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Did God create sin?

God created a perfect universe that was without sin. Upon completion of the six days of creation, He called His creation "very good" (Genesis 1:31). God did not create sin. Rather, sin entered the universe when Lucifer rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven—along with the angels who sided with him (Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18).

Sin is anything that goes against God's perfect order and instructions. An obvious version of sin is living without regard to or in direct opposition to laws: "Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Really, sin is any action, word, thought, or motivation that falls short of God's perfection and glory (Romans 3:23).

God did not create sin, but in giving His creation free will, He did create the potential for sin. Without free will, we would be robots. Because God gave us free will, He gave us the right to choose to live according to His standard of righteousness or to choose to live in sin. God does not desire that we sin nor does He try to trick us into sinning. James 1:13 tells us, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one." Since the first sin with Adam and Eve, our natural human inclination has been toward sin. This is why God provided a Savior—Jesus Christ. On our own, we are separated from God and dead in sin. But in Christ, we can be made alive to God and have freedom from sin (Ephesians 2:1–10). Christians still struggle against sin, but we also have a new nature and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome (Philippians 2:12–13; Ephesians 4:17–32; Galatians 5:16–25). If we seek God, He will lead us in paths of righteousness (Jeremiah 29:13; Psalm 23:3).

While God did not create sin and is not responsible for our choice to sin, as the standard of perfection He is responsible to judge it: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Corinthians 5:10; see also Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 14:12). We must go to God in faith and repent in order to be forgiven of sin; He does not want to condemn us but to save us. He "… is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9; see also John 3:16–18; Romans 10:9–13). All who have put their faith in Jesus Christ have received forgiveness of sin and are not condemned (Ephesians 1:3–14; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21). And God is faithful to cleanse them and restore them to close fellowship when they do sin and turn back to Him (1 John 1:8—2:2).

God strongly desires that we follow Him, because He wants us to experience the closeness with Him and other benefits that come along with it (Exodus 19:5; Jeremiah 7:23; John 15:1–11). He wants to be close to us, provide for us, and cover us with His protection. Do not just hear the words and instructions of God—keep them, and you will be blessed (Luke 11:28).

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