Not trying to be devil's advocate or anything, but I am curious about what most denominations and Christians believe about how the devil became evil.

To go based off these two assumptions:

  1. The wages of sin is death

  2. Sin is creation not acting/being as God intended

It can be understood easily that humans can be held accountable to sin, because the devil can tempt them to do things that were not intended by God.

But can the same be understood about the devil? For what would tempt him?
If all sovereign God intended for the devil to be holy and righteous, then something must tempt him for him to not act as he were intended, but there was nothing to tempt him.
However, if God intended for Satan to become who he is now, then that explains how he became evil. And if he was intended to be evil (if that is how he was created) then is the devil actually in the wrong?

What is an overview of view points of Christians on this topic?

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    This site is useful for asking about the views of various Christian traditions, but not good for trying to ferret out the truth of a matter. The latter kind of questions tend to require a discussion platform and often turn into debates. This Q&A format is simply not good for that. If you'd like to edit to reformulate this such that it asks about what extant positions there are on this topic and who holds them that might be a good and useful question. – Caleb Jun 29 '17 at 6:42
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    This would probably be most well developed from an Ultra-Reformed, double-predestination viewpoint. Most Churches in the "Free Will" camp will simply say that the Devil freely chose to rebel, and thus is guilty, never mind what could or couldn't have tempted him. – Wtrmute Jul 11 '17 at 17:04

Some people think that "God made me that way." is some sort of excuse.

Consider the parable of the talents (Luke 19, John 25). God gave each different talents, and each was judged by what he did with them. What they did cannot be interpreted in any way but choice.

Even a fatalist has to resort to claiming that the choice was fated. The fact of the choice can't be denied.

And it does no good to claim that the choice was fated, because the choice ends up being made. Avoiding choices is choosing not to do things, which is also a choice.

Yes, a talent was money back then, but the varying amounts is symbolic of the varying gifts He gives each of us.

Satan was given great knowledge, and he was given great self-confidence, apparently. The scripture does not say God commanded or caused Satan to rebel. It says he rebelled. The third of the hosts that followed him are not said to have been commanded or caused to follow him, they are said to have followed him.

Concerning temptation, there are many sources of temptation. Some of those are from within. Paul refers to this when he talks about the natural man. Our natural urges are not always good and appropriate, and we should not blame them on the devil.

But if none of my arguments here persuades you that even the devil is responsible for his own choices, consider this:

Given, for the sake of argument only, a god who would make us without choice and punish us for things we did without choice, that is, if such is your assumption, why would such a god make an exception for Satan?

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Let me say, this is just one possible answer. There are a lot of different ways to attack the question at hand. Im going to hone in on a couple of specific things you said and give a simple answer from that stand point.

You say

if all sovereign God

So if God is sovereign, that means he does what he wills, and is free to make his own choices, not only that, but he is in control over all things.

and then your 2nd assumption,

Sin is creation not acting/being as God intended

So if God is truly sovereign, things cant exactly go agains the way he intended can they? (not without his permission). at least if you really hold firmly to his absolute sovereignty over all things.

Maybe he intended free will, which places individual choices, whether good or bad, inside of his original intention.

So i think a better definition of sin is this example from the bible

1 john 3:4

4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

This fits well with Satan, for the antichrist is called the "man of lawlessness"

Now, for his guilt, the law says in the 10 commandements, (exodus 20:13)

“You shall not murder.

Jesus says of the Devil, John 8:44 (Partial)

He was a murderer from the beginning

So from this simple setup, we see clearly Jesus affirming that Satan is guilty of transgressing the Law, which is sin.

i think this answers the title question,

Can the devil be considered guilty?


This scripture addresses the more nuanced question you posed, which is basically, "If God created something, and it becomes evil, can God still punish it, is it not Gods own fault? making the sinner innocent?"

This is where your belief in God being "Sovereign" is tested. Note Paul's words Romans 9:21-24New King James Version (NKJV)

21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

this is not the easiest of the doctrines in the bible to accept, but its what it says. If God wants to punish the Devil. He will be Justified in his actions.

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  • Thankyou for your answer. Yes God did intend free will. But when he was creating us, creating us differently, he knows which ones he made a bit more stubborn, and the ones made more gullible. In this way, he knows which will sin and which won't, therefore determining their faith before they are even born, for he is sovereign. I can accept that this is fair because of Christ Jesus, and his sacrifice for us, but I do not understand how he can offer the devil another chance. When he was mixing the devil together, he knew the devil would turn against him, because of the way God balanced his traits – Pythogen Jul 26 '17 at 17:40
  • Did you mean this? "... do not understand how he can offer ... a second chance." The reason I ask is because it colors your question significantly differently from the way I originally took it. – Joel Rees Jul 27 '17 at 0:48

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