What is the Origin of Sin?
What is Sin? Do We Have a Choice?
What is sin? Sin is, ultimately, a choice to live apart from God; to go one's own way; to disregard His ways. The very definition of God is one who is self-existent. He does not rely on anyone or anything else for His existence.
Since we are not god, by our choice to live apart from Him; to say no thanks to His role in our existence, we cut ourselves off from the very source of life. And God honors that choice. It seems that about the highest principle that God operates on is to honor the free will of His created beings. He never forces the will. He only accepts willing service.
Think of the alternative. God could have made us robots that could only, by some kind of instinct, obey Him. But that is not love. God gave us the free will to choose to love Him and others because we want to. No one would want to give up that freedom. To love someone freely is to choose to do so when there is the option not to. God even provided a choice in the form of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden.
To see how highly God honors man's freedom of choice, see the book
Light on the Dark Side of God.
The ultimate illustration of how far God is willing to go to allow man to have his free will is spelled out in the book about
Jesus' Resurrection - In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code That Reveals What Is In the Heart of God.
So, now let's look more closely at how God dealt with the very first sin. We talked already about how the first sin came about on the page the origin of sin.
Lucifer did not die the day He first sinned. But what if He had? What if God had simply, by a word, blotted him out of existence? Imagine the possible scenario. (It didn't happen so you will have to use your imagination.) Possibly, other angels, after not seeing Lucifer for some time, would begin to ask: Where is Lucifer?
God could reply: "He is gone."
Angels: Gone where?
God: Just gone, gone to nowhere.
Angels: But we have looked everywhere. We don't understand gone to nowhere.
God: Lucifer is dead, he no longer exists.
Angels: How did that happen?
God: I killed Him. I can create or destroy by a word.
Angels: Why did you do that?
God: Because he sinned.
Angels: What is sin?
God: What is sin - it is when you disobey my laws.
Angels: We have always obeyed you and we love your good laws but do you mean to say that if we do not obey you will kill us?
God: Yes, but just love me and keep my laws and you have nothing to worry about. You do love me, don't you?
Angels: (At least in their thoughts) well now we are not so sure.
Certainly, it would affect their outlook of God. Would you be happy in a relationship where, if you stepped out of line, it would mean the end of your life by the hand of the other party in the relationship?
So God allowed Lucifer (once the light-bearer) to continue his existence, now as Satan (the adversary) so that sin might run its course and eventually self-destruct. This Great Controversy (as it has been called) is essentially a demonstration to the whole unfallen universe (there are other inhabited worlds) of the effects of sin. In the end, what is sin will be well understood.
The plan of redemption includes the ultimate demonstration of God's love:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
This will show how self-sacrificing God is, how far He is willing to go to keep man from the results of sin (perishing, which is eternal death) How could God be willing to do that much to save and yet also be willing to personally blot sinners out of existence?
Sin is abhorrent to God because it hurts the beings He loves so much. God is working very hard to get rid of sin but in doing so He will not force the freewill of His created beings. To understand how what seems like force on God's part really works see
the character of God.