In Part I we looked at Matthew’s use of ἀνομία and his seeming connection of the concept with alignment to the Devil. Now we’ll look at Paul’s use of the word, then in part III we’ll see how it all fits together and makes sense of 1 John 3:4.
I haven’t got my head around all of Paul’s uses of this word, but there are three places where Paul does link lawlessness with the devil:
2 Cor 6:4 – here Paul asks that believers are not ‘yoked’ with unbelievers. What Paul precisely means by this is not our primary concern. What deserves our attention, though, is his reason why in this verse and the next. Paul lists four contrasting pairs of things that are opposed to one another. It is logical to connect all the things in left column together and all the things in the right column together.
2 Thess 2:3, 7 – Probably the most famous use of the concept of lawlessness in the NT is here in 2 Thess with Paul’s use of the idea of the “man of lawlessness”. Again, the details of Paul’s eschatology are not our primary concern, but rather his connection with lawlessness and the devil. It is widely recognised that the “man of lawlessness” is equiavelent to John’s (and others’) “antichrist” – someone clearly opposed to Christ and aligned with the Devil. 2:4 clearly outlines the “man of lawlessness'” opposition to Christ. And again in v8 where Christ will destroy the lawless one (a clear sign of opposition).
Note, Paul also uses the word in Rom 4:7; 6:14 and Tit 2:4.
Lawlessness: Part I.