Start with talking about what Iniquity or Avon means.

Last week we learned about Transgression, the breaking of trust. Our word for this week is Iniquity/Avon. Iniquity in Hebrew is “Avon” and means “to bend, twist, distort” so iniquities are bending, twisting, or distorting of the law of God’s Word to different degrees worthy of punishment. Iniquity is a violation of the right or duty that mankind is under obligation to do. An iniquity can also be a wicked act and immoral conduct or practice. These are harmful or offensive to society and, especially to God.

In the bible, the terms, sin, and iniquity, are often used interchangeably. We know that both of them aren’t good and we know that, in some sense, they are an offense against a holy God. In fact, if you look up the word, iniquity in most Bible dictionaries, there will be a redirect to the word “sin.”  There is a bit of a difference between these two concepts. At least 70 times, we see these terms used together.


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Review the notes below.

God doesn’t only atone for our sins, he also takes away our iniquity. The work of Christ addresses sin, transgression, and iniquity to the fullest. This is great news. God doesn’t just clean the outside of the cup, but he does substantial heart work. He finds us at our vilest and cleanses us. There is no sin or iniquity so deep that Christ cannot forgive, heal, and transform. For he was “pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5)

Key Points

  • God sometimes uses words like iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespasses.  These indicate the varying degrees of disobedience.
  • Every iniquity is a sin, but some sins are not as worthy of punishment as others. For example, in the Old Testament, adultery and murder could bring the death penalty.  However, stealing; having a lower degree of guilt worthy of not as severe punishment, was still sin nonetheless.  
  • The reason we sometimes continue to commit sins is that we fail to address the iniquity in our hearts. God wants to get to the heart of who we are. Only then will we begin to see the things we do, say, think, etc. change.
  • God allows us to sit in our consequences. God gives people the consequences to carry our own Avon. We are to confess our iniquity- Psalms 32. God forgives people by taking responsibility for our Avon.
  • God’s desire is to take crooked people in the twisted world that we created to make everything right. God invites us to become whole humans once again.
  • There are differences between sin and iniquity.  Both require cleansing and that cleansing must come from the blood of the Lamb of God but here’s how that was accomplished for you: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:9) and it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

Talk About It

  • How messed up are we?
  • Are you violating your covenant with God?
  • How do you deal with your sin?
  • How do our iniquities make us look like a person?
  • Do you live your life more for God, or for the world? How do you live?
  • What sin are you dealing with today? Gossip? Porn? Addiction? Lying?
  • When approached about your sin, how do you respond? How are you supposed to respond?

Helpful Resources