Friday, February 13, 2009

Higher than our eyes can reach

Calvin's Institutes
Book 1 - Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 14 - Even in Creation Scripture distinguishes the True God from false gods
Sections 3-12 - Creation and functions of angels
Section 3 - God is Lord over all!
God doesn't mention angels in Genesis 1-2, "accommodating Himself to the rudeness of the common folk."
Some attribute divinity to angels, being overwhelmed with their pre-eminent nature.
If there is an equally powerful devil opposed to the good God, God's glory and sovereignty and omnipotence would be destroyed.
Sin is the corruption of nature; there is no substance inherently evil in itself.
The Nicene Creed says God created all things visible and invisible, to lift our minds higher than our eyes can reach.
We aren't told a lot about angels, because it does little to edify us.

Section 4 - don't speculate about angels; look to Scripture
Angels are God's servants, ministers, thus created by Him (Ps 103:20-21).
Speculation about what day they were created is empty, useless talk.
Theologians must strengthen the conscience with profitable truth, not entertain with chatter.
Paul did not describe what he saw when caught up to the 3rd heaven (2 Cor 12:2, 4).

Section 5 - Designation of angels in Scripture
Ps 103:20 calls them God's servants. They are His messengers.
Luke 2:13 calls them hosts, "as bodyguards surround their prince."
Daniel 7:10 describes 10,000 times 10,000 angels around God's throne.
Eph 1:21 and Col 1:16 refers to them (principality, power, etc).
They administer God's authority in the earth.
Scripture also calls them gods (Ps 138:1; 82:1) 
for they "exhibit His divinity to us."
This isn't out of order, as it also calls noble men gods (Ps 82:6; John 10:34).
The "angel of God" often apears to be Christ (Gen 18:1; 32:2, 28; Josh 5:14; Judges 6:14; 13:10, 22).

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