Love the Sinner, but hate the sin?

The following video from desiringGod.org definitely challenged me.
https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/god-loves-the-sinner-but-hates-the-sin.

Piper, points out that there are a couple places in scripture where God does hat sinners. This isn’t something that I had thought about and it wasn’t a thought I liked.

 Psalm 5:4: “You are not a God who delights in wickedness. Evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes. You hate all evildoers.”

Psalm 11:5: “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” 

As I wrestled with this I came to the following truths:
1) God hates sin. (Psalm 5:4, James 1:15, Romans 6:16)
2) The only thing that separates sin from sinners is Christ. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
3) Thus, if God hates sin those without Christ have no way to separate themselves from their sin.

My immediate reaction to this was “this can’t be”. I serve a God of love (John 4:8-9), not a God of hate. How can both of these truths stand?

The Bible clearly teaches that God is loveFirst John 4:8–9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner; hate the sin.”

www.gotquestion.org

Got Questions answered my questions first: God can both love and hate perfectly. How often though, do I forget that I serve a perfect God? A God who does love, and is also just and will bring wrath to the evil in the world. Am I truly living my life based on the truth that Christ is the only thing that separates sin from all sinners? Does my life reveal that I hate sin?

As I returned to the Desiring God article, I found that he came to the same conclusion (the importance of reading on).

Sins do not suffer in hell, sinners suffer in hell. I wonder what people who say that believe about hell, because he is not punishing sin in hell, he is punishing sinners in hell. He hates—now here is the paradox—and he loves at the same time. For God so loved the world that he hates. Hate and love are simultaneous as God looks upon hateful, rebellious, corrupt, loathsome, wicked God-dishonoring sinners.

John Piper DesiringGod.org

But does this not further expose the scandal of grace? That while we were still sinners, while we deserved the wrath of God, while God hated us for the sin and unbelief in our hearts… Christ died for us.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 ESV

Three Gideon Bibles

I stopped at an estate sale this afternoon. It was a nice house in a subdivision right next to a golf course, so naturally I expected to see some higher end furniture. Most of the house already pretty empty, they were caring out some of the last furniture pieces as I came in. There wasn’t much left, except for the smaller household items in the garage.

As I was looking through some of the tools and odds and ends, I noticed a shelf with thirty to forty books on it. I always find someones collection of books to be telling. It is one thing to have a book on a particular topic, but usually if there are several similar books it must have been important to someone. Reading through the titles there were quite a few books about divorce and the spines revealed that they had been well read. On a shelf just below were three more books. Three Gideon Bibles. Three new Gideon Bibles. You know when you open a book for the first time and it gives some resistance, the pages all still straight, the binding still strong?

I couldn’t help but think about this person who was seeking for truth and guidance at a hard time in life. While searching through the wisdom of the world they had three copies of all the truth this world has ever needed right there on their bookshelf. I couldn’t help but think that if the world could have just a little bit more of that truth, maybe there would be less of a need for those divorce books. Maybe there would be a little less hardship, a little more love. But the question I could’t hep but ask was not about this person that I know nothing of. I couldn’t help but ask that if I believe that the truth in those three books can change hearts and give hope am I doing all that I can to share it with a world who is starving for the truth?


The world is starving, and they hoard the bread of life.

Charles Spurgeon


As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.

John 20:21