Questions and Answers

1. What is the difference between sin, transgression and iniquity?

Our souls are affected by sin, transgression and iniquity. Let us briefly consider each and the differences between them in terms of the New Covenant:

1. In the New Testament, the Greek word “sin” means to miss the mark, and so not share in the prize. In simple terms it means to get it wrong. It can range from some serious wrongs, like having sex with another man’s wife, to ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit to phone a friend who is in need.

2. The word “transgress” in the New Testament means to go contrary to a command. Here I am referring to natural and spiritual laws that govern the universe and not to the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament. In terms of a natural law let us think about the law of gravity. It works for every person on earth and if I try to defy it by walking off the top of a building I will suffer the consequences. In terms of a spiritual sense, we need to think about things like judgments, sowing and reaping, honouring our father and mother, and unforgiveness. These spiritual laws operate irrespective of whether I know about them or not and are not specific to a particular religion or belief system. When we transgress them there are repercussions.

3. Iniquity on the other hand is what we inherit from our previous generations. It implies that we are inclined to do wrong or go off course. It is similar to a rifle that has a bent barrel. I may aim correctly but I am simply unable to hit the target. Typical areas of iniquity passed down from generation to generation may include divorce, sexual perversion, substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, occultic transference etc.

Extract from the book“A Road to Freedom” by Merril