Did Satan Have Free Will?

Apart from not following God’s path, Satan decided to influence his fellow angels to follow him and choose darkness. He could do this because he had free will and so did his fellow fallen angels.

Christianity.com Contributing Writer
Mar 01, 2021
Did Satan Have Free Will?

Free will is the ability to make a choice. It makes us accountable for our actions, what we speak and what we think. Free will divides the action that we have no jurisdiction to do and the actions that we do have.

Our wrongdoings are because we have the choice to do so, and our good deeds are also because of our free will to choose. God requires our love for Him to be a choice so He created us with free will to either choose and live for Him or not.

As humans, we were given free will, as stated in John 7:17, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”

However, God establishes our steps so that we choose the path of good. This is particularly mentioned in Proverbs 16:9, as stated, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Despite the fact the God establishes our path, we are still given the free will to choose which path we want.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

Angels, just like us, have free will as well. They, too, are God’s creation and they are spiritual beings. Just like any creation of God, they worship Him, have emotions, and are intelligent beings. In Luke 2:13-14, we can read angels exalting God,

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Satan Chose the Path of Pride

There are two kinds of angels, the fallen and the holy angels. In Revelation 12:7–9, the fall of the rebellious angels is described,

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

In this verse, we read that Satan was hurled to earth together with other rebellious angels. The reason for this is because he became full of pride and wanted to be like God.

He rebelled and was cast out of heaven. This act of Satan tells us that he had free will and so he chose the path of pride, which brought him to his doom.

Satan’s free will and delusional dreams to be higher than God is documented in Isaiah 14:13–14,

I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

His will to become more than God’s own creation, and despite God’s guidance, he still chose not to follow Him.

Satan Chose to Influence Darkness

Apart from not following God’s path, Satan decided to influence his fellow angels to follow him and choose darkness. He could do this because he had free will and so did his fellow fallen angels,

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment…if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority (2 Peter 2:4,9-10).

Since they had the option to sin, they chose to follow Satan's influence and, therefore, befell his same fate.

So, what can we learn from Satan’s free will and his choice of the wrong path? It tells us that while we have free will and the will to decide our own paths — if we choose the wrong path and lead ourselves in the dark direction, we will fall from grace and experience our ultimate demise, as it is stated in 2 Corinthians 11:3,

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Satan, because of his free will, will always try his best to influence us to his side. But our Lord and Savior are more powerful than Satan. The mere words of Jesus will rebuke Satan in an instant, as stated in Mark 8:33,

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

God has already given Jesus to us so that we may be guided on what we can do. For this reason, we have to follow Jesus and be like Him so that despite having our own free will, our will chooses Christ.

Satan had free will, as he still does today. He chose pride over eternal paradise by aiming to be like God the Father and he chose to influence his angels to go to the bad side rather than staying in eternal paradise with God.

Satan’s free will is something we should be careful of, but we should not be afraid of him. The reason for this is because Jesus is with us and we can easily rebuke Satan because of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For further reading:

Did God Create Satan?

Who Is the Father of Lies in John 8:44

Why Was Lucifer, Satan, Cast Out of Heaven and Banished to Hell?

Do Angels Have Free Will? Can Angels Choose to Sin?

How Do God’s Sovereignty and Our Free Will Work Together for Salvation?

Are Demons Really Fallen Angels?

Should We Worry about Demons Today?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/francescoch

Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.

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