IV. Why did God permit sin?

God had the power of preserving man from falling, if he had willed so to do; but he permitted him to fall, that is, he did not grant him the grace of resisting the temptation of the devil, for these two reasons: First, that he might furnish an exhibition of the weakness of the creature, when left to himself, and not preserved in original righteousness by his Creator; and secondly, that by this occasion, God might display his goodness, mercy, and grace, in saving, through Christ, all them that believe; and manifest his justice and power in punishing the wicked and reprobate for their sins, as it is said, "God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all, and that every mouth might be stopped." "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vesseLs of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory." (Rom. 11:32; 9:22.)