The Example of the Angels

Let us receive a warning, first, against the deceivableness of sin, for whoever we may be, we may never reckon that, on account of our position or condition, we shall be free from the assaults of sin, or even certain of not being overcome by it. Notice that these who sinned were angels in heaven, so that there is no necessary security in the most holy position. We know that they were in heavenly places, for it was from that high abode that they were cast down to hell, by the terrible right hand of the Eternal King. These angels, that kept not their first estate, but sinned against God, dwelt with their brethren in the courts of the Most High; they seemed to be, as it were, walled round with fire to keep out all evil from them. Their communications were only with perfect spirits like themselves; but yet, as they were undergoing a probation, they were made capable of choosing evil if they willed so to do, or of cleaving to good if their hearts were steadfast with their God. There were none about them to tempt them to evil; they were, on the contrary, surrounded with every good and holy influence: they saw God, and abode in his courts, they conversed with seraphim and cherubim. Their daily engagements were all of a holy order; worship and service were their duty and delight. Their company was select; there were no lapsed classes among them to render the moral atmosphere impure. They were not only in a paradise, but in the central abode of God himself. Yet evil entered into the breasts of angels—even envy, ambition, pride, rebellion; and they fell, fell never to rise again,

Beloved hearer, this should teach us not to presume upon anything connected with our position here below. You may be the child of godly parents who watch over you with sedulous care, and yet you may grow up to be a man of Belial. You may never enter a haunt of iniquity, your journeys may be only to and from the house of God, and yet you may be a bond-slave of iniquity. The house in which you live may be none other than the house of God and the very gate of heaven through your father’s prayers, and yet you may yourself live to blaspheme. Your reading may be bound up with the Bible; your companions may be of the choicest; your talk may concern holy things; you may be as if you were in the garden of the Lord, shut in to everything that is good, and every evil shut out from you; and yet you may have no part nor lot with the people of God. As there were a Ham and an ungodly Canaan even in Noah’s Ark, so may it turn out that you may be such in the very midst of all that should make you gracious and sanctified. It is unhappy indeed to read the annals of human life, and to meet with men that have gone from their mother’s side—have gone from where their father knelt in prayer—have gone out from brothers and sisters whose piety was not only unquestionable, but even remarkable,—and they have gone to be leaders in every form of wickedness. Many of the enemies of the cross of Christ have been so trained in godliness that we find it hard to believe that they can indeed be so vile; an apostle must declare it with tears ere he is believed. The sons of God they seemed to be, but they turned out to be sons of perdition after all. Let no man, therefore, arise and shake himself, as though no sins could ever bind him, because he feels himself to be a very Samson through his connections and surroundings. Yes, sir, it may be that you shall fall—fall foully, fall desperately, unless the grace of God be in you—fall so as never to come to God, and Christ, and find eternal life. It was so with these angels. The best natural thing that creation can work is not sufficient to preserve the fickle creature from sin: regeneration must come in—the work of the Holy Ghost, a yet higher work than the material creating power of God, or else you may put the creature where you please, and that creature may be perfect, and yet sin will reach and destroy him. You and I are far from perfect. We are not angels unfallen: we are not angels at all; but we have evil hearts within us; therefore let us not imagine for a moment that the most select position can screen us from the worst of sin.

Charles H. Spurgeon on II Peter 2:4
Quoted @ Fallen Angels a Lesson to Fallen Men

This sermon transcript does a thorough job painting a picture of divine justice and undeserving grace. If I was an angel, I’d be seriously confused as to why He sent humanity a savior – it really puts 1 Peter 1:12 into perspective.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. JKP says:

    Well said.

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