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God’s Word for You

1 Corinthians 6:3 We will judge angels

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, January 11, 2023

3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not matters of this life?

Paul continues his concern about judging ordinary, human cases or grievances by taking one more look at the final and ultimate court: Judgment Day. Not only will believers judge other human beings as witnesses and assistants to Christ (as we saw in the previous verses), but believing human beings will also judge the wicked angels.

But aren’t angels invisible? Aren’t their words, their actions, and therefore their obedience or disobedience to Christ hidden from our eyes for our whole lifetime? Why then would we be suitable or fit witnesses or judges?

First, Paul has already demonstrated that a judge does not need to be a witness in order to judge a case. In fact, a judge is seldom if ever a true witness of a case he decides. Paul showed that when he said, “Just as if I was present, I have already passed judgment on the one who did this” (1 Corinthians 5:3). Therefore we have nothing to concern ourselves with when it comes to being witnesses of the acts of the angels, or more properly, the fallen angels, the demons. The witnesses that will matter will be those who did in fact see or experience their sins and their wretched, wicked works. Those witnesses will be of four or even five kinds:

1, The good angels that were present when the devil and his wicked followers rebelled (Daniel 8:12), fought the war in heaven against Michael and the good angels (Revelation 12:7), and when the rebels were cast out and hurled down, “the dragon and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:9). The good angels have continued to fight against them in the unseen realms ever since (Daniel 10:13, 10:20).

2, Those men and women who were directly afflicted by the demons, especially in cases of demon possession or other terrors (Mark 1:23, 5:1, 7:25, 9:17, and others).

3, Those men, women, and little children who were personally, purposely, directly and wickedly murdered by the devil or his demons (Mark 9:22; Luke 22:3-4).

4, The creation itself, which has been groaning “from its bondage to decay… as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:20-23). Whether the hills, mountains, fish, animals and birds will themselves be witnesses or whether the ravages they were subjected to will be the witness, does not matter. The evidence of their ruin and deprivations will be witness enough, for even a stone can be a witness (Joshua 24:27; 1 Samuel 6:18), as are the sun and moon each “a faithful witness in the sky” (Psalm 89:37).

5, The triune God will bear witness, the Supreme “two or three witnesses” (Deuteronomy 17:6; 1 Timothy 5:19) whose word is always and eternally true (Psalm 119:160), and who is “the faithful and true witness” (Revelation 3:14).

In addition, God is also pleased to choose “the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27). When Satan fell into his temptation and first sins, we think it was pride that was his downfall (Proverbs 16:18). He defiantly sought ever since to ruin God’s creation, tempting Adam and Eve and many other wicked things. It will please God to permit forgiven sinners to judge him who cannot be forgiven, the weak shaming the one supposedly so strong; the human tongue saying: “Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent” (Psalm 52:5), he will send you “to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).

How often God uses us for service in his kingdom to accomplish things that seem so very far beyond us! How could a sinful man like me be of any benefit to the Kingdom of the almighty and eternal God? Only by the grace of God. So: We who will judge the angels will certainly stand up and do the Lord’s will when he asks. But for now, for today, we delight that he has planted faith in our hearts to bring us into his flock. How blessed we are to see God’s word at work in the world, in the hearts of our neighbors and our children! Guard the treasure of your faith in the strongbox of God’s eternal truth. This is a treasure you never need to hide! You can hold it out to everyone who passes by and offer them a full share of what you already possess, for the blessing of the gospel is that the more you share it, the more of it you truly have. So your faith becomes like the strange and wonderful headwaters of the Garden of Eden: a river that divides into all rivers, that flows and gets broader as it leaves rather than getting broader as other waters flow into it (Genesis 2:10). Bless the people in your life today with the word of Jesus, and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith
About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please visit the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church website.


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