Bible Question:

Who created sin? How did it enter the world?

Bible Answer:

Romans 1:18-21 tells us that the creation around us declares that God exists, but men suppress that fact. Romans 2:14-15 state that God’s moral law is written in our conscience. It is constantly either accusing us or defending us when we sin. Since the Bible teaches us that our holy God created the universe without sin, how did sin enter the universe and our world? Who created sin?

Who Caused Sin To Enter the World?

The First Sin

1 John 3:4 states that “sin is lawlessness.” Sin is any violation of God’s laws or ordinances. Consequently, sin is rebellion against God. Romans 1:28-32 and Galatians 5:19-21 give us two long lists of sins. However, the lists are not all inclusive.

The first sin occurred when Satan chose to sin. That is called the original sin. It is the first sin in the universe. But when Satan was created, he “had the seal of perfection” and was created “blameless in his ways,” or without sin (Ezekiel 28:12, 15). It is amazing that he decided to sin since he was an angel, a cherub, who covered God (Ezekiel 28:14). When he sinned, one third of the angelic realm joined him in his rebellion by sinning (Revelation 12:4).

It is possible that Satan was originally created in a sinless state but not as a holy being. That is, he may have been created in a neutral state. Then possibly after Satan sinned, the angels were confirmed either as holy angels or as demons or evil angels. God permitted the angels to choose to sin.

Sin in Heaven

Since Satan is allowed to enter heaven and visit God (Job 1-2) this reveals that God permits sin tol exist in heaven. But someday God will deny Satan and his angels access and finally cast them to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9). Someday Satan will also be cast into the Lake of Fire and live forever (Revelation 20:10). In the new heaven and new earth there will be no sin (Revelation 21:27; 22:3).

Sin in the World

Scripture does not tell us in what moral state Adam was created. Yet, some theologians think that man was created in a neutral state, a state of innocence, or in a holy state. What is clear is that Adam was created without sin because Scripture tells us that the first sin on earth occurred when Adam disobeyed God’s command which was given in Genesis 2:16-17.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat  of it you  shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NASB)

This passage reveals that Adam was commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Nevertheless, sometime after God warned Adam to not eat of the tree, Eve and then Adam sinned (Genesis 3:1-7). That is, Adam was without sin before he chose to sin. After Adam had sinned,  he and Eve were no longer allowed to remain in the Garden of Eden.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil does not exist today. God prevented Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by stationing two cherubs and a flaming sword that turned every way to keep them away from the tree (Genesis 3:24).

Romans 5:12 states that sin came into the world though one man – Adam.

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. Romans 5:12 (NASB)

Who brought sin into our world? The answer is Adam. The Greek word for the English  “came” in Romans 5:12 is eiserchomi. The word means “go into” or “to come into” with the focus on the initial act. That is, when Adam disobeyed, sin entered or came into the world. It did not exist in the world until he disobeyed. His single act of disobedience was an act of sin. At that moment sin was a reality in a previously sinless world (Romans 8:20-22). Sin did not exist on earth before Adam’s teeth sunk into the fruit of the tree.

How did sin enter our world? The answer is that sin became a reality in the world when Adam disobeyed God. Adam’s sin is the original sin in the sense of guilt.

James 1:14-15 says that sin is the result of our actions. We cause sin to occur.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then  hen lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.  James 1:14-15 (NASB)

God Did Not Create Sin

Sin is something we all commit in the sense that sin is an act of either willful or unintentional disobedience. We do this every day when we choose to disobey God’s absolute moral standard. God did not create sin. God tells us  in the Bible that He cannot sin nor can He be tempted with sin. Listen to the book of James.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:13-15 (NASB)

God cannot be tempted and He does not cause others to sin. Since He did not create sin, then how did sin come into existence? It occurred with the first act of Adam’s disobedience. It is like the little boy who knew that pulling a girl’s hair would hurt. He did it because he wanted to. That is a good description of sin. We know that God does not want us to disobey, but we sin anyway. We repeat multiple sins (Romans 5:20). Sin increases because we sin!

Once humans sinned, we became slaves of sin (John 8:34; Romans 6:17-18) and no longer had the ability to choose to do good.  God did not prevent them. He allowed it. God wants a relationship with us, but He wants us to desire it. He will not force us. Sin is a choice. It is a decision. Satan knew this fact very well. That is why he tried to cause Jesus to sin in the wilderness.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:1-3 (NASB)

Satan tempted Jesus to sin. But Jesus did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). In fact, God cannot change for He is immutable (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:13). Therefore our Holy God cannot sin. He has always been holy and He will always be holy (Hebrews 13:8).

Conclusion:

We can rejoice that God does not change. We should rejoice that God is love, holy, just, righteous, all-powerful, and all-knowing. Just imagine what life and eternity would be like if God changed and sinned, or if God turned hateful or became weak and Satan was stronger. But God cannot change because He is infinite and self-existing. He is what He is. We can praise our unchangeable God and thank Him. Thank you, God, for loving us and forgiving us when we trust Jesus to forgive us. Please read “Searching For God” if you want to know more about how you can have your sins forgiven.

Suggested Links:

Are we born spiritually dead?
What is the unforgivable sin?
Sin and Salvation