God overrules Satan’s temptation and our sin to our advantage:
God purgeth out the very sin Satan tempts to, even by his tempting.
Peter never had such a conquest over his self-confidence, never such an
establishment of his faith as after his soul-fall in the high-priest’s hall. He that
was so well persuaded of himself before, as to say, ‘Though all were offended
with Christ, yet would not he,’ how modest and humble was he in a few days
become, when he durst not say he loved Christ more than his fellow-brethren, to whom before he had preferred himself! John 21:15. What an undaunted
confessor of Christ and his gospel doth he prove before councils and rulers, who even now was dashed out of countenance by a silly maid, and all this the product of Satan’s temptation sanctified unto him! Indeed a saint hath a discovery by his fall, what is the prevailing corruption in him.
God useth these temptations for the advancing the whole work of
grace in the heart. One spot occasions the whole garment to be washed. David
overcome with one sin, renews his repentance for all, Ps. 51. A good husband
when he seeth it rain at one place, sends for the workman to look over all the
house. This indeed differentiates a sincere heart from an hypocrite, whose
repentance is partial, soft in one plot, and hard in another. Judas cries out of his
treason, but not a word of his thievery and hypocrisy. The hole was no wider in
his conscience than where the bullet went in; whereas true sorrow for one,
breaks the heart into shivers for others also.