God’s Holy Angels: Part 1

Angels appear in the Bible when God visibly and powerfully interacts in human affairs to save humanity. They appear suddenly, convey a message, execute judgment when required, and leave. In the Christmas story, an angel startles the priest Zechariah as he serves in the Temple and foretells that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son called John. Christians understand that John the Baptist will ready the people for the Lord, but Zechariah does not believe the angel. The angel declares that he is Gabriel who stands in the presence of the Lord; he pronounces that Zechariah will be mute until John’s birth. (Luke 1:5–25)
Gabriel also appears to Mary and assures her that she is highly favored by the Lord. Though a virgin, she will conceive the baby Jesus when the power of the Holy Spirit overshadows her. Mary believes Gabriel and submits to the Lord. (vv. 26–38) On the night Jesus is born, an angel appears and terrifies shepherds tending their flock. The angel of the Lord brings good news that the Savior is born. Suddenly, a heavenly host fills the sky and sings “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (2:14). The shepherds believe and find the baby in Bethlehem that the “Lord had told them about” (v. 15). God’s heavenly messengers are magnificent messengers of God’s good news and inspire worship of the Savior. You can read this story in the first two chapters of Luke.
Gabriel had the likeness of a man, but he was not a man. He was a wondrous, powerful, spiritual being whose sole reason for existence was to serve God. Gabriel and other angels in the Bible tell people what God intends to do through them in the course of their daily lives. The stories are never about the angels per se, and the angels never draw attention to themselves. Thus, we don’t learn much about them.
Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of God and our sole authority on spiritual matters. Even though angels are clouded in mystery, we trust that God has told us all we need to know about his angels. Christians should resist filling in gaps of understanding from extra biblical sources.
Let’s begin: Who are the angels? Did God create his angels to be holy and the demons to be evil angels? Do spirits of the dead become angels? What questions would you like to discuss about angels?

Categories Angels & Demons, Theology | Posted on November 23, 2012 by

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