Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Bible's Overall Teaching on Angelic Assistance

Hebrews 1:14 "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" 

Introduction: Angels as God's settings for His precious jewels
Years ago my wife had to get her ring repaired at the Jeweler. Without those settings, the gemstone would have no means of remaining central to the piece of jewelry. Angels in the Bible function as settings for the gemstones and precious metal of truth revealed by God's character through His words to His people. As you and I as Christians walk out the Christian walk, we require God's grace to endure and even obey the commands he gives us. To one degree we may wonder about the purpose and place of angelic assistance, yet God is so pleased to use these fellow-servants (Revelation 19:10) to demonstrate to us the value of His salvation and of us to Himself. After-all, the church and its individual members are God's chosen bride being prepared for the day when her bridegroom comes to take her out of the earth to be with Him. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16; Revelation 19).

What does the Bible teach about angelic assistance in the believer's life

Angelic Assistance in the Old Testament 
Is it scriptural to say that angels are used and deployed by God to aid Christians in grasping and striving in the precious areas of the faith walk? Indeed so. Consider Psalm 91:11 "For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways." Abraham's life is an extended illustration of this truth, with later scripture providing the explanation. Other Old Testament saints exhibited the aid of angels in their faith walks. David for example speaks of this as a general principle in Psalm 37:4 "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them." Daniel for instance was praying, and in Daniel 10:11 we read: "He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling."

Angelic Assistance in the New Testament
Jesus certainly illustrated the point of angelic assistant in the believer's life by how angels aided Him in His humanity.  Matthew 4:11 "Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him." Or how about Matthew 26:53 "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" As Jesus was praying in Gethsemane we read in Luke 22:43 "Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him."

In the life of the Apostles we see evidence of intersections between the angelic realm and their own. The Apostle Peter, when incarcerated, was set free by an angel as the early church prayed for his release in Acts 12:6-8. Or how about in the life of the Apostle Paul as he was on a ship in the middle of a two-week long storm?
 Acts 27:23-24 "For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you."

Angelic Assistance for Christians today
Perhaps upon reading such verses you may be tempted to think: "Abraham was the father of faith and was special. David, Daniel, Paul and Peter were Prophets and Apostles. Furthermore, Jesus was God in human flesh so it would only make sense that He have His own angelic secret service." However we must remember these words from Hebrews 1:14 
"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" 

Theologians of past and present day aid us greatly in seeing the importance of angelic assistance in the lives of Christians. Many able minds could be cited, but for our purposes two will suffice.
First John Wesley notes: "They may assist us in our search after truth, remove many doubts and difficulties, throw light on what was before dark and obscure, and confirm us in the truth that is after godliness. They may warn us of evil in disguise; and place what is good, in a clear, strong light. They may gently move our will to embrace what is good, and fly from that which is evil. They may, many times, quicken our dull affections, increase our holy hope or filial fear, and assist us more ardently to love Him who has first loved us."1

More recently Michael Horton notes about the angels, that they are: "ministers of God's saving purposes for the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14)"...."(t)hey watch over believers (Pss 34:7; 91:11), learn the truths of God's unfolding mystery in Christ (Eph. 3:10; 1 Pet 1:12), and are said to bring believer's to Abraham's side (Lk 16:22)."2

In today's post we have noted what the Bible has to teach about angelic assistance in the life of the believer. We have surveyed the Old and New Testaments and some observations from a couple of keen theological minds. My prayer is that this post has helped you in your Christian walk. May the Lord richly bless you.
 1. See more at:

2. Michael Horton. The Christian Faith - A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Zondervan. 2011. Page 406

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