Full Text for Dogmatics 1- Volume 47 - The story of creation in Genesis doesn't say anything about the creation of angels. Where do they fit into creation? (Video)

Dogmatics 47 Captioning provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 ******** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ******** >> The story of creation in Genesis doesn't say anything about the creation of angels. Where do they fit into creation? >> Good question! You're right, the story of Genesis doesn't talk about the creation of angels. Neither does Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and so on and so forth, right on through to Revelation. The Bible doesn't speak about the creation of angels. And it says actually quite little about angels, so little that Christian thinkers don't really know where it fits into the dogmatic scheme. But here is a good place to speak about angels. We do know that angels are creatures. They are not also themselves divine beings, but they are creatures of God. You can see this, for instance, in a couple of the passages that we looked at already when talking about creation. For instance, in Colossians 1, which speaks about Jesus Christ as the image of the indivisible God, and that when Paul teaches through Christ, all things were created, the visible things and the invisible things. The same point comes through in the first chapter of Hebrews, where the author there shows that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he does so by comparing Jesus Christ as the Son of God to angels. He is no mere angel, He is as much superior to them as the name that He has received is greater than theirs. He is the very image of God and clearly angels do not and cannot compare with Him, indicating their status as creatures. And in the Nicene Creed we pick up on these things when we confess that God is the creator of all things, the maker of all things visible and invisible. But we don't know when they were created or how they were created. Job 38, verse 7, suggests that angels, if really this is a reference to angels, rejoiced during the process of creation, although whether this means that their creation preceded the creation of everything else or just some of creation is not clear. We can't discern that unambiguously. Of course, the Bible's silence about the creation of angels has been a perennial fascination with the question, with the creation of angels, as Mark Cabinet *** said: Because there is no description of the creation of the angels in Moses, there is a great deal of curiosity and discussion as to when, indeed, they were created. Nonetheless, they are creatures, and there are some things that we can say about them. First, angels are spirits. That is, immaterial beings. God, of course, is spirit and they are not spirit as God is. They are, however, without bodies, without flesh as we do. They are not constrained, then, in some of the same ways that we are. But as creatures, although they are spirits, they are finite. They are limited. They are contingent. They depend on God just like any other and every other creature does. They are not confined by physical circumstances, like you and I are, but they are constrained. They are not omnipresent. They are not omnipotent. They are not omniscient. Nonetheless, they do have great power. A single angel can kill tens of thousands of people, as the scripture tells us. They are capable of wonderful and they are capable of terrible things. The angels, God's angels, are His servants. Some attend Him. In Isaiah 6, in the first chapter of Ezekiel, in the fourth chapter of Revelation, we have a picture of heaven. We have a picture of God and in attendance are angels. They are the four living creatures, great terrible creatures who go everywhere that God goes. There are angels to minister, to wait on, to be in attendance with God. Angels also serve as God's messengers. The word "angel" from the Greek means "messenger." And some of the most well-known instances of angels is to bring a message. Gabriel, for instance, coming to Mary is an example of angels serving as messengers. And we know also that angels serve God to protect and defend His people. Michael is one such angel. And to conduct a warfare to defend against and to take the attack of God against the evil angels. And again Michael is in charge of that, according to Revelation. And so this aspect of angels is reflected in Luther's prayers, the morning and evening prayers, where we ask God that His Holy angel would have charge of us. And then finally mention, of course, of the battle between angels and devils, we are always asked about good and evil angels. There are angels that are good and confirmed in their goodness and there are angels who are evil. Why some fell, we don't know. That they fell, that they were not created evil, is easy enough to understand. But when, what circumstances, that's impossible to know. But that they did and that they opposed God and that they caused considerable terrible evil and damage, that's truly a Christian teaching and concern. So about angels, while we can say very little about them, while we can say nothing about their creation --