Do angels have free will?

Although the Bible does not give us many specific details about angels, their appearances throughout Scripture give us insight into what they are like. Perhaps one of the most common questions regarding their character is: Do angels have free will?

Scripture tells us that angels are spiritual beings created by God. They have emotions, worship God (Luke 2:13–14), and are intelligent (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14). Angels are divided into two categories: the fallen angels that were cast out of heaven after rebelling against God (Revelation 12:7–9; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6) and the elect and holy angels who chose to worship God and remain with Him in Heaven (Mark 8:38; 1 Timothy 5:21).

Satan was an angel who, because of his pride, wanted to be exalted higher than God. He led the rebellion of the angels who were cast out of heaven. Interestingly, it is from his story that we learn angels do have free will. In the book of Isaiah we hear him describe his plan continually using the words 'I will' asserting his will to make his own decisions: "I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13–14).

Both the fallen and the holy angels have free will. The fallen angels chose to follow Satan while the holy angels chose to follow God. The holy angels have a choice to sin, just as Jesus did while He was on earth, but like Him, they do not sin. Humans also have free will, but unlike the angels we have been corrupted by our sinful nature so sin is a part of us (Romans 5:12). Angels do not have this sinful nature and the holy ones in heaven do not sin (Revelation 21:27). Rather they desire to honor and worship God and do so by obeying Him.


Related Truth:

What are angels according to the Bible?

When were the angels created?

Are demons and fallen angels the same thing?

If God knew the Fall was going to happen – that Satan would rebel and Adam and Eve would sin – why did He create them?

Are there guardian angels?


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