I Believe in Angels
Dr. Stephen Johnson
Mark 1:13
December 08, 2019

Each year around Thanksgiving people all across the nation set aside time to decorate a Christmas tree.

Historically two objects have adorned the top of those trees - either a star or an angel.

The star of course reminding us of the star which lead the wise men to the baby Jesus and the angel reminding us of the prominent role angels play in the Christmas narrative.

Both are powerful symbols. But lets face it, you can see stars just about every night. You don’t see angels very often. And when you do, it is unlikely that they will resemble the cherub resting on your Christmas tree.

Many people love angels. And that is a problem.
Because many people are diverted from Jesus who can save them to angels who cannot!

It is fairly easy to place our faith in angels instead of in Christ.

And it kind of makes sense.
In contemporary culture angels make no demands.

In contemporary culture angels are like the airbag in your car; you hope you never need it but it’s there just in case.

Most people who greatly admire and who even place some faith in angels see them as a sort of benevolent spirit-friend.

The teddy bear of the spirit world.
Warm, cuddly and cute
Standing at the ready to take care of us while making no demands on us.

In a world which devalues the scriptures it is easy to embrace a plethora of wildly unbiblical ideas about angels.
Ideas which resonate with many today.

Angels offer a type of spirituality which does not involve a commitment on our part.

You don’t really have to believe in God to believe in angels. And that is nice because many people have a concept of God as punitive, jealous and judgmental.

But not angels. Angels are thought to be totally compassionate.

As one journalist (Nancy Gibbs) put it,

“For those who choke too easily on God and His rules ... angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind and nonjudgmental. And they are available to everyone, like aspirin.”

Over the next three weeks we are going to take a look at angels as they are shown in the Bible. This week we are going to seek a biblical understanding of the role of angels and then we will look at Michael and Gabriel in the next two weeks.

The first mention of angels in the New Testament is Mark 1:13

Angels are Ministers

• ministered to Jesus Mark 1:13
• ministered to Elijah I Kings 19
• ministers to us Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
• Shadrach et al - Daniel 3
• Breaking Peter out of jail 2x’s - Acts 5:19, 12:7

Angels are Messengers

• brought the message of Christmas
• to Joseph Matthew 1:20
• to Mary Luke 1:26ff
• to Zechariah Luke 1:13
• to the shepherds Luke 2:10-12

Not just messengers at Christmas

• Telling people what God wants them to do
• Philip and the Eunuch Acts 8:26
• Cornelius and Paul Acts 10:3

Angels are models
of humility - Rev 20:8-9
of obedience - Luke 2:14
of worship - Isaiah 6, Luke 2 Rev 7:11

Angels Make Things Right

There are about 280 references to angles in the Bible.

20 of those are in the book of Zechariah
• Zechariah speaks of the Messiah
•both the first and second coming of Christ
•when all things are made right
• Angels play a significant role in the end times
•Spoken of 75 times in Revelation
There they are seen:
• Watching over the churches - chapters 3-4
• holding our prayers before God - 8:3-4
• Opening seals
• Blowing trumpets - chapters 8&9
• They bring judgment upon mankind - 9:15
• Waging war against Satan - Chapter 12
• Pouring out the bowls of the wrath of God - Ch 16
• And they gather the saints for the marriage supper of the Lamb - chapter 19

When you look at the angel on the top of your Christmas tree, remember they are incredible beings.

Let those angels remind you of the incredible role angels play in our lives.
They minister, they bring messages, they model God honoring lives and they will make things right.

What they wont do is save. For our salvation comes not from the angels who announced the birth of Jesus, but from Jesus himself.


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