Satan rebelled against God in heaven (Revelation 12:7). And he accused God of being unloving and unjust towards His creatures in the Universe. Man’s fall on earth gave further opportunity to reinforce Satan’s accusation (Genesis 3:1-4). This is shown in book of Job, which illustrates Satan’s arrogant and false accusations against God (ch. 1:9-11).
For thousands of years, God tolerated the charges of Satan and the rebellion of humans. All the while He was slowly unfolding His amazing plan for the salvation of men. This plan will make possible the forgiveness and transformation of sinners. And it will also show the ultimate vindication of God’s character that is built on both justice and mercy (Psalm 89:14).
The Plan of Salvation
God’s plan of salvation was predicted by type, symbol, and prophecy throughout the Old Testament. But the ultimate demonstration was revealed to man by the incarnation, life, suffering, and death of God’s innocent Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Through the Father’s gift of His own Son, it became possible for the believers to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
At the cross, God’s character of love and justice were fully satisfied. The justice of God demanded the punishment of sin and the love of God provided the atonement by the death of the innocent lamb of God – Jesus Christ. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
God’s plan of salvation proved forever God’s limitless love for all His creatures. This love could not only forgive (justify) the sinner, but could also allow him to get transformed (sanctified). For “the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience” transforms sinners into saints (Romans 2:4). Thus, God’s image in man gets restored to its original state (Genesis 1:26,27).
By the blood of Christ, the believer could declare, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Through God’s enabling power, sinners are changed and cleansed from sin. As they die to their old nature (Colossians 3:9-10) and change into new creatures in the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17), they become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:2-4).
God’s Character Vindicated
Through the plan of salvation, the accusations of Satan will ultimately be disproved at the end of the great controversy between good and evil. And God’s character of mercy and justice will be fully vindicated. All people will acknowledge that God is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6,7).
Realizing God’s rightouss ways, it will be that, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11; Revelation 5:13). Everyone, including Satan and his followers, will bow down at the feet of Jesus and declare that the ways of God have been just and righteous (Romans 14:11). At that time, the peace of the universe will be forever restored.
In His service,