lie in the grave, and under the power of corruption and death; but then all being called by grace, and all being raised, and glorified in soul and body, God will be all in all: this phrase expresses both the perfect government of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, over the saints to all eternity, and their perfect happiness in soul and body, the glory of all which will be ascribed to God; and it will be then seen that all that the Father has done in election, in the council and covenant of peace, were all to the glory of his grace; and that all that the Son has done in the salvation of his people, is all to the glory of the divine perfections: and that all that the Spirit of God has wrought in the saints, and all that they have done under his grace and influence, are all to the praise and glory of God, which will in the most perfect manner be given to the eternal Three in One. The Jews have some expressions somewhat like this, as when they say (i) of God,

"things future, and things that are past, are together with thee; what is from everlasting and to everlasting, or from the beginning of the world to the end of it, these are "all" of them in thee, and thou art "in" them "all".''

So "all", is with the Cabalistic doctors (k), the name of the Lord. And he is so called because all things are in him; "Jovis omnia plena".

(i) R. Judah in Shir Hajichud, fol. 341. 1. apud Seder Tephillot, Ed Basil. (k) Lex. Cabalist. p. 474, 475, 652. Shaare Orah, fol. 6. 1.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, {m} then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that {n} God may be all in all.

(m) Not because the Son was not subject to his Father before, but because his body, that is to say, the Church which is here in distress, and not yet wholly partaker of his glory, is not yet fully perfect: and also because the bodies of the saints which are in the graves, will not be glorified until the resurrection. But Christ as he is God, has us subject to him as his Father has, but as he is Priest, he is subject to his Father together with us. Augustine, book 1, chap. 8, of the trinity.

(n) By this high type of speech is set forth an incomprehensible glory which flows from God, and will fill all of us, as we are joined together with our head, but yet in such a way that our head will always preserve his preeminence.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 15:28. What Paul had just presented in the, as it were, poetically elevated form ὅταν δὲ εἴπῃ κ.τ.λ., he now sums up in the way of simple statement by ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ κ.τ.λ., in order to make the further element in his demonstration follow in accordance with the δῆλον ὅτι κ.τ.λ.

καὶ αὐτός] the Son Himself also shall be subjected,[56] not of course against His will, but as willingly yielding compliance to the expiry of His government. The Son wills what the Father wills; His undertaking is now completed—the becoming subject is His “last duty” (Ewald). Here, too, especially by the older interpreters, a great deal of dogmatic theology has been imported, in order to make the apostle not teach—what, in truth, he does teach with the greatest distinctness—that there is a cessation of the rule of Christ. The commonest expedient (so Augustine, de Trin. i. 8, and Jerome, adv. Pelag. i. 6, and the majority of the older expositors) is that Christ according to His human nature is meant, in connection with which Estius and Flatt take ὑποταγ. as: it will become right manifest that, etc. Ambrosiaster, Athanasius, and Theodoret even explained it, like Χριστός in 1 Corinthians 12:12, of the corpus Christi mysticum, the church. Chrysostom also imports the idea (comp. Theophylact and Photius in Oecumenius) that Paul is describing τὴν πολλὴν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ὁμόνοιαν.

ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν] aim not of ὑποτάξαντι αὐτ. τ. π. (Hofmann), but of αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσ. κ.τ.λ., which is indeed the main point in the progress of the argument, the addition of its final aim now placing the reader at the great copestone of the whole development of the history of salvation. The object aimed at in the Son’s becoming subject under God is the absolute sovereignty of God: “in order that God may be the all in them all,” i.e. in order that God may be the only and the immediate all-determining principle in the inner life of all the members of the kingdom hitherto reigned over by Christ.[57] Not as though the hitherto continued rule of Christ had hindered the attainment of this end (as Hofmann objects), but it has served this end as its final destination, the complete fulfilment of which is the complete “glory of God the Father” (Php 2:11) to eternity. “Significatur hic novum quiddam, sed idem summum ac perenne …; hic finis et apex; ultra ne apostolus quidem quo eat habet,” Bengel. According to Billroth, this expresses the realization of the identity of the finite and the infinite spirit, which, however, is unbiblical.[58] See in opposition to the pantheistic misunderstanding of the passage, J. Müller, v. d. Sünde, I. p. 158 f. Olshausen (following older interpreters in Wolf) and de Wette (comp. Weizel and Kern, also Scholten in the Tüb. Jahrb. 1840, 3, p. 24) find here the doctrine of restoration favoured also by Neander, so that ἐν πᾶσι would apply to all creatures, in whom God shall be the all-determining One. But that would involve the conversion even of the demons and of Satan, as well as the cessation of the pains of hell, which is quite contrary to the doctrine of the New Testament, and in particular to Paul’s doctrine of predestination. The fact was overlooked that ἐν πᾶσι refers to the members of the kingdom hitherto ruled over by Christ, to whom the condemned, who on the contrary are outside of this kingdom, do not belong, and that the continuance of the condemnation is not done away even with the subjugation of Satan, since, on the contrary, the latter himself by his subjugation falls under condemnation. See, moreover, against the interpretation of restoration, on 1 Corinthians 15:22, and Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 431; Georgii in the Tüb. Jahrb. 1845, 1, p. 24; van Hengel in loc.

