Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

A definition of hierarchy according to the Oxford Dictionary is: 

“a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.” Synonyms listed are: “Pecking order, ranking, grading, ladder, social order, social stratum, social scale, class system” * [*Source: Oxford Dictionary; web link: https://www.lexico.com/definition/hierarchy]

Hierarchy is the holy grail of how things are run on planet Earth; whether it’s a country or an organization – someone has to be the boss. It is our understanding that the absence of one constitutes anarchy.

What about the Trinity? Is the Trinity a hierarchy as we know it? Are two members of the Trinity submitted to a third member, the “ultimate Boss of Creation” or does Trinity stand for the rule of Three, and none of the Three would rule without one another’s input and consent? It seems to me that by asking such questions we could potentially learn from the Trinity how divine hierarchy operates.

In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul observes we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In other words, submission is something we learn from Christ Himself. Paul wrote in same letter [Ephesians 5:1-2]:

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

God Almighty submits to His own creation by respecting and working with the decisions His independent creatures make. His dealings with us are marked by sacrificial love. God’s Son Jesus gave His life for us. Following His example is walking in the way of sacrificial love, a love that serves and gives life. The Lord is not interested in dictatorship; He is not even interested in democracy where the majority rules. Submission to one another is His mantra. This is how He rules.

Following the example of Christ, we submit to one another regardless of gender, age group, race or position in society. God delights in our appreciation and respect for one another; this is how heaven operates, and ultimately this represents God’s kingdom coming to earth, a kingdom that never ends.

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