Thursday, Dec. 10
“God’s glory is magnified by a background of sin.”—John Piper. It has always been a puzzle to me as to why God allowed sin to enter the universe. This view helps me, although I suspect there is a good deal more involved than what we can understand. Centuries ago philosophers came up with “dualism,” a theory that says that the universe is controlled by two opposing forces, good and evil. I understand why they came up with this view, but the Bible doesn’t support it. The universe is controlled entirely by God, who is perfect in his holiness. The Bible does not suggest that evil has always existed. It was allowed by the sovereign God, and introduced into the world by a created being. It will also be totally vanquished at the “end of the age” and never more exist. In the meantime, the existence of sin makes God’s holiness all the more glorious. Along the same lines, Paul says in Rom. 5:20-21 “The Law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He anticipated a rejoinder of “Well, if sin promotes grace, then more sin means more grace, with the implication that God is glorified even more. Paul rejects that logic in the following two verses, Rom. 6:1-2. He says “By no means!” and goes on to explain why. So Piper’s statement should not be blown out of proportion, either. God did not create sin or propagate it. He used it to bring more glory to Himself, just as He has consistently done throughout history, turning sinful corruption into victory. It’s comforting to know that God can use our sinful conduct to produce a greater victory. But “God forbid” that we allow sin in our lives just to see God go to work.