Jesus cannot be eternally subordinate to the Father and still be Lord – Ps Sam Powell
There is teaching that has taking the Reformed world by storm. It was first popularized by Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and then promoted by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, founded by Wayne Grudem, Bruce Ware, and John Piper. The doctrine being promoted has since taken off. It is called “The eternal subordination of the Son.”
Grudem writes (and The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is based on this principle)
The submission of the Son to the authority of the Father was not limited to the period of Jesus’ life on earth. From the eternal councils of the Trinity before the world began to the eternal state of the new heavens and new earth after the final judgment, Scripture shows a consistent pattern. The Son has always been subject to the authority of the Father. (Biblical Evidence for the Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father by Wayne Grudem)
So Grudem and those at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood teach that the Son according to his divine nature is eternally subordinate to the Father. If Grudem is correct the Son is not sovereign by definition. If this is the case, then it follows — the Son is not Jehovah of Isaiah 45, contrary to the declaration of Paul in Philippians 2.
But if the Son is not sovereign, then the Son is not God.
If He is not Jehovah then we have no hope of salvation. We need to call it what it is. The church has always called that heresy. It’s simply Arianism raising his head again, as it always does, for if Jesus is not sovereign over all things according to his divine nature we’re back with no assurance of salvation, and life becomes again simply a game of Survivor where we try to get everyone else voted off the island so that we can win — and plunder God’s kingdom.
Salvation becomes all about authority and submission, rather than resting in the completed and finished work of Christ. What hope is there in our darkness if the Son and the Father have different wills? What hope is there if our salvation is found in Jesus but not in Jehovah — if Jesus and Jehovah are not really identical?
This is an excerpt from Pastor Powell’s sermon, Jesus is Lord, which was delivered 8 October 2017 at First Reformed Church in Yuba City, California.