The Greek Geek

Ανομíα: Lawlessness

The definition of "lawlessness" (anomia) is pretty straightforward: without law because of ignorance or violation; contempt of law, iniquity, wickedness. Its adjective "lawless" (anomos) is also translated wicked.
Luke 22:37 (Isaiah 53:12): "For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

Acts 2:23: ...this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Romans 4:7 (Psalm 32:1-2): "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered..."

Romans 6:19: I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

1 Corinthians 9:21: To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7-8: Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction...For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

1 Timothy 1:9: ...understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers...

Titus 2:13b-14: ...our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Hebrews 1:9 (Psalm 45:7): "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions."

Hebrews 10:17 (Jeremiah 31:34): "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."

2 Peter 2:8: [Referring to Lot in Sodom] ...(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)...

1 John 3:4: Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
The passages paint a picture of someone who does not have or value the guidelines God put forth for us to live in. It doesn't mean to speed occasionally, but to live a life without God's rules. Lawlessness can refer to something as innocuous as the Gentiles who do not have the Mosaic Law (1 Corinthians 9:21) and as serious as the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Put in those words, "lawlessness" sounds kind of academic and tame. As if on a level with people who are blonde. But there are other passages that show the intense value of God's law and how we should respond to it. In particular, Psalm 119:
My soul clings to the dust;
   give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;    teach me your statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;    strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me    and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;    I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;    let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments    when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:25-32
In the New Testament, 1 John 3:4-10 says that to be lawless is to do the works of the devil, while to live righteously is to follow God. We chafe against an organizational system of standards. It feels like we're being ruled by rules. But the law was made for us; we weren't made for the law. It is for our protection and benefit. And how we think about God's law reflects what we think about God. As Jesus said:
"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." John 14:21

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Sin-Evil

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Published 3-29-16