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John Piper is founder and teacher the mmsanotherstage2019.com and chancellor that Bethlehem university & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The is author of more than 50 books, consisting of Desiring God: Meditations the a Christian Hedonist and also most recently Providence.
Satan is no in regulate of this world. God never has given, and never will give, to Satan any type of freedom that God self does not restrain and decisively direct for his wise, just, and good purposes. In all his acts, Satan is topic to god’s overruling and also guiding providence.
Since Satan is uniformly evil, we may use the indigenous of Genesis 50:20 because that every one of his action in this world: “he intended it for evil, but God meant it for good.” once Satan wills something, he constantly intends come diminish oh my god glory and also ultimately destroy God’s people. When God permits Satan come act v that design, God’s design in doing for this reason is because that his glory and the ultimate great of his people.
But offered the amount of evil and pain that Satan causes in the world, us inevitably ask, Why go God permit Satan to walk on working, or even existing? If God rule Satan for this reason thoroughly, why does he not usage his power and also wisdom to placed Satan the end of presence now?
“In all his acts, Satan is subject to god’s overruling and guiding providence.”
The bible does not answer this inquiry directly. Yet there are pointers. So let me venture four answers for you to test. Even though this suggestions space not offered in Scripture as explicit answers come our question, nevertheless, ns think they do provide a partial answer.
I would amount up why God patent Satan to go on living and also working by saying the God intends to loss Satan not with one initial blow of power, but through four processes:He is beating Satan through showing.He is beating Satan v suffering.He is beating Satan with Satan.He is defeating Satan through savoring.
1. God is beating Satan through showing an ext of his very own attributes.
Consider the lamentable condition of the mrs in Luke 13:10–17, that for eighteen year “was bent over and could not completely straighten herself” (Luke 13:11). Luke speak us an ext specifically the “Satan
The upshot that healing she was the Jesus’s “adversaries were placed to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:17). We execute not know why God allowed this woman to endure Satan’s “binding” for so long. But what us do understand is this: through overcoming this woman’s satanic bondage, Jesus defeated Satan in two other ways — in exposing the hypocrisy of his adversaries, and also in mirroring his compassion and authority and also power for this reason that human being rejoiced in ~ his glorious deeds.
It appears to me, then, the this one incident gives a glimpse right into God’s bigger purpose for his timing in beating Satan. From this story, we might infer that part of God’s purpose is to show much more aspects that Christ’s glory through the manifold demonstrations that his superiority end Satan than would certainly be presented if he had put Satan out of presence all at once, at some earlier allude in redemptive history.
2. God is defeating Satan through suffering.
The most central and staggering reality around Satan’s eventual defeat is not that he will certainly be thrown into the lake the fire yet that Jesus to be thrown into the fire, as it were (Luke 12:50), to defeat Satan’s hold on his people. Both Paul and also the writer come the Hebrews teach that Jesus beat Satan by method of his suffering and death (Colossians 2:13–15; Hebrews 2:14–15).
It is an ext beautiful, much more glorious and also excellent and wonderful, that the greatest person in the universe should defeat the many despicable gift in the cosmos by selecting to suffer and die in an act of liberating love — love for those who were in reality “following the prince that the strength of the air . . . Like the remainder of mankind” (Ephesians 2:2–3). Once Jesus throws Satan into the lake that fire, Jesus’s justice and also power will certainly be on full display. Yet at the cross, his grace and mercy and patience and also love and also wisdom to be on full display as he overcame Satan’s claim on God’s human being by paying their debts.“The ultimate score of providence is the joyful worship of the glory of oh my god grace.”
Colossians 2:14 provides clear exactly how Satan lost his insurance claim on God’s human being when Christ died. Christ canceled “the document of debt that stood against us v its legit demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” This is complied with by its result on Satan: “He
The ultimate score of providence is the joyful prayer of the glory the God’s elegant (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), and the consummate demonstration of that glorious elegant is the openly chosen suffering and also death that the infinitely worthy kid of God because that unworthy sinners choose us. Currently we see some tiny glimpse of why Satan is offered such a function in the theatre of oh my god wonders. In ~ every point, Christ proves superior, and at the most vital moment in history, the beauty, beauty of Christ shines many brightly as the ugliest gift is undone by the best act of beauty.
