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 Christ is to be in some sense eternal, and the eternal joy of all believers, we cannot willingly doubt. What kind of personal relation to Christ we are to hope for and hold, as our authorised and fixed expectations for the future life? Among those who hold the Trinity more lightly, or in a more nearly Sabellian way, as a dramatising of God to serve the occasional uses of redemption, it is common to assume the discontinuance of it, when the uses of redemption no longer require it. But there is a fatal want of depth in this conception. If there was a necessity of the Three to carry on the redemption of the world, as this partly Sabellian view supposes, it was not a necessity of sin, but of mind — finite mind, all finite mind; existing therefore ab aeterno in aeternum. We have now a great first point established, viz., that when the Son is spoken of as finally to be made subject, or so far discontinued as to let God be all in all, it cannot be meant that the Son is to be taken away, or disappear, in any sense that modifies at all the fact of Trinity. If God is to be all in all, it must be as Trinity and not otherwise. How then shall we understand the apostle when he testifies that the "Son" shall be subject or retired from the view? He is speaking plainly of the Son as incarnate, or externalised in the flesh, visible outwardly in the man-form and known as the Son of Mary. He it is that, after having — as a king outwardly regnant — put all things under His feet, is in turn to become subject also Himself, that God may be all in all, and the machineries hitherto conspicuous be for ever taken back as before the advent. The only objection I perceive to this construction is, that the word Son here appears to be used in connection with the word Father — "delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father," — "then shall the Son also" — as if it were intended to say that the Son as in Trinity is to give place to the Father as in Trinity, and He to be henceforth sole Deity. But there is a two-fold relationship of Father and Son appearing and reappearing constantly; viz., that of the Father to the incarnate Son and that of the Father to the pre-incarnate Son; that which gives Him earthly Fatherhood and that which gives Him celestial, ante-mudane Fatherhood. The apostle was not careful here to put a guard for the saving of the eternal Sonship, because he did not imagine the need of saving that, any more than of saving Deity itself. He was only thinking of the mortal Sonship, and giving us to see the essentially temporal date of its continuance. Trinity then as He conceives will remain, but the mortal Sonship, the man, will disappear and be no more visible. And let us not too hastily recoil from this. It may be that we have been promising ourselves a felicity in the future world, made up almost wholly of the fact that we shall be with Christ in His humanly personal form, and have used this hope to feed our longings, quite apart from all higher relations to His Eternal Sonship. Their word is Jesus, always Jesus, never the Christ; and if they can see Jesus in the world to come, they do not specially look for anything more. Heaven is fully made up, to their low type of expectation, if they can but apprehend the Man and be with Him. Religion reaches after God, and God is Trinity, and all the gospel does, or can do, by the name and human person of Jesus, is to bring us in and up to a God who is eternally above that name. Our relations to Christ, then, in the future life, are to be relations to God in Christ, and never to the Jesus in Christ. There is, I know, a conception of our gospel which has its blessedness in Jesus, because it meets God in Him, and is specially drawn to His humanity, because it even finds the fulness of God bowed low in His person. This so far is genuine gospel. And it would not be strange if a disciple thus wonted in God should imagine that the joy of his faith is conditioned for ever by the human person at whose ministry or from whose love it began. What, then, is the future glory, he will ask, if he does not bring him in, where he can see the very Man of the Cross? And who is this but Him that you seek? Surely He is somehow here, and this is somehow He. You missed Him, perchance, because you were looking too low down, out of the range of Deity, to find Him; whereas now you find Him throned in God, hymned in God, as the everlasting Son of the Father — and yet He is somehow Son of Mary still, even as He is the Lamb that was slain.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.