Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 15:24

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

When he shall have delivered up the kingdom - The mediatorial kingdom, which comprehends all the displays of his grace in saving sinners, and all his spiritual influence in governing the Church.

All rule, and all authority and power - Αρχην - εξουσιαν - και δυναμιν . As the apostle is here speaking of the end of the present system of the world, the rule, authority, and power, may refer to all earthly governments, emperors, kings, princes, etc.; though angels, principalities, and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and all spiritual wickedness in high places, may be also intended. Our Lord Jesus is represented here as administering the concerns of the kingdom of grace in this lower world during the time that this Divine economy lasts; and when the end - the time determined by the wisdom of God, comes, then, as there is no longer any need of this administration, the kingdom is delivered up unto the Father: an allusion to the case of Roman viceroys or governors of provinces, who, when their administration was ended, delivered up their kingdom or government into the hands of the emperor.

The apostle may refer, also, to an opinion of the ancient Jews, that there should be ten kings who should have the supreme government of the whole world: the first and last of which should be God himself; but the ninth should be the Messiah; after whose empire the kingdom should be delivered up into the hands of God for ever. See the place in Schoettgen on this verse, and on Luke 1:33.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then cometh the end - Then is the end; or then “is” the consummation. It does not mean that the end, or consummation is to “follow” that event; but that this “will” be the ending, the winding up, the consummation of the affairs under the mediatorial reign of Christ. The word “end” ( τέλος telos) denotes properly a limit, termination, completion of anything. The proper and obvious meaning of the word here is, that then shall be the end or completion of the work of redemption. That shall have been done which was intended to be done by the incarnation and the work of the atonement; the race shall be redeemed; the friends of God shall be completely recovered; and the administration of the affairs of the universe shall be conducted as they were before the incarnation of the Redeemer. Some understand the word “end” here, however, as a metaphor, meaning “the “last,” or the rest of the dead;” but this is a forced and improbable interpretation. The word end here may refer to the end of human affairs, or the end of the kingdoms of this world, or it may refer to the ends of the mediatorial kingdom of the Redeemer; the consummation of his special reign and work resulting in the surrender of the kingdom to the Father. The connection demands the last interpretation, though this involves also the former.

When he shall have delivered up - ( παραδῷ

). This word means properly to give “near, with,” or “to” anyone; to give over, to deliver up - Robinson. It is applied to the act of delivering up “persons” to the power or authority of others, as e. g. to magistrates for trial, and condemnation, Matthew 5:25; Mark 15:1; Luke 20:20; to lictors, or soldiers, for punishment Matthew 18:24; or to one‘s enemies, Matthew 26:15. It is applied also to persons or things delivered over or surrendered to do or suffer anything, Acts 15:26; 1 Corinthians 13:3; Ephesians 4:19. It is also applied to persons or things delivered over to the care, charge, or supervision of anyone, in the sense of giving up, entrusting, committing, Matthew 11:27; Matthew 25:14; Luke 4:6, Luke 4:10, Luke 4:22. Here the obvious sense is that of surrendering, giving back, delivering up, rendering up that which had been received, implying that an important trust had been received, which was now to be rendered back. And according to this interpretation, it means:

(1)That the Lord Jesus had received or been entrusted with an important power or office as mediator; compare the note on Matthew 18:18.

(2)that he had executed the purpose implied in that trust or commission; and,

(3)That he was now rendering back to God that office or authority which he had received at his hands.

As the work had been accomplished which had been contemplated in his design; as there would be no further necessity for mediation when redemption should have been made, and his church recovered from sin and brought to glory; there would be no further need of that special arrangement which had been implied in the work of redemption, and, of course, all the entrustment of power involved in that would be again restored to the hands of God. The idea, says Grotius, is, that he would deliver up the kingdom as the governors of provinces render again or deliver up their commission and authority to the Caesars who appointed them. There is no absurdity in this view. For “if” the world was to be redeemed, it was necessary that the Redeemer should be entrusted with power sufficient for his work. When that work was done, and there was no further need of that special exercise of power, then it would be proper that it should be restored, or that the government of God should be administered as it was before the work of redemption was undertaken; that the Divinity, or the Godhead, as such, should preside over the destinies of the universe. Of course, it will not follow that the Second Person of the Trinity will surrender “all” power, or “cease” to exercise government. It will be that power only which he had as Mediator; and whatever part in the administration of the government of the universe he shared as divine before the incarnation, he will still share, with the additional “glory” and “honor” of having redeemed a world by his death.

