Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Things Into Which Angels Wish To Look
The salvation that rests upon us, covering us with God’s grace and cleaning our lives as we allow it to do its work, is something prophets preached about and angels marvel at. We so often sell such a marvel cheaply at a teen camp or simplify its implications for our children. However, adults who marvel in psychology at the complexity of humanity ought to marvel at the salvation that plumbs those depths and removes the dysfunction, anxiety, grief, and neuroses. We feel things deeply and the depth of our feelings betrays deep issues working their way to the surface from subconscious caverns we don’t know how to explore. We think profound thoughts and we make connections that surprise even us. The work of salvation redeems the whole person, the heart and the mind. It is a lifelong process. However, we can detach and lose sight of feeling and thinking – in so doing the salvation of God is blocked by us – or maybe in the true sense it never really started.
To be saved a mind has to be inquiring and open. To be saved the heart has to be transparent and shared. It is painful to take such a stance when we would rather hide ourselves. But no-one saves themselves by running into the darkness. God saves us as we understand the message of the prophets and read the words of Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit. As we allow our true selves to engage with the text we are transformed. This is no easy drill in biblical knowledge that many of us experienced in Sunday School. A mere repetition of basic facts leads to boredom and business as usual. We must understand what is said and look to its application. We must break down the complexity of passages and break ourselves down as we come to read. We must assess ourselves and have a true picture of how we are falling short of the life God has for us. Then we must bring our lives, the word of God, the work of the Spirit, and the cross of Jesus together in glorious synthesis. At that point changes break out that we are astounded by. Attitudes toward the world are changed. Relationships are healed. In short – we are saved. It is in that transformation that angels look at in wonder. How can beings who fell so far from grace be renewed each day with such transformative power. Satan snarls in a corner as those who seemed hardened like him are redeemed.
Oh God, I don’t want to be saved and yet it is my heart’s deepest desire. My ‘old self’ wishes to use its strategies to bring relief and deadness so that I sleep a pleasant sleep in this life. I want to embrace the life you have called me to, yet I fear the path that it may lead. The way of faith is marked by both preachers and martyrs. The testimony of the saints is one of joy and pain. However, they were alive. They were more alive for the breadth of thought and emotion they could endure. They were more alive because they were persistent and open. Let us be the same.
- What connection did the prophets have to salvation?
- Who did the Old Testament prophets serve?
- Into what do angels wish to look?
- How open are you to the words of the prophets transforming you?
- What is your reaction to the idea that angels look on the fact of salvation with wonder?
“It is in that transformation that angels look at in wonder. How can beings who fell so far from grace be renewed each day with such transformative power. Satan snarls in a corner as those who seemed hardened like him are redeemed.”
I’m getting closer to finishing “Paradise Lost” by John Milton for another class, so I’ve been reading more about angels and Satan. It is sad that this gospel, this great salvation we’ve received..we neglect and think we know and should move beyond, when even angels don’t fully understand it and are in awe of God’s redemptive dealings with man.
Talking about Plato and Socrates in Philosophy class, I thought this week about how Jesus hadn’t come yet and probably so many Gentiles were lost. Yes some were saved pre-Christ (like the whole city of Nineveh with Jonah, Rahab, Ruth..) but they were still under the old covenant- the great commission hadn’t been given, Jesus hadn’t come yet.. This makes me just sit in awe of God’s sovereignty and just shake my head in gratitude.. I could’ve been born before Christ came and died in my sins, a Gentile. I could’ve been born in some unreached tribe in the 10/40 window and never heard of Christ and died in 2013, but I have heard of Christ and God did save me. Wow. How ought I to live?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the desire to be sanctified and become more like Christ that combats the lust for sinful pleasure–a great deal, in part, thanks to Dr. de Rosset who has been challenging my class on our understanding of sin and showing us through literature how destructive, cunning, and deceitful it is. So often I wish that becoming more like Christ were as easy as memorizing some Bible verses and winning sword drills. However, it is nothing like that. To loosely quote Bonhoeffer, the gospel is a call to “come and die.” I am thankful for a series of Lesson’s from Dr. Koessler’s SLAC class my freshman year. Despite the ample grumble about that class, it has been one of the most influential in my time here.
He took us through Romans 7 and 8 showing us 4 laws (Not the Campus Crusade/ “Cru” version). How the Law of sin and death is powerful and binds us in sin. Then we have our will that desires to overcome that, but it can’t. Ultimately the law of the Spirit frees us from the law of sin and death and brings life to our mortal bodies. I am constantly reminded of Romans 8:11 as I go about life and ponder these questions: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
The prophets prophesied the salvation that was to come. They prophesied about the “grace that was to be yours.” Angels long to look at the transforming power of God almighty in the lives of those who have been saved. This is incredible. Our culture tends to magnify angels – which they are incredibly powerful in comparison to us, and yet even they are fascinated in what God has given us. What an amazing salvation we have been given! What an undeserved privilege. I agree that we do minimize the glorious gospel in many ways, even as I reflect on my own life, and it is a shame.
I desire for the words of the prophets to transform me. One of my anticipated classes at Moody is Messianic Prophecy, and I cannot wait to go deeper into what has been prophesied about our Messiah, our blessed hope, and the gospel He has brought.
The prophets looked ahead into the future salvation of Christ’s redeeming work. They strained and meditated on what it would look like, how and when as each had different puzzle pieces which they left for those of their time and following to look into. The prophets were serving the those of the early church and following.
It seems that the angels long to look at the good news preached to them and the Holy Spirit’s coming. Though, admittedly I really don’t know what this means. Do they not know what the gospel is? This seems rather silly as they sang at the Messiah’s birth. Perhaps it is more the results of the gospel as we can be redeemed and it appears they are not able to be redeemed. Sometimes I wonder at this fact as well.