John Piper is founder and also teacher of juniorg8.com and chancellor of Bethlehem college & Seminary. For 33 years, he offered as minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and also most recently Providence.

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John Piper is founder and also teacher of juniorg8.com and chancellor that Bethlehem university & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. That is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.

Audio Transcript

Welcome to a brand-new week top top the ask Pastor man podcast, through longtime author and also pastor, john Piper. Kenneth from Starkville, Mississippi write in say: “Pastor John, I have actually been taking advantage of an ext and more of the sources at juniorg8.com lately. And also one that the things that has actually stood out for me is the self-exaltation that God. You talk about how that is the most loving thing that God might do for us, namely, come exalt himself, when it would be a sin because that anyone rather to carry out so. My question is virtually the reverse of this. Room there points that we space commanded to execute by God, that would certainly be a sin if God go them? specifics Jesus tells us to love ours enemies. Would certainly it it is in a sin because that God to love his non-human enemies like Satan and the please angels? Or, does the love them?” What would certainly you say to Kenneth?

Let me take it those two questions one at a time, since the very first one that i hear is, ns think, clear and also easy come answer indigenous Scripture. The 2nd one, no so easy. First, Kenneth says: are there points that we are commanded to perform by God that would be sin if God go them? and also the answer is clearly yes. I have the right to think of fifty percent a dozen things that God commands us to do that would be sin for God come do. He regulates us come confess our guilty to each other in James 5:16: “Confess your sins come one another and pray because that one another.” It would certainly be sin because that God to confess his sins, because he doesn’t have any, and also that would certainly be hypocrisy.

Second, every member the the body of Christ is told that we need to never say to one more person, “I have actually no need of you” in the human body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:21). “I have no need of you.” In other words, humans are every commanded and expected to recognize our dependence on others and also our need for others. But it would certainly be sin for God to recognize for a minute that he depended upon anything outside of himself.

Acts 17:25 says God is not “served by human being hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself offers to all mankind life and also breath and everything.” Or, to make almost the very same point, we space commanded in Proverbs 3:5, “Do not lean on your own understanding.” and also it would be sin because that God no to rely on his own understanding. It would certainly be sin due to the fact that he is infallible. And to failure to depend on his own unlimited wisdom would certainly make that a fool, and God is not a fool. “His understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28).

“To be creatures rather than the Creator offers us responsibilities and also expectations the Creator does not have.”

We room commanded to worship our Creator, and also God has actually no creator, for this reason it would be a sin because that him to try to praise his creator because he no created. And we space told in Romans 12:19, “Never avenge yourselves, yet leave it to the wrath of God.” So, it would certainly be a sin because that God to renounce his exclusive rights of vengeance and also judgment since it belongs to him uniquely and also doesn’t belong to us. And also the list might just walk on and also on.

So, to be a creature fairly than a Creator place a person in a position with responsibilities and expectations the the Creator does not have. The answer to the very first question is, Yes. Over there are countless things in the bible that we room commanded to execute by God the it would be a sin if God go them.

“Jesus tells us to model our love that our adversaries on his love the his enemies.”

And climate Kenneth asks, specifically: Jesus tells united state to love ours enemies. So, would certainly it it is in sin for God to love his nonhuman opponents like Satan and the collapse angels, or does the love them? and also he went in a direction below I did not expect him come go, and he make it also easy.

I to be going come answer what that asked, yet I think he wants to ask a harder inquiry than that; namely, not simply nonhuman enemies, yet human enemies. The is the real tough question.

There is no proof in the bible that God loves Satan or the devils, and there is no proof in the scriptures that we room commanded to love Satan or his demons. Every the commands go in the various other direction. There is implacable opposition in between God and also the devil and also us and also the devil. So, ns don’t think we are ever before commanded come love the devil and God never ever gives any type of evidence of loving the devil. That is past all redemption and, therefore, he has been handed end to his rebellion.

“There is no proof in the scriptures that God loves Satan, and also we space not commanded to love him.”

But the tougher concern is even if it is God loves his human opponents the means he regulates us to love our person enemies. And at one level the answer is yes, however not at every level. In fact, Jesus tells united state to design our love of our opponents on his love that his enemies. Matthew 5:44–45, “I say come you, Love your enemies and pray because that those that persecute you, so the you may be boy of your Father that is in heaven. Because that he provides his sun increase on the evil and on the good.” In various other words, that loves his enemies and also sends rain top top the just and also the unjust. So, you treat your opponents that way, too.

But there is a difference, no there? We are finite and also do not know the deep heart problem of our enemies. We carry out not understand the final trajectory of their unbelief and also their hardness the heart. Provided our limitations, it is constantly right for united state to pray and work for your temporal and also eternal great until they room dead. However God does understand the deep heart problem of our enemies. He to know the last trajectory of your unbelief and also their hardness. He knows whether he will exert an omnipotent, saving, influence in your lives.

“What God expects from united state in our ignorance isn’t the same as what he practice in his infinite knowledge and also power.”

Therefore, what that expects from united state in ours ignorance and finiteness no the same as what he practice in his infinite wisdom and knowledge and power. The expects united state to pray for their salvation and work for their salvation until they room dead. However he walk not constantly give the salvation (Acts 13:48; Ephesians 2:5; 2 Timothy 2:25–26).

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So, i think the answer come Ken’s 2nd question is: First, no God nor God’s people are meant to love Satan. And, second, both God and also his people love their person enemies, but not in the exact same way, since God is all-wise and all-governing, and we are finite and very restricted in ours understanding and also wisdom.