The kingdom - This word means properly dominion, reign, the exercise of kingly power. In the New Testament it means commonly the reign of the Messiah, or the dominion which God would exercise through the Messiah; the reign of God over people by the laws and institutions of the Messiah; see the note on Matthew 3:2. Here it means, I think, evidently, dominion in general. It cannot denote the peculiar administration over the world involved in the work of mediation, for that will be ended; but it means that the empire, the sovereignty, shall have been delivered up to God. His enemies shall have been subdued. His power shall have been asserted. The authority of God shall have been established, and the kingdom, or the dominion, shall be in the hands of God himself; and he shall reign, not in the special form which existed in the work of mediation, but absolutely, and as he did over obedient minds before the incarnation.

To God - To God “as” God; to the Divinity. The Mediator shall have given up the special power and rule as Mediator, and it shall be exercised by God as God.

Even the Father - And ( καὶ kai) the Father. The word “Father,” as applied to God in the Scriptures, is used in two senses - to designate “the” Father, the first person of the Trinity as distinguished from the Son; and in a broader, wider sense, to denote God as sustaining the relation of a Father to his creatures; as the Father of all. Instances of this use are too numerous to be here particularly referred to. It is in this latter sense, perhaps, that the word is used here - not to denote that the second person of the Trinity is to surrender all power into the hands of the first, or that he is to cease to exercise dominion and control; but that the power is to be yielded into the hands of God as God, that is, as the universal Father, as the Divinity, without being exercised in any special and special manner by the different persons of the Godhead, as had been done in the work of redemption. At the close of the work of redemption this “peculiar” arrangement would cease; and God, as the universal Father and Ruler of all, would exercise the government of the world; see, however, see the note on 1 Corinthians 15:28.

When he shall have put down - When he shall have “abolished,” or brought to nothing, all that opposed the reign of God.

All rule … - All those mighty powers that opposed God and resisted his reign. The words used here do not seem intended to denote the several departments or forms of opposition, but to be general terms, meaning that whatever opposed God should be subdued. They include, of course, the kingdoms of this world; the sins, pride, and corruption of the human heart; the powers of darkness - the spiritual dominions that oppose God on earth, and in hell; and death and the grave. All shalt be completely subdued, and cease to interpose any obstacles to the advancement of his kingdom and to his universal reign. A monarch reigns when all his enemies are subdued or destroyed; or when they are prevented from opposing his will, even though all should not voluntarily submit to his will. The following remarks of Prof. Bush present a plausible and ingenious view of this difficult passage, and they are, therefore, subjoined here. “If the opinion of the eminent critic, Storr, may be admitted, that the kingdom here said to be delivered up to the Father is not the kingdom of Christ, but the rule and dominion of all adverse power - an opinion rendered very probable by the following words: “when he shall have “put down” (Greek: “done away, abolished”) all rule, and all authority and power,” and 1 Corinthians 15:25, “till he hath put all “enemies” under his feet” - then is the passage of identical import with Revelation 11:15, referring to precisely the same period: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. It is, therefore, we conceive, but a special mode of denoting the “transfer,” the “making over” of the kingdoms of this world from their former despotic and antichristian rulers to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, the appointed heir and head of all things, whose kingdom is to be everlasting.

