Transgression, Iniquity, Sin by Joy Pollard
Matthew 15:1-3 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Jesus is speaking about Korban. The Torah told the Jews to honor their mother and father. That meant taking care of them in their old age. To circumvent this, the men made a deal with the Temple that they would give an offering to the Temple of the money that really should be spent taking care of their parents. The men would announce that the money was Korban, and that it would absolve them of their responsibilities to the parents. That would mean that the parents would die poor and without proper care. Most probably the men pocketed some of the money and gave a portion to the Temple. The men were in error but so were the priests for accepting this offering.
We read the next passages from the Amplified which gave more information.
Matthew 15:4-7 AMP For God commanded, Honor your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely come to his end by death. But you say, If anyone tells his father or mother, What you would have gained from me [that is, the money and whatever I have that might be used for helping you] is already dedicated as a gift to God, then he is exempt and no longer under obligation to honor and help his father or his mother. So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect]. You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said:
Jesus pointed out the the scribes and Pharisees that their traditions kept them from obeying the Law of God.
Transgression is a revolt – national, moral, religious rebellion. You know what’s right and go against it. You cannot transgress by accident.
You know what you are supposed to do and you don’t do it on purpose. It is an intent to disobey. In another teaching Jesus will tell them that they tithe on their mint and cumin, the nickel and dime stuff, but disobey the heart of God. Even with the tithe their heart was not right, they got the letter of the law, not the Spirit of the law.
Matthew 15:8-9 AMP These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men.
Jesus got in trouble with the Scribes and Pharisees because he disobeyed the Sabbath laws by healing people and casting out demons on the Sabbath. The truth was that God gave the Sabbath to man so that man could have a rest and fellowship with God. The Scribes and Pharisees concocted long lists of rules and regulations that made it impossible for the common man to keep, but these lists took the heart of what Sabbath was and destroyed that. Jesus pointed out that if a sheep or another animal fell into a pit on the Sabbath the people would rescue the sheep, but why should a sick person be bound one day longer than necessary so that Jesus could wait until a non-Sabbath day to heal them. He pointed out that a person was more important than an animal.
Iniquity is the propensity to sin, the perversity of our nature, the weakness of our character. When Jesus talks to the Pharisees about Iniquity the Word He uses is lawless. The word, lawless, is like the gentiles, not being subject to the law.
Jesus tells the people that they act like they don’t know the law, like they’ve never heard it before. The Jewish tradition taught that the Messiah was going to come as a conquering Messiah first. Jesus did not come as a conquering Messiah, but as a Suffering Servant. He chided them for not knowing the hour of their visitation. The book of Daniel had the day the Messiah was to come down to the day – counting time from the order to rebuild the temple, 173,880 days – the exact day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey was that day. The leaders were looking for the Messiah which is why they asked John the Baptist if he was the one. The problem was, Jesus did not come in the way that they expected, so they chose to reject Him and ultimately crucify Him.
Sin in the Bible is the word that covers not only the offense but the penalty or sacrifice for the offense. It has the same name.
We say, sin offering. It is the sin and the offering. The offense can be habitual or occasional.
Sin is forgiven if it is atoned for. Transgression, because it is a revolt, has a bigger cost.
Joy used the sons of Jacob for an example. Jacob is prophesying over his sons.
Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:
Jacob knew what his sons did. This is a prophecy about the last days.
Genesis 49:2 Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.
The seed produces children and a nation that will be. Notice both names are used Jacob/Israel. Jacob is the old carnal nature, Israel is the name God gave Jacob and God uses it when Jacob is acting in line with God’s will.
Genesis 49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
Reuben was supposed to get the rights of the first-born, which included the double portion.
Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it— he went up to my couch.
He will lose his rights because he slept with the concubine of Jacob, this was not an accident. He knew what he was doing, so it was a transgression. This is defying his father, and he loses his standing.
Genesis 49:5-7 Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
Simeon and Levi lost the birthright because of their revengeful behavior to those responsible for the rape of their sister Dinah. They promised their sister in marriage to the heathen (although they never intended to keep the promise) if all the men in the heathen tribe were circumcised, then when the men were in pain, recovering from circumcision Simeon and Levi came in and slaughtered them. This upset Jacob and caused Simeon and Levi to lose their birthright.
Genesis 49: 9-12 Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
Judah is the fourth son, and because of the transgressions of the first three, he becomes the kingly line.
Joseph, the last son, because of Ephraim and Manasseh gets the double portion.
When God makes us a promise, we don’t always know the way. We need to walk it out. Go up one side of the mountain to go back down. This is encouragement for God’s children. We may make mistakes and not do God’s best, but God will help us get back to what He has planned for us if we keep walking in Him.
