Sin was present in the universe before the Fall of Adam and Eve (Gn. 3:1; Jn. 8:44; 2 Pet. 2:4; 1 Jn. 3:8; Jude 6). The Bible [in Genesis] however does not deal directly with the origin of evil in the universe, being concerned rather with sin and its origin in human life (1 Tim. 2:14; Jas. 1:13f.). The real thrust of the demonic temptation in the account of the Fall in Gn. 3 lies in its subtle suggestion of man’s aspiring to equality with his maker (‘you will be like God … ‘, 3:5). Satan’s attack was directed against the integrity, veracity and loving provision of God, and consisted in an enticement to wicked and blasphemous rebellion against man’s proper Lord. In this act man snatched at equality with God (Phil. 2:6), attempted to assert his independence of God, and hence to call in question the very nature and ordering of existence whereby he lived as creature in utter dependence upon the grace and provision of his creator. ‘Man’s sin lies in his pretension to be God’ (Niebuhr). In this act, further, man blasphemously withheld the worship and adoring love which is ever his proper response to God’s majesty and grace, and instead paid homage to the enemy of God and to his own foul ambitions.
Thus the origin of sin according to Gn. 3 ought not to be sought so much in an overt action (2:17 with 3:6) but in an inward, God-denying aspiration of which the act of disobedience was the immediate expression. As to the problem of how Adam and Eve could have been subject to temptation had they not previously known sin, Scripture does not enter into extended discussion. However, in the person of Jesus Christ it witnesses to a Man who, though without sin, was subject to temptation ‘in every respect as we are’ (Heb. 4:15; Mt. 4:3; Heb. 2:17; 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:22.). The ultimate origin of evil is part of the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ (2 Thes. 2:7)...
 Milne, B. A. with J.M. (1996). Sin. In (D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman, Eds.)New Bible dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Published on Saturday, March 8, 2014 @ 4:35 AM CDT