In the last bulletin article I began discussing the origin of sin. We saw that the Bible clearly exonerates God from being the author of sin. But does that mean that sin originated only with man? No the Bible teaches us that we must go back before the sin of Adam and Eve to find the origin.
The place where sin first appeared was in the angelic world. God created angels and we know that these angels were all created good because when God surveyed all that he made he declared it very good: ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day’ (Genesis 1:31). But at some point after this declaration and before Adam and Eve sinned, there was a fall in the angelic world and legions of angels fell away from God.
Very little is said about this fall in the Bible, but there appears to be some evidence that it concerned the sin of pride, desiring to be like God in power and authority. This comes from Paul saying that an overseer ‘must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil’ (1 Timothy 3:6). Jude would also appear to corroborate this when he says: ‘And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home’ (Jude 1:6). There is also the possibility that the prophecy against the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14 speaks of Satan and his fall due to pride: ‘How you have fallen from heaven, O 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 heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Yet these angels did not go unpunished. Peter tells us: ‘…God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment’ (2 Peter 2:4).
Therefore, sin originated in the angelic world meaning humans weren’t the first to sin. However this does not relieve humans of the responsibility for their sin. Just because it didn’t start with us, doesn’t mean that we can blame the angels. We have all sinned and we all deserve to be punished. The only way that the Bible allows for us to escape that punishment is to repent and believe in Jesus’ death for us. If you haven’t done that, let me encourage you to do it now.