question about angels

Why aren’t they considered being made in the image of God? They’re holy and also called sons of God. Couldn’t Jesus have become an angel to redeem the ones that sinned?

We humans are so imperfect and weak…Angels must do a much better job of loving and worshipping God.

Angels have will, rationality, thoughts, etc right? Why did God create humans separately?

Interesting question. :popcorn:

I believe they are made in the image of God. They have intelligence (far greater than ours) and free will.

That is the same thing that makes us created in the image of God… we have intelligence and free will.

My best answer:

It appears that angels are created in the image of God. From the Summa:

As for redemption - keep in mind that humans are a species, where as each individual angel is it’s own species. So while original sin corrupted the human race, there is no equivalent with angels - each one either fell or did not, and did so of its own choice without there being any predisposition to do so.

God redeems humanity by wiping out Original Sin through baptism and giving us the grace to choose Him. Thus the redemption of humanity is a restoration of the possibility to be with God that we had lost. (And this does not override our will, beacuse even after baptism we can still choose to turn from God.)

Whereas each angel fell as a direct result of its knowing decision to fall. This cannot be reversed by God other than by overriding the angels will.

EIF5a asks : "Why aren’t they [Angels] considered being made in the image of God?"

Are Angels Made in the Image of God?

First, God created the Angels … and Heaven.

Later on, God created the physical Universe.
A couple days later, Man was synthesized from Dust.
It is said that Man was created in the image of God.

The Bible is full of stories of Angels being seen down here on Earth.
Most of those times, the Angels looked just like another human being (and were treated like humans).
For instance, in Lot’s time, the Angels at his house were such beautiful men, that people were lined up to have sex with them.
So, whatever else Angels are, many of them are created in the image of Man.

That being said, the issue now boils down to Semantics : If

  1. Man is created in the image of God; and
  2. Angels are created in the image of Man (even though created before the beginning of Time); then
  3. Angels (by virtue of being the image of Man) appear to be created in the image of God.

EIF5A also wonders :
1) "We humans are so imperfect and weak…
2) Angels must do a much better job of loving and worshipping God.
3) Angels have will, rationality, thoughts, etc right? … …[Then]
4) Why did God create humans separately? "

I think you are right that **“Angels must do a much better job of loving and worshipping God” **than Human Beings.
For one thing, they don’t have Satan whispering into their ears all of the time.
Nor, do they have to put up with problems caused by other people.

So then, "Why did God create humans separately?"
Although no one probably knows for sure, I assume that God wanted to create “defective” beings, and watch them mess-up their lives (and the lives of others).

Adam messed-up his Life pretty quickly.
Soon after, Adam’s son found out the pleasure of murdering his own Brother.
And, things went down-hill from there.

One day, God gave some of His people (the Jews) a Promise of a Good After-Life, if they would obey some Tablets He wrote-up for Moses (and obey some other precepts too).
This did not work out as well as God had hoped.

So, a couple 1000 years later, Jesus Christ Himself came to Earth with a (somewhat) different Promise of a Good After-Life.
But again, most people are not following Christ’s message either.

So, God got His wish.
We have a Planet full of dysfunctional people, sinning like there is NO Tomorrow.
I imagine that God wanted to do this because SOME people would follow His plan for Salvation.
Then, Jesus Christ would Judge all of the people who have ever lived, and enjoy tossing the non-Believers into Hell (or some other lousy place to be).

It may be that God looks at the Earth as a game of Chinese Checkers.
Everyone is jumping around, and going in different Directions.
Instead of actually playing that Game Himself, God sits on His Throne, and watches the Game unfold.
So, God made the Earth (and Mankind) to play the Game of Life … some WIN … and some LOSE.
Oh well. Such is Life.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church does well to answer these questions.

Since God is infinitely greater than men and angels, isn’t it best to love Him obey Him and seek legitimate authority for the answer to these questions?

side issue: When I was a little girl and used to ask my mother “why?” she would answer: “Because Y is a crooked letter.” Now, I can see with the eyes of faith the Lord’s magnificent creation, and how much He has proved His love for us by sending His Son, I don’t feel the need to ask “Why?”.

