Rebellion Makes Life Difficult

“All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s path to follow our own paths.” Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
We all rebel against God and choose to do our own thing. "No one can say 'I am innocent. I've never done anything wrong'
(Proverbs 20:9 NCV).

Rebellion. When people ask why life is so difficult, the answer can be summed up in that one word. Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden broke everything.

Why did they do it? God gave them a paradise to live in that offered everything they needed. And yet Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God. They decided they wanted to make their own choices. So they chose to do the one thing God told them not to do.

The book of Romans records the result of that one act of rebellion: “Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death” (Romans 5:12 NCV).

We are no different from Adam and Eve. We all rebel against God and choose to do our own thing. “No one can say ‘I am innocent. I’ve never done anything wrong’” (Proverbs 20:9 NCV).

Our rebellion against God falls into one of three categories.

  1. Sin. The word “sin” is an archery term that means missing the mark or falling short. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). We sin when we fall short and don’t measure up to God’s standard. Sin is unintentional rebellion.
  2. Transgression. Transgression is the opposite of falling short. It means to go beyond the mark or boundary of something, or to be deliberately disobedient. We commit a transgression when we choose to break God’s law. Transgression is intentional rebellion.
  3. Iniquity. Iniquity is intentional disobedience intended to harm. It is caused by anger, resentment, envy, hatred, pride, or bitterness that creates a need for revenge or a need to intentionally hurt someone. Iniquity is malicious rebellion.

David used all three terms in Psalm 32 when he made this confession to God: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not cover up my iniquity. I confessed my transgressions and you forgave my guilt” (Psalm 32:5 NIV).

Like David, we have broken God’s laws in all three of these ways, which makes life so hard. But find hope in this: No matter which one it is, whether you don’t measure up, or you intentionally go beyond the law, or you intend to hurt someone, God will still forgive you if you confess it to him. And that’s good news!

Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.

© Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. Used by permission.

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