Jo asks, "Where did evil come from? We know it existed before Adam and Eve fell into temptation, but how did Satan become sinful first?"
You ask a question that many believers have asked over the centuries. The question of how Satan became evil has fascinated theologians, philosophers, and ordinary individuals alike. This will be more than what you asked for, but I hope the extra context is helpful.
God Created the Angels, Including Satan
The Bible describes the creation of angels as one of God's earliest acts, with various references throughout the Old and New Testaments. These celestial beings were created to serve as messengers and instruments of God's will. Among the highest-ranking angels was a figure known as Lucifer, who is believed to have been the most beautiful and intelligent of all angelic beings (Ezekiel 28:12-15).
Lucifer Fell Into Sin
The story of Lucifer's fall from grace is rooted in pride and rebellion against God. According to Isaiah 14:12-14, Lucifer desired to elevate himself above his Creator and sought to claim the position and authority that rightfully belonged to God alone. This led to his eventual expulsion from heaven, along with a group of angels who chose to follow him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:7-9). Those angels are now known as demons.
Lucifer is Now Known as Satan
Upon being cast out of heaven, Lucifer underwent a dramatic transformation. No longer the radiant angel of light, he became known as Satan, which means "adversary" or "accuser" in Hebrew. The Bible portrays Satan as a cunning and malicious being, seeking to deceive and corrupt humanity, ultimately leading them away from God (1 Peter 5:8). We understand this change to be permanent. In other words, there is no salvation for Satan or his demons. Their decision to rebel against God sealed their fate forever.
Satan's Fall is Rooted in Free Will
A crucial aspect of understanding how Satan became evil is recognizing the role of free will in the story. The Bible emphasizes that God created angels with the capacity for free will, allowing them to choose between obedience and rebellion. Lucifer's decision to oppose God was a deliberate act of defiance, driven by his pride and desire for power. This choice ultimately led to his transformation into Satan and the origin of evil.
The Ongoing Battle Between Good and Evil
Satan's rebellion marks the beginning of an ongoing cosmic battle between good and evil. As the embodiment of malevolence, Satan seeks to undermine God's plan for humanity, tempting individuals to stray from the path of righteousness. The Bible frequently warns of Satan's deceptive tactics, encouraging believers to remain vigilant and resist his influence (Ephesians 6:11). However, the reason I began by stating that Satan is a created being is to emphasize that the battle between good and evil is not a battle of equals. Satan is created by and subservient to God. The story of Job illustrates this, when Satan needed God's permission to harass Job.
The Bible's account of how Satan became evil offers a compelling narrative of pride, rebellion, and the consequences of rejecting God's authority.