from the Angel’s standpoint
15 December 2019 PM – Luke 1:26-30 – Incarnation – Scott Childs
Introduction: What does the Bible tell us about angels? Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him, though created higher than man. Some, the good angels, have remained obedient to Him and carry out His will, while others, fallen angels, disobeyed, fell from their holy position, and now stand in active opposition to the work and plan of God. – J. Hampton Keathley III Described: The word “angel” means messenger. They are called “sons of the mighty”, (Psa 89:6). They make up God’s “host” or army, (Gen 32:2). They are the “sons of God”, (Job 1:6, Gen 6:2). Origin: Jesus created the angels, (Joh 1:1-3, Col 1:16). He created millions of angels, (Heb 12:22, 2Ki 6:17, Dan 7:10). He created them before He created the world, (Job 38:4-7, Psa 148:1-5). Character: Angels are personal beings. They are greater than humans, (Heb 2:7, 2Pe 2:11). Angels are mighty, (Psa 103:20, 2Th 1:7). Angels are wise, (2Sa 14:20). Angels are not to be worshipped, (Rev 22:9). Angels cannot die or marry, (Luk 20:34-36). Appearance: Angels are invisible spirit beings and have no bodies, (Heb 1:14). When angels appeared to people they always looked like men, (Jud 13:19-21, Mar 16:5, Heb 13:2). The seraphim are angels with six wings, (Isa 6:2). Cherubim are winged angels with hands and feet, (Eze 10:8).
Jesus was never an angel as some cults teach. He was always God the Son, the second Person of the trinity. How did the myriads of angels respond to the incarnation of Jesus Christ?
Transition: This evening, I want to show you three activities that the angels did relating to the incarnation of Christ. As I do, I will point out principles for our lives as well.
1. Angels Announced the Incarnate Christ
God chose to use His angels to bear the exciting news of the incarnation of Christ. Of all the messages announced by angels, never was one more significant than the announcement of Christ’s incarnation.
a. An angel announced the incarnation to Mary.
1) The angel Gabriel told Mary that she was favoured by God (Lu 1:26-30).
2) Gabriel proceeded to tell Mary the details of the incarnation that would take place in her body (Lu 1:31-35).
b. An angel announced the incarnation to Joseph
1) He calmed Joseph’s fears (Mt 1:20)
2) He explained the incarnation conceived in Mary’s body (Mt 1:21-24).
c. An angel announced the incarnation to shepherds
Picture with me the setting before us. The night hour was probably late. The sheep quietly sleeping in the fold. Like David of old, several God-fearing shepherds lay sleepily around the fading flames of their mountainside campfire. The air was cool and crisp. The stars above twinkled brightly in the cloudless sky. Perhaps, those on guard duty that night chatted quietly about spiritual matters. Suddenly, the sky about them shone brightly of the glory of God.
1) The angel of the Lord announced the miracle birth to the shepherds (Lu 2:8-12).
2) Myriads of angels joined him to praise God for the incarnation (Lu 2:13-14).
O In each of these situations, God gave limited information to His servants. However, He gave them sufficient information for them to fulfil the duty before them. God often does the same for us. As the hymn states, “He leads us just one step at a time.” We must learn to be patient and obedient. When the time is right and needed, God will give us more direction.
d. An angel announced Christ’s resurrection
Though this announcement was not introducing the incarnation of Christ, it was directly related to the incarnate Christ.
1) The angel of the Lord told the ladies that Jesus had risen again (Mt 28:1-7)
2) Mary Magdalene saw two angels in the cave where Jesus’ body had been (Jn 20:11-13).
2. Angels Worshipped the Incarnate Christ
a. God told the angels to worship Christ
1) By orders from God Almighty, all the angels bowed in worship to the incarnate Christ, (Heb 1:6).
2) I find it interesting that ALL of God’s myriad of angels worshipped Christ.
a) This assures us that Christ was not just an exalted angel.
b) The angels were simply ministering spirits (He 1:13-14).
O It is interesting to note that the word “worship” comes from a word that describes kneeling or prostration to do homage. We cannot truly worship God without kneeling or bowing before him, at least in our heart. Pride is one of our worst enemies. When we life up ourselves, we rob God of rightful worship. Pride and worship cannot coexist. Pride acts like a fire extinguisher on worship.
b. They praised God because of the incarnation
1) We saw in Luke 2:10-14 that the angels of heaven gave praise to God for the incarnation. While this was separate from worshipping Christ, it was still connected.
2) One day, yet future, all the angels and saints in heaven will loudly cry out that Jesus Christ is worthy of exaltation, (Rev 5:11-12).
O We do not praise the Lord as much as we should. As I prepared this message, God reminded me of Psalm 113:3, “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.” (Psalms 107:8) “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
3. Angels Saw and Served the Incarnate Christ
a. They saw the incarnate Christ
1) They saw Christ take on the form of humans a little lower than the angels, (Heb 2:9).
2) The saw Christ in action, (1Ti 3:16).
a) They saw His humble birth and servanthood.
b) They saw His submission during the silent years of his youth.
c) They saw Him minister to the sick and needy.
d) They saw His calm reaction to those who hated Him.
e) They saw His communion with the Father during His incarnation.
f) They saw Him willingly go to the cross to bear the sins of the wicked human race.
O Each of us would benefit from taking time to see Christ in action as the angels saw him. Realising that our Creator God humbled himself to such an extent is amazing. This too ought to stir us to greater humility.
b. They served the incarnate Christ
1) They ministered to Christ after His temptation in the wilderness, (Mt 4:11).
2) The angels stood ready to rescue Him from the cross if he should call, (Mt 26:53).
3) They strengthened Christ in the garden after His agonising prayer, (Lu 22:43)
Conclusion: This evening, we have looked at three activities that the angels did relating to the incarnation of Christ. They announced the incarnate Christ. They worshipped the incarnate Christ. They saw and served the incarnate Christ.
We also noted several principles that can help us in our daily lives. We must obey all that God has given us to do and follow him just one step at a time. We must seek to worship the Lord in true humility. I find this to be a constant challenge. Have you been praising the Lord all day long as He desires? I know that I often fail to praise Him as I should.
Song: Just One Step at a Time 305