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Question:
If there is no sin in Heaven, how did Satan sin against God?

Answer:

Depends on who you ask….

A Christian of the Calvinist persuasion would say that like all things, Satan’s sin was foreordained by God and part of God’s plan. While God did not “cause” Satan to sin, all things fall under God’s sovereignty and omnipotence and nothing happens except what God has ordained to occur. Nothing can happen the God hasn’t predestined and sovereignly orchestrated… but it’s not God’s fault Satan sinned.

A non-Calvinist would probably answer that very simply, angels were created with free will. Satan used his freewill and chose prideful rebellion. This theory assumes that God’s created beings (angel and humans) have free will and choice.

What do we know that is plainly from Scripture, regardless of whether it fits into our chosen systematic theology?

  • Satan was the first sinner on record – 1 John 3.8
  • Satan did something to get him the boot from heaven – Revelation 12:7
  • Jesus saw Satan fall – Luke 10:17-24
  • Satan said “in his own heart”, which seems to clearly imply free will choice; a strange choice of words by God if He really meant to say “I predestined Satan”:

    Isaiah 14:13-15 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.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. (NKJV)

    This passage could easily be talking about the King of Babylon instead of Satan. Historically the context fits, but the lofty language of verse 13 has led many theologians to believe this is speaking of Satan.

  • Aparently Satan fell sometime after Eden was created but before Adam and Eve sinned – Ezekiel 28:11-19

It’s hard to be dogmatic about why, when and where Satan fell but it is plain that he did something to rebel against God and many of the other angels joined him.

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