3. God is beating Satan through Satan.
The wisdom that God appears an ext fully, and also his superiority end Satan in every way, not simply in slim power, shines more brightly, in the manifold means he bring Satan come ruin. Among those ways is to make Satan offer God’s sanctifying functions in the lives of his children. It should infuriate Satan that God’s ways are so pure and brilliant the Satan no only falls short to obstruct them however unwittingly serves them.
What I have actually in psychic is Paul’s mandrel in the flesh, which he speak us around in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. Paul had been granted a mythological glimpse into heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1–4). God had actually granted Paul this privilege, learning it would certainly tempt Paul to be conceited. God deemed the gift precious the troubles to come. His answer come this attention temptation the pride to be to see to it (providence) the Paul would have a thorn in the flesh. Paul tells united state this with a stunning sentence around God’s target to sanctify him, and also Satan’s unwitting hand in it!
To keep me from coming to be conceited since of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a mandrel was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan come harass me, to keep me from coming to be conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
At the beginning and also the finishing of this verse, the purpose of the thorn is mentioned: “to save me from ending up being conceited . . . To keep me from ending up being conceited.” Now, the is not Satan’s design. Satan does not hinder conceit; that helps it. This is God’s design for Paul’s mandrel — humility and trust. Nevertheless, the mandrel is called “a messenger of Satan.” In means that exceed our full comprehension, God is maybe to exploit Satan’s hatred of Paul and also make it serve God’s own purposes of Paul’s humility and purity and glad dependency on the grace of Jesus.
So, the upshot that Satan’s assault on Paul is not only the exposure of his self-defeating folly, but likewise the revelation the Christ’s all-satisfying grace:
Three times ns pleaded through the Lord about this, the it should leave me. Yet he said to me, “My elegant is adequate for you, for my power is make perfect in weakness.” as such I will boast all the an ext gladly of mine weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest top top me. (2 Corinthians 12:8–9)
I think this gets close to the love of why God permits Satan to exist and bring short-term damage on oh my gosh people. It i do not care an chance not just to display the higher glory that Christ’s wisdom and power and also worth, but also to show the superior satisfaction the this glory provides his people compared come what Satan can give. This leader to the fourth magnificent strategy for defeating Satan.
4. God is beating Satan v savoring.
Notice the the climax of Paul’s experience of the thorn in the meat is not Paul’s awareness of Christ’s grace as sufficient. Rather, the awareness and experience of this sufficiency bring Paul to “boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.” as soon as Paul experiences the all-sufficient grace of Jesus as a “glad” (hēdista, 2 Corinthians 12:9, the word from i m sorry we gain hedonism!) boast, this experience renders the grace and the strength of Christ was standing forth all the much more clearly.“Nothing Satan is and nothing the offers can compare v Christ.”
I call this “gladness” savoring. And also my allude is the God intends because that Satan come be defeated in this period not simply by showing him to it is in weaker 보다 Christ, but also by showing him to be less savory than Christ — less desirable, much less satisfying. If this sounds superficial or marginal to you, you and I space not yet on the very same page. In my expertise of God’s objectives in the universe, the ultimate goal is that the beauty and worth the Christ be magnified as the supreme treasure of the cosmos through gift savored over all other reality. Providence end Satan and also all other developed reality reaches its ultimate goal as soon as the soot of human being savoring coincides to the infinite beauty and also worth of Christ.
Satan’s most essential function in achieving that goal is to sell us every conceivable pleasure to entice us away from savoring, desiring, and also being satisfied v Christ, and also every conceivable pain to revolve us against the quality of Christ. As soon as God’s human being face these temptations to prefer the world and to repudiate Christ, however instead “gladly” boast in your weaknesses and also losses since of the surpassing worth of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 3:8), Satan is defeated in the many wonderful and also thorough way.
Satan is no only displayed to it is in weaker than Christ, but, an ext importantly, he is presented to it is in less preferable than Christ. Satan is less satisfying due to the fact that he is not only weak compared to Christ’s power, but also ugly compared to Christ’s beauty and disgusting contrasted to Christ’s sweetness. Naught Satan is and also nothing the offers have the right to compare v Christ.
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The savoring the Christ above all the Satan can offer in riches, or every he have the right to take in suffering, magnifies Christ’s beauty and also worth in means that might never have actually happened if God had banished Satan indigenous the world prior to his weakness and also folly and also ugliness were fully exposed, and before Christ was shown to it is in infinitely more desirable. In this way, God’s plan to allow Satan’s ongoing existence and influence offer the ultimate score of providence.