What is the origin of evil?

The first sin ever committed in the universe occurred when Lucifer coveted the glory that belongs to God alone. His covetousness was driven by pride. This was possible because God gave the angels free will. That is the only way true love can exist. Forced love is a contradiction in terms.  

In Isa. 14:12-14 written 700 B.C. God pulls back the curtain of time and allows us to see what happened,

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

Self will is the essence of sin. The same thing happened in the Garden of Eden. The first sin on earth is recorded for us in Genesis 3:1-7,

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; 3 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. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”

This is the answer to one of the most profound questions man can ask, “What is the origin of evil?” The Bible calls it sin. Sin is the curse of evil. Our whole world is cursed with the curse of sin. That is why it is dying all around us.

What is a curse?

“In Bible times, a curse was considered to be more than a mere wish that evil would befall one’s enemies; it was believed to possess the power to bring about the evil the cursor spoke. In the account of the temptation and Fall, God Himself is described as cursing the serpent (Gen 3:14-15), as well as the ground (Gen 3:17). Although the word curse is not used directly of Adam and Eve, the woman is sentenced to pain in childbirth and the man is condemned to earn his living by the sweat of his face. In the New Testament, Jesus cursed the fig tree, saying, ” ‘Let no fruit grow on you ever again.’ And immediately the fig tree withered away” (Matt 21:19; Mark 11:14). He also taught Christians how to deal with curses: “Bless those who curse you” (Luke 6:28). The apostle Paul spoke of the law as a curse because it pronounces a curse upon everyone “who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal 3:10). By the grace of God, however, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Gal 3:13). John promised that the day is coming when “there shall be no more curse” (Rev 22:3); all those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enjoy the abundant blessings of God.

Ultimately, the curse is the antithesis of the blessing. The blessing represents life and the curse brings death. Deut. 30:19,

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse. therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed.

What is Sin?

Sin is the Transgression of the Law” 1 John 3:4

What law is 1 John 3:4 talking about? The same one Paul is referring to in Romans7:7,

“What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.'”

Paul is speaking of the Ten Commandments!

How does knowing what sin is help me?

Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”

Sharing God’s definition of sin is one of the most loving things you can do for another person, and one of the most life-changing. Here is why…

It is sin that separates us from God,

Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.”

Sin is what Jesus came to save us from,

Matthew 1:21 “And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

It is what Jesus preached,

Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

It is what the Holy Spirit reveals in us,

John 16:8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment.”

It is illegal in the United States to arrest a man without telling him what he is charged with.  If you would like to know how to present the Gospel “not in the wisdom of man’s words but in the demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” just tell the sinner what sin is. This gives the Holy Spirit maximum leverage to do what only the Holy Spirit can do – convict him of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8)!

The word translated “convict” in our English Bible literally means, “To expose the hidden things and to chastise in a moral sense.”  Spiritual truth transcends the human intellect. The Gospel is spiritual/moral. It is only when the Holy Spirit illuminates the heart and mind that we begin to comprehend (intellectually) the Gospel. 1 Cor 2:14-15 4 tells us,

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

The knowledge of sin is the first step to freedom from its guilt and power,

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.”

The greater one’s understanding of the depravity of sin, the greater one appreciates God’s grace and forgiveness,

Luke 7:47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

It brings life-changing hope,

Luke 1:77 “To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”

All the host of Heaven rejoice when one sinner repents!

Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Telling the truth (not political correctness) identifies you as a true friend,

Galatians 4:16 “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

The truth is, all men have sinned and come short of the glory (perfect holiness) of God,

Romans 6:22-23 “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Rom. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Many think the Ten Commandments only applied to the Old Testament Jews. However, God’s definition of sin has never changed. The Old Testament revealed the letter of the law, the New Testament reveals the spiritual nature of the law, 

Matt. 5:21-22  “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty {enough to go} into the fiery hell.

Matt 5:27-28  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Rom 7:14 “For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.”

See also: Matthew 5:18-19Matthew 19:16-19Luke 18:19-20 Romans 2:15-163:203:316:1-147:7,7:12-148:713:8-10John 14:2115:101 Corinthians 7:19Galatians  3:24Ephesians 6:2-31 Timothy 1:8James 1:252:10-111 John 2:3-43:22-245:2-42 John 1:6Revelation 12:1714:12.


“The plain truth is that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity. Without it, such doctrines as justification, conversion, sanctification, are ‘words and names’ which convey no meaning to the mind. The first thing, therefore, that God does when He makes anyone a new creature in Christ, is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner. The material creation in Genesis began with ‘light,’ and so also does the spiritual creation. God shines into our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit, and then spiritual life begins . . . . I believe that one of the chief wants of the church . . . has been, and is, clearer, fuller teaching about sin.”3  

The fact is, you cannot understand any of the theological terms related to the doctrine of salvation in the New Testament apart from the doctrine of sin. See for yourself.

  • Redemption:  A term meaning to release on payment of ransom. The idea is illustrated in buying a slave and setting him free. The question is, free from what? Eph. 1:7:  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
  • Salvation:  A term meaning to be saved, or to be delivered. The question then is, saved or delivered from what? Matt. 1:21:  “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
  • Justification:  A legal term meaning “to be declared righteous.” How and why do we need to be declared righteous? Rom. 5:8–9:  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him.”
  • Righteousness:  An attribute of God Himself, consistent with the nature of God. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • Sanctification:  A term meaning to be set apart. Set apart from what?  Acts 26:18:  “To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
  • Gospel:  Means Good News. Mark 1:15:  “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (from sin) and believe in the gospel.”
  • The Cross:  Was this not where the body of Christ was broken and His blood shed to satisfy the righteous demand of God’s holy Law against sin? “When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ (John 19:30). The word “finished,” literally means: “Paid in full.”

There are two primary words used in the Bible to communicate the essence of sin. The first is hamartia (ham-ar-tee’-ah), translated in English as “sin.” It literally means to “miss the mark and so not share in the prize.” This word is well illustrated by a marksman shooting an arrow and missing the bull’s eye. Romans 3:23 assures us that all of us have “missed the mark.” The second word is anomia (an-om-ee’-ah), translated “transgression,” which unlike “missing the mark” (because we were all born imperfect), refers to an act of willful disobedience. That is to willfully, knowingly violate God’s Law.  So, from these two words, we learn that we are all sinners by nature, and we are all sinners by choice.

We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, through Christ alone, plus nothing! Our obedience is the result of our salvation never the cause of it!

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What is the end of sin?

Rev 21:6-8, And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”