If this interpretation be correct, we are prepared to advance a step further, and suggest that the phrase, “he shall have delivered up” (Greek, παραδῷ paradō), be understood as an instance of the idiom in which the verb is used without any personal nominative, but has reference to the “purpose of God as expressed in the Scriptures;” so that the passage may be read,” Then cometh the end (that is, not the close, the final winding up, but the perfect development, expansion, completion, consummation of the divine plans in regard to this world), when the prophetic announcements of the Scriptures require the delivering up (that is, the making over) of all adverse dominion into the hands of the Messiah, to whose supremacy we are taught to expect that everything will finally be made subject” - “Illustrations of Scripture.” A more extended examination of this difficult passage may be seen in Storr‘s Opuscula, vol. i. pp. 274-282. See also Biblical Repository, vol. 3:pp. 748-755.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
All that are by faith united to Christ, are by his resurrection assured of their own. As through the sin of the first Adam, all men became mortal, because all had from him the same sinful nature, so, through the resurrection of Christ, shall all who are made to partake of the Spirit, and the spiritual nature, revive, and live for ever. There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory. Then shall we rejoice in the completion of his undertaking, that God may receive the whole glory of our salvation, that we may for ever serve him, and enjoy his favour. What shall those do, who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Perhaps baptism is used here in a figure, for afflictions, sufferings, and martyrdom, as Mt 20:22,23. What is, or will become of those who have suffered many and great injuries, and have even lost their lives, for this doctrine of the resurrection, if the dead rise not at all? Whatever the meaning may be, doubtless the apostle's argument was understood by the Corinthians. And it is as plain to us that Christianity would be a foolish profession, if it proposed advantage to themselves by their faithfulness to God; and to have our fruit to holiness, that our end may be everlasting life. But we must not live like beasts, as we do not die like them. It must be ignorance of God that leads any to disbelieve the resurrection and future life. Those who own a God and a providence, and observe how unequal things are in the present life, how frequently the best men fare worst, cannot doubt as to an after-state, where every thing will be set to rights. Let us not be joined with ungodly men; but warn all around us, especially children and young persons, to shun them as a pestilence. Let us awake to righteousness, and not sin.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 360

“You have lost the sanctifying influence of the truth. You have lost your connection with the heavenly host. You have allied yourself with the first great rebel, and God's wrath is upon you; for His sacred cause is reproached, and the truth is made disgusting to unbelievers. You have grieved God's people, and despised the counsel of His ambassadors upon earth, who labor together with Him, and are in Christ's stead beseeching souls to be reconciled to God. 1T 360.1

“I was shown that as a people we cannot be too careful what influence we exert; we should watch every word. When we by word or act place ourselves upon the enemy's battle ground, we drive holy angels from us, and encourage and attract evil angels in crowds around us. This you have done, Brother A, and by your unguarded, willful course have caused unbelievers to look upon Sabbathkeepers all around you with suspicion. These words were presented before me as referring to the servants of God: ‘He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.’ May God help you, my deceived brother, to see yourself as you are, and to have your sympathies with the body.” 1T 360.2

Our kingdom is not of this world. We are waiting for our Lord from heaven to come to earth to put down all authority and power, and set up His everlasting kingdom. Earthly powers are shaken. We need not, and cannot, expect union among the nations of the earth. Our position in the image of Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the toes, in a divided state, and of a crumbling material, that will not hold together. Prophecy shows us that the great day of God is right upon us. It hasteth greatly. 1T 360.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 135

Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else than good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God regards more with how much love one worketh than the amount he doeth. Love is of God. The unconverted heart cannot originate nor produce this plant of heavenly growth, which lives and flourishes only where Christ reigns. 2T 135.1

Love cannot live without action, and every act increases, strengthens, and extends it. Love will gain the victory when argument and authority are powerless. Love works not for profit nor reward; yet God has ordained that great gain shall be the certain result of every labor of love. It is diffusive in its nature and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose to overcome great evils. It is melting and transforming in its influence, and will take hold of the lives of the sinful and affect their hearts when every other means has proved unsuccessful. Wherever the power of intellect, of authority, or of force is employed, and love is not manifestly present, the affections and will of those whom we seek to reach assume a defensive, repelling position, and their strength of resistance is increased. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He came into the world to bring resistance and authority into subjection to Himself. Wisdom and strength He could command, but the means He employed with which to overcome evil were the wisdom and strength of love. Suffer nothing to divide your interest from your present work until God shall see fit to give you another piece of work in the same field. Seek not for happiness, for it is never to be found by seeking for it. Go about your duty. Let faithfulness mark all your doings, and be clothed with humility. 2T 135.2

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Blessed results would appear as the fruit of such a course. “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Here are strong motives which should constrain us to love one another with a pure heart, fervently. Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions. We are not commanded to do to ourselves what we wish others to do unto us; we are to do unto others what we wish them to do to us under like circumstances. The measure we mete is always measured to us again. Pure love is simple in its operations, and is distinct from any other principle of action. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life and frequently a blameless conversation. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions, acknowledge the present truth, and express humility and affection in an outward manner, yet the motives may be deceptive and impure; the actions that flow from such a heart may be destitute of the savor of life and the fruits of true holiness, being destitute of the principles of pure love. Love should be cherished and cultivated, for its influence is divine. 2T 136.1

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