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I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:4-5

This is such an incredible statement!

Joseph’s brothers had sinned greatly by cruelly selling young Joseph away as a slave and yet Joseph declared that this was God’s will to send him away to Egypt to eventually effect salvation for the whole family.

How does that work — can our sins actually achieve the purposes of God and does that mean that it is alright (and even beneficial in some cases) to sin?

The bible’s answer is clear.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1-2

Sin has never achieved and will never achieve God’s purposes, and it is never in God’s will for anyone to sin.

James further declares:

For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” James 1:13-14

Sin is ultimately the wilful choice of ours as human beings to defy God’s good purposes. It is never in the mind of God for us to rebel against him and neither will sin ever glorify God.

So what exactly is happening here?

It is this: God can sovereignly work out his good purposes in our lives even though we have done wrong. He can bring about his beauty in the midst of our ashes. This is both the mercy and wonder of our almighty God!

An example is this. A person may have been caught up in drug addiction from youth, done many wrong deeds and even served time in prison. Is this God’s will for him? Definitely not! Yet if, through his dark experiences and through trusting in and proving God’s grace for him, he is able to help other addicts to turn to Christ for help, God is thus using his sins for His own glory and purposes.

And this is what God has done in our Lord’s life as well. God turned the single most cruel and unjust sin in the world – the crucifixion and murder of the Son of God – into the single greatest salvific event in human history. Through the death of Christ, all of the human race can be reconciled with God forever.

In all of our weakness and sin, let us always turn to God who can work what is good and beautiful in our lives for His glory and purposes!

Rev Ian