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“The Manifold Wisdom of God”

Redemption — The Study of Angels

Ephesians 3:10


The angels of God now behold more clearly than they ever before could the glory of God in the face of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, they rejoice before His throne day and night.


The Exalted Christ

Looking on Christ, the God-man, risen, ascended, exalted, and filled with all the fulness of God, the angels now see the grand purpose of God in all things. They now see manhood as God intends manhood to be. And now the angels see the manifold wisdom of God…

  • In the exercise of his absolute sovereignty (Hebrews 2:16).
  • In the rule of his providence (Romans 8:28), ordaining, permitting, and overruling sin for his greater glory (Romans 11:36).
  • In the way redemption was accomplished for sinners by the incarnation, life obedience, sin-atoning death, and glorious exaltation of Christ (Galatians 4:4-6).


God’s Method

The angels of God see the great wisdom of God in his marvelous method of grace: — Gospel Preaching (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). They understand far better than men the method of God’s operations of grace. They see the manifold wisdom of God in the biography of every saved sinner. Over the lives of God’s elect they read the word “Grace” written in capital, boldfaced letters: electing grace, prevenient grace, regenerating grace, immutable grace, preserving grace, eternal grace!


God’s Salvation

Yet, there is something the angels desire to know which only redeemed sinners can teach them. I do not doubt that the angels see the purpose of God far more clearly than we now do. And they see the glory of God more fully than earth bound men possibly can. But they look to us to learn the wonderful knowledge of redemption experienced and felt in the soul. They cannot know, but by us the joy of sin forgiven, the bliss of righteousness imputed, the deep peace and satisfaction of blood atonement, and the gratitude of love recovered.


Angel’s Benefit

Our redemption by Christ’s is inexpressibly beneficial to God’s elect angels. They are not redeemed; but that does not mean that redemption has nothing to do with the angels. They gain much by the redemption and salvation of the church. — Christ, as the God-Man Mediator, has become the Head of the angelic hosts (Colossians 2:10; Ephesians 1:20-22). This is a part of our Savior’s reward for his obedience to God as our Substitute. And having Christ to be their Head is a matter of great benefit to them. Now they see God better than they ever could before. Now they enjoy a nearer, freer, more intimate access to God than they could before (Ephesians 1:10).


And the angels of heaven are enriched by our redemption in that they are brought into union with man (Hebrews 12:22-24). By Christ’s mediatorial, redemptive work, the whole creation of God, disjointed by sin, is united in one blessed communion. The heavenly angels shall contribute to our eternal happiness; and we shall contribute to the everlasting happiness of the elect angels.

Moreover, our redemption by Christ will cause the angels of God to prize God’s goodness to them. It was God’s goodness that preserved them in holiness when many fell. It is God’s goodness that has kept them from knowing the bitterness and sorrow of sin. It is God’s goodness that allows them to serve the interests of his glory and grace in the salvation of sinners.


Lesson for Us

There is a lesson in all of this for us. — If the angels of God so highly honor the gospel that they constantly desire to look into it, how much more redeemed sinners ought to prize it!

Children of God, how we ought to prize and cherish the gospel of Christ. How we ought to admire, love, and worship our Redeemer, who took not on him the nature of angels, but took on him the seed of Abraham!

Let Christ crucified be the subject of our constant meditation and study (Philippians 3:9-14). Ever set these goals before your heart:

  • To be Found in Christ
  • To Know Christ
  • To Apprehend Christ
  • To Win Christ

How earnestly we ought to labor to make Christ known! The angels must sigh and the demons of hell laugh to see God’s church taken up with trivia and ignoring Christ. I think hell must roar with laughter when preachers stand in the pulpit and try to untie theological knots no one is aware of and argue points of debates no one cares about. Until I find a message more glorious than Christ crucified, more needful than free grace, more delightful than infinite mercy, more comforting than absolute forgiveness, more assuring than perfect righteousness, more compelling than redeeming blood, more hopeful than heavenly glory, and more joyful than the infinite, immutable love of God in Christ, I am determined to preach nothing else, but Jesus Christ and him crucified. — “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

How we ought to love Christ, who so loved us that he became one of us, lived for us, died for us, and saves us! Oh, may God be pleased to make you and me see what the angels have seen (Psalm 68:17-20). Oh, may he be pleased to give you his sweet, saving grace in Christ, that redemption and grace which “the angels desire to look into!


Angels adore with sweet surprise, the Friend who loved and died;

Justice beholds the sacrifice, — Christ Jesus crucified!

My soul survey that precious blood, which cleanses when applied:

And let your trust be in your God, — Christ Jesus crucified!




Don Fortner








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