How should we talk about the Father and the Son (concluding thoughts 2)

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In yesterday’s post I said that I believed that it is possible to make application from our Doctrine of the Trinity to life now.  We should do it cautiously and carefully. However, it is possible to do so all the same. If we see that the incarnation reveals the Son relating to his Father in a way that is at least analogous in some way to what we understand as willing, active submission then here are some things we can say.

First of all, the incarnate, eternally begotten son is seen and heard talking to his father to help us know how we should relate to the Father. If the uniquely begotten son is willing to submit to his father’s will, then how much more should we as adopted sons and daughters. Obedience is not in opposition to sonship or to love.  It is helpful as well to remember that Christ in his earthly ministry effectively recapitulates Israel’s history. The disobedient son that rebelled in the wilderness is however replaced by the obedient son who withstood temptation

Secondly, there is a lesson specifically for fathers and sons, indeed for parents and children.  When children are called to honour their parents and parents not to provoke their children then there is the example of a heavenly father’s relationship to his Son to follow.

Thirdly, we learn about relationships generally. I remember Mike Ovey commenting that our society struggles to appreciate that friendship is possible between bosses and workers.  There will be an application to marriage but perhaps not via a direct line. Rather, it arises out of a general application that it is possible to submit to one and other and to put the needs and honour of others before our own. It is possible to do this without diminishing our value and dignity in Christ.

So, the challenge is this. If Christ was willing to submit and to serve, then should I not also be willing to do so in whatever context I am called to?

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.[1]

[1] Philippians 2: 1-11