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John Piper is founder and also teacher of lifwynnfoundation.org and chancellor that Bethlehem university & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he offered as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The is writer of much more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations the a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.
Satan is not in regulate of this world. God never has given, and also never will give, to Satan any freedom the God self does not restrain and decisively straight for his wise, just, and good purposes. In every his acts, Satan is topic to god’s overruling and also guiding providence.
Since Satan is uniformly evil, we might use the words of Genesis 50:20 for every among his acts in this world: “he supposed it because that evil, yet God expected it for good.” once Satan wills something, he always intends come diminish god’s glory and ultimately ruin God’s people. As soon as God patent Satan come act v that design, God’s style in doing for this reason is because that his glory and also the ultimate an excellent of his people.
But provided the amount of evil and also pain that Satan causes in the world, us inevitably ask, Why does God permit Satan to walk on working, or even existing? If God rule Satan therefore thoroughly, why does he not use his power and also wisdom to put Satan the end of existence now?
“In every his acts, Satan is topic to god’s overruling and guiding providence.”
The holy bible does no answer this inquiry directly. But there are pointers. For this reason let me undertaking four answers for you to test. Also though these suggestions are not given in Scripture as explicit answers come our question, nevertheless, ns think lock do give a partial answer.
I would amount up why God permits Satan to walk on living and working through saying the God intends to defeat Satan not through one initial punch of power, yet through 4 processes:He is defeating Satan v showing.He is beating Satan with suffering.He is beating Satan through Satan.He is defeating Satan with savoring.
1. God is beating Satan v showing more of his very own attributes.
Consider the lamentable condition of the woman in Luke 13:10–17, who for eighteen year “was bending over and also could not fully straighten herself” (Luke 13:11). Luke tells us much more specifically the “Satan
The upshot of healing she was that Jesus’s “adversaries were placed to shame, and all the world rejoiced at every the glorious points that were done by him” (Luke 13:17). We do not know why God permitted this woman to endure Satan’s “binding” for so long. However what we do recognize is this: by overcoming this woman’s satanic bondage, Jesus defeated Satan in two other ways — in exposing the hypocrisy of his adversaries, and in mirroring his compassion and authority and also power therefore that world rejoiced in ~ his glorious deeds.
It appears to me, then, that this one incident provides a glimpse into God’s bigger purpose because that his time in beating Satan. From this story, we may infer that component of God’s purpose is to show an ext aspects the Christ’s glory by the manifold demonstrations that his superiority over Satan than would be presented if he had put Satan out of existence all at once, at part earlier point in redemptive history.
2. God is beating Satan through suffering.
The most central and staggering reality about Satan’s ultimate defeat is not that he will certainly be thrown into the lake of fire but 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 defeated Satan by way of his suffering and also death (Colossians 2:13–15; Hebrews 2:14–15).
It is more beautiful, more glorious and also excellent and wonderful, the the biggest person in the universe should defeat the most despicable being in the universe by picking to suffer and also die in an action of liberating love — love because that those who were in truth “following the prince that the power of the air . . . Like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:2–3). Once Jesus litter Satan into the lake of fire, Jesus’s justice and power will be on full display. However at the cross, his grace and mercy and also patience and love and also wisdom were on full screen as he conquered Satan’s insurance claim on God’s human being by paying your debts.“The ultimate goal of providence is the joyful prayer of the glory of god’s grace.”
Colossians 2:14 renders clear exactly how Satan shed his claim on God’s world when Christ died. Christ canceled “the document of debt that stood versus us v its legit demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” This is followed by its impact on Satan: “He
The ultimate goal of providence is the joyful worship of the glory of God’s elegant (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), and the consummate show of the glorious grace is the openly chosen suffering and also death that the infinitely worthy kid of God for unworthy sinners choose us. Currently we check out some little glimpse the why Satan is given such a duty in the theatre of god’s wonders. In ~ every point, Christ proves superior, and at the most vital moment in history, the beauty of Christ shines most brightly together the ugliest being is undone by the best act of beauty.
3. God is defeating Satan v Satan.
The wisdom of God appears much more fully, and his superiority end Satan in every way, not simply in slim power, shines more brightly, in the manifold ways he bring Satan to ruin. Among those ways is to do Satan offer God’s sanctifying purposes in the lives of his children. It must infuriate Satan the God’s methods are so pure and brilliant the Satan not only fails to obstruct them but unwittingly offer them.
