What Does Iniquity Mean in the Bible?

We live in God’s kingdom, and we all have a purpose in life. While God doesn’t force us to move on the path he has chosen for us, he does give us signs to help us follow the right direction. Unfortunately, many choose the wrong path and disobey the principles of God. The terms sin and iniquity are often used in the Bible, but what do they mean? What does iniquity mean in the Bible?

In this article, we will discuss the biblical meaning of iniquity and the key differences between iniquity and sin. It’s important to understand what we do wrong and avoid this type of behavior to reach the kingdom of heaven. So without any delay, let’s explore what iniquity means.

What Does Iniquity Mean in the Bible?

Iniquity is a bending and twisting of God’s word or law. Every human in God’s kingdom is under the obligation to do his duty, and iniquity is that obligation’s violation. In simple words, it’s an act that’s immoral, offensive, and harmful to society and God. There are many Bible verses about iniquity, and it’s a guilt that is worthy of punishment.

In the Bible, iniquity is described as being of an immoral and evil character and nature. A person who commits iniquity does the complete opposite of what God expects humans to do. In iniquity, we refuse to deal with the evil and sins in our hearts and continue to commit bad acts that harm our relationship with God

People with moral values from different parts of the world and religions discourage the practice of iniquity.

In the Bible, sin and iniquity are used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between these terms. Before discussing their differences, let’s find out what sin means.

Sin defined

According to 1 John 3:4, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” This, perhaps, is the best definition of sin. In simple words, it refers to any action against God’s word and doing something that’s not right. It can be both intentional and unintentional.

Now you know what iniquity and sin mean. But what’s the difference between the two? Are they the same terms? Do they have similar meanings? 

No! They aren’t the same. Let’s discuss the key differences between the two.

Difference Between Iniquity and Sin

Iniquity is the nature of an effort

The biggest difference between the two is that iniquity primarily doesn’t denote an action. It’s the nature of an effort, and sin is what manifests the wrong action in this world. Sin denotes an action someone has committed that has harmed society or Christianity.

Acts are committed voluntarily in iniquity

In iniquity, a person commits bad acts voluntarily, and there is no repentance afterward. The person sees their bad acts as something normal and natural that doesn’t do harm in any way. But without realizing it, these people continue to harm and corrupt their souls. This way, they end up committing these types of acts more frequently than ever.

A sin, on the other hand, can be committed involuntarily and unintentionally. A person can commit it for the first time and then repent after realizing what they have done. Even believers can commit a sin unintentionally.

For example, if a person driving a car hits another car on the road unintentionally and injures or kills the other car’s driver, he has sinned. We will call it a road accident and not a murder, as the driver didn’t deliberately hit the other car. However, if someone hits another car or person walking on the road intentionally to seek revenge, it’s an act of iniquity.

We won’t consider the second example an accident, as it would be a planned act. It’s an unethical and evil act to murder someone.

Acts in Iniquity
source: unsplash.com

You Might Be Interested: Will God Forgive for Repeating the Same Sin

Iniquity corrupts the heart, and sin is its consequence

As mentioned above, iniquity corrupts a person’s heart and soul, and they see evil acts as normal. Evil thoughts cloud their mind and affect their judgment and actions. This kind of person keeps the doors open to Satan, who makes us doubt God’s purpose and plan for us. He even shows us things that aren’t meant for us, and we end up choosing the wrong path that shakes our faith.

If a person keeps moving on this path, there comes a point when they start committing bad acts, such as stealing, murdering, and adultery for fun. Some people start robbing others instead of working hard to earn money, and some even murder people for financial gain. They might choose the wrong path to gain political power or a promotion at work and don’t work hard to make their way to the top.

Once they start getting what they desire by unfair means, their hunger increases, and they start feeling that what they are doing is normal. They don’t see it as something evil, which makes things worse. Sin, in this case, is the fruit of that iniquity. Iniquity is the root, and sin is the fruit and leaves.

Iniquity can cross family generations

If a person’s soul has been corrupted, they can take their life partner and family down the same road. A man can also pass on all his bad thoughts and evil, sinful, and twisted legacy to his children and corrupt their souls.

The children will see their parents do bad acts and consider them a normal thing their family does. They will get those bad habits from their childhood, and it may be too late for them to turn back to the right path when they become old enough to make their own decisions in life. They will likely have the same temptations to go against God’s word as their parents.

This way, iniquity can cross family generations and corrupt many souls. Sin, on the other hand, can be conducted both intentionally and unintentionally. Intentional sin is either a personal choice or a fruit of iniquity, as mentioned above. But these people may not commit the same sins their parents have committed.

So, God holds us accountable for the sins we commit, and he doesn’t punish someone else for our wrongs. We have to enjoy the fruit of our good deeds and bear the consequences of our sins ourselves.

Iniquity and Sin Biblical Meaning
source: pxfuel.com

Every iniquity is a sin

Every iniquity is a sin, but there are different types of sins. Some sins, such as mortal sins (like murder), are severe, and some sins are comparatively less severe. Small sins aren’t as worthy of a serious punishment as mortal sins or any other severe sin.

So, these are the key differences between iniquity and sins. While these two terms are different from each other, both require cleansing of the mind and soul. We keep committing sins when we fail to identify and address the iniquity in our hearts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does God forgive our sins?

We can commit small or severe sins, but God’s love for us is far greater than anyone could ever imagine. He is merciful to those who take responsibility for their wrongs and work on themselves to become better humans. 

The one sin God can’t forgive is refusing to seek and receive his mercy and forgiveness.

How does iniquity affect our relationship with God?

Iniquity and sins harm our relationship with God, and it also affects us spiritually. People going down this road usually don’t feel a connection with God, and many even stop fearing him. Some even disobey his word intentionally just to harm the relationship even more. 

Despite all this, God is merciful to us and forgives us when we turn back to him and follow the right path.

Does God want us to be perfect?

God has created everyone and everything in this world, and he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. We don’t commit sins because of a lack of perfection; we commit them because we make that choice. 

So, instead of trying to achieve perfection in God’s eye, you should try to thrive in his truth and make the right choices to maintain peace and equality in this world.


So what does iniquity mean in the Bible? If you have read this article carefully, you will know what iniquity means and how it differs from sin. We have discussed the key differences between the two in detail to help you get a clear idea about them.

It’s true that iniquity can lead a person to a dark path, and it can be hard to turn back from such a road, especially when Satan has influenced one’s mind and soul. But it’s never too late to ask for God’s forgiveness, and one should step back before reaching the point of no return.

You should remember that God always listens to our prayers, and angels are always there to guide us in life. We just have to understand their signs and follow their direction.

If you ever find yourself in a dark place in life, you should pray to God for protection against evil. Those who read the Bible and go to church regularly usually find all the answers they need.


Greetings in faith! I'm Tracey, a devoted follower of the Word. This blog shares my passion for Christ, prayer, and biblical studies. I practice daily meditation, have visited sacred sites worldwide, and cherish my Holy Land pilgrimage. In my leisure, I craft prayer beads, spiritual artwork, and faith-inspiring handmade items. Join me as we explore the Bible's richness and the transformative power of faith.

View all posts by Tracey →