Bible Question:

There is a scripture that says that God made us a little lower than the angels. There is another scripture that states that when we die, we are equal to the angels. There is another scripture that implies we are higher than the angels because God made us in His image. Are we equal, lower, or higher than the angels?

Bible Answer:

Scripture reveals that humans are made lower than the angels when the book of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ, who became a man, was made lower than the angels.

YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS . . . Hebrews 2:7 (NASB)

In the first chapter of Hebrews, we are told that Jesus was above the angels since He was and is God. But Hebrews 2:7-9 explains that when Jesus became a man, He was made lower than the angels in the sense that He took on human flesh. He was still God. He was God in human flesh. He was temporarily lower than the angels because He took on human form. Therefore, Hebrews 2:7-9 implies that humans are made lower than the angels.

It is important to note that scripture never says that we are equal to the angels. Scripture only reveals that we are lower than the angels while we live here on this earth. Yet, those who go to heaven will some day judge angels.

Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?  1 Corinthians 6:3  (NASB)

Some day those who believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him will judge the angels. The saints of the ages will judge the angels. This will occur not while we are made of flesh and bone. It will occur only after we receive our new heavenly bodies. This is a future event that will occur during the millennial kingdom which is the time that Christ will rule and reign as king (Zechariah 14:9-21). In the sense that Christians will judge angels, they will be greater than angels.

Conclusion:

Those who conclude that Hebrews 1:14 teaches that Christians are superior to angels because the verse teaches that the holy angels minister to Christians have missed two important points. 1) The passage never says Christians are superior to angels and 2) Scripture teaches that those who are greatest are those who serve others (Matthew 20:24-28). That would mean the angels are greater than Christians. Yet, we can conclude that Christians will have a higher rank than angels in the millennial kingdom because they will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). But having a higher rank does not mean that Christians will be superior in capability. The reader is encouraged to visit “Will Christians be greater than angels in the future?”

Suggested Links:

Angels – Good and Evil
Are there female angels?
Where do the scriptures teach that angels are not given in marriage?
Do angels have a will?
Invisible Angelic Powers
Will Christians be greater than angels in the future?