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“The Manifold Wisdom of God”
God’s Wise Use of Sin — (Psalm 76:10)
God’s eternal purpose of grace to save fallen sinners by the merits of his own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, shows forth his great, infinite wisdom in using the evil deeds of evil men to accomplish the redemption of his elect. To all who believe, the gospel of Christ is both the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). Truly, the great wisdom of God is manifest in using evil for the salvation of sinners by the precious blood of Christ.
The Lord our God is a God of purpose; and his purpose includes all the evil that is in the world. By his eternal purpose of grace through the redemption of our souls by Christ Jesus, God’s greatest dishonor has been made the occasion of his greatest glory.
What can be more dishonoring to God than sin? Sin is enmity against God. Sin is contempt for God. As Bro. Scott Richardson put it, “Sin is an attempt by man to rape God himself and rob him of his glory.” Man by his sin and rebellion has dishonored God. But this dishonor, by God’s eternal purpose of grace in Christ, is so wisely and sovereignly overruled by God that it provides a background for the greatest possible manifestation of God’s glory.
Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Sin, the greatest evil, is made an occasion of the greatest good.” Had there never been a fall, there would have always been the possibility of a fall. Had sin never entered into the world, God would never have entered human flesh. Had there been no sin, Christ would never have redeemed us. Had there been no sin, the mercy, love, and grace of God, as we now know them, would have been unknown. Had there been no sin, there would have been no adoption. Had there been no sin, there would have been no saving grace. — “Where sin abounded grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). Had there been no sin, there would have been no song of praise to the Lamb of God in heaven (Revelation 5:9-14).
Sin, the greatest evil in the world, by the wisdom of God, has become an occasion for the greatest possible manifestation of God’s glory.
Sin attempts to dethrone God; but it has instead given God opportunity to show forth his royal majesty and glory more fully than could have been possible otherwise. Yes, blessed be his name, the Lord our God is the Ruler even of sin (Psalm 76:10; Isaiah 45:7).
Man by sin slights and despises God; but God by forgiving sin, appears more gloriously honorable than he could had there been no sin to forgive (Psalms 103:8-13; 25:11).
Sin is contempt for the authority and the law of God; but God, by redeeming us from sin in Christ, gives greater honor to his law than man could ever have given it, even if he had never sinned.
It was a far greater honor to the law that Christ became subject to it, obeyed it, and fulfilled it than if all men had done so. God’s authority as God is far more highly honored by the respect and obedience given to him by Christ than it ever could be by the perfect obedience of all angels and men (Romans 8:1-4; Galatians 4:4-6; Isaiah 42:21).
Man, by his sin, shows his enmity against the holiness of God; but man’s sin gives the blackest possible background for the greatest possible revelation of God’s holiness. The holiness of God never appeared so magnificently as it did when God executed vengeance upon his own dear Son, when he was made to be sin for us (Isaiah 53:1-10).
Still, there is more. — We see the wisdom of God in our redemption by Christ in that those attributes of God which seem to require the destruction of sinners are most clearly revealed in the salvation of sinners. It would naturally appear to anyone, whose reason has not been perverted by false religion, that fallen man must be destroyed by a holy God. The justice, holiness, and truth of God seem to require the destruction of every sinner. The great and holy God is One “that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7).
The justice of God requires that sin be punished as it deserves; and it deserves to be punished with everlasting destruction (Romans 6:23). The holiness of God cannot bear to look upon sin, and demands that sinners be banished forever from his presence (Psalm 5:5; 7:11; 11:4-7). The truth of God demands eternal death to be executed upon every transgressor (Ezekiel 18:20).
Yet, God in great, infinite wisdom found a way to save sinners that is not only consistent with, but glorifying to his justice, holiness, and truth (Job 33:24; Romans 3:24-26). — Through the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in the place of sinners justice is vindicated, holiness is maintained, and truth is uncompromised (Proverbs 16:6).
Consistent with God
Here is the wisdom of God. —– Redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ is so sufficient a way of salvation that it is altogether consistent with all the attributes of God to save the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). For great sinners, there is great grace from the great God, by our great Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:20-21).
Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds! The grace of our God is truly boundless grace. His grace is sovereign (Romans 9:16-18). His grace is free. His grace is immutable (Malachi 3:6). His grace is effectual (Romans 9:16). And his grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).