My Sunday School class is working through a book by Wayne Grudem entitled, “Christian Beliefs.” (do we know how to party or what?) Essentially this book is a condensed version of Wayne Grudem’s exhaustive “Systematic Theology.”
This week we discussed the chapter, “What are Angels, Satan and Demons?” There is a great deal of confusion regarding angels (just google image “angels” for a sampling) – therefore, I decided to post in two parts the notes from Grudem’s book to help alleviate some confusion and bad teaching on angels.
“Angels are created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence but without physical bodies” (53).
What does Grudem mean by angels as spirits without physical bodies?
- Ministering spirits – “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
- God must open our eyes for angels to be seen (53). – Numbers 22:31 Or angels must assume bodily form to be seen (53). – Matthew 28:5
What does he mean by angels possessing moral judgment?:
- Angels reveal their moral judgment by their capacity to sin against God – 2 Peter 2:4
Where does the Bible speak to angels’ intelligence?
- Ability to speak – Matthew 28:5
- Ability to sing praise to God – Revelation 4:11
Can Angels be redeemed from their sin?
- God cast sinning angels immediately from Heaven to Hell – 2 Peter 2:4 – which he did not do to Adam and Eve.
- No plan of redemption for fallen angels (demons) – in other words, God has not provided an atoning sacrifice for angels as he did for humans.
What do angels do all day?
- “Guarding us in all our ways” (53). – “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11
- What about guardian angels? Scripture does not speak to an individually assigned guardian angel, therefore we must conclude that we don’t have a guardian angel.
- “Joining us in our worship of God” (53). – Hebrews 12:22
- “Obediently carry out God’s plans” (54). – Psalm 103:20
Not objects of worship or prayer:
- Example of John the Apostle and an angel in Revelation 19:10 in which the angel commands John to stop worshiping him.
Do angels appear to people?
- In Acts 8:26, an angel appears to Philip
- An angel tells Peter to leave the prison in Acts 12:6-11
- For me (Mark) there is no biblical reason to believe angels do not continue to appear to people – but 2 Corinthians 11:14 is a warning, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” – we must test the spirits (1 John 4:1) to ensure that the angel is from the Lord by using God’s word as the litmus test – if the angel asks us to do something contrary to the Bible then the appearance must be disregarded.
Grudem’s exhortation, “We should, therefore, be aware of the unseen presence of angels as we go about our daily lives. They may be joining us in worship, protecting and guarding us, or even visiting us as strangers seeking hospitality (Heb. 13:2)” (54).