ἐν πᾶσιν] is just as necessarily masculine as in Colossians 3:11. The context demands this by the correlation with αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς κ.τ.λ., for up to this last consummation the Son is the regulating governing principle in all, but now gives over His kingdom to the Father, and becomes Himself subject to the Father, so that then the latter is the all-ruling One in all, and no one apart from Him in any. This in opposition to Hofmann, who takes ἐν πᾶσιν as neuter, of the world, namely, with regard to which God will constitute the entire contents of its being in such a way as to make it wholly the created manifestation of His nature; the new heaven and the new earth, 2 Peter 3:13, is only another expression, he holds, for the same thing. This introduction of the palingenesis of the universe, which is quite remote from the point here, is a consequence of the incorrect reference of ἵνα (see above). Moreover, if the meaning was to be: “All in the all,” ΠᾶΣΙ would require the retrospective article, which ΠΆΝΤΑ has in 1 Corinthians 15:27 and 1 Corinthians 15:28 a. See a number of examples of πάντα and ΤᾺ ΠΆΝΤΑ ἜΣΤΙ in the specified sense in Wetstein, Locella, ad Xen. Eph. p. 209. Comp. on Colossians 3:11, and Hermann, ad Viger. p. 727.

[56] ὑποταγήσεται is to be left passive (in opposition to Hofmann). God is the ὑποτάσσων. Comp. Romans 8:20. But Christ is subject ἕκων. Comp. ver. 24.

[57] Melanchthon: “Deus … immediate se ostendens, vivificans et effundens in beatos suam mirandam lucem, sapientiam, justitiam et laetitiam.”

[58] Equally unbiblical are the similar interpretations of the perishing (ἀπώλεια) of the personal self-life and regeneration of the universe to form an immediate absolute theocracy (Beck, comp. Rothe).28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him] If everything is put under Christ, it is in order that there may be no divided empire. ‘I and my Father are One,’ He said (St John 10:30). Cf. St John 17:11; John 17:22, as well as ch. 1 Corinthians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3 of this Epistle.

then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him] This passage is one of great difficulty. Athanasius gives two explanations of it; (1) in his treatise De Incarnatione, that Christ is subject to God not in Himself, but in His members; (2) in his first dialogue against the Macedonians (so also Chrysostom), that Christ is subject not by the nature of His Divinity, but by the dispensation of His Humanity. “For this subjection,” he further remarks, “no more involves inferiority of essence, than His subjection (St Luke 2:51) to Joseph and Mary involved inferiority of essence to them.” Hooker remarks (3) of Christ’s mediatorial kingdom on earth, that “the exercise thereof shall cease, there being no longer on earth any militant Church to govern,” and regards the passage as referring to the surrender, on Christ’s part, of that mediatorial kingdom at the end of the world. Cyril of Jerusalem (4) regards the subjection as one of voluntary surrender, as opposed to necessity. But perhaps (5) the true explanation may be suggested by the passage in Philippians 2, as translated by some, ‘He snatched not greedily at His equality with God.’ Though He were God, yet He was always a Son. And the object of His mediatorial work was not, as that of the unregenerate man would have been, to obtain this kingdom for Himself, but for His Father. See St Matthew 26:39; St John 5:30; John 6:38; John 7:18; John 8:50; John 8:54; Ephesians 1:10. So that the disorder and confusion of the universe shall henceforth cease, and one vast system of order, peace and love shall reign from the Father and source of all things, down to the meanest creature to whom He has given to have eternal life. And this was the object of His Resurrection from the dead. See last note.

