At the mercy conference in Minot I met Rev. Jonathan Naumann whom we have called to be an educator in South America through the Office of International Missions. He is still working on support so if you would like a speaker or want to help we can make that happen. I thought I had remembered the name in connection with an article I read in one of our journals about angels. I came home and found an interesting question concerning one of my blogs about, wait for it, angels. The person that wrote me did not leave and address for me to respond so here it is and I hope you, dear reader will see this
Naumann writes an article called, “What Angels Witness Through the Church” in Concordia Theological Quarterly January/April 2016 and he is talking specifically about Ephesians and Paul’s statement that the church is the place where the angels would see a demonstration of God’s love in
action “that they could see in no other way.” So for my friend out there who is questioning about angels , here is a quick primer. Angels are not human beings that have died, they are a special creations of God. They seem to have some special tasks. One is to worship and praise and serve God. The other is to serve humans and yes I believe in guardian angels because Jesus says there are such beings. Matthew 18;10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Here is Naumann –
“Scripture gives us plenty of glimpses of angels worshipping God in heaven. But how often do we note that the worship that angels render to God is related to, among other things, their knowledge of the history of human salvation? It is ultimately the only salvation they have ever seen, for no salvation was offered to any angel who sinned. Yet, although it is about the rescue from eternal damnation of another specie (humanity), human salvation is a tremendous source of delight to the angels. Even the founding of the material universe itself made the angels shout for joy (Job 38:7). Following this reasoning, it is easy to understand why “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). How the angels regard human salvation may be deduced from various narratives and visions in
the New Testament: 1. Angels rejoice as witnesses to the creation of the material universe (Job 38:4–70).
2. Angels announce the birth in Bethlehem of the incarnate Savior, as a multitude of the heavenly host dazzle a group of shepherds. (Luke 2:13).
3. Angels minister to Jesus at crucial points in his suffering for human redemption (Matt 4:11; Luke 22:43).
4. Angels announce the resurrection, after Christ’s work of atonement is finished, replacing weeping with joy that Jesus is risen (Luke 24:5).
5. Angels announce, at his ascension into heaven, that Jesus will one day return (Acts 1:11). 6. Angels remain “eager to look into these things” as the gospel grows the apostolic church (1 Pet 1:12).
The angels’ joy at the beginning of our world, their singing in the skies over Bethlehem at the birth of
God’s Son, their interest in the redeeming work of Christ and the application of his merits to provide forgiveness to repentant sinners, and their ceaseless adoration in heaven of the Lamb that was slain, possibly suggests that the whole material universe was made as a demonstration to them of God’s love as much as a demonstration to us. Ultimately, angelic joy over human salvation is the best explanation for their rending to the praises they do, “saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev 5:8–12). ”
Hope this helps our reader.
If you would like a mission speaker or would like to help Rev. Naumann please go to http://www.lcms.org/jonathan.naumann
Rev. Dr. Jonathan and Deaconess Cheryl Naumann serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as career missionaries in the Dominican Republic. Jonathan serves as the Latin America and the Caribbean regional chaplain, providing pastoral care to the LCMS missionaries who serve in over ten countries in this region. He also assists in the theological education offered at the LCMS Latin America seminaries. As a mercy deaconess, Cheryl teaches and mentors women of the Dominican Republic to share the Gospel, as well as acts of mercy, with their neighbors. She also works with deaconesses in Latin America houses of mercy.