Compare and Contrast Angels and Humans: Part 3 Conclusion

A brief wrap-up post today on what the past few posts have been on in our short series of the differences and similarities of humans and angels. It is amazing how God created it all to be. In His infinite wisdom, He has done an incredible work. He offers all believers an amazing hope and promise of the future.


Concluding Thoughts

Angels demonstrate their unquestionable love for God by doing exactly what they were created to do. Humans can learn from their example. Both angels and humans are “spiritual beings” made for a harmonious relationship with the Father who is “spirit.”[1] “The creature – whether angel or human – is created to be God-centered. To become self-centered is a contradiction of the basic law of creature existence.”[2] Angels and humans have some of the same tasks – to reveal, worship and serve. Though there are various commonalities between angels and humans, there are many things that separate them. Unlike angels, humans have been made in the image of God, able to procreate, and can have familial relationships. Both angels (the fallen angels) and humans have sinned, but only humans can be forgiven. Believers and angels will rule and serve together, but while humans are presently lower than the angels, believers will eventually judge the angels and have a superior position to them in the future.

[1] Sherlock, “The Doctrine of Humanity,” 35-38.

[2] Chafer, Systematic Theology,  31.

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Compare and Contrast Angels and Humans: Part 2

Continuing this brief series on the similarities and differences between angels and humans, this post will focus mainly on what makes up a human and how God created them. This section has a little bit of contrasting between angels and humans, please see the previous post on what makes up an angel. The next post will give a broader overview on the major differences between the two created beings.


 

Humans

Only humans were created in the “image of God” according to His purpose, plan, and good pleasure (Gen 1:26-27). With this privileged position, “humanity was the only part of creation addressed by God,” told to procreate and have dominion over it (Gen 1:28; Ps 8:4-8).[1] Genesis stresses that being made in the image of God is of fundamental importance to what it means to be human (Gen 1:26-28; 5:1-2; 9:6-7).[2] Mankind, created of both material and immaterial substances (Gen 2:7; Ezek 37:6, 8-10, 14), is so adapted to the purposes and functions of the immaterial man that he is not conscious of any separation between the body and the soul.[3]

Like the angels, mankind was also led into disobedience to God by Satan (Gen 3). As a consequence of sin, mankind became a “dying creature” and dead in sin (Eph 2:1)[4]; that spiritual death has been transmitted to all humanity (Rom 3:10-19, 23; 5:12), except Christ (1 John 3:8).[5] Whereas the angels who sinned are awaiting the judgment day (Matt 25:41), humanity is able to be forgiven (2 Cor 5:21). While man was made lower than the angels, the incarnated Christ took this lower place for a short time to conform the believer to His own image (Rom 8:29; Eph 1:3-4) and lift them up to His own sphere far above the angels (Heb 2:6-10).[6] Therefore, redeemed humans will eventually judge the angels (1 Cor 6:3).


 

[1] Charles Sherlock, “The Doctrine of Humanity,” (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 1996), 36.

[2] Ibid, 31.

[3] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993), 146.

[4] Ibid, 149. Also see Dallas Theological Seminary, “Full Doctrinal Statement, Article IV, Man, Created and Fallen,” internet, 2015, accessed February 21, 2015, http://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinalstatement.

[5] Dallas Theological Seminary, “Full Doctrinal Statement, Article IV, Man, Created and Fallen.”

[6] Dallas Theological Seminary, “Full Doctrinal Statement, Article III, Angels, Fallen and Unfallen.”

Compare and Contrast Angels and Humans Part 1

Since we have concluded the study of looking at the Gospels, we are going to take a brief break from the Biblical Exposition of that topic and move into the theology of angels, demons, humans and sin.

This post will provide a brief introductory section on what the next few post will look at, what to expect, my thesis in the paper, and finish by looking at a brief look at what makes up an angel, including demons. As the purpose of this is to provide a concise, high-level overview of the differences between angels and humans, there is no doubt that many more pages and books could be written on this topic. Hopefully, this will serve as a primer into a bigger discussion that could happen later.


Introduction

Angels and humans have many of the same qualities in common: both were created by God, both originally created holy, and both created to worship to name a few. However, there are many differences as well including future position, procreation and man’s unique image. The origin, nature and purpose of each will be examined as well as comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between angels and humans. God made both unique yet similar and with a common purpose: to love, serve and worship God.

Angels

God spoke and imparted life into an “innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels.”[1] A countless host (Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11) of angels were created (Neh 9:6; Col 1:16) simultaneously which proposes they are immortal (Luke 20:36) and do not procreate (Matt 22:30). All angels were originally created holy and without sin. One angel, Lucifer, sinned and a great company of angels followed his rebellion against God (Matt 25:41) becoming demons to be used by Satan for unholy purposes (Isa 14:12–17; Ezek 28:11–19; Jude 6).[2] There are many chosen angels (1 Tim 5:21) who remained obedient to God and remained holy (Mark 8:38). Scripture does not state the time of the angels creation but points to it being before the creation of the world (Col 1:16, Job 38:4-7).

The purpose of angels is threefold: to reveal, worship, and serve.[3] Angels reveal by bringing a message from God (Matt 1:20; Rev 14:6) or revealing God’s truth (Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2). The angels, who are before the throne worshipping God (Rev 4:8-11), are sent out as “ministering spirits” to serve those who will inherit salvation (Luke 15:10; Heb 1:14).[4]

Angels are personal beings displaying a consciousness (Rev 22:9), cognition (Matt 28:5; 1 Pet 1:12), affection (Job 38:7; Luke 15:10) and volition (Dan 10:21-22).[5] Unlike humans, angels are immaterial, non-sexual (Mark 12:25), immortal (Luke 20:36) and spiritual beings (Heb 1:13-14).[6] Angels reside in the Second Heaven, but appear to mankind in dreams (Gen 28:12), visions (Isa 6), and even human sight (Luke 2:9-14), taking the form of either men (Gen 19), man-like (Dan 10; Matt 28), living creatures (Rev 4), or as clothed and luminous (Rev 10).[7] Angels are great in power (Acts 5:19; 2 Pet 2:11) and wisdom (2 Sam 14:20), yet they are not divine, not to be worshipped (Rev 19:10; 22:9), and their power is restricted (Matt 24:36; 1 Pet 1:11-12) since they are subjected to God and His judgment (Matt 25:41; 1 Cor 6:3).


[1] Dallas Theological Seminary, “Full Doctrinal Statement, Article III, Angels, Fallen and Unfallen,” internet, 2015, accessed February 21, 2015, http://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinalstatement/.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Nathan Holsteen, “Session 2: The Nature and Classification of Angels,” unpublished class notes for ST 103 (Dallas Theological Seminary, Spring Semester, 2015), 3.

[4] Dallas Theological Seminary, “Full Doctrinal Statement, Article III , Angels, Fallen and Unfallen.”

[5] Holsteen, “Session 2: The Nature and Classification of Angels,” 5.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid, 5-6.