God Hates The Sin But Loves The Sinner: Is This In The Bible?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Have you heard the saying that God hates the sin but loves the sinner?  Can that be found in the Bible?  How can God love us while hating our sins?

What is Sin?

Sin is transgression of the Law of God (1 John 3:4) and sin is lawlessness or the breaking God’s Law’s (1 John 3:4). Sin is something that is so abhorrent to God that He had to send His one and only Son to die for it.  It took the perfect Lamb of God to live a perfect life and then to die in the most excruciating manner that anyone has ever endured to pay for it.  Even if you consider yourself a good person, your goodness is like filthy, leprous rags before God (Isaiah 64:6) so your goodness is never going to be sufficient to cover your sins.  Only Jesus Christ can become sin for you so that you will be seen by God as having Jesus’ own righteous because He will become sin for you (2 Cor 5:21) if you repent and confess your sins and then trust in Christ (Rom 10:9-13).  All lawbreakers will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).

God is Angry with the Wicked

Psalm 7:11 says that “God is a just judge.  And God is angry with the wicked every day.”  Sinners who have refused to repent are storing up wrath against the Day of Judgment.  In fact Paul warns the sinner that “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5).  Imagine a dam and more and more water is stored up behind it. Someday that dam will burst and when it does, it will be such a fierce judgment that no man can even describe it. In Deuteronomy 32:34 God asks the rhetorical question about His wrath: “Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults?”  The obvious answer is yes. For those who refuse to repent they will have their hearts hardened by this refusal to bend then knee for “whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble” (Prov 28:14).  Behind this dam holding God’s wrath, here is what awaits them: “Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures; a fire not fanned will devour him; what is left in his tent will be consumed (Job 20:26) for the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath” (Job 21:30).  Can you see how much God hates sin?   Every day sinners are earning more and more wages of sin and these wagers earn them eternal destruction and payday is coming someday for the unrepentant and God will demand of you to pay up (Rom 6:23)!

For those who are His own children and are born again God loves us but He never loves the sin.

For those who are His own children and are born again God loves us but He never loves the sin.

God Hates Sin But Loves the Sinner

If God hates sin, and He does, then how can He love those of us who are saved because we still sin?  God hates our sins but He forgives us if we repent and confess them to Him (1 John 1:9) but if you say you’re not a sinner, then you are actually calling God a liar (1 John 1:8, 10) because every human that has ever lived has sinned (Rom 3:23).  For those who are His own children and are born again God loves us but He never loves the sin.  I am a father and love my children dearly but when they disobeyed I hated what they did but I never hated them.  I always separated the disobedience from the child.  They sinned against me by their willful disobedience but my love was not conditional upon their being perfect.  In a similar, but far more perfect manner, God hates our sin but He never hates those who are His own.  When Christians sin, and we all do, we can lose fellowship with God and our prayers will be affected and God will chastise us in ways that show His love.  That is why daily confession is important.  Not if, but when we sin, we lose fellowship with the Father, but we never, ever lose our relationship as He being our Father.  Just as my children disobeyed me they lost my favor and I disciplined them but they were still, and will always be, my children.  If they disobeyed me and then afterwards came up to me to ask for something, I would be hesitant to give it to them if they didn’t confess their disobedience and apologize, however if they confessed their disobedience and apologized, then I would be of a better mind to give them what they asked for.  However, if they continued to disobey, I would withhold privileges exactly because I love them.  Part of my love for them is my discipline. The opposite of love is not hate…it is indifference.  I wouldn’t care.  They could do whatever they wanted.  What a horrible father that would make me out to be.

Related reading: Why Does God Love Us? Do We Really Deserve It


If you are not saved and have never repented and trusted in Christ, then your sins have separated you from any possible relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2) but it doesn’t have to be this way because Jesus came to take the wrath of God off from you and die in your place so that you might have eternal life and be spared from the wrath of God (1 Peter 2:24).  For the believer, they will continue to sin but they won’t make a pattern of it (1 John 3) but if a person continues to sin, then they were never saved in the first place.  The Apostle John says this in writing that

“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.  Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:6-8). 

John is saying, don’t deceive yourself…if you continue to live in sin, you’re not saved.  This is obvious because

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:9-10).

If you know someone who claims to be a Christian, they may be deceived and you must warn them.  Tell them to read 1 John chapter 3.  Their eternal soul is in mortal danger.  They are only storing up wrath on the great day of God’s visitation (Rev 20:11-15).  Pray for them, pray for their repentance, and to trust in Christ.  There are no such things as what are falsely called “carnal Christians.” Paul mentioned that the Corinthians were carnal but these Corinthians didn’t stay in their sin and they repented.  Paul never called them “carnal Christians” because that is a contradiction in terms.  Pass this on to anyone who is claiming to be a believer yet continues to live in sin.  Tell them that God is angry with them every day and angry with all sinners every day and that the wrath of God is coming upon them at any moment for Christ could return today.  Then, it would be too late.  I pray it’s not too late for them…or for you!

Another article for you to check out today:  Are Christians Hypocrites?

Resources: New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

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