Transgression – What Is It, Is It Different From Sin?

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What Does the Word Transgression Mean?

What really is transgression and is it different from sin? Today, I will identify and define transgression and supply examples of it from the scriptures.

I am Leroy Daley of Blogging About The Word. I teach Christians how to better understand the Bible by utilizing Scriptures to explicate other relevant Scriptures.

I use them here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precepts. Precepts must be on identical precepts or else we will have confusion.

So, today let’s dive right into exploring the intricacies of transgression and whether or not it is the same as sin.

What Does Transgression Mean in the Bible?

A transgression is violating the Word of God. So a transgression is a violation of the Word of God. This could either be the written word or the spoken Word of God.

For example, Adam violated a spoken Word of God, which was his transgression. The Lord told him not to eat of the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that was in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:16-17).

However, he listened to his wife, took the fruit from her, and ate it, deliberately disobeying the Lord in order to please his wife.

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What Were King Saul’s Transgressions?

So that was a direct, deliberate violation of the spoken Word of God to him; however, it can be the written Word of God also.

For example, King Saul violated for he knew, he knew what the Scripture says about witches and that we should not accept, or seek counsel from them.

He knew also what the Scripture said about exterminating witches from the land. Therefore, he went ahead and he got rid of all the witches, that is, people with familiar spirit in the land.

Samuel, the prophet of God, gave King Saul specific instructions. He said to King Saul, go before me, go down to Gilgal. I’ll be there in seven days and when I come, I’m going to offer peace offerings and other offerings.

So, Saul went down to Gilgal and waited. Seven days passed and Samuel didn’t come. What did Saul do? Well, he offered offerings to God, but Samuel had expressly told him, as a man of God, he was speaking for God, not to do this.


Transgression in the Bible

Let’s read from the Scripture (1 Samuel 10:8).

And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do” (1 Samuel 10:8).

So Samuel expressly told Saul what to do. But Saul was having some personal problems, problems with leadership problems with his enemies and he was scared.

But the long and the short of it is that King Saul disobeyed Samuel. Instead, he did contrary to the Word of God by Samuel and you can read 1 Samuel 13:7-10 to discover what he did.

This King Put His Foot in His Mouth

King Saul also acted contrary to the written word of God that he knew. Okay. First, he was aware of how to deal with witches.

He was supposed to rid the land of all witches (Leviticus 20:27). And he did. In this respect, he obeyed the Word of God because Saul got rid of all the witches in the land.

Now Samuel was dead and Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city, and Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land” (1 Samuel 28:3).

So Saul knew how to deal with witches in the land, he got rid of them, but he also knew that he should never consult with a witch because there’s a consequence for that too, and he knew the consequence.

Nevertheless, he put his foot in his mouth because he wanted counsel from a witch. So he said to his servants, find me a person with a familiar spirit. In other words, find me a witch.

I need to ask the witch something, I need to get advice from a witch. So you can read (1 Samuel 28:7-25).

He knew that he should not consult with witches, and he was aware of the consequences. So he went, spoke with the witch, the witch did as he commanded and he left.

Every Transgression Has This Feature

But this is the thing, the Scripture says, “So Saul died for his transgression, which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not. And also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit to enquire of it” (1 Chronicles 10:13).

From that scripture, we realize that a transgression is to go against the Word of God, to go against God. If you’re transgressing against the Word of God, then you are transgressing against God for the Word of God is God ( John 1:1).

Yes, (John 1:1) tells us that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God. So the Word of God is not separate and distinct from God.

God is a Spirit. A word is a spirit. So, Saul died because one, he transgressed against God. He transgressed against the Word of God and two because he asked counsel of the witch.

Thus transgression is disobedience to both the written and the spoken Word of God. Yet every transgression goes beyond this, it has another distinct feature.

Every transgression is a dileberate act.

You’ll know the instructions concerning a thing and you deliberately go against it. Therefore, such an act is a transgression or a move against the Lord or the Word of God or against the Law. It’s deliberate disobedience.

More Examples of Transgression in the Bible

Adam deliberately acted against the direct commandment of the Lord. The Lord told him not to eat the fruit, but he ate the fruit to please his wife.

Similarly, King Saul was told by Samuel to wait seven days and Samuel would come and make peace offerings and other sacrifices. But Saul took it on himself to go and offer sacrifices when that wasn’t his role.

He wasn’t a priest and he wasn’t a prophet. That was Samuel’s role.

So he violated the Lord and another thing too, another violation that Saul had is that the Lord told him to go to Amalek and destroy utterly everything there, the King, the people, all the animals and everything. He went and he did partially that, he saved the King.

He saved the King alive and they collected the bounty, the best of everything for themselves. So there he disobeyed that spoken word that Samuel had given him concerning Amalek because of what Amalek did when the children of Israel were coming out of Egypt.

Here is Another Quality of a Transgression

So I want to ask you, is there something that the Lord has told you to do that you have not done? Is there something that the Lord has told you not to do and you have done?

Have you acted contrary to the word of God expressed to you by a man of God? Or have you acted in contravention of something that the Lord spoke to you through reading the word, that you shouldn’t do, yet you go ahead and do?

Because remember, for every transgression there’s a just recompense of reward and for every transgression there are consequences. There are consequences for every transgression.

Saul lost his life because of his transgression. Note that the Bible didn’t say transgressions because he acted contrary to the Word of God.

That is just one transgression. He acted contrary to the word of God, even though it was in more than one instance, with Amalek, and with Samuel but the Bible just describe it as transgression still because it was in contravention of the Word of God.

Never Consult With These People

If you have a problem, speak with your pastor or a friend or even God but never a person with a familiar spirit.

Before I go I want to encourage you never to consult with a Physic, Palm-reader, Card-Reader, witches, or any of those people for doing so defile you.

If you do, not only is this a transgression but it could become your sin also.

Thank you guys for stopping by, God bless you. I’ll continue to look at this because there is more to come. Next week I’ll look at sin.

The blessings of the Lord be on you.

Leroy A. Daley

Leroy A. Daley is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. Globally, he's helped hundreds of Christians understand the Bible better. He has been studying and teaching the Bible for more than forty years. He is passionate about the Lord and spends quality time with the Word of God every day. His Books are available for purchase wherever books are sold.

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