“And when we come to die they will be there to receive our spirit and take us to Paradise…Never again, Christian people, imagine that when you come to die you will be going into some awful loneliness…the angels of God will be there to receive you.
(James Williams – Servants of Grace) We continue our study of Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) by examining chapter 10 entitled, “Good Angels.”
The term ‘angel’ means ‘messenger.’ There’s a mysterious element to angels that often leads to either overemphasizing or ignoring them altogether. Scripture often mentions angels, and while we can’t satisfy all our curiosity about them, there are certain truths we can know. MLJ begins with 10 general points:
- Angels are created beings- they are distinct from God (Hebrews 1), and while they are spiritual beings, they are part of God’s creation. They have not eternally existed like the Trinity (Col. 1:16).
- Angels have bodies- they have spiritual bodies that will be similar to our spiritual bodies in eternity, and are also able to take on the form of human beings (Gen. 18).
- Angels are (probably) sexless- MLJ says we shouldn’t be too dogmatic, but he leans toward them being neither male nor female. Angels are always referred to as ‘he’ and, in Matthew 22:29-30, we are told that in the resurrection we will not be given in marriage, but be like the angels.
- Angels never die- Luke 20:36 argues that in the resurrection we will not be able to die anymore because we will be equal to angels (we do not become angels after we die).
- Angels are inferior to the Son, but superior to men- Hebrews 1 argues that when Christ became man, he was made “a little lower than the angels.” The author of Hebrews is quoting from Psalm 8 which says, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the angels…” (vv. 4-5).