The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Equality and Hierarchy In God"
The three Persons of the triune godhead exist in a perfect equality of substance and being. Scripture identifies all three as God, which by definition affirms the truth of their shared being, substance, and nature.
"Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father" (II John 1:3).
"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).
"But Peter said, Annanias, why hath Satn filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?... Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3).
Interestingly, however, a hierarchy of authority also exists in the triune God.
"My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (John 15:26).
Herein we see the subservience of the Son to the Father. We also see the Holy Spirit in subservience to the Father and the Son in the sense that He is said to be sent by both (by definition, one sent defers to the authority of the sender - John 14:26; 15:26). Thus, the godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit serves as the Source of equality as executed in hierarchy to which our Lord calls us in every venue of life. Be it in family, the church, the workplace, the government, and in all walks of life, human beings are equal with one another in substance, but give various ranks of authority and servanthood in function. As a race of beings originally created in the image of God, this is exactly what we would expect. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Of course, the entrance of sin into human experience gravely distorted and damaged our walk in equality and hierarchy. We are strongly tempted to view ourselves as either more or less than others regarding our substance. Our spiritual enemies also tempt us to disrespect authorities we are called to serve, or to misuse authority for our own benefit when called to offices of leadership. The sad trail of sorrow, discontent, strife and blood that characterizes human history confirms our blindness regarding the equality and hierarchy of God that should be reflected in our earthly callings to serve and to rule.
Only in our Lord Himself can we discover the glory and proper expression of equality as executed in hierarchy. As love, God exists in devotion to the blessedness of others, beginning in Himself. "God is love... Charity (love)... seeketh not her own" (I John 4:8; I Corinthians 13:4; 5). The Father seeks to bless the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son seeks to bless the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seeks to bless the Father and the Son. Herein we see the heart of equality in God, and of service to one another. However, the aforementioned authority structure in our Lord also means that the triune God functions in roles of both authority and servanthood. The better we know this wondrous reality in the Divine, the better we will know the same equality and hierarchy as revealed in us through the presence and working of the Divine. "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
Only God can lead and enable us to humbly serve. Only God can lead and enable us to humbly lead. This is who He is and how He functions, Through Christ, His presence within us will reveal this dual wonder of His nature, of the leader who serves, and the servant who rejoices in the humility of devotion to others.
"Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God, He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded… So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
(John 13:3-5; 13-15)
Weekly Memory Verse
He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.
(I Peter 2:6)