Sunday, August 8, 2010

Does God hate sin but love the sinner?

Because God is separate from sin, He cannot take pleasure in sin either.  He is not neutral or passive about sin either.  To Him, all sin is an abomination to Him.  Deuteronomy 25:16 - “For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God.

Abomination means that something is repugnant, disgusting, and obscene.

Psalm 88:8 - You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.

The word abomination is rendered here as ‘object of loathing’.  You hear the popular evangelical catch phrase.  ‘God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.’  Is that true?  Before looking to that we must keep in our minds the understanding that human hatred is not the same as God's hate.  Human hatred is evil and covetous because we desire to make ourselves greater.  God is the Almighty Creator and the Giver of Life, Sustainer of all things... therefore He can get angry or hate what He chooses because it is a Holy Hatred.  Just as we are called, as Christians, to have a Holy Hatred of all sin.

Psalm 5:4-5 - For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You.  5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.

God hates not just the sin, but the one who is doing the sinning.  Now we as humans are not perfect.  So we are called to love all and hate and fight sin.  If we hated sinners, we’d have to hate ourselves.  But God is perfect.

So how do we reconcile that, God’s hatred towards sin and sinners, with God’s love?  Though God’s wrath is revealed against sinners.  John 3:36 - “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

God has demonstrated His love by sending His Son to die for the very people who deserve wrath.  Romans 5:8-10 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Lamentations says that God does not afflict willingly… does not pour out His wrath willingly.  Lamentations 3:33 - For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men.  Not as though someone is making God do it.  But the word willingly there in Hebrew is made up of two words.  ‘min’ meaning from and ‘labe’ meaning the heart.

God does not afflict from the heart… meaning it is not His chief joy to punish or afflict or pour out wrath.  He’s Glorified in it, make no mistake there and He will do it… that is sure, but His joy comes in pouring out His love.

If wrath or affliction was His ultimate joy then we’d have no Savior because God’s ultimate joy and glory would be our destruction.

Ezekiel 18:23 - “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?

He doesn’t afflict or pour out wrath for His pleasure, He does it because of His Holiness.  His Holiness demands it.  Now, what is our response to the Holiness of God?


  1. Indeed God hates sin. You have supported this scripturally. Your statement "God hates not just the sin, but the one doing the sinning" is not supported by scripture here, nor am I sure it is at all. What follows this statement is that God will judge us for our sins. This is also supported by scripture.

    I would be interested in seeing this expounded upon and, having said this, I pray God blesses you as you endeavor to get the life saving message of salvation through repentance and trust in the finished work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

  2. @2calebscorner - go back and re-read this brother. Psalm 5:4-5 (as quoted) above is just one of many Scriptures that reveals God is angry at the sin AND the sinner... if you say that God is angry at sin and not the sinner then you are separating the two as if different entities. that can't be because if it were then God would be a cruel God by punishing us for our sins... if God is only angry at sin then He would punish only sin and not the purveyor of sin. Sin had no grip on man until it entered into the world. And how does Genesis 3 and Romans 5 reveal that it entered into the world? Through one man. It's our very nature to sin. You aren't a sinner because you sin, you sin because you are a sinner. Hope that helps...

  3. Good article Jason. I'm not sure what else I could add to this.

    I was once one of those guys that used that phrase, but when I started reading scripture I was being smacked in the face with how wrong it truly is. The biggest problem people have is a misunderstanding of what love and hate really is when viewed through the eyes of our Holy God. It's only when we are able to drop those ill-perceived ideas that we are able to understand a commentary such as this.