Did God create sin?

by Matt Slick

No, God did not create sin. God is holy, and He would not create that which is contrary to His nature. Sinfulness is the opposite of holiness. It is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). God is the author of the Law which is a reflection of His holy character (Exodus 20). Therefore, God cannot create that which is in direct violation of the Law any more than a person can wish himself to be bigger than the sun. It just isn’t possible.

But, if God didn’t create sin, then where did it come from? This is a question that has been debated by theologians and philosophers for many years. I cannot say that I have any better answers than they. Nevertheless, let me venture a guess.

God created the conditions where free will creatures would be able to make a choice between obedience and disobedience to God. This condition existed when God created an angel called Lucifer, who was without sin, yet apparently had free will. Lucifer chose to rebel against God and sin (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezek. 28:13-15). Likewise, Adam and Eve, having been made by God without sin, listened to the devil and chose to sin against God (Gen. 3).

But God did not cause them to sin (James 1:13). In the freedom of their wills, each decided to rebel against God, and sin entered the world (Rom. 5:12). God simply allowed the condition to exist where sin was possible.

An analogy can be found in the relationship between a parent and a child. A parent can create the condition that makes disobedience possible, yet the parent remains innocent if the child sins. For example, if a parent tells his child to clean up his room and the child does not, he has rebelled. But, the parent is not responsible for the child’s sin, nor did he cause the child to sin. The child had a choice to obey or not to obey.

Likewise, God has created the condition in the world where the ability to rebel against Him was possible. Yet, He is not responsible for that rebellion once it has been committed. Therefore, sin originated with Lucifer, who was the first to rebel, and entered the world through Adam who likewise chose disobedience.