Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references
THE ORIGIN OF SIN
(EZEKIEL 28; REVELATION 12; ISAIAH 14)
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
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?
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
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
b. Not just smart, but wise; and,
c. Dressed well (v.17 "splendor").
4. Isn't this exactly what you want for your
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,
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
(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
(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
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,
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
b. Let's look some more at what we mean by
"sin" and see if pride is incompatible
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
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
IV. NEXT WEEK: "THE FALL"