How could Satan sin? There is no sin in heaven, right? But, after he did sin, why did God allow him to live and create all the pain and suffering that he does? Does that mean that Adam and Eve didn’t commit the first sin? Wasn’t Satan the one who committed the first sin?
First of all, since the Bible does not specifically give direct, black-and-white answers to this, we tread carefully to ponder the answers. Let me walk through your questions, one by one:
Yes, Satan was an angel. He was the head angel, a super-arch angel, the greatest of all God’s creation (Ezekial 28). He was the perfection of wisdom and beauty and lived directly in God’s presence as His anointed cherub.
Satan (Lucifer) became prideful because of the gifts God had created him with (sound familiar?), and Satan made the decision (another argument against those who teach man has no free will; but that’s another question for another day) that he would ascend to God’s throne. In other words, Satan enthroned himself and removed God (something we all do each and every time we sin, even if momentarily.
Pride is the essence of sin: MY way, MY feelings, MY recognition, MY desire, ME ME ME.
“Sin” is not a “thing” unlike goodness or light which originate in God. Sin is the absence, to any degree of perfect holiness. Just as darkness in varying degrees is the absence of light.
Unless God were to create Angels and Men as mere robots (thus removing any chance of authentic relationship which God as a Personal Being desires), sin is always a POTENTIAL. God didn’t create sin, though He well knew exactly when/where/how it would occur. God did not sovereignly ordain sin, nor has sin ever deterred God from His plan for one micro-second.
It’s all about relationship. In order for God to have the relationships with His creatures that He designed them for, sin was a potential, and an inevitability. God knew that. God had a plan for it. We are in the middle of that plan.
So Satan took God’s blessings and became prideful about them. He tried to take God’s throne and was tossed out of heaven. We don’t know if this was the FIRST sin, the Bible doesn’t say. Eternity PAST is a pretty long time 🙂 so who knows.
Why didn’t God annihilate Satan, knowing what Satan would do? We can only surmise that God, in His infinite perfect wisdom, allowed Satan to live because it ultimately is part of God’s plan, even if we don’t understand, or think we can see a BETTER way.
I have become quite comfortable myself with the realization that IF GOD CHOSE TO DO SOMETHING THEN IT WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO DO IT, EVEN IF I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. This applies to EVERYTHING, including our own personal lives. We may not grasp it, understand it or even agree with it (from our own limited ability), but we do not have to be anxious about it, or genuinely believe something got “messed up” in God’s plan. It didn’t. So I can rest in the security of God’s perfection.
That’s not a cop out. It’s an understanding and acceptance of God’s supremacy and power.
So, God let Satan live knowing what Satan would do to mankind and His only Son. Satan then deceived Eve, and Adam simply chose to sin.
Did Adam commit the first sin then? He committed the first human sin. So the Bible, of course, is accurate on that. We don’t know who created the FIRST sin of all eternity, we are not told. We can’t assume it was Satan, because eternity PAST is simply beyond our comprehension. We can barely comprehend our lifetimes, and for most, we can’t even fathom 6000 years of human existence, much less the infinite past of God.
One other point… you stated “the heavenly beings are with God and are without sin”. Correct. Sin cannot exist in God’s presence. There is no indication in Scripture that Angels have a sin nature such as what man has inherited through Adam. It seems they are created truly sinless but Satan and one third of the angels rebelled against God.
This once again is a clear indicator that Angels DO have free will choice to love and serve God. Unfortunately for them, there is no provision to restore them to God after they have sinned. Eventually Satan and his angelic rebellion will be destroyed. Perhaps being in heaven, directly in God’s tangible presence leaves them beyond excuse and disqualified for redemption of any type… but that is speculating into God’s business.
Remember, “sin” is not a virus or physical element. It is any decision, behavior, attitude or motivation that is short of perfect holiness… in other words, it is anything that is not perfectly GODLY.
“Sin” is possible because God created Angels and men for RELATIONSHIP with Him. Relationship cannot occur IF IT IS FORCED OR AUTOMATED. It must be CHOSEN, or it is not real. The choice also leave the potential for the WRONG CHOICE… hence, “sin”.
So Satan sinned and was cast from heaven. Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan, sinned and the entire human race inherits that sin nature. Satan will be destroyed. Humans who accept forgiveness on God’s terms, will be restored to perfect fellowship with God for all eternity.