Satan and Romans 8:28

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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

In the grand scheme of things, is Satan actually good for the elect? Below is a brief excerpt from Gurnall's 827-page work:
Christian in Complete Armour;
A Treatise On
The Saints’ War with the Devil:


Thirdly, Satan’s power is ministerial, appointed by God for the service and benefit of the saints: it is true, as it is said of the proud Assyrian, ‘He meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so,’ Isa. 10:7; but it is in his heart to destroy those he tempts: but no matter what he thinks; as Luther comforted himself, when told what had passed at the diet of Nuremberg against the Protestants, ‘that it was decreed one way there, but otherwise in heaven;’ so for the saints’ comfort, the thoughts which God thinks to them are peace, while Satan’s are ruin to their graces, and destruction to their souls; and his counsel shall stand in spite of the devil. The very mittimus which God makes, when he commits any of his saints to the devil’s prison, runs thus: ‘Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus,’ 1 Cor. 5:5. So that tempted saints may say, We had perished if we had not perished to our own thinking. This Leviathan, while he thinks to swallow them up, is but sent of God, as the whale to Jonah, to waft them safe to land. ‘Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge them, and to make them white,’ Dan. 11:35. This God intends when he lets his children fall into temptation, as we do with our linen; the spots they get at our feasts are taken out by washing, rubbing, and laying them out to bleach. The saints’ spots are most in peace, plenty, and prosperity, and they never recover their whiteness to such a degree, as when they come from under Satan’s scouring. We do too little not to fear Satan; we should comfort ourselves with the usefulness and subserviency of his temptations to our good. ‘All things are yours,’ who are Christ’s. He that hath given life to be yours, hath given death also. He that hath given heaven for your inheritance, Paul and Cephas, his ministers and ordinances, to help you thither, hath given the world, with all the afflictions of it, yea, the prince of it too, with all his wrath and power, in order to the same end. This, indeed, is love and wisdom in a riddle; but you who have the spirit of Christ can unfold it.

Gurnall, W., & Campbell, J. (1845). The Christian in Complete Armour (pp. 102–103). London: Thomas Tegg.
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