Oak Grove Church of Christ
The Origin of Evil and the Source of Good
September 29, 2019

The Origin of Evil and the Source of Good

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Passage: James 1:13-21
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People try to blame their sins on someone else. People refuse to take responsibility. Where does sin originate from? It originates the rebellion of the one we call the Devil. The Devil is a created being. He was created good, but he was given freewill. He exercised his freewill and rebelled against God. He appears to be un-redeemable.  God has made no plan for the devil and his angels to be redeemed.

His desire is to destroy as many souls as he can. When man was created and placed in the garden, sin was unknown to them, until that time as the Devil appeared to them.  Since that time all men must suffer and die because of the evil influence brought into the world by the devil.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:" - James 1:13

We can’t say that God causes us or tempt us to sin. But, many people try to blame God for their sin.

  • Genesis 3:12

Adam says that the wife God gave him, made him do it. Eve says the serpent beguiled her, the devil made her do it. But, God held them responsible for their sin.

We cannot blame it on others. God held them responsible. He held the Devil responsible too.

See other Lessons from the Garden.

Some would like to justify their sins by saying that God created their bodies, and gave us desires saying the only way to fulfill their lustful desires is through sinful gratification. This kind of reasoning is done by those who conveniently forget the difference between the proper use and the abuse of privilege or liberty.

  • Galatians 5:13

Paul says that just because our sins are forgiven it doesn’t give us license as a freedom to sin. It comes down to an evasion of personal responsibility. People don’t take responsibility of themselves. 

"Thou knowest thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;
And listening to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.”
— Robert Burns, In the Prospect of Death,  1781

This poem sums up what some people say to try to justify their sin by saying that this is how their Creator made them.

We will Look at these Three Truths from, James 1:13-21.

  • God is not the Source of Temptation
  • God is the Source of Goodness
  • Our response to the Source of Goodness

The Origin of Evil

  • vs 13-15 

God is not the source of evil and we can't say that God tempts us to do evil.

The term tempted, is used in two senses. In the first 12 versus it's talking about the testing, or trying of faith.

  • James 1:12

This is the trials of life. The things that happen to us in life that tests our faith and can either strengthen our faith, or drive faith out of our hearts.

Beginning in verse 13 and following he shifts to the temptation to sin, or to do evil.

God Himself cannot be tempted. He cannot do evil.

  • Habakkuk 1:13

It's against God's nature to look upon sin or to do evil. God has no experience in anything evil. There is no desire for evil in Him. There is no ground for temptation because He is holy, pure, and righteous. 

  • Revelation 4:8
  • Romans 11:33

God knows everything there is to know.

  • Job 37:16

By his nature he is excluded from temptation and sin. He allows temptations and testing of faith to prove us. But He is not the source of the temptation. The author of goodness cannot be the source of sin.

What is the Origin of Sin?

Because of the Devil’s evil influence sin entered the world. But, how does he tempt us? He tempts us by our own desires to sin. He puts things before us that will tempt us. When one is tempted he is drawn away by his own lusts. His own desires and passions, entice him. 

  • James 1:14

Every man is tempted by the by the lusts of his own desires.

Desire (Own Lusts) + Opportunity (Enticed) = Temptation

Temptation in and of itself is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted. 

Temptation (Lust) + Action (Conceived) = SIN

Sin - without Repentance = spiritual death

All of us are faced with temptations daily. It is a choice to do what God has said to, or to withstand the temptation. God allows us to make the choice

  • Deuteronomy 30:19

God wants us to choose life. He has guaranteed an escape from all temptation. 

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13

We never lose our freewill. We have the right and ability to choose to not give in to temptation. There is always a way of escape. 

Evil came to the world by the Devil. But it also comes by our own lusts, our own enticement. The Devil is the source of evil, but we have the choice to decide which way we will follow.  

What is the Source of Good?

The Source of Good

  • James 1:16-18

God is the source of all that is good. He makes a stark contrast between the evil of Satan and the good of God. 

The gift is complete because of the goodness of the giver. Everything that is good in this world comes from God. And, everything evil in this world comes from the devil and those who choose to follow in rebellion. 

God is the source of light, the source of life. 

  • John 1:16-18

Light and life equate, there is not one without the other. Symbolically, it is referring to the light of God’s word.

  • Psalm 119:105
  • James 1:17

God’s light is steady and sure. There is no shadow of turning. It is solid and complete. 

  • 1 John 1:5

In God there is no darkness. God is the Father of redemption through the word. 

  • Vs. 14, Conceived
  • Vs. 15 Begat

Satan conceives sin. But God is the Father of the redeemed. 

  • Matthew 13:23

Christians in a sense are the first-fruits of God’s creation. 

  • Revelation 14:4

Our Response to God’s Goodness

  • James 1:19-21

Because of God’s goodness we should do three things. 

  • Swift to Hear
  • Slow to Speak
  • Slow to Wrath

Swift to Hear

It is through the word that we can have salvation. We must be ready and attentive to hear the word of God. 

  • Romans 10:17

Faith comes when we hear, we must be swift to hear. 

Slow to Speak

This is emphasizing that one must be slow to speak in reference to the word of God. One who hears or listens to the word of God with a ready and attentive mind. 

  • Acts 17:11
  • 2 Timothy 2:15

We must have the right attitude willing to hear, and rightly divide the word of truth. One must be ready with a mind to study and give diligence to the word. 

Slow to Wrath

Wrath is the violent emotion resulting in uncontrolled anger and improper indignation and renders one wholly incapable of accepting the word of truth. When God’s word is preached, a lot of people ignore it. The parable of the sower makes this clear. It can fall by teh wayside soil. Sometimes it falls in the ear and people understand it but they are indifferent toward it. Sometimes people flat out reject it. And other times they can become angry when it says something they don't like. 

Wrath is seen when Stephen was preaching.

  • Acts 7:54, 57-58
  • Acts 2:36-42

The moment they gave into wrath they ceased listening. They were not examples of swift to hear and slow to speak. 

  • James 1:21, 22

Our response to God's goodness should be a response to Him. Our willingness to hear should be a willingness to put off all filthiness, and putting on clean garments, spiritually. It is a putting on of God’s goodness. 

We must lay aside all the wickedness of sin. Once we take off the evil that is upon us we must put on a new man, Colossians 3:10.

 "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul."  — James 1:21

When the word of God is implanted in our heart, in an honest and good heart, the result is a faithful Christian. We've got to let God’s word have it's way with us to have it's purpose in our life, which is to turn us away from sin. We must believe that word, repent of our sins, confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We must be baptized to put on Christ, Galatians 3:27. If you have not been baptized into Christ, where all the blessings are, today is the day of salvation. 

- Jack McNiel, Evangelist

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