I’ve recently been reading a couple of A.W. Tozer books which have sparked some interesting thoughts. A few weeks ago, one particularly struck me.

In his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer talks about the nature of God as creator, and briefly touches on the nature of Satan as someone who tries to set himself above God. Man’s fall in the garden of Eden was due, essentially, to the same sin as Satan committed so long ago.

This was nothing new to me. I well remember my mother saying something similar to my sister and me when we were children and she was leading family devotions.

“Satan’s sin was pride in thinking that he could become like God. That’s what the temptation in the garden was all about: Adam and Eve eating the fruit because they wanted to become like God.”

This time, though, I realized something more:

God created man in his own image.

Then:

Satan tried to re-create man in his own image.

And thus were born the furrows of sin’s scars, running through the souls of every man.

Satan, as Peter and I have experienced throughout our missionary life in Japan, does not seem to be able to create new things himself. He seems only able to destroy, counterfeit, exacerbate problems that already exist, and incite lies and violence.

The destruction of Eden was Satan’s act of pseudo-creation.

When we become Christians, God places His Spirit within us. And now we Christians have two images—the Bible calls them “the spirit” and “the flesh”—warring within us.

But they only war because we are created beings.

In the end, one image is inferior to the other. One was twisted into existence by a being who was himself created. The other was created by the omnipotent, infinite God. In the end, the destroyer is inferior to the creator, and will himself ultimately be destroyed.

Sin is not infinite because we are not infinite. [1]

We—both human beings and Satan—are created beings, and thus are subject to limitations. Anything we create, including our sin, is also subject to limitation. “There is nothing new under the sun.” [2]

God is the only infinite person; and His attributes, such as His holiness and love, are the only infinite things.

Sin may feel infinite at times—there are so many human beings scattered throughout time and space, all sinning, all creating evil. But that’s only in comparison to me and you. Evil is limited because it was created by created beings.

In the end, the image of God will triumph. We need only obey His leading, and trust in His perfect plan.


“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 1:6)



NOTES

[1] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, Fig Books, 2012, 95 of 225 in e-book.

[2] Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV.

(Picture Source)