What I have in mental is Paul’s thorn in the flesh, i m sorry he speak us around in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. Paul had actually been granted a supernatural glimpse into heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1–4). God had granted Paul this privilege, discovering it would certainly tempt Paul to it is in conceited. God considered the gift precious the troubles to come. His answer come this dangerous temptation that pride to be to see come it (providence) that Paul would have actually a thorn in the flesh. Paul tells us this with a stunning sentence about God’s aim to sanctify him, and also Satan’s unwitting hand in it!
To keep me from ending up being conceited due to the fact that of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a mandrel was offered me in the flesh, a messenger that Satan to harass me, to store me from becoming conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
At the beginning and the ending of this verse, the function of the thorn is mentioned: “to keep me from coming to be conceited . . . To store me from coming to be conceited.” Now, the is not Satan’s design. Satan does not hinder conceit; the helps it. This is God’s design for Paul’s mandrel — humility and trust. Nevertheless, the mandrel is dubbed “a messenger of Satan.” In means that exceed our complete comprehension, God is able to harness Satan’s hatred of Paul and also make it offer God’s own purposes that Paul’s humility and also purity and glad dependence on the grace of Jesus.
So, the upshot of Satan’s assault on Paul is not only the exposure the his self-defeating folly, but also the revelation of Christ’s all-satisfying grace:
Three times ns pleaded through the Lord about this, that it must leave me. Yet he said to me, “My elegant is enough for you, for my strength is do perfect in weakness.” because of this I will boast all the much more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the strength of Christ may rest ~ above me. (2 Corinthians 12:8–9)
I think this gets close to the heart of why God allows Satan to exist and also bring short-term harm on oh my gosh people. It becomes an occasion not just to show the better glory the Christ’s wisdom and power and worth, but additionally to display the superior satisfaction that this glory gives his people compared to what Satan have the right to give. This leader to the fourth magnificent strategy for beating Satan.
4. God is beating Satan through savoring.
Notice that the orgasm of Paul’s endure of the thorn in the meat is no Paul’s awareness of Christ’s grace as sufficient. Rather, the awareness and also experience of this sufficiency bring Paul come “boast all the much more gladly of my weaknesses.” once Paul experience the all-sufficient grace of Jesus as a “glad” (hēdista, 2 Corinthians 12:9, the word from which we get hedonism!) boast, this experience provides the grace and the power of Christ stand forth all the an ext clearly.“Nothing Satan is and also nothing that offers deserve to compare through Christ.”
I contact this “gladness” savoring. And also my allude is the God intends for Satan to be beat in this age not simply by reflecting him to be weaker than Christ, but likewise by showing him to it is in less savory than Christ — much less desirable, less satisfying. If this sounds superficial or marginal come you, you and also I are not yet on the same page. In my expertise of God’s objectives in the universe, the ultimate score is the the beauty and also worth the Christ be magnified as the can be fried treasure that the universe through being savored above all various other reality. Providence end Satan and all other created reality get its ultimate goal when the strongness of human savoring synchronizes to the unlimited beauty and worth the Christ.
Satan’s many essential function in achieving the goal is to market us every conceivable pleasure to entice us far from savoring, desiring, and being satisfied through Christ, and also every conceivable pain to revolve us versus the kindness of Christ. As soon as God’s civilization face this temptations to prefer the world and to repudiate Christ, however instead “gladly” boast in your weaknesses and losses because of the surpassing worth of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 3:8), Satan is defeated in the many wonderful and thorough way.
Satan is no only displayed to be weaker than Christ, but, an ext importantly, the is displayed to be less desirable than Christ. Satan is less satisfying since he is not just weak contrasted to Christ’s power, but additionally ugly compared to Christ’s beauty and disgusting compared to Christ’s sweetness. Nothing Satan is and nothing he offers deserve to compare with 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 worth in methods that could never have happened if God had actually banished Satan from the world before his weakness and folly and also ugliness were fully exposed, and before Christ was displayed to be infinitely an ext desirable. In this way, God’s plan to permit Satan’s continuous existence and influence offer the ultimate score of providence.