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John Piper is founder and also teacher that cg-tower.com and chancellor that Bethlehem university & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he offered as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is writer of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most newly Providence.
Satan is no in control of this world. God never has actually given, and never will give, come Satan any freedom that God himself does not restrain and decisively straight for his wise, just, and good purposes. In all his acts, Satan is topic to oh my god overruling and guiding providence.
Since Satan is uniformly evil, we may use the indigenous of Genesis 50:20 because that every among his acts in this world: “he expected it for evil, but God intended it because that good.” as soon as Satan wills something, he constantly intends come diminish god’s glory and ultimately ruin God’s people. As soon as God permits Satan to act v that design, God’s design in doing for this reason is for his glory and the ultimate an excellent of his people.
But given the quantity of evil and pain that Satan causes in the world, we inevitably ask, Why does God allow Satan to go on working, or even existing? If God rules Satan for this reason thoroughly, why does he not usage his power and wisdom to put Satan the end of existence now?
“In every his acts, Satan is subject to god’s overruling and guiding providence.”
The holy bible does not answer this inquiry directly. But there space pointers. Therefore let me undertaking four answers for you come test. Also though these suggestions room not offered in Scripture as explicit answers to our question, nevertheless, i think they do provide a partial answer.
I would sum up why God permits Satan to walk on living and also working through saying the God intends to loss Satan not v one initial blow of power, but through 4 processes:He is defeating Satan v showing.He is beating Satan with suffering.He is defeating Satan through Satan.He is beating Satan with savoring.
1. God is defeating Satan with showing an ext of his own attributes.
Consider the lamentable problem of the woman in Luke 13:10–17, who for eighteen year “was bend over and could not completely straighten herself” (Luke 13:11). Luke speak us more specifically the “Satan
The upshot that healing she was the Jesus’s “adversaries were placed to shame, and all the civilization rejoiced at every the glorious points that were excellent by him” (Luke 13:17). We carry out not understand why God permitted this mrs to endure Satan’s “binding” because that so long. But what we do recognize is this: by overcoming this woman’s satanic bondage, Jesus beat Satan in 2 other ways — in exposing the hypocrisy the his adversaries, and in mirroring his compassion and also authority and also power for this reason that world rejoiced at his glorious deeds.
It appears to me, then, that this one incident offers a glimpse into God’s larger purpose because that his timing in beating Satan. Indigenous this story, we may infer that component of God’s purpose is to show more aspects of Christ’s glory by the manifold demonstrations the his superiority over Satan than would be shown if he had actually put Satan out of existence all at once, at part earlier allude in redemptive history.
2. God is beating Satan v suffering.
The most main and staggering reality around Satan’s ultimate defeat is not that he will certainly be thrown into the lake of fire however that Jesus to be thrown into the fire, together it to be (Luke 12:50), to defeat Satan’s host on his people. Both Paul and the writer come the Hebrews teach the Jesus beat Satan by means of his suffering and also death (Colossians 2:13–15; Hebrews 2:14–15).
It is an ext beautiful, an ext glorious and excellent and wonderful, the the biggest person in the universe should defeat the many despicable gift in the cosmos by picking to suffer and also die in an act of liberating love — love for those that were in reality “following the prince that the power of the air . . . Like the remainder of mankind” (Ephesians 2:2–3). As soon as Jesus litter Satan right into the lake that fire, Jesus’s justice and power will be on complete display. Yet at the cross, his grace and mercy and patience and love and also wisdom to be on full display as he conquered Satan’s case on God’s civilization by paying your debts.“The ultimate goal of providence is the joyful praise of the glory of god’s grace.”
Colossians 2:14 makes clear just how Satan lost his insurance claim on God’s people when Christ died. Christ canceled “the document of debt the stood against us v its legit demands. This he collection aside, nailing it come the cross.” This is complied with by its effect on Satan: “He
The ultimate goal of providence is the joyful praise of the glory that God’s elegant (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), and also the consummate show of that glorious grace is the freely chosen suffering and also death that the infinitely worthy kid of God for unworthy sinners favor us. Currently we view some tiny glimpse that why Satan is provided such a role in the theater of oh my gosh wonders. At 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 the beauty.
