Bible Study Guides – The Origin of Sin and God’s Response

April 11, 2010 – April 17, 2010

Key Text:

“Thou wast perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 14:15.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 114–123.


“It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin, to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible for the entrance of sin. … Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that given in the word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the law;’ (1 John 3:4) it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.” That I May Know Him, 15.

1 Where did sin originate? Isaiah 14:12–15; Ezekiel 28:12–15.

Note: “In heaven itself this law was broken. Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world.” The Desire of Ages, 21, 22.

2 What happened to the sinners in heaven? Revelation 12:7–9.

Note: “Lucifer in heaven desired to be first in power and authority; he wanted to be God, to have the rulership of heaven; and to this end he won many of the angels to his side. When with his rebel host he was cast out from the courts of God, the work of rebellion and self-seeking was continued on earth. Through the temptation to self-indulgence and ambition, Satan accomplished the fall of our first parents; and from that time to the present the gratification of human ambition and the indulgence of selfish hopes and desires have proved the ruin of mankind.” Reflecting Christ, 51.

3 What was Satan’s goal when He was cast out? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

Note: “Lucifer might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the angelic host, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify his Maker. But, says the prophet, ‘Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness’ [Ezekiel 28]. Verse 17. Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge a desire for self-exaltation. ‘Thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God.’ … ‘Thou hast said … I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation. … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High’ [Ezekiel 28]. Verse 6; Isaiah 14:13, 14. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of His creatures, it was Lucifer’s endeavor to win their service and homage to himself. And coveting the honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power which it was the prerogative of Christ alone to wield.” The Great Controversy, 494.

4 How did Satan attempt to gain control of God’s creation? Genesis 3:1–6.

Note: “In order to accomplish his work unperceived, Satan chose to employ as his medium the serpent—a disguise well adapted for his purpose of deception. The serpent was then one of the wisest and most beautiful creatures on the earth. It had wings, and while flying through the air presented an appearance of dazzling brightness, having the color and brilliancy of burnished gold. Resting in the rich-laden branches of the forbidden tree and regaling itself with the delicious fruit, it was an object to arrest the attention and delight the eye of the beholder. Thus in the garden of peace lurked the destroyer, watching for his prey.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 53.

5 How did God meet the emergency of Adam and Eve’s fall? Genesis 3:15.

Note: “Christ, the Source of Our Salvation—After the fall of Adam and Eve, the race was plunged in hopeless misery, and it was then that this great plan of redemption was advanced. It was then the Son of God consented to leave His Father’s throne, lay aside His royal crown, clothe Himself with humanity, take upon Him the nature of man, and become a man among men. He became a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Then shall we not say with John, ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God’! (I John 3:1). Many in our world seem to think that to be a Christian is to step down very low, getting upon a very low level. But this is a very mistaken idea. What is it to be a Christian? It is to be like Christ. Who is Christ? The Son of the living God. He is the One who wrought out the plan of salvation for the fallen race. Every blessing we have comes through this Source, through Jesus Christ. Anyone who would entertain the idea that it is a great sacrifice to become a Christian should remember, when seated around the family board partaking of the bounties there, that all these blessings come from Jesus Christ. It was in consequence of sin that man was shut out from the throne of God, but Christ steps in and pays the price, and through His merits man is brought back in favor with God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 230.

6 How and in what manner did the redeemer appear to mankind? Luke 2:4–7.

Note: “His birth was without worldly grandeur. He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger; yet His birth was honored far above that of any of the sons of men. Angels from heaven informed the shepherds of the advent of Jesus, and light and glory from God accompanied their testimony. The heavenly host touched their harps and glorified God. They triumphantly heralded the advent of the Son of God to a fallen world to accomplish the work of redemption, and by His death to bring peace, happiness, and everlasting life to man. God honored the advent of His Son. Angels worshiped Him.” Early Writings, 153.

7 How was the promised redeemer received? Luke 2:8–18; Matthew 2:1–13.

Note: “Jesus came as an infant of days, of poor parentage. But there were some who were willing to receive the heavenly Guest. For these the angel messengers veiled their glory, and the heavenly chorus rang over the hills of Bethlehem with hosannas to the newborn King. The humble shepherds believed Him, received Him, and worshiped Him. But the very ones who ought to have been the first to welcome Jesus did not discern Him. He was not the one their ambitious hopes desired. The false path they had entered, they continued to follow to the end. They became unteachable, self-righteous, and self-sufficient, fancying they possessed true light and that they were the only safe instructors of the people.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 14.

8 Where did Jesus grow up? Matthew 2:21–23.

Note: “For many years the Son of God lived unhonored, and almost unknown, in the wicked and despised city of Nazareth. This humble city was proverbial because of the wickedness of the people who resided therein. It was a humiliation to be an inhabitant of so corrupt a city. Christ commenced his mission among the hardest classes.” Redemption, 52.

9 Why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized to be our complete Saviour from sin? Matthew 3:13–15.

Note: “Christ was baptized by John in Jordan, and as He came up out of the water after His baptism, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God, symbolized by a dove of burnished gold, encircled Him, and from the highest heaven were heard the words, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ [II Peter 1:17]. This was an assurance to John that Christ was the Son of God. And what do these words say to us, to every member of the human family, whatever our country or position? To every one of us they are words of hope and mercy. Through faith in the provision God has made in the behalf of man, you are accepted in the Beloved—accepted through the merits of Jesus.” The Bible Echo, November 12, 1894.

10 After His baptism by whom and how was Jesus recognized? Matthew 3:16, 17; Mark 1:11.

Note: “As Jesus prayed after his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove of burnished gold, hovered over him, and a voice was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ Through the gates ajar there streamed bright beams of glory from the throne of Jehovah, and this light shines even upon us. The assurance given to Christ is assurance to every repenting, believing, obedient child of God that he is accepted in the Beloved.

“We are indebted to Jesus for all the blessings we enjoy. We should be deeply grateful that we are the subjects of his intercession.” The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1884.

Additional Reading

“To many minds, the origin of sin and the reason for its existence are a source of great perplexity. They see the work of evil, with its terrible results of woe and desolation, and they question how all this can exist under the sovereignty of One who is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in love. Here is a mystery, of which they find no explanation. And in their uncertainty and doubt, they are blinded to truths plainly revealed in God’s Word, and essential to salvation. There are those who, in their inquiries concerning the existence of sin, endeavor to search into that which God has never revealed; hence they find no solution of their difficulties; and such as are actuated by a disposition to doubt and cavil, seize upon this as an excuse for rejecting the words of Holy Writ. Others, however, fail of a satisfactory understanding of the great problem of evil, from the fact that tradition and misinterpretation have obscured the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the nature of his government, and the principles of his dealing with sin.

“It is impossible to so explain the origin of sin as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin, to fully make manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all his dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in nowise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the law’ [I John 3:4]; it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.

“Before the entrance of evil, there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator’s will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, and in purpose—the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ, the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. ‘By him were all things created, that are in Heaven, … whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers’ [Colossians 1:16]; and to Christ, equally with the Father, all Heaven gave allegiance.” The Great Controversy (1888), 492, 493.

This quarter’s lessons were prepared by Ruth Grosboll prior to her passing in January, 2010.