“Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”—Hebrews 2:16.
But now we wish to draw your attention to two instances of God’s doing as he pleases in the fashioning of the works of his hands—the case of angels, and in the case of men. Angels were the elder born. God created them, and it pleased him to give unto them a free will to do as they pleased; to choose the good or to prefer the evil, even as he did to man: he gave them this stipulation—that if they should prefer the good, then their station in heaven should be for ever fixed and firm; but if they sinned, they should be punished for their guilt, and cast out from the presence of his glory into flames of fire. In an evil hour, Satan, one of the chiefs of the angels, rebelled; he tempted others, and he led astray a part of the stars of heaven. God, in his divine vengeance, smote those rebel angels, drove them from their heavenly seats, banished them from their abodes of happiness and glory, and sent them down to dwell for ever in the abyss of hell; the rest he confirmed, calling them the elect angels; he made their thrones eternally secure, and gave them an entail of those crowns which, sustained by his grace, they had preserved by the rectitude of their holy conduct. After that it pleased him to make another race of beings, called men. He did not make them all at once; he made but two of them, Adam and Eve, and he committed to their keeping the safety of their entire progeny throughout all generations; he said to Adam, as he had said to the angels, “I give unto thee free-will; thou mayest obey or disobey, as thou pleasest. There is my law; thou art not to touch yon tree. The command is by no means irksome. To keep that command will not be difficult to thee, for I have given thee free-will to choose the good.” However, so it happened, much to the misery of man, that Adam broke the covenant of works; he touched the accursed fruit, and in that day he fell. Ah! what a fall was there! Then you, and I, and all of us fell down, while cursed sin did triumph over us; there were no men that stood; there were some angels that stood, but no men, for the fall of Adam was the fall of our entire race. After one portion of the angels had fallen, it pleased God to stamp their doom, and make it fast and firm; but when man had fallen, it did not so please God; he had threatened to punish him, but in his infinite mercy he selected the major portion of the human race, whom he made the objects of his special affection, for whom he provided a precious remedy, to whom he covenanted salvation, and secured it by the blood of his everlasting Son. These are the persons whom we call the elect; and those whom he has left to perish, perish on account of their own sins, most justly, to the praise of his glorious justice. Now, here you notice divine sovereignty; sovereignty, that God chose to put both men and angels on the footing of their free-will; sovereignty, in that he chose to punish all the fallen angels with utter destruction; sovereignty, in that he chose to reprieve the whole human race, and to grant an eternal pardon to a number, whom no man can number, selected out of men, who shall infallibly be found before his right hand above. My text mentions this great fact, for when properly translated it reads thus:—“He took not up angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” As this text has two translations, I shall give you the two meanings as briefly as I can.
In the first place, if Christ had taken upon himself the nature of angels, he could never have made an atonement for man.
It behooved Christ that he should take upon himself the form of a man, that he might become obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
Had our Saviour become an angel, we must note, in the next place, that he would never have been a fitting example for us.
Sweetly, also, let us remember that if Christ had been an angel, he could not have sympathised with us.
Once more, Christ became a man, and not an angel, because he desired to be one with his dear church. Christ was betrothed to his church ere time began.
Thus I have tried to explain the first part of the subject; and now for the second. The literal translation, according to the marginal reading, is, ”He took not up angels, but he took up the seed of Abraham,” by which is meant, that Christ did not die to save angels, though many of them needed salvation, but he died to save fallen man.
I have often been told, that election is a most dreadful doctrine and to teach that God saves some, and lets other perish, is to make God unjust. Sometimes I have asked how that was; and the usual answer I have got is this: Suppose a father should have a certain number of children, and he were to put some of his children into a terrible dungeon, and make the rest of them happy, would you think that father was just? Well, I reply, you have supposed a case, and I will answer you. Of course I should not: the child has a claim upon his father, and the father is bound to give him his claim; but I want to know what you mean by asking that question. How does that apply to the case of God? I did not know that all men were God’s children; I knew that they were God’s rebellious subjects, but I did not know that they were his children. I thought they did not become his children till they were born again, and that when they were his children, he did treat them all alike, and did carry them all to heaven, and give them all a mansion; and I never did hear that he sent any of his children to hell; true, I have heard you say so; I have heard you say that some of his children fall from grace, and he therefore sends them to hell, and I leave you to solve the problem how that is just; but, sir, I do not allow that all God’s creatures are his children.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible