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I believe that they are different. The difference lies in the motivation behind the action. In the case of the serpent in the garden, it was wicked in motivation. Eve, an innocent, was taken in by the lie. She forgot exact instructions and was disobedient. She was curious, she did not understand death. Both actions were wrong. But God sees beyond the action into the heart and mind of the perpetrator. Yes, I do believe that animals have intentions. Just like people. Wickedness involves evil or corrupt motivation. Disobedience can be stubbornness, or simply a change of direction by the person.
In his epistle, James indicated that a person who keeps God's Law perfectly, but stumbles (which I would equate with "disobeys") in just one point, is as guilty in God's sight as if that person had violated the entire Law (James 2:10). Since the term "wickedness" would encompass even the most heinous forms of sin discussed in the Law, I would say that, although, from a human standpoint, "disobedience" might be considered a "milder" or less pejorative term than "wickedness", that distinction does not exist from God's perspective.
They are the same thing. Romans 5:19 For as by one mans disobedience, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one Jesus, many shall be made righteous. Romans 4:6 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness apart from works. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him who justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for His righteousness. John 3:18 Romans 1:16 First Corinthians 1:18. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the POWER of God. John 3:18. Sin entered the human race through Adam's sin. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 3:18 We have His imputed righteousness. Acts 16:31 The simplicity of the gospel. First Corinthians 15:1-4 and First John 2:2 John 6:47. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER of God unto salvation to everyone that BELIEVETH, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God, that ye may KNOW YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
I agree with James that through Christ, all believers have been made righteous and that we are under grace. Disobedience is sin and God remembers our sin no more. However, even though we have the Holy Spirit's guidance, we don't always obey him. We still have our flesh to reckon with. We can still be disobedient but our disobedience doesn't negate our salvation. I don't think a believer can be wicked.
What an interesting question, Gregory Jones! The difference between wickedness and disobedience is that wickedness is the state of being wicked; evil disposition; immorality, while disobedience is refusal to obey. (WikiDiff) But this difference, in my opinion, is only a slight difference. See Genesis 6:5 and Ephesians 2:1-3. Genesis 6:5: The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Ephesians 2:1-3: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
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