To be lawless is to be contrary to the law or to act without regard to the law. Laws are necessary in a sinful world (1 Timothy 1:9), and those who choose to act lawlessly further sin in the world. The word for “lawlessness” in the Bible is often translated “iniquity.” According to the Bible, the root of all lawlessness is rebellion.
First John 3:4 defines sin as lawlessness: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” To commit sin is to be lawless; that is, the sinner breaks God’s law. In this way, lawlessness is a rejection of God. Satan, who models the ultimate rejection of God, will one day empower the Antichrist, called “the lawless one,” whose rise to power “will be in accordance with how Satan works” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Lawlessness is contrasted with righteousness in verses such as
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