3. God is beating Satan with Satan.
The wisdom the God appears much more fully, and his superiority over Satan in every way, not just in slim power, shines much more brightly, in the manifold ways he bring Satan to ruin. Among those ways is to make Satan serve God’s sanctifying purposes in the lives of his children. It need to infuriate Satan that God’s ways are for this reason pure and also brilliant that Satan no only falls short to obstruct them but unwittingly serves them.
What I have actually in mind is Paul’s mandrel in the flesh, which he speak us about in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. Paul had actually been granted a superordinary 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 deemed the gift worth the problem to come. His answer to this danger temptation the pride to be to see come it (providence) the Paul would have actually a mandrel in the flesh. Paul tells us this v a stunning sentence about God’s aim to sanctify him, and Satan’s unwitting hand in it!
To store me from coming to be conceited because of the surpassing greatness the the revelations, a mandrel was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to save me from ending up being conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
At the beginning and the finishing of this verse, the purpose of the thorn is mentioned: “to keep me from ending up being conceited . . . To keep me from ending up being conceited.” Now, that is not Satan’s design. Satan does not hinder conceit; that helps it. This is God’s style for Paul’s thorn — humility and also trust. Nevertheless, the thorn is called “a messenger that Satan.” In methods that exceed our full comprehension, God is may be to exploit Satan’s hatred of Paul and make it offer God’s very own purposes the Paul’s humility and purity and glad reliance on the elegant of Jesus.
So, the upshot that Satan’s strike on Paul is not only the exposure of his self-defeating folly, but likewise the revelation the Christ’s all-satisfying grace:
Three times i pleaded with the Lord around this, the it need to leave me. But he said to me, “My elegant is adequate for you, for my strength is do perfect in weakness.” thus I will boast all the much more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the strength of Christ might rest ~ above me. (2 Corinthians 12:8–9)
I think this it s okay close come the love of why God permits Satan to exist and also bring short-term harm on god’s people. It i do not care an occasion not just to display the better glory that Christ’s wisdom and power and worth, but additionally to display the superior satisfaction that this glory provides his world compared to what Satan can give. This leader to the fourth magnificent strategy for beating Satan.
4. God is defeating Satan through savoring.
Notice that the orgasm of Paul’s suffer of the thorn in the meat is no Paul’s awareness the Christ’s grace as sufficient. Rather, the awareness and experience of this sufficiency bring Paul come “boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.” as soon as Paul experience the all-sufficient grace of Jesus as a “glad” (hēdista, 2 Corinthians 12:9, words from which we acquire hedonism!) boast, this experience makes the grace and also the power of Christ stand forth every the more clearly.“Nothing Satan is and also nothing that offers can compare v Christ.”
I speak to this “gladness” savoring. And also my allude is the God intends because that Satan to be beat in this period not merely by reflecting him to be weaker than Christ, but additionally by showing him to it is in less savory 보다 Christ — much less desirable, much less satisfying. If this sound superficial or marginal to you, you and I space not however on the very same page. In my understanding of God’s objectives in the universe, the ultimate goal is that the beauty and worth that Christ be enhanced as the can be fried treasure of the universe through being savored over all other reality. Providence end Satan and also all other created reality reaches its can be fried goal when the intensity of human savoring corresponds to the infinite beauty and worth of Christ.
Satan’s most essential duty in achieving the goal is to offer us every conceivable pleasure to lure us away from savoring, desiring, and being satisfied through Christ, and every conceivable pain to rotate us against the quality of Christ. As soon as God’s civilization face these temptations to prefer the world and also to repudiate Christ, but instead “gladly” boast in their weaknesses and losses due to the fact that of the surpassing value of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 3:8), Satan is defeated in the most wonderful and also thorough way.
Satan is not only shown to be weaker than Christ, but, much more importantly, the is displayed to it is in less desirable than Christ. Satan is much less satisfying since he is not just weak compared to Christ’s power, but additionally ugly contrasted to Christ’s beauty and disgusting compared to Christ’s sweetness. Naught Satan is and also nothing that offers deserve to compare with Christ.
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The savoring the Christ over all the Satan can provide in riches, or all he can take in suffering, magnifies Christ’s beauty and also worth in ways that could never have happened if God had banished Satan native the world before his weakness and folly and also ugliness were totally exposed, and also before Christ was shown to it is in infinitely more desirable. In this way, God’s arrangement to allow Satan’s ongoing existence and influence serves the ultimate goal of providence.