that God may be all in all] The restoration of God’s kingdom over the moral and spiritual part of man was the object of Christ’s Mission on earth, St Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 6:10; Matthew 6:33, and ch. 13.; St John 3:5; John 3:17; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:4. This was to be brought to pass by means of the revelation of the Divine perfections in the Man Christ Jesus, St John 1:14; John 14:8-10; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9. God was thus revealed to us, that we might obtain fellowship with Him. See St John 16:23-28; Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:20. “Therefore He is called the door, and the way, because by Him we are brought nigh to God.” Athanasius. And thus in the end each believer will have immediate and individual relations, not only with the Man Christ Jesus, but with the whole of the Blessed Trinity. See note on ch. 1 Corinthians 13:12. For all in all see ch. 1 Corinthians 12:6. Theodoret remarks that the same expression is used of Christ in Colossians 3:11. Cf. St John 17:22-23; John 14:23; John 16:7; John 16:13-14; 1 John 2:24; 1 John 4:13.1 Corinthians 15:28. Ὑποταγῇ, shall be subjected) so that they shall remain for ever in subjection.—τότε) then finally. Previously, it is always necessary to contend with enemies.—καὶ, also)—αὐτὸς, He himself) spontaneously, so that it denotes the infinite excellence of the Son; and besides, as we often find, it signifies something voluntary; for the Son subordinates Himself to the Father; the Father glorifies the Son. The name, “God even the Father,” and “the Son,” is more glorious than the title ‘King.’ This latter name will be absorbed by the former, as it had previously been derived from the former.—ὁ ὑιὸς, the Son) Christ, according to both natures, even including the divine; and this we may learn, not so much from the circumstance that He is here called the Son; comp. note on Mark 13:32, as that He is expressly considered in relation to the Father. Nor, however, is the Son here spoken of, in so far as the Father and the Son are one, which unity of essence is here presupposed; but in respect of the dispensation committed to Him, inasmuch as the Father has rendered all things subordinate to Him.—ὑποταγήσεται, shall be made subordinate) for this word is both more proper and more becoming than shall be subjected. The word is one very well adapted for denoting things most widely different. For the subordination of the Son to the Father is manifestly one thing, of the creatures to God is another. The Son shall be made subordinate to the Father in such a way as He had not formerly been; for in the mediatorial kingdom, the birghtness of the Son had been in a manner separated from the Father; but subsequently the Son shall be made quite subordinate to the Father; and that subordination of the Son will be entirely voluntary, an event desired by the Son Himself and glorious to Him; for He will not be subordinate as a servant, Hebrews 1:14; comp. the foregoing verses; but as a Son. [So also in human affairs there is not only the subordination of subjects, but also of sons, Luke 2:51; Hebrews 12:9.—V. g.]—ὑποταγήσεται is therefore in the middle, not in the passive voice. My goodness, says He, Psalm 16:2, is not independent of THEE, O Jehovah [Engl. Vers., extendeth not to Thee.] Hesshusius remarks, The subjection and obedience of the Son towards the Father, do not take away the equality of the power, nor produce diversity in the essence. The Son in all eternity, acknowledges with the deepest reverence that He was begotten from eternity by the Father; He also acknowledges that He has received the spiritual kingdom from the Father, and has been constituted Lord of the whole world by the same. He will show to the whole creation His most holy reverence, subjection, and filial love, so that all honour may be rendered to the eternal Father. But herein there is no derogation to the divine honour of the Son; since the Father Himself wills that all men should honour the Son, as they honour the Father. John 5, Exam. p. 10.—ἵνα ᾖ ὁ Θεὸς πάντα ἐν πᾶσι, that God may be all in all) Here something new is signified, but which is at the same time the consummation of all that has gone before, and everlasting. All things (and therefore all men) without any interruption, without any creature to invade His prerogative, or any enemy to disturb, will be made subordinate to the Son, and the Son to the Father. All things will say: God is all to me. This is τέλος, this is the end and consummation. Further than this, not even the apostle can go. As in Christ, there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all, Colossians 3:11. So then there will be neither Greek nor Jew, etc., nor principality [rule: 1 Corinthians 15:24], power, etc., but God will be all in all. God is esteemed as nothing in the world by ungodly men, Psalm 10:4; Psalm 14:1 : and with the saints many things prevent Him from being alone all to them; but then He will be all in all.Verse 28. - Then shall the Son also himself be subject, etc. The words can only be taken as they stand. The attempts to explain them have usually been nothing but ingenious methods of explaining them away. Of these the one usually adopted by the Fathers is the limitation of the statement to Christ's human nature (John 5:26, 27, 30) and mediatorial kingdom, just as we find in 1 Corinthians 11:3. The head of Christ is God." We can easily "darken counsel by words without knowledge" in dealing with this subject, and hide an absolute ignorance under a semblance of knowledge; but anything and everything which we can say in "explanation" of this self subjection of the Son to the Father is simply involved in the words which follow. That God may be all in all. "All things in all things" or "all things in all men." The words involve a complete and absolute supremacy. It is quite an easy matter for commentators to say that the scope of the words "must be confined to believers," if they chose to make "all" mean "some." Such methods often lead to an irreligious religionism and a heterodox orthodoxy. The reader will find the same phrase in Colossians 3:11. I confine myself to the comment of the profound and saintly Bengel: "There is implied something new, but also supreme and eternal. All things, and therefore all men, without any interruption, no created thing claiming a place, no enemy creating opposition, shall be subordinated to the Son, the Son to the Father. All things shall say, 'God is all things to me.' This is the consummation; this the end and summit. Further than this not even an apostle can go."
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