Self-Abasement and the Worship of Angels

There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

–1 Timothy 2:5

According to the false teaching of mysticism, faith in Jesus Christ is not enough to be a spiritual Christian–you also need some kind of supernatural experience. Paul battled mystical teachings in the church at Colossae. In Colossians 2:18, he wrote, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.”

One component of mysticism in Colossae was “self-abasement and the worship of angels.” In the New International Version, the phrase “self-abasement” is translated as “false humility.” My predecessor at First Dallas, Dr. W. A. Criswell, kept a beautiful, leather-bound book in his office titled My Humility and How I Achieved It. When you opened the book, all the pages were blank. That book could have easily been written by the Colossian mystics. They prided themselves on their humility.

How does that relate to the worship of angels? These mystics were saying, “God is so great that we could never come to Him. So instead of worshiping God, we will worship the angels.” That tendency continues even today. There are people who say, “We can’t approach God on our own; we need a go-between.” So they try to come to God through angels, saints, or spiritual leaders.

The fact is, God is too holy for us to approach Him. We do need a go-between. But that go-between is not a priest, a saint, or an angel; it is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Bible talks about the reality of angels, but they are no substitute for Jesus. Hebrews 1:5 says, “To which of the angels did [God] ever say, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You’?” God never said that to an angel–only to Jesus. The writer continued, “Are [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (v. 14). Angels are like God’s AAA service: He dispatches them to render service for those of us who belong to Jesus Christ. But as wonderful as angels are, God never meant for us to worship them. We are to worship only God.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Hating Religion and Loving Jesus” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org; the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®, copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

 

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