The Origin of Sin
Lesson 4

For many, the existence of sin, with the misery and death that it has brought into our world, is a great mystery. They cannot understand how a God who is loving and kind, would allow something that causes so much misery and hurt, to exist. And, while the Bible teaches us that “the secret things belong unto the LORD” (see Deuteronomy 29:29), the origin of sin is not one of God’s secrets. In His Word God has drawn aside the curtain, opening to us the mystery of sin from its very beginning to the present time. More than this, the Bible tells us about a time in the future when there will be an end of sin, sorrow, and death.

1. With whom did sin begin?

1 John 3:8

2. What had been Satan’s original condition?

Ezekiel 28:15

3. What led to his rebellion and downfall?

Ezekiel 28:17

Note: Some find it confusing that this text refers to the person being addressed as the king of Tyre. It also goes on, however, to explain that he had his beginning in Eden, the garden of God, and that he had existed there as an angel.

Through the inspired writings of both Ezekiel and Isaiah, Satan is addressed as the king of an earthly empire. In both cases, these city-states were centers of trade, known for their wealth and wickedness. So we see that regardless of who the visible ruler of these great nations was, Satan was seeking to work through them to accomplish his purpose, just as he worked through the serpent in the garden of Eden. The apostle Paul confirms this when, in Ephesians 6:12, he points out, even while himself a prisoner for Jesus, that the Christian’s real enemies are not men, but spiritual beings.

4. What was Satan’s name before he sinned?

Isaiah 14:12

Note: Satan was originally a beautiful angel in heaven. The name “Lucifer” means “light bearer.”

5. What did his pride prompt Lucifer to attempt?

Isaiah 14:13-14

Note: From Lucifer, the light bearer, a mighty angel in heaven, he became Satan, the adversary. Notice the plans he had in mind.

    1. “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.”
    2. “I will sit in the sides of the north.” (Where God’s throne alone was to be.)
    3. “I will be like the most High.”

Dissatisfied with his position as the covering cherub, he wanted to be God.

6. What did Satan’s pride and jealousy lead to in heaven?

Revelation 12:7

Note: Inherent in any rebellion against a government, is the idea that the rebel would establish a better form of government, based on better laws. From the first the great controversy had been over the law of God. Satan sought to prove that God is unjust, that His law is faulty, and that the good of the universe requires it to be changed. In attacking the law he aimed to overthrow the authority of its Author. This was tantamount to an open declaration of war.

7. Having lost the war, where did Satan then go?

Revelation 12:9

Note: Though defeated in heaven, Satan was not then destroyed. For God to have destroyed him would have failed to answered the charges he had made. It was necessary that Satan be given an opportunity to work out the principles of the government he sought to establish, and in doing so, to reveal all that was involved in rebellion against God and his law. The security of the entire universe depended upon this demonstration and its final outcome.

8. What did Satan promise Eve she could have?

Genesis 3:5

Note: It was pride that led Satan to desire equality with God and this same desire he now sought to foster in man. Satan tempted Eve to believe equality was an obtainable goal, reached only through disobedience. As soon as she followed his suggestion to disobey God, she was in harmony with the enemy of God.

9. Once man accepted Satan’s suggestion and acted upon it, what change took place in man?

Jeremiah 17:9

10. What was fallen man’s attitude toward his Creator’s authority?

Romans 8:7

Note: This verse does not describe a mild dislike, but a relentless hatred. It is not that the natural mind prefers not to respect and render obedience to God’s authority, but that it cannot. This is not to say that there is never a correct outward appearance, but the heart is unreconciled and unwilling to fully submit. Cain accepted the fact that homage was due God. He even brought a sacrifice from the best of his produce, but it was not the sacrifice specified by God, brought in the way God required. So it is with many who profess to render worship to God; they go through the motions of acknowledging Him and rendering Him worship, but it is worship according to their preference, and is no more acceptable to God than was the offering of Cain.

11. What promise, limiting Satan’s power, was made to fallen man?

Genesis 3:15

Note: When Satan heard that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, he knew that though he had succeeded in depraving human nature and assimilating it to his own, yet, by some mysterious process, God would restore in man his lost power and enable him to resist and overcome his conqueror. Christ was the special One who should bruise the head of the serpent; but the prophecy also includes all those who shall overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Whenever a soul decides to become a follower of Christ, taking a decided stand for truth, the head of the serpent is bruised by the seed of the woman.

12. How were the outworkings of the principle of sin soon worked out?

Genesis 4:8

13. What was God’s response to the sin problem?

Romans 8:3

Note: Christ, the Prince of heaven, stepped down from His high position, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity and took the form of a servant that He might become the divine Teacher of all classes of men, and live before human beings a life free from all selfishness and sin, setting them an example of what, through His grace, they may become. By His obedience He proved the falsity of the charge that obedience is not possible, showing that man can be obedient, thus condemning sin.

Adam yielded his authority and rulership of this world to Satan, but he had only ruled subject to God. Following Adam’s fall, though Satan claimed this world and its inhabitants as his own, he could exercise only that limited power which he had usurped from Adam. This fact Satan attempted to dispute with Christ when He came (see Matthew 4:8-9), yet each confrontation only made the more certain his own defeat.

When Christ died on the cross, Satan stood unmasked before the universe; he had demonstrated himself to be a liar and a murderer, and that under his government everything good and honorable would be swept away. He had forever removed himself from the sympathy of the onlooking universe, and had made certain his own destruction; yet his existence was continued. For what purpose? Because there was something more to be proved.

16. Having suffered defeat at Calvary, what did Satan next prepare himself to do?

Revelation 12:17

Note: Not only was Satan filled with hatred for Christ, but also for all who would choose to follow Him. It was true that Jesus, as man, had overcome Satan, but if he could keep the followers of Jesus from making His victory a reality in their own lives, all might not yet be lost.

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