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Cathechism Buzz: What He Does with Awesomeness

19 April 2011 by Matt Gumm

Q. 15. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 16. How did God create angels?
A. God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change.

Q. 17. How did God create man?
A. After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.

To answer the question "What is God," the authors of the Catechism pile adjective atop adjective to describe this magnificent, incomprehensible being. And one question which would naturally follow from the very existence of such a being is (with apologies to Kung Fu Panda) "What does He do with that sort of awesomeness?" The answer is that He creates. And the focus of the catechism turns from general creation to angels and men, because of God's unique relationship with them amongst all of His creation, particularly as it relates to His providence.

The popularity of angels fluctuates a bit, but on the whole, they are up there. Lots of people have opinions on them; there are many references to them in popular culture, including one of America's most beloved movies. There are whole theologies which focus on them. In the Scriptures, though, they are presented in a simple, straightforward manner, which is summarized by this Catechism answer.

Angels have an appearance which makes mortals tremble with fear and awe. When angels appear to men, men are terrified (Luke 2:9). and also want to worship them (cf. Rev. 22:9).
These beings are God's heralds—messengers announcing news from the heavens—chief of which are the birth and resurrection in the Gospels of Jesus the Messiah (Matt 1:20-24; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:9-13; Matt 28:5).

Knowing about angels helps us to understand the surpassing greatness of this God we serve, where even the creatures in His service are mighty and powerful, and our own place, created a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory and honor.