Overcoming Sin through Christ: Disrespect


Overcoming Sin through Christ

A Comprehensive List of Sins

(Alphabetically Arranged)

Richard Hollerman

The plan of this study is simple.  We will look at a large number of sins, one by one, alphabetically.  We will define the sin, describe it, and comment on it, along with noticing Scripture references on the particular entry.  Some illustrations will be offered along with the description.


Do you have a respect for your spouse, your parents, and your children? Do you respect law enforcement officers and those who hold political office? Do you respect people, regardless of their status, their color, their national background, or their language? Are you a respectful person?

First, let’s look at the term respect.  One of the Greek words translated “respect” is phobeomai (the verb) or phobos (the noun).  It can be used in two different senses in the New Testament.  It can mean “frightened, alarmed” or it can mean “respect, stand in awe of” a someone.[1][1]

Respect in the sense of fear and respect is found in Romans 13:7 where Paul is describing our response to the governing authorities, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due, custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  According to the apostle, if “fear” (or respect) is due the governing authority (or anyone else), then we must render such fear.  Christian slaves were to fear or respect their masters on earth: “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect” (1 Peter 2:18).  Paul said the same thing when he wrote, “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of your heart, as to Christ” (Ephesians 6:5).  In our day, we should have this sincere respect (or fear) for our supervisors on the job.

In Ephesians 5, Paul discusses the relationship of the husband and the wife (vv. 22-33).  The wife is to submit to her husband’s authority as she does to Christ: “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (v. 22; cf. vv. 22-24).  At the end of the section, Paul concludes his instruction with these words: “Each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (v. 33).  The term for “respect” here is phobetai, “fear.”  The wife is to respect (have a reverential fear for) her husband (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-6). How different this attitude is as compared to the contemporary egalitarian model.

Not only are we to have a “respect” for the governing authorities, the management at work, and the husband, but we should also have a proper respect for our parents.  Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:1-2a).  Jesus also said, “Honor your father and mother” and “He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death” (Matthew 15:4).  The second command above was under the Law of Moses, not under the law of Christ (Exodus 20:12).  The point is that we should have a proper respect (or fear) of our parents, one that will cause us to honor and obey them. This is so different from the casual and even disrespectful attitude of some children and young people.  Some sons and daughters openly defy their parents and scream at them!

We might even say that we, as parents, are to “respect” our children.  Although we don’t have respect in the sense of fear, as in the other cases above, we do need to have a tender regard for children in general and especially for our own children.  We can definitely say that we don’t respect children if we are willing to kill them in the womb, if we are willing to send them to be taught by unbelieving and worldly teachers, if we feed them junk food and don’t care for their health and physical needs, if we allow them to view and be influenced by the evil and worldly programming on television, and if we don’t “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

A final use of respect is for God Himself.  Peter says that we are to “honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).  Our “fear” of God is not to be a terrifying fear of Him, but a healthy fear, respect, deference, veneration, and esteem for God.  Peter continues by writing, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (3:15).  The term, “reverence” is fear.  Whether this is referring to a reverence toward Christ or God in the midst of the defense, or a reverence toward the one who asks us to give a defense, both are needed and important.

What about disrespect?  If God requires respect toward the government official, the earthly supervisor, the husband, the parent, and especially Himself, we can definitely say that a disrespectful attitude and behavior is sinful.  Disrespect for one who is properly and rightfully the object of our fear is nothing less than a sin against God.


[1][1] Mounce, Expository Dictionary.

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