Joy described our lives as a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and we don’t have the picture on the cover. We need to figure out where the pieces go, and if a piece is out of place it will show. The pieces have a set way to be placed in the puzzle and we may not see the whole picture until the puzzle is completed.
We get refined by heat, and anything that is not refined is brittle. When steel is refined it is sent through great heat and the dross rises to the surface to be skimmed off, leaving a stronger, purer piece of metal.
Those transgressions of Jacob’s children are still with us now.
When we sow seeds of sins, we need to pray for a crop failure. Sometimes God grants that, other times, we need to ride out the consequences of our mistakes, even though God forgives us from our sin.
God gives His Name to Moses in the following passage.
Exodus 34:5-7 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Notice it mentions all three: Iniquity, Transgression, and Sin.
Iniquity is the propensity to sin. Made to sin, perversity, to be led to sin, weakness of character, and it gets passed down. Workers of Iniquity.
Isaiah 59:1-4 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
Iniquity is the fruit of the conception of mischief, and it is not done by accident.
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Isaiah 59:12-13 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: in transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
Things we allow, and not speak against or confront. We are familiar with our sins. We make excuses like, “Everyone in my family does _____” or “I like doing _____ so much.” “He was never successful at _____.”
We build excuses, rationalization and reasons for why we do what we do. We say we tried to get ahead, but failed. “That’s just the way we are.”
We don’t confront these lies. We got caught in the traditions of the church, and that is iniquity.
Psalm 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.
We make our traditions more important than the Word of God. Therefore we miss the important part.
In the Exodus 34 passage above, God tells us that He has made provision for all three, Sin, Iniquity, Transgression.
Romans 7:15-16 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
The law was given to us as a tutor so that we would recognize that we couldn’t keep the law, thus we need a savior.
Joy gave a great example. She spoke of carnival rides where they have a ruler put near the ride with an arrow stating that if you weren’t that tall you couldn’t get on the ride. The law is our measuring stick, a standard. We can’t keep the law in our own strength, we don’t measure up. The law is good, and we know that we need a standard.
We looked at Romans 7:15-16 in the Amplified Bible For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]. Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.
Jesus was upset with the Pharisees because they were condemning people because they did not keep the traditions. The Pharisees were not judging according to the Law. The traditions were made by the Pharisees according to the level of accomplishment that the Pharisees could do and keep, but that defeats the purpose of the Law that God had, which was to show mankind that they did not measure up.
There is a conflict between the Spirit (please God) and the flesh (keep traditions).
Romans 7:24-25 AMP O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
We continued reading in chapter 8 because there were no chapters in verses in the original Scriptures, that was put by man later.
Romans 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
There is a war. Jesus won the war for us. Jesus has conquered sin and death. We have to agree with the Spirit and reason that He has overcome, so we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.
Revelation 12:10-11 AMP Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come–the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (the sovereignty, the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out! And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing].
The Blood of the Lamb washes any sin and our testimony throws down the enemy.
Martyrs chose to spread the Gospel, even if it cost them their life. They placed God over their physical well being.
In the book of Job, Job mentions that what he feared came upon him. We are told not to fear, fear gives way to the enemy.
In the movie, The Last Unicorn, the protagonist is told to never look an immortal in the eye for it attracts their attention.
We should not speak our fears or worry, or look to see if they are manifesting. Look to Jesus.
The rest of Romans 8 that I quote is from the Amplified Bible
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.
The Law of Spirit and Life (Jesus) frees us from sin and death.
Romans 8:3 For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],
The Law subjects our flesh, and we are not powerful enough to overcome our flesh.
Romans 8:4-6 So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
If we focus on the mind of the flesh it leads to death. If we are led by the Holy Spirit it is life and peace.
If you are working for the devil, he always signs your paycheck “death.” You have to quit working for the devil, he will never fire you.
Retire from stupidity and don’t take a pension.
Romans 8:7-11 [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.
Righteousness is of God. If it isn’t of righteousness it is filthy rags.
Romans 8:12-14 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
The good news, if we are living by the Holy Spirit we are daily buffeting our flesh. We want to be led by the Spirit of God. We gain our strength in Him. Don’t squander your life in the flesh.
Romans 8:15-18 For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!
We have received the Spirit of adoption, and can say Abba, Father. Praise God.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
What we are experiencing here on earth is a dress rehearsal, not real life. We are being prepared for God’s glory.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
God has a plan for us. We are so earthly minded, so attached to the earthly realm. We are to rise above our flesh. We can get over the hurt, offense and sadness if we rise above our flesh. If there is no flesh to crucify, then there is nothing to cause us hurt and offense.
We need to be kingdom minded, focused on God and God’s plan, not earthly minded.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
I pray your day is blessed.
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