Angels are fascinating creatures. Pictures of angels have been plentiful in art throughout the ages. Stories and books of angels capture the interest of millions, even to the point of Hollywood catching on and making movies and TV shows about them (e.g., Angels in the Outfield, Touched by An Angel, Fallen, Supernatural, etc).
But as much as people are intrigued by these mysterious and mighty servants of God, they are even more intrigued by us. Or perhaps better said, they are more interested in and invested in God and what He is doing with us. And concerning our interest in angels, if it amounts to nothing more than the popular fascination with their supernatural powers disconnected from the gospel, then we are missing the mark.
Angels exist to serve God and His purposes for His glory (Colossians 1:16). This means that they are servants of His redemptive plan for sinful people like us. In general, angels were created by God to praise Him, proclaim His messages, and to serve Him in whatever ways He may desire. These angelic functions are primarily carried out, however, in the works of God in creation and salvation (that is, in creation and new creation).
Even more specifically, the angels of God serve the gospel. They love the salvation of sinners and they love the saved Church. They love the gospel that creates and works in and flows through the Church (I Peter 1:10-12). Want some proof of this? Just look at what the Bible says about the service of angels to Jesus and their involvement in His salvation ministry:
- The angels announced Jesus’ conception and birth, being present and praising God at His arrival (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 & 2:8-21).
- They protected Jesus as a young child (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23).
- They served Him in the wilderness at the start of His ministry (Matthew 4:11).
- They served Him again just before His crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46).
- They rolled away the stone from His grave and proclaimed His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-9; John 20:11-13).
- They were present to give understanding and direction upon His ascension back into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).
- They will proclaim and come with Him when He returns (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 16:27; II Thessalonians 1:7).
- And they will take part in the final judgment on the Last Day (Matthew 13:36-43; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14-16).
They are fully invested in this whole redemptive restoration plan! Now, beyond this, notice:
- The angels have helped in people proclaiming the gospel to the nations (Acts 8:26 & 10:3-7, 22).
- They rejoice in every sinner’s repentance unto God (Luke 15:10).
- They minister to the saints of God on earth (Hebrews 1:14; Acts 12:5-10).
- And it is said that they even care for saints at the time of their death (Luke 16:22).
There is no doubt that the angels care very much about God’s gracious plan of rescuing sinners like us and restoring all things under Christ. It leads them to rejoice in and praise Him! God’s gospel purposes are their purposes and they live for this unto His glory. This is why they were made, and this is how we should think of them.
If we think of angels, talk about angels, and thank God for angels, may it always be in connection with the saving work of Christ for His glory!