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“The Manifold Wisdom of God”
The Fall of Man — (Genesis 3:1-7)
It was the fiend of hell, Satan, who instigated the fall. His aim was the destruction of man and the frustration of God’s purpose. And he has succeeded in destroying multitudes of men. But he has not frustrated the purpose of God. He has not destroyed one of God’s elect. And those he has destroyed will, in the end, aggravate his eternal misery.
What Satan did in tempting man to sin was exactly the opposite of what he intended to do. God overthrew his designs! When Satan caused the fall of our race in Adam, he gave God occasion to glorify himself in the redemption of fallen man. And he gave opportunity for God’s elect to enjoy greater happiness than they could have ever known otherwise.
Satan sought to ruin manhood by the fall, but God turned the fall into an occasion for the exaltation of manhood.
Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, promising them that if they did they would become like God. It was a lie in the devil’s mouth. But look what God has done in response to Satan’s work. Because of the fall, God became a man to crush the serpent’s head and save fallen men. The fall of Adam opened the way for the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Man has been united to God in the Person of his Son. Our fall in Adam opened the way for us to receive “the adoption of sons” in Christ. Now, by God’s free, saving grace, fallen sinners have been made like Christ. — “As he is so are we in this world!” And, in Christ, instead of becoming Satan’s slave, saved sinners are made to be Satan’s judges (1 Corinthians 6:3).
Satan sought to frustrate God’s purpose and rob him of his glory by the fall of man, but he was an instrument used by God to fulfil his purpose and get glory to himself. It was the purpose of God from eternity that his Son become a man to suffer and die for sinners. It was the purpose of God from eternity that his elect enjoy the nearest possible eternal union with him in heaven. It was the purpose of God from eternity to glorify himself in the redemption and salvation of fallen men.
Though Satan refused to minister to those whom God had chosen to be the heirs of eternal salvation, God made him to serve the eternal good of his own elect “to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ” (Hebrews 1:14; Ephesians 1:8-12).