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Superior To Angels (2)

Hebrews 1:5-7
For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all God's angels worship him.' In speaking of the angels he says, 'He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.' (NIVUK)

Angels really exist. They are God's servants and messengers: mentioned 103 times in the Old Testament and 39 times in the New Testament. However, some people think they should be adored like a god, but that is wrong. False teachers in the early church encouraged the worship of angels and Paul warned the church not to do it (Colossians 2:18). Even the apostle John, on two occasions, was so much in awe of angel messengers that he fell down to worship - but the angels rebuked him, commanding him to worship God only (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9).

It was a problem for Hebrew-background believers. They needed to be reminded that there was a massive difference between angels and Jesus. Angels were created as immortal beings but they are God's servants, not God's Son. They have a slave-Master relationship with God, they are not co-equal with God as is Jesus. When Jesus is called the 'firstborn' that does not mean He was created, but that He has the right to inherit and rule over all of God's kingdom. In that sense Jesus was the 'firstborn' before He was born as a human. He is the Lord of all creation (Colossians 1:15), first in rank of all the sons of God (Romans 8:29), the first to be raised from the dead with a resurrection body (Colossians 1:18), and the founder of His church (Hebrews 12:23).

Although Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the purpose of His incarnation and suffering, He is now crowned with glory and honour (Hebrews 2:7-9). By contrast, angels have no independent honour, authority, or intimate relationship with God. God instructed angels to worship the Lord Jesus (Psalm 97:7; Luke 2:12-14). Jesus never asked angels to help Him even when He was arrested in the Garden (Matthew 26:53). No angel could help with the salvation work of Jesus. They were only God's messengers, not the Living Word of God or Lamb of God. So, never worship angels. Only worship God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who also helps us to worship.

The world is full of idols, and religion is full of plausible worshipful-substitutes. Although some think that angels are powerful, friendly and accessible, we have no right to command them – they take their orders from the Lord alone. They have not created us, God the Son did that. They can never save anybody, only Jesus can do that. They can never be our heavenly Brother, only Jesus can be that. They can never forgive us, cleanse us, empower us or sanctify us; only the Lord can do that. They are not God, but Jesus is … so trust Him and love Him and obey Him and honour Him and glorify Him and tell others of His great sacrifice for them.

Prayer 
God of all heaven and Commander of Angels. Thank You for bringing me into Your family through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I praise You for Your angels but forgive me for ever worshipping them. Please help me to reject such religious fantasy and worship You alone. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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