Bible Question:

If everything comes from God as stated in the first chapter of the gospel of John, then where did evil come from? I know that God gave man freewill. Man was created in God's image. So why is our freewill inclined to a sinful nature? If we are a copy of God, then we should not have sinfulness in us just as God is perfect and holy.

Bible Answer:

Why did God permit evil? Where did evil come from? How did it come about? These are good questions that many have asked. Scripture does not give us a single passage to answer these questions, but there are several verses that will help.

The Beginning

In the beginning, Adam and Eve and the angels in heaven were created holy. There are two kinds of angels: holy ones and demons or evil spirits. Satan is the leader of the fallen angels. He started the rebellion in heaven. Originally, Satan was perfect along with the other angels.

You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you. (NASB) Ezekiel 28:15

. . . the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (NASB) Luke 9:26

This was true of Adam and Eve.

Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices. (NASB) Ecclesiastes 7:29

As time marched on, Satan decided he wanted to be like God and so did Adam and Eve. That is how sin entered the creation. Today, there are holy and evil angels and only sinful men and women.

God’s Role In Sin

We are not sure if God could have morally prevented sin. To us it seems that God could have prevented sin, but scripture never says that. So we would be guessing. We do not understand God enough to know that for sure. What we do know is that God will sometimes grant our requests even when He does not fully approve of them. One such example is the time He gave Israel a king. Listen to this passage.

But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” (NASB) 1 Samuel 8:6-7

Many years later, God says the following.

It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help. Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities, And your judges of whom you requested, “Give me a king and princes”? I gave you a king in My anger . . .” (NASB) Hosea 13:9-11

God only grants our prayer requests when it is according to His will (1 John 5:14). So God allowed Israel to have a king. This was according to His will. This is a lesson for us. We need to be careful what we ask for. So did He allow sin? The answer is yes! He allowed Adam and Eve to have the choice to sin. When they did, the entire human race became sinners along with them. Man’s ability to choose between right and wrong was within His will, or put another way. He could have prevented mana from sinning, but He chose not to do so. This is the gift of our parents. The sins of parents impact their children.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned– (NASB) Romans 5:12

So our inclination to sin is the result of Adam’s sin. This is not a result of God’s creative act.

God – Victim of Sin

God was also a victim of sin in a sense. He knew what was going to happen, He allowed it to happen but it was painful for Him. He grieved over it (Genesis 6:6). He even had to send Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Scripture says that He had planned to send Jesus before the creation (Acts 2:23). This implies He knew Adam and Eve were going to sin before He created them. Yet, He did it anyway.

Likeness of God?

Man was created in the likeness of God according to Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . .”(NASB) Genesis 1:26

The Hebrew word for likeness means “to resemble, to be like.” It does not mean “copy.” We are not a copy of God. We are not gods. We are not inherently holy. It is not part of our being or our nature. God was and is inherently holy. That has never been true of us. It was not true of the angels.


Evil came from us! God knew we would sin but He made us anyway and still loves us. Sin was painful for God. It forced Jesus to come and die for our sins and then return to life.

Suggested Links:

Predestination and Free Will
Searching For God
Apostasy - Leaving the Faith?
How can God say you will either love Me or go to Hell and call that free will?
If you are not chosen then does it really matter when you die?