LESSON 5
THE ORIGIN OF SIN 
(EZEKIEL 28; REVELATION 12; ISAIAH 14)

Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All scripture references
are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973,
1978, 1984 International Bible Society,  unless otherwise
noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of
Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found
within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
blackboard or some other visual aid. This lesson can be
found at: <url:http://www.CameronLaw.com>

Introduction: If God is perfect, and He created perfect
beings, how did sin enter the picture?  Is the answer
something we are supposed to know?  Is it even something we
can know?  If we can know it, is the answer important for
our life today?  Let's dig into the Bible and see what we
can learn!

     I.    HOW SIN BEGAN

               A.   Read Ezekiel 28:1-5. We have a thumb-nail sketch
          of a king. Tell me what we know about him?

                         1.   Is he smart?

                         2.   Is he wise?

                         3.   Does he know how to trade?

                         4.   Is he rich?

                         5.   If he lived today, would we be glad to have
               him as a member of the church?

                                   a.   Would we put him on the Board of Elders?

                                   b.   The finance committee?

                         6.   What is wrong with this king? (Pride. Verse 5
               says that his "heart has grown proud.")

               B.   Let's read on: Ezekiel 28:6-10. What is going to
          happen to this King?

                         1.   Why?

                         2.   Who does this to the king?

                         3.   Why would God violently kill a smart,
               successful man merely because of pride?

               C.   Read Ezekiel 28:11-15.  Are we still speaking of
          this King of Tyre?

                         1.   What makes you think not? (Verse 13, "You were
               in Eden....")

                         2.   Do you remember last quarter we spoke of how
               one prophecy can have two applications? This
               is more than just a prophecy, because it
               refers back to Eden.

                         3.   Do these texts refer to Adam?

                                   a.   If you say, "yes," tell me why?

                                   b.   If you say, "no," tell me why not?

                                   c.   Aside from God, who are the cast of
                    characters that we know about from the
                    first chapters of Genesis that were in
                    Eden? (Adam, Eve and Satan.  Only Satan
                    could fully fit this description.)

               D.   Verse 15 tells us that wickedness is entering the
          picture. Let's read on to find out how this
          happened. Read Ezekiel 28:16-19.

                         1.   Do we have any more clues about whether this
               refers to Satan or Adam? (Nothing about the
               creation story in Genesis suggests that Adam
               was (v.17) thrown to the earth. Instead, this
               accords with a text about Satan that we will
               look at shortly, Revelation 12:9.)

                         2.   How did sin enter the life of Satan?

                         3.   Verse 17 suggests that the King of Tyre and
               Satan had characteristics in common. They
               were:

                                   a.   Beautiful;

                                   b.   Not just smart, but wise; and,

                                   c.   Dressed well (v.17 "splendor").

                         4.   Isn't this exactly what you want for your
               children?  Yourself?

                                   a.   Should you want something else?

                         5.   If a member of the church smoked and you knew
               it, you would not make this person an elder,
               right?

                                   a.   Are you fully qualified to be an elder if
                    you are proud?

                                             (1)  Do we have matters reversed (the
                         importance of smoking versus pride)?
                         If so, why?

                                             (2)  Just how serious a sin is pride?

                                             (3)  Are we even worried about pride as a
                         sin?

                                                       (a)  How many seminars have you seen
                              about combating pride?

                                                       (b)  How many seminars have you seen
                              about raising your "self-
                              esteem," "achieving respect," or
                              "nurturing your self-worth?"

                                   b.   Some churches have long, descriptive
                    names. Should we have one, "The Church of
                    the Ugly, Dim, Poorly-dressed Saints?"

                                             (1)  Does this get to the root of the
                         problem?

                                             (2)  Is pride a problem that is inherent
                         in perfection?  That the closer we
                         get to perfect, the more we have to
                         worry about pride?

               E.   Remember I asked you, regarding the King of Tyre,
          why would God kill a smart, successful man
          violently merely because of pride? Do you have a
          better answer now?

     II.  THE RESULTS OF PRIDE

               A.   Read Revelation 12:7-9.  If you look at verses 3-4
          you will see that Satan causes a third of the
          angels in heaven to fall. We see that pride causes
          conflict. Is that still the case today?

                         1.   Is pride at work a problem?

                                   a.   Have you ever gotten in trouble at work
                    because of pride?

                         2.   Is pride a problem in your marriage?

                                   a.   Have you ever gotten in trouble with your
                    marriage because of pride?

                         3.   How about in your church?

                                   a.   Has pride ever effected your relationship
                    with another member?

                                   b.   Is pride a problem even when it comes to
                    teaching the gospel?

                                             (1)  Lately, I got some feedback on a
                         lesson where the fellow seeking to
                         help me better understand the Bible
                         called me "twisted" and "deceitful."
                         (I've been called worse.)  Does this
                         reflect a problem with pride?

                                             (2)  Our church calls itself "the remnant
                         church" does that reflect a problem
                         with pride?

               B.   Make a mental list of the things of which you are
          proud.  How much worry and strain do you put into
          maintaining those things?

                         1.   How much nervous energy goes into looking
               good?  Making a good impression?

                         2.   Oral argument is one of my "strengths" as a
               lawyer.  Before an argument I pray that God
               will help me to do excellently (at best) or
               (at worst) not be embarrassed.

                                   a.   Is worry about embarrassment an
                    indication of pride?

                                   b.   If you asked God to put away your pride
                    do you think you would worry less?

               C.   Read Isaiah 14:12-17.  Is pride, in moderation,
          OK?

                         1.   What was the problem with Satan's pride? (That
               he wanted to be like God.)

                                   a.   Is any pride sin? Or just the pride of
                    wanting to be like God? Consider Proverbs
                    29:23 and Malachi 4:1. (In Malachi the
                    arrogant are put in the same category as
                    the evildoers!)

                                   b.   Let's look some more at what we mean by
                    "sin" and see if pride is incompatible
                    with faith.

     III. FAITH AND PRIDE

               A.   Let's read Romans 3:20-27. Before we do, however,
          let me tell you that the preceding verses say that
          we all are sinful. Now read.

                         1.   Can you become righteous by obeying God?

                         2.   What is the purpose of the law?  To make us
               feel guilty? To make us feel worthless? (In
               verse 12 of this chapter Paul says that we are
               all worthless. In verse 19 he says that the
               law shuts our mouths. In verse 20 he says the
               purpose of the law is to make us conscious of
               sin. It is fair to say, but not politically
               correct, that we are not supposed to feel very
               good about the state of our obedience to the
               law.)

                         3.   Why would God want to drive home the fact that
               our choices and actions are not very good?
               (Compare verse 23 with 24. Since we have all
               fallen short, if we are smart enough to
               realize it, we will jump at the opportunity to
               be saved by grace!)

                         4.   Look at verse 27 again. Can a proud person be
               saved?  Is pride incompatible with
               righteousness by faith?

                         5.   Let's read Romans 3:28. Friend, God's plan
               excludes pride. Pride was the cause of the
               entry of sin.  Accepting the free gift of
               salvation gives us no ground for pride.  Pride
               is so destructive in so many ways that we need
               to pray that God will remove the pride from
               our lives.

     IV.  NEXT WEEK: "THE FALL"