What is the purpose behind sin?
In Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, John Piper aims to show that sin never thwarts God’s plan.
In fact, everything that exists–including evil–is ordained by God to glorify Christ.
Why is this the least bit important to you? Piper looks to put steel in your spine. To help you face the worst calamities.
And to do this, he explores six spectacular sins found in the Bible…and how they demonstrate Christ’s supremacy over all creation.
Christ Sovereign Over All Hostile Powers
The first thing Piper wants you to know is that all things serve Jesus’ glory. This includes sin and misery.
In Colossians 1:15-20 we see that all things were created by, through and for the glory of Jesus Christ…including evil rulers and hostile authorities.
Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ
Vying for the most spectacular sin ever committed is the revolt of Satan. Satan rejected God and set out on a course of self-exaltation, power-mongering, corruption and cruelty.
But why didn’t God just wipe out Satan at that point? Satan’s fall and ongoing cruelty are for Christ’s full glorification.
We could not know Jesus’ full glory if He hadn’t defeated Satan the way He did.
Fatal Disobedience of Adam and the Triumphant Obedience of Christ
Ever since Adam’s spectacular sin, death has had a kind of stranglehold on man. But God’s grace–through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ–conquers sin and death.
One thing you’ll learn from reading Spectacular Sins is that if God permitted something, he had a plan for it. So, if God allowed Adam to sin, then he had a plan for that sin.
That plan was Jesus’ death. So the spectacular sin of Adam promotes–rather than thwarts or changes–the eternal purpose of God.
Pride of Babel and the Praise of Christ
Next, we see how God multiplies languages and peoples to punish the presumption and arrogance of man. And as always, when God permits something, He has a reason.
That means fractured people and languages of the world are not an afterthought. Piper says fractured languages and diverse people glorify Christ.
In other words, the global glory of Christ is magnified in the creativity of thousands of languages.
Sale of Joseph and the Son of God
The OT story of Joseph is a story about how God allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery, imprisoned, neglected in jail and finally exalted in Egypt.
The lesson, Piper explains, is God doesn’t use the devil’s work to accomplish his goals like someone executing on a Plan B.
Exalting Joseph and summoning a famine were God’s way of saving the tribe of Judah from extinction so that the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, could be born.
Sinful Origin of the Son of David
God intended Israel to be a theocracy–a nation ruled by God. But the Israelites begged to be like the nations who had a king. Samuel said this sin was a great wickedness.
Here are 4 things you should learn from this story:
1. We are stiff-necked, rebellious and ungrateful people.
2. God is faithful even when we are faithless.
3. Kingship ultimately belongs to the Lord.
4. The purpose behind inaugurating a king was to bring about the ultimate King–Jesus Christ.
Since God can’t die, there needed to be a human king to take the sins of the world. The kingship of Israel inaugurated the family line of David, which Jesus belonged to.
Judas Iscariot, the Suicide of Satan and the Salvation of the World
But Satan eventually entered Judas, seeing he couldn’t stop Jesus’ murder. And Satan aimed to make it just not death, but death by betrayal, abandonment and unfathomable suffering.
So, where was God while all this was going on?
Even though God foresaw this event, He still permitted it. And if you haven’t learned by now, when God permits something, He has a plan.
Treason and suicide were the vehicles God used to exalt Christ and reconcile a rebellious people to Him.
Piper’s sweeping purpose behind Spectacular Sins is to demonstrate that God is sovereign over sin, death, treason, betrayal, slavery, dictators, tornadoes, insurrections, war, famines, suicide and crucifixion.
And not only is he sovereign over these things, God uses them to accomplish His purpose of exalting His Son Jesus Christ.
Sin is no mere accident or human conspiracy. It is hand and plan of God. It is the work of God.
And the love of God.