[Stream of Consciousness] Why Did We Have to Sin?

Because I procrastinate everything, I’m just now deciding to get in on this 7 posts in 7 days fiesta that is going on at Conversion Diary. The only way that this is going to happen is if I write about whatever idea is floating around in my head each day. However, that’s kind of dangerous. It means I won’t have days (or in the case of my love story series, months) to think through my post and make sure it says it exactly what I want it to. So I’m going to put my thoughts out there and hopefully I don’t end up as a heretic before the end of the week. I’ll try to do this carefully because I think I am wading into deep waters.

With that big disclaimer out of the way, let’s give it a go.

I’m leading with this video because I’m crazy about anything done by Audrey Assad right now and her music has been the soundtrack to my thinking about this.

Spurred on by one of my online classes, for the last 24 hours or so I have thought about this question:

Why did humanity have to sin?

Let me start first with my presuppositions:

  • God is perfectly good. God does not sin or cause sin. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5
  • God is sovereign. God can allow or stop anything. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:15-17
  • God is all knowing. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. – 1 John 3:20
  • Humanity is fallen and are born with a sinful nature as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned – Romans 5:12
  • Humans individually choose to sin of their own will. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… – Romans 3:22-23

So again, why did we sin?

If God is perfectly good, why did he create a world that would fall? Granted that was a choice of our own free will (interesting tangent: the angels/Satan fell before humanity?…hmm) but still God knew before we even did it. Before the foundation of the world Christ was slain for our sins meaning he knew even before we were created. Did we have to fall because one of Christ’s attributes is his atoning sacrifice for humanity or is one of Christ’s attributes his atoning sacrifice because God knew that we would fall?

God created us with the capability to sin but why? Is it that our love and worship is meaningless unless it is chosen? However, there seems to be an element of God’s sovereign grace over who comes to know him and who doesn’t. It is somehow both an act of God’s grace and a personal choice.

Clearly the ability to choose between good and evil is not an attribute unique to us, as Satan fell. However, redemption seems to be an attribute unique to the material world. In Scripture, Satan is vanquished but creation is redeemed – why this dichotomy?

Could God have created something that was good even though he knew it would fall because in its fall it would display God’s full nature? The depth of his great love, faithfulness, and judgement?

Clearly I don’t have any answers yet. Whenever I think about it I feel like I’m working on a puzzle and there’s one key piece that I can’t quite find. More thoughts to come?

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2 thoughts on “[Stream of Consciousness] Why Did We Have to Sin?”

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Very interesting thoughts, and obviously I don’t have all the answers etiher. But, I will offer some thoughts.

    I think the assumption is that mankind now sins because of the fall, because sin entered into our being. So the questions, is why did God create Adam and Eve with the ability to sin. In short, I think you are right on. God created us with free will because if we didn’t have the ability to chose to love him or not love him it wouldn’t really be love.

    But, that is a good point. Why did God allow for man to be redeemed and not Satan and the fallen angels?

    I don’t know if you are Catholic or not, or how you feel about Catholic theology- but I am (newly) Catholic and find what the Church teaches to be helpful. Here is a quote from the Catechism of The Catholic Church:

    “393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”

    I guess the nature of their being prevents redemption? I will have to chew on that for a while.

    1. Those are some good thoughts! I wonder if it also has to do with their role being in heaven, in God’s presence… maybe? Thanks for contributing 🙂

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