sons of God?
Q. Are angels considered one of God's sons or is it only man?
(Submitted by: J. G.)
A. Here are two scriptures that collectively call angels by this term:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them." (Job 1:6, NKJV throughout)
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7)
Adam, the first man, was called a son:
"the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the sons of God." (Luke 3:38)
The children of Israel are called:
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living God." (Hosea 1:10)
The apostle Paul explained that, through the sacrifice of Jesus, and the grace of God, all men can have this special relationship with the Creator through "adoption":
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. " (Romans 8:14)
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. " (Romans 8:19)
"I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My SONS and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2Corinthians 6:18)
"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as SONS. And because you are SONS, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'ABBA, FATHER!' " (Galatians 4:4-6)
Nelson’s New Illustrated Dictionary offers this summation concerning this phrase and how it appears with three different meanings in the Bible:
In the Book of Job the phrase is used for angelic beings (Job 1:6; 2:1). These "sons" presented themselves before God. Satan appeared with them but this does not necessarily mean he was one of them.
The phrase is used in the New Testament as a name for people who are in a covenant relationship with God. This exact phrase never appears with this meaning in the Old Testament, although the idea is implied. For example, God referred to the scattered children of Israel, whom He promised to gather together again, as His sons and daughters (Isaiah 43:6; 45:11). In the New Testament passage this phrase occurs clearly in Romans 8:12-19 . . . For gentiles (all other than Jews in New Testament language) this relationship is one of adoption, by which the believer becomes a child of God, and thus an heir of God, a joint-heir with Christ (Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 2:10; 12:7). Other passages use the phrase "children of God" with the same basic meaning (John 1:12; Philemon 2:15; 1 John 3:1–2).
A third usage of the phrase occurs in Genesis 6:1–4. Certain "sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose" (v. 2). The offspring of these unions are described as "giants," "mighty men," and "men of renown" (v. 4). There are two basic possibilities regarding the identity of these people. The phrase could refer to nonhuman beings such as those mentioned in Job (1:6; 2:1). Or, the phrase may be an unusual way of referring to human beings. The context of the verse gives important clues that the "sons" in this case are not angelic beings.
Nowhere else in the Bible is there even a hint that nonhuman and human beings can mate. There are many parallels in pagan thought, but none in biblical thought. A second clue occurs right in the passage itself. The Hebrew verb in verse two translated as "took them wives" is the standard verb in the Old Testament for marriage. In the New Testament, Jesus stated that angels do not marry (Matthew 22:30). Thus, "sons of God" in this passage must refer to human beings.