Why aren’t they considered being made in the image of God? They’re holy and also called sons of God.

In John’s gospel, in the very beginning, he said that everything was created thru the Word, that is everything that was made. The Word is another name for the second person of God. For the Word was the image of the Father, a mirror if you will, and all things were created from this image, even the world, stars, and whole universe.

But angels and men were given something more…sanctifying grace, the life of God in their souls.
So they were much more in the image of God, the Word, because of the Word’s life of grace is in them.

Couldn’t Jesus have become an angel to redeem the ones that sinned?

Jesus could have become an angel just like he became a man. But didn’t because the angels did not have a body which encombered their thinking to some degree. Because of this, God had mercy on man. But with the angels, they knew full well what they were doing, so their sin was done with premeditation and deliberateness. And so some angels fell and some did not.

We humans are so imperfect and weak…Angels must do a much better job of loving and worshipping God.

That is because they are already in heaven and we are not. However a higher office does not necessarily mean greater holiness. For instance, the office of priesthood is not necessarily make one more holy just because he happens to be a priest. I would think that St. Francis, St. Teresa, and others are higher than many of the angels, which we will only know when we enter our true home.

Angels have will, rationality, thoughts, etc right? Why did God create humans separately?

There are some things hidden in God that were not revealed to us, and this is one of them.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Angels (and by extension demons) possess power, beauty, and divine revelation far exceeding that of humans. However, it is clear that their capacity for free will is far more limited than our own. Angelic folklore has many stories of sorcerers who were able to subjugate angels with relative ease (keep in mind, though, that attempting this is gravely sinful, as it places humanity in the place of God). Islamic folklore depicts demons (the djinni) as being so completely lacking in free will that they are incapable of any voluntary action beyond temptation without mortal instructions. Naturally, as beings possessed of near infinite malice toward mankind, the djinni would often intentionally interpret their instructions to the ruin of their “masters”.

The angelic limited capacity for choice is what ultimately creates the need for humanity. Since love is fundamentally a choice, angels are unable to truly love God. They can appreciate God. They can praise God. They can even obey God, but they can’t actually love Him. If God is love, then a being incapable of love cannot possibly be said to be made in His image and likeness.

We are God’s children. Angels are just God’s tools. They’re basically robots made of spiritual matter instead of circuits and steel.

Well, that just seems insulting…

If they lack free will, why/how did satan fall?

Of course angels love God. Love is an act of the will…angels have wills.

Humans can feel the emotion of love; and humans can also love by an act of the will.

Did you ever read the Isaac Asimov short story “Runaround”? In it, a robot (governed by Asimov’s three laws of robotics) begins to behave erratically when two of the laws regulating its behavior come into conflict. Basically, the principle is the same.

Humans were never intended to fall. Consequently, angels (at least 1/3 of them) were never originally designed to need to handle the consequences of the fall. It is likely that God’s becoming fully human as well as fully God created a situation that Lucifer’s operational parameters were not able to deal with.

As influential as Isaac Asimov is in Catholic theology…

… for the OP, if you’d like to read St. Thomas Aquinas on the subject, he treats necessity of the Incarnation in Part Three, Question 1, Article 2 of his Summa. You can read it for free here:

(If you’re not familiar with the Summa, I would recommend first reading On the contrary, and ***I answer that,***. Then you can read Objection 1 and Reply to Objection 1; Objection 2 and Reply to Objection 2, etc…)

For a simple response, St. Thomas quotes St. Augustine. It was necessary for God to become Incarnate for our Salvation, despite the fact that, *“other ways were not wanting to God, to Whose power all things are equally subject; but [we shall show] that there was not a more fitting way of healing our misery.”

Thanks for a good answer. Others touched on Christ also.


Thank you for that post!

I think the biggest difference between us and angels, other than us being physical they being spirits, is that they know God exists and can contact Him directly, while we are in the dark and must have faith to believe God is who we think He is.

That difference made the angels rebellion far worse than us humans sinning against God’s laws (although it does not excuse Adam and Eve because they too knew God exists).

The fact that we are not certain that God exists, gives us a small measure of less culpability. It does not give us free rein to sin but maybe makes it less offensive.

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