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Introduction

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What are angels? Who are they and what can we learn from them? In Scripture, angels are mentioned over 250 times1 in thirty-four books of the Bible (seventeen in the Old Testament and seventeen in the New Testament).2 Angels were present, rejoicing at God’s forming of the earth (Job 38:4-7). They visited Abraham’s house and brought judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18, 19:13). They were involved with the transmission of the Ten Commandments to Moses (Gal 3:19). An angel gave prophecies to Daniel about Israel’s future (Dan 9, 10). Likewise, an angel prophesied the messiah’s birth to both Mary and Joseph (Matt 1, Lk 1). An angel strengthened Christ after he experienced temptation in the wilderness (Lk 22:43). An angel set Peter free from prison (Acts 12:7-10), and one comforted Paul before his shipwreck in the ocean (Acts 27:23-24). Angels will be involved with administering judgment throughout the Great Tribulation (Rev 8) and will come with Christ to judge the earth (Matt 16:27). Throughout Scripture, angels are everywhere.

The study of angels is not just speculative; we can learn a great deal from them, as they are fellow servants and worshipers of God (Rev 22:9). Here are several reasons to study angels.

1. The existence of angels and their ministry give us an example to follow.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Christ taught us to pray, “may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). In that sense, angels are an example to us. They are examples to follow in the way they worship and serve God in heaven. May their example be followed here on earth!

2. The existence of angels and their ministry should give great comfort to believers.

In 2 Kings 6:17, when Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a pagan army, God opened the eyes of the servant to see an army of angels protecting them. Likewise, angels protect us. In Psalm 91:10-12, the Psalmist said: “No harm will overtake you; no illness will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you in all you do. They will lift you up in their hands, so you will not slip and fall on a stone.” Likewise, in Matthew 18:10, Christ said, “See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” God is always protecting his saints through the agency of angels, which should give believers great comfort.

3. The existence of angels should sober us in our fight against sin.

The angels were made perfect and holy and were never tempted by an outside force as the first humans were, and yet some fell into sin. As we’ll see, one-third of the angels rebelled against God (Rev 12:4). If perfect angels can sin against God without a sin nature and outside forces tempting them, how much more vulnerable are we who have a sin nature, the world, and demons to tempt us (Jam 1:14, John 2:16, Eph 6:12-13)? First Corinthians 10:12 says, “So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall.” Angels encourage us to be sober in our fight against sin.

4. The existence of angels and their ministry should humble us and make us thankful that God chose to offer us salvation, even though he did not have to.

When one-third of the angels fell, forgiveness was never offered to them. In God’s fore-planning, he chose for Christ to die for humans, but not angels. This reality should humble us and make us grateful for the amazing grace God has shown to humans. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.”

5. The existence of angels and their ministry reminds us that there is a real unseen world that greatly affects the seen world.

There is an unseen battle happening in the heavenlies between angels and demons, which affects the world (Dan 10:12-13, 20-21). In fact, believers, as fellow servants of God, engage in this battle with Satan and demons. In Ephesians 6:12-13, Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”

In Angelology, we will consider many questions about angels, including who they are, their creation, types of angels, specific angels, their ministry, their future, and much more.

Reflection

  1. What stood out most in the reading and why?
  2. What are some examples of angels appearing in Scripture?
  3. What are some reasons to study angels?
  4. What other questions or applications did you take from the reading?

Copyright © 2020 Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the NET Bible ® copyright © 1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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1 Aaron, Daryl. Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day: How can I know God? Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

2 Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology (p. 301). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Related Topics: Angelology

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