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Angels and sin nature

By Jim Barringer

Do angels have a sin nature?

When I say a sin nature, I mean what writers like the apostle Paul called “the flesh,” that bit of us that makes lost people sin all the time and that entices even Christians to do the things we claim to hate. We simply can’t stop sinning. Knowing the rules better only makes us more aware of how often we do things that God doesn’t want us to do and that we don’t even want to be doing, but for some reason keep on doing.

We seem to be, based on what the Bible says, born with this particular sin nature; it’s the thing that means you have to teach a three-year-old how to tell the truth and how to share, but not how to lie when he gets caught stealing from the cookie jar. Sins, born from selfishness, come naturally to us. It’s virtue and truth that have to be taught.

The reason I wonder about angels is that some of them have, in the past, sinned. Jesus says in Luke 10, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” He doesn’t say what for, but the church has traditionally held that the sin was pride – which explains why he tempts Adam and Eve with essentially the same sin, promising they can “be like God.” Satan, the angel, sinned, and when he did quite a few other angels sinned with him, because Revelation 12 says that “Satan…was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Based on what happened to Satan, we can see that God’s justice, his wrath against sin, is not limited to humans but extends to any creature that sins. 2 Peter 2 says that “God did not spare even angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,” and the book of Jude echoes this point.

What we see, then, is that the angels seem to be susceptible to sin in the same way we are, yet perhaps not to the same extent that we are. If angels sinned as often as we do, and got thrown out of heaven every time it happened, there’d be none of them left. All the evidence in the Bible suggests that this disobedience has only happened once. Peter and Jude speak of “when they sinned” as if it was a single past-tense event. We seem to be left with the conclusion that angels have the ability to sin, but as far as we can tell, this has been limited to a minority of angels at one time.

In other words, as regards angels, it would seem that they are not prisoners to sin nature in the way we are. Although they are able to sin, and have done so, they seem remarkably able not to sin as well, or else they’d do it a lot more frequently. They seem to be a fairly close parallel to the pre-fall Adam. Adam, lacking a sin nature, was not predisposed to sin, but he was quite able to choose it when the opportunity arose.

One other thing I find interesting about the angels is that it would appear they are eventually deep-sixed completely from God’s plan. When Revelation 21-22 talks about the destruction of the heavens and earth, and their subsequent re-creation in sinless perfection, there is no mention of the angels. Humans – resurrected humans with glorified bodies – seem to have elbowed them out of the way. Indeed, what need for them would there be in eternity? There’s no need to have them carry messages to humanity, nor to offer praises to God. Sinless humans can take over those duties. We’ll be eternally united with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. This means that we, indeed, will be ultimately deprived of our sin nature – and not just our sin nature, but our ability to sin as well, being so much one with God that the very idea of sin likely will not even occur to us.

This has been an utterly impractical but still, hopefully, amusing and thought-provoking look behind the heavenly veil. Angels are pretty mysterious, and I think if we were meant to know more about them, Scripture would tell us more about them. We, mired in our sin nature, can merely wait for the day when we will be delivered into our glorified bodies, to the praise of God, and pray that God rewards our curiosity about the things above.

Jim Barringer is a 27-year-old writer, musician, and teacher serving at The Church of Life (.com) in Orlando, FL.
More of his work can be found at facebook.com/jmbarringer and ExtantMagazine.com. This work may be reprinted for any purpose so long as this bio and statement of copyright is included.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

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