“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (I John 3:8)
John says that “the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” The question is simply, “The beginning of what?”
I personally think this little phrase gives us some help on the biggest obstacle to Christianity: the problem of evil and where it comes from.
- Option #1 – The devil sinned from the beginning of His own creation. There are some who teach that the devil has always been evil, but we can reject this option quickly because the Bible tells us he fell, which implies he was sinless before he was expelled from heaven (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28). Also, if God created the devil with sin, it makes God the author of evil.
- Option #2 – The devil sinned at the time God created the heavens and the earth. Because we do not have a “date” for the account of Genesis 1 and the devil’s fall, we don’t know if they happened right after each other or what. This could be the case, but we cannot be for sure.
- Option #3 – The devil sinned when man sinned. Some argue this because John refers to the Devil as the serpent in Eden (Revelation 19-20), but the serpent showed up in the Garden with evil intentions – before Adam and Eve sinned – implies he had already been sinning.
- Option #4 – The devil sinned between His creation and when he was kicked out of heaven. When this sinless Lucifer conceived an evil thought and tried to unseat God and was kicked out of heaven, that was the beginning of evil.
Now, I know this is not a complete answer to the problem of evil, but I believe it does give us a little help. Sin came into the world when Satan brought it with His own fall. God did not make evil.
Those that are of Him who brought sin into the world with his own fall are those who are practicing sin.
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