Thursday, 19 June 2014
Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:3
There is much debate and an almost perceived fear among commentators as to what Paul is referring to here. Some say that because there is no qualifier before “angels” it must be referring to the “good” angels. In other words, he doesn’t say the “fallen” angels or the “bad” angels. Others disagree and say he must be speaking about the leaders of churches – pastors, priests, etc. The term can be used this way, but it would make no sense at all because he is writing to a body with elders already in place and he himself is an apostle.
The plain sense of the verse demands that we look at it in no other way than that he is speaking of heavenly messengers, good or bad, that will be judged by the saints. If a sentence is to be pronounced on a fallen angel, believers will be the ones qualified to make that judgment. The good angels will be excluded from such judgments because there was no fault in them. Thus, in actuality, judgment is rendered on both. One judgment is “no” judgment necessary. The other judgment will be according to their fallen nature and evil deeds.
But for what could believers judge fallen angels? The answer is that they are the afflicters of believers now. They are the ones who wreak havoc among the weak, making miserable those believers who are susceptible. They are also those who completely possess non-believers and torment them as demons. Because of the angels’ interactions with man, redeemed man will be allowed judicial authority over them.
Likewise, the “good” angels have been “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews1:14). Because of this, their ministrations will be noted by those who finally see what good they wrought among men before their glorification.
Understanding this verse from this perspective then makes all the sense in the world. What we don’t even perceive now will become clear to our eyes in the future. God has given those who believe an opportunity to actively participate in a realm that we now only passively participate in. And if this is so, then “how much more, things that pertain to this life?”
In other words, if we will someday judge angels who are in a completely different order of being than we are, then shouldn’t we be able to handle the judgments of this life in the order we now perceive and understand! The answer begs for a positive response. Yes, we should be in control of our judgments now, not handing them over to non-believers when they fall entirely within the parameters of those who will inherit eternal life and the right to judge eternal beings.
Life application: Imagine the great honor of being one of the redeemed of the Lord. And likewise, imagine the great responsibility that accompanies that honor. Let us never take lightly our duty to govern our own affairs in the church and among believers.
Lord God, it’s not to angels that you have put in subjection the world to come, but to man, and more especially one Man. All of the authority of heaven and earth is granted to Your Son, my Lord Jesus. As this is so, then why should I worry about a single thing that happens in this life, from stubbing my toe to losing my most beloved, surely all things are within the control of Your capable hands. If the future is already granted to Jesus, then all of this life is being prepared for that day. Thank You for this sure hope. Amen.