Oh the The Origin of Sin

(Posted by Joel Beeke)

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” ―Genesis 3:1

Genesis 3 is, perhaps, the most pivotal chapter in Scripture. It is the black chapter of sin because of the entrance of sin into the world (v. 6); the red chapter of atonement because of the first proclamation of the coming Messiah (v. 15), typified in the first blood-shedding (v. 21); and the white chapter of hope because it contains the first confession of faith in Adam’s naming his wife, Eve (v. 20).

Our understanding of Genesis 3 affects our understanding of the rest of biblical revelation. It profoundly affects our understanding of our lives, our radical depravity, our desperate need for the Savior, and our daily experience in a fallen world.

Many of the questions people have about their Christian experience come from a failure to understand the implications of the fall and what it means to live, not in the world as God made it, but in the world as sin spoiled it. Many people try to live as if we are not in a fallen world. Few grasp the gravity and depth of our tragic fall and our dire need for a Savior.

Genesis 3 raises the question of how it was possible for sin to enter a beautiful and perfect world that was governed by a man and woman who lived unashamedly naked before God, each other, and all creation (Gen. 2:25).

The answer is that sin entered the world through Satan in the guise of a serpent (Gen. 3:1–5; Rev. 12:9). Though he was one of the highest and brightest angels prior to his fall, Satan (according to Ezek. 28:11–19 and Isa. 14:12–14) seems to have become so preoccupied with his own beauty and glory that he thought he could unseat the God of glory and take His place. When God cast Satan out of heaven, Satan decided to tempt man, the crown of God’s creation, with the very sins that had motivated Satan to fall.

That is as far as we can go in answering the age-old question of where evil came from. Only the sovereign God knows how sin permeated heaven itself in Satan’s rebellion. It is more important for us to understand the nature of sin on earth than to understand the origin of sin in heaven.

Are you convinced of the heinous nature of sin? Are you convicted of the anti-God character of sin? Have you learned to hate sin with all your heart, mind, and strength?


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