Where Did Sin Come From?
It can be frustrating to realize that the world would be a perfect paradise if there wasn’t sin. If sin suddenly disappeared, there would be no murders, no wars, no corruption, no lying or cheating. Everything would be great!
Unfortunately, that’s not the reality that we live in. We live in a world tainted by sin and we’re dealing with the consequences.
So, where did sin come from originally?
God didn’t create sin or intend for us to live in a sinful world, but it happened because He gave us the ability to choose sin. Sin entering the world is a bit more complex than Adam and Eve choosing to sin. That’s part of it, but not the entire story.
In this post, I’ll unpack what the Bible says about sin and how it came into the world.
Lucifer was the first to sin
Before the serpent, the devil, was tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he made the choice to rebel against God and sin. Ultimately, this is what caused humanity to sin.
Genesis doesn’t talk much about what happened to the devil before he entered the Garden, but it is mentioned in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Jesus also talks about how He saw Lucifer fall after he had sinned.
"How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit." Isaiah 14:12-15 NIV
"You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings." Ezekiel 28:14-17 NIV
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." Luke 10:18 NKJV
Lucifer was an angel of God before he chose to sin. We don’t know exactly how or why, but we know that his beauty caused his heart to become prideful and corrupted. Lucifer wanted to rule over God and be in control of everything.
God didn’t allow that to happen and He cast Satan out of Heaven to the earth. God’s intentions were for humans to rule over Satan and continue punishing him.
Satan deceived Adam and Eve to sin
Satan hates people because we’re uniquely created in the image of God. Lucifer wasn’t created in God’s image, but he wanted to become like God. When that didn’t happen, Satan’s objective was to destroy God and anything that’s made in the image of God. He wants to cause as much pain and destruction as possible.
Satan is crafty, and he knows the laws God put in place better than most people. He knew that if Adam and Eve chose to sin, it would cause destruction in their life.
Of course, we would never sin if we understood that it had consequences, so Satan needed to use deception. He made it seem like going against God’s instructions would benefit Adam and Eve, and they fell for it.
Satan made them question the goodness of God, and made it seem like they were missing out if they didn’t choose to sin. We still see this same tactic used over and over again today: you’re missing out on something if you’re not living in sin.
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." Genesis 3:1-6 NIV
Adam and Eve’s choice to sin wasn’t just bad because they disobeyed God, they also chose to obey the devil. Prior to that, God had given Adam and Eve dominion over the entire earth. They had the supreme authority and it couldn’t be taken from them. But, they could give it away, and that’s what they did when they obeyed Satan.
Through their sin, Adam and Eve handed over dominion to Satan and he became the ruler of the earth. When Jesus came to the earth, Satan temps Jesus and tells Him that he can give Him all the kingdoms of the earth (Matthew 4:8-9). Satan couldn’t offer that if he wasn’t the one with dominion and control.
We can also see that the decision to sin changed Adam and Eve and changed their relationship with God. They quickly experienced the consequences of their sinful actions. These consequences didn’t stop with them. Once sin and death entered the world, it continued to impact generation after generation. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, every other human has a sinful nature, or bent towards sin.
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come."
Romans 5:12-14 NIV
Jesus has disempowered sin
Here’s the good news—Jesus defeated and took away the power of sin. Before dying on the cross and shedding blood, sin ruled over humanity. People couldn’t stop sinning no matter how hard they tried.
God’s intention is for us to rule over sin. In Christ, we have the power to do that.
Does that mean that we’ll never sin again? Probably not. It doesn’t mean that sin no longer rules our life. Adam and Eve had dominion over the earth, then they handed it over to Satan. Jesus regained the dominion after defeating Satan.
"It is true that we share the same Father with Jesus. And it is true that we share the same kind of flesh and blood because Jesus became a man like us. He died as we must die. Through His death He destroyed the power of the devil who has the power of death."
Hebrews 2:14 NLV
"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:17 NLT
"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
Genesis 4:7 NKJV
Sin entered the world because of Satan and Adam and Eve. Sin ruled in the earth until Jesus came and defeated sin, and now we have the power in Christ to rule over sin.