Do Members of the Trinity Submit to Each Other, or Is There an Authority Structure and Hierarchy Within the Trinity?

Some say there is no authority structure or hierarchy within the Trinity, even though there are numerous scriptures where Jesus submitted to His Father (see John 5:19, 13:16, 14:12, Hebrews 5:8) but not one single passage that depicts the Father in submission to the Son or the Spirit. The unique feature of Jesus’ submission to His Father is that there was no sinful flesh to corrupt that purest model of submission and authority. This submission in no way compromised the oneness between the Father and the Son. Nor did it make Jesus less God than his Father.

Interestingly, the same Bible that says women are to submit to their husbands also says that a husband and wife are one (Matthew 19:6 and others). Fascinating parallel isn’t it? Does the Bible teach that women are inferior to men? Absolutely not. God made mankind (male and female) in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). But God does have different functions for male and female. Even in the natural realm, women get pregnant and men don’t. Men have sperm and women don’t. Within the God-ordained authority structure, men and women have functional differences even though they are one.

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Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries