Hebrews 2 – Angels

Read Hebrews 2

The writer of Hebrews talks about angels more than any other book in the Bible except for the book of Revelation.  This is a topic that is highly interesting and often gripping to people, especially in Western Culture (North America and Europe) where the notion of a spiritual realm that impacts the physical has been highly dismissed by many.

However, the reality of a spiritual realm that both impacts and often times shapes the world around us is a reality that the Bible both addresses and assumes is true.  There are, according to Scripture, beings that we know as angels who are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation,” as the writer points out here.  What their exact work is, though, we may not be so clear on.

Scripture also addresses the other side of the Spiritual realm, that of Satan and his demons and the evil that he brings to this world.  We know that this is a reality that we come up against all the time as well.  The enemy is always working to thwart the plans of God and to deter, detract, discourage, and derail God and His work in the world through the Church.  Paul points this out in his letter to the church in Ephesus:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

There is a really important point that the writer of Hebrews is trying to make here, however, which is that, as real as angels are, they are not the ones that bring salvation, Jesus is.  Jesus Christ is infinitely more important than the angels, and all creatures in heaven and on earth are under his reign.  So as fun as angels can be to talk about, and we should talk about them, it is much more important to keep our eyes focused on the one who brings salvation to the whole world.



Ephesians 6 – God's Armor

Read Ephesians 6

God’s armor helps us defend against the constant attacks of the enemy.

Paul does two things here that are necessary for us as Christians to understand the reality of the battle that we are facing.  First, he helps us determine where the battle is being fought and second, helps us to understand the resources at our disposal for this battle.

One of the greatest struggles in any conflict is determining who the true enemy is.  Often it is easy to over-generalize the enemy, especially in war.  We go to war with a country, but the true enemy is a rogue government or evil dictator, not the citizens trapped therein.  In North America, the Church finds itself at odds with culture, often over-generalizing the enemy that is being fought as an ideology, supreme court decision, or political party.

While there may be some truth to these particular segments, they are gross over-generalizations that vilify things and people whilst distracting us from the true battle that is going on.  Paul cuts through this and points to the true culprit behind not just western culture’s moral decline, but every temptation, sin, and evil that has ever been: the great deceiver, Satan, and the plane that this war is taking place on is much greater than any one single issue or act.

As such, the armor and weapons that are needed for this battle are also greater than any human creation or action.  These are things that can only come from God.  Lately, it seems, and far too often, the Church has relied less and less on God’s armor and more on political structures and lobbying groups to confront the enemy and all his scheming… and to no avail either.

We need to understand the nature of the war that we are in.  It isn’t one that we are going to win on our own.  In fact, it isn’t going to be one until Jesus Christ comes again and wins it for us once and for all.  The image of the Church in the world will not be crafted by how we get our way in governmental structures, whether or not abortion is legal, or any other such thing.  Rather, as Scripture tells us,

Rather, as Scripture tells us, we will face troubles in the world and should expect that.  God has given us weapons to defend against these attacks.  He has also shown us how, exactly, the world will know our identity as Christ followers, and that is through the love that we show all those around us in spite of governmental decisions, moral cultural decline, and the like.