Of Free Will and Sin | Notes of an Imperfect Christian

English: Lucifer, the fallen angel

English: Lucifer, the fallen angel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So out of great love towards Man, God took the risk and did the unthinkable.

(This post’s original title is: Reflection on Man’s Natural Tendency to Sin)

At the very core of man’s sin against a Holy God is his natural tendency to discover things outside of God’s provision and rely on things other than what God will provide/has provided. He subconsciously wonders if there are things that He will not need God for, or if there are things God cannot do. This natural curiosity is a by-product of man’s free will.

Free will and Sin

Free will is all about making choices and acting on the choices made. Free will in itself is neither evil or good, but the heart that exercises this free will can make unwise decisions unaligned with the will of God. The Bible revealed that there are two groups of created beings that were given free will: Angels and Humans. The angels were created before man. They were the first ones to be given free will, and God saw what happened to one-thirds of these majestic heavenly creatures when their free will got the best of them. At the helm of this freewill-inspired-rebellion is the most intelligent creature ever created — Lucifer. The angel who was once perfect in beauty and wisdom, and himself having been given free will, used his unsurpassed wisdom and beauty to deceive, influence, exploit and insinuate the other angels onto rebellion against the Creator.

The Free Will Dilemma and the Fall of Man

After banishing Lucifer and his demons from heaven, God knew that Man will be at the receiving end of a full-blown retaliatory attack. He also knew that once Man is given free will — the same free will He had given the angels — Satan will use it to stir man to disobedience, like he did with the fallen angels. God could have prevented this by denying Man free will, thus saving man from suffering the same fate with the fallen ones. But without freewill, it also meant man cannot enter into a personal, loving relationship with Him; because free will is the well spring of life, it is the heart and the seat of one’s personality (Prov. 4:23). Besides, only two-thirds of the angels rebelled, two-thirds still chose to stay and serve Him. There is hope. So out of great love towards Man, God took the risk and did the unthinkable. God had a choice, yet He still decided to give freewill to His greatest creation and has taken to himself the full accountability for Man’s would-be rebellion. And fall man did. So Jesus had to die.


I believe that even the most ruthless criminal, the worst sinner, never started with a malicious intention to sin or rebel against God. Most sin or rebellion in a man’s heart do not start as an intentional, willful resistance against a Holy God; rather they begun as innocent, curious attempts to find out what it would be like if we can accomplish things on our own — without God. And when we reached that point where we fool ourselves that we can survive without God, sin is born, the heart starts to revel on his accomplishment. Rebellion begins. Death* awaits.

*Death here is not physical loss of life, but separation from the Source of Life.

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