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THE LAW IS FOR THE LAWLESS TO PREVENT LAWLESSNESS

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THE LAW IS FOR THE LAWLESS TO PREVENT LAWLESSNESS

Lawlessness and Righteousness. In Romans 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and Hebrews 1:9, "lawlessness" as a state or condition is contrasted with righteousness. Righteousness is the condition characteristic of faith, while lawlessness is the condition characteristic of unbelief.

Lawlessness

The Old Testament. The concept of lawlessness comes to expression frequently in the Old Testament through more than twenty Hebrew terms (all of which the Septuagint translates with anomia. Although the Greek term anomia, which translates all of these terms in the Septuagint, might lead one to suspect that breaking of the Mosaic Law (ho nomos) is primarily in view, the more general idea of iniquity or of Acts that reflect rebellion against God is the basic one. The law as such may be the criterion or standard for determining what constitutes lawlessness (as with sin in general), but at its root lawlessness is rebellion against God, whether viewed as the condition of one's life or as specific Acts that demonstrate a determined refusal to acknowledge God.

The New Testament. These same ideas are in view in the New Testament's development of lawlessness (anomia). The unique circumstances that these writings address, however, called forth additional reflection that both confirms and enlarges on the picture drawn from the Old Testament evidence.

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