What is the Origin of Sin?
Where did It Come from? Who's Responsible?
What is the origin of sin? That's a question people have pondered and struggled with for thousands of years. We see sin around us and in us; where does it come from? Surely we could find the answers in the Bible. Let's look.
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." (Isa 45:7)
There it is! God created evil. Now we know the origin of sin. But hold on a minute! Can that possibly be true? There are many verses that are obvious contradictions to this:
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." (1 John 4:8)
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)
Those are a few verses that indicate that darkness, evil, sin are contrary to God's character of love - a character that does not change. So what is the origin of sin, if not God? We have to look back even before the account of sin in the Garden of Eden. After all, it would have been wrong for Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to do wrong. This passage suggests where sin (iniquity) was first found:
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (Eze 28:14-15)
Somehow the first sinful thought originated in the mind of Lucifer (later Satan). He was next to the throne of God as a covering cherub. It seems that he may have had the highest of positions among the angels and was inflicted with pride and then ambition as this passage indicates:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isa 14:12-15)
So the question is: why didn't God at the first origin of sin just nip the problem in the bud and get rid of Lucifer the moment He sinned? There seems to be a progression from lusting after something to a full-blown sinful act to death which is the inevitable result of sin.
"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:15)
God could have dealt with sin when it was just a thought. Wouldn't that have saved a lot of suffering and misery! God could have dealt with sin quickly before it later spread to one third of the angels (Rev 12:4) and then to planet Earth. The verse above also suggests that sin brings forth death. Most logically, that would mean the death of the sinner and scripture does say that ("... the soul that sinneth, it shall die." - Eze 18:4). However there are lots of live sinners so obviously death is not an immediate consequence of sin. This verse - since Adam and Eve did not die the day they sinned - suggests that the process and inevitable result had set in:
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen 2:17)
There is also the thought in scripture that they would have died immediately had not God had a plan involving a substitute who would die in their place.
At this point, now that we understand the origin of sin, it would be helpful to look more closely at what sin is to help understand why it is such a big deal. We live now on planet Earth with so much sin around us that - well, we just manage to live with it and we hardly dare to think what it would be like to live on Earth without it.
In the next page we see what sin is and what God's options were in dealing with it. He actually had a plan before the origin of sin.
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