Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hebrews 1:14 --- What about Guardian Angels 

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
This verse above begs all kinds of questions. It is clear angels are on this earth and that they are specifically sent to minister to the saved. After that we know very little.
       Are angels assigned to specific people or churches, etc.? We don’t know. Traditions out of some churches describe “guardian angels” whom those churches believe are assigned to individuals. This thought does not contradict scripture, but it is extra-scriptural (not in the Bible). We do have some references of angels working with specific churches in the Bible. It seems logical that God probably does assign angels to individuals or groups because relationships are such a key part of the very nature of God, but we don’t know for sure.

       How do angels minister to us? Again, we are not sure and it probably varies on a case by case basis. We have instances in the Bible of angels appearing in human form to warn people of concerns (see Abraham). We even have a special promise in the Bible that those who serve the unfortunate. It states that as we give to people in need we have at times “served angels without knowing it”. Still, for the most part the Bible is pretty quiet about how these angels serve us. It just promises they do.

      So what do we do with this vague verse? Well, first let’s take it in context. The entire book of Hebrews is written to stop bad “theology.” People were worshiping angels and elevating them to great status. Essentially, by pointing out angels are sent to minister to mankind the author instantly places angels in a slightly different role—certainly not one of deity.  We don’t know a great deal about angels. We know they do exist to worship and serve God and we do know many have been assigned to minister to us. This implies that as Christians we have beings serving us that we don’t even know about. Do they keep us physically safe? Probably at times. Do they laugh and cry with us when good and bad things happen? Probably. Perhaps their greatest service is they know about spiritual battles going on around us that we are unaware of and fight for us.
      Though the most important “theological” point of Hebrews 1:14 is the clear attempt to make sure the reader would see angels as “ministering spirits” and not God,” for many of us today, the most exciting point, is simply knowing that we have someone God sent carrying for us today. Who know what arrows the evil one has already sent at us in the last moments that our angels have deflected. God loves us enough to send us a team of “ministering spirits.” He is good!

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