The Origin and Nature of Sin

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of Dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne on high above the stars of God… But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12, 13a, 14)

These verses describe a supernatural figure who, in the invisible world of the spirit, is behind the earthly kingdom of Babylon. We are here looking at what has been called the fall of Satan.Lucifer, the brightest and most beautiful of the angels of God, the nearest to his throne, became so entranced with his own beauty that he rebelled against the government of God and thus became the adversary, Satan. Here he is seen as brought, at last, to the bottomless pit.

We are clearly looking beyond the events of earth to that spiritual world which governs those events. Paul told us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) The great king of evil is behind all human wrong. This is why the nations rage, why we cannot achieve peace among men at the level of human counsel. We must reckon with these supernatural beings who are behind the mistaken deeds of men.

In this passage we learn the origin and the nature of sin. The root of sin is self-occupation. This is behind the narcissism of the day in which we live. The media constantly pushes people to look out for themselves, to speak of My rights, my desires, my plans. What’s in it for me. This is the philosophy that, like a ferment, keeps troubling the pot of international relationships, boiling over again and again in wars and conflicts.

The nature of sin is to play God in our own little world. It does not matter whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, what constitutes sin is to feel you are in control of your own destiny, that you have all it takes to handle life. 1 John 3:8 says that sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. Playing God is the nature of sin. It is an extremely pleasurable experience. We love it.

A Christian businessman wrote of his own experience: It’s my pride that makes me independent of God. It’s appealing to feel I am the master of my fate. I run my own life, I call my own shots, I go it alone. But that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can’t go it alone. I have to get help from other people. I can’t ultimately rely on myself. I’m dependent on God for my very next breath. It’s dishonest of me to pretend that I’m anything but a man; small, weak and limited. Living independent of God is self-delusion. It’s not just a matter of pride being an unfortunate little trait and humility being an attractive little virtue. It’s my inner psychological integrity that’s at stake. When I am conceited I’m lying to myself about what I am. I am pretending to be God and not man. My pride is the idolatrous worship of myself; and that is the national religion of hell.

Forgive me, Father, for those areas in my life where pride still rules.

(Ray Stedman Daily Devotions)