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

Conclusion

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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

DocReits January 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

Great article Jack. May I seek clarification on two points? We are all God’s creation but we are not His children until He adopts us once born again( saved), correct?

“ALL true believers in Jesus Christ are ‘born again’ as God’s adopted sons and daughters. But, ALL who reject or ignore Jesus Christ, have neither God (Father) or the Son. They are NOT born again in the Holy Spirit as God’s ETERNAL sons / daughters. (Jn 1:12, Gal 4:4-5, Jn 8:44, Jn 3:1-2, Gal 3:26, Rom 8:14-18, Jn 5:23, 2Jn1:8-10)”

Also, I have found the word “continue” confusing to the believer, and one that is a cause of fear of not being saved…because we all continue to sin, until we die.

We will continue to sin, once saved, as we are not yet perfected in Glory. But, as you have said, many times, we will sin…less. (Great play on words, by the way, by you…I have used your illustration many times..thanks). Making sin a lifestyle and glorying in sin(practicing sin) would argue against genuine salvation.

I like to think of my journey as falling down(sinning) less and less as I mature in Christ, but I still fall down. The mark that the Christian is saved is that the believer has a repentant heart, running to the only One(Father) who can heal our wounds, seeking forgiveness.

I think you agree with this, I just sought clarification.

Blessings and thank you for a great article!

DocReits

Reply

Jack Wellman January 3, 2014 at 10:38 am

Thanks Doc…yes and amen to the fact that those who reject Jesus as Savior are not the Father’s children. The old axiom of the universal brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God is untrue. Jesus told the disciples, not the world in general to pray like this: “Our Father…” and so He is your Father only if a person repents, confesses their sin, sees the need of the Savior and then trusts in Christ. I do agree that we are adopted (Eph 1) and elsewhere and that the word continues confuses some. If we continue in His Word and abide in it, this is evidence of salvation. Jesus said “If you continue in my Word” meaning that if they do then they are following Him but if they don’t, as John said in his later epistles, then they went out from us because they were not of us. Thanks for these diagnostic questions friend.

Reply

Josh January 3, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Doc,

I would like to thank you for your many comments on the website. Your feedback on the articles really enhance them and cover issues others are thinking also.

God Bless,

Josh

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Jack Wellman January 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Doc, I so agree with Josh because you ask questions that make us dig deeper for I know Josh and this website strives for the glory of God and to know Him better so that we can more be in awe and wonder at His magnificence. We are all the more stronger because I myself am still a huge work in progress and have so much to learn and so Doc, I concur and second the comment of Josh, whom I also dearly love and known that he too is dedicated to sticking to the truth and making God know more clearly so that He is more glorified.

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DocReits January 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Thanks Josh and Jack,

I have sought out many Christian Forums on-line and this is, IMO, the very best. Thank you both for being a major part of this work.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman January 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Thanks friend…and I believe that YOU are the very reason that it is what it is…thanks be to God for you and to Josh too of course who thought of this site to begin with. This deserves to be to him and all glory of course goes to God.

Reply

David January 6, 2014 at 2:00 am

A very fine article brother. It reminds me of Matthew 7 vs`s 21 to 23. Yes, we do sin as Christians, and we must daily repent. Thank you Jack for this reminder, bless you. David Central Europe

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Jack Wellman January 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

Thank you David. I appreciate your encouragement and great tie in to the Matthew 7 verse indeed. No Christian is perfect because I only have the mirror to remind me of that. Thank you for your words of grace sir.

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Daniel October 19, 2016 at 10:10 am

So, I have a bit of a problem.
Not with the article, it was great, but a problem with myself in a way.
I was saved when I was quite young, I remember where, I remember who was there, that is about it. I accepted Jesus on that day, but was I really saved?
The bible speaks a lot about being reborn as part of our salvation. Now I wonder if as a child I allowed him to remake me, fill me with the spirit and let it define me inside and out.
This is something a young child like myself would just not understand. It was really a fear as I continued my life. Though I tried to be a good person, I am still human. I messed up, big time. I sinned many times, and sometimes without really thinking about what I was doing. I was putting another sin on the cross. Every false word and wrongdoing I was taking our perfect savior and nailing him on the cross to die for me. After the dust settled so to speak, I repented and regretfully looked back on what I had done. Where those the words of a child of God? Is this how a true Christian acts? It wasn’t. And when I read through my bible about backsliding, false believers, and the like, I was scared. Was I really saved all those years ago, or was I lying to myself?

It’s been a fear of mine for about a year. I wake up and am afraid that he cannot forgive me. I go to bed and pray, but I never hear a voice in return. Maybe I did something wrong when I was saved, and did not truly let him remake me. My only reassurances are sites like these, they enforce my belief that I am saved, simply stumbling through the potholes of this world. And the parable of the prodigal son has always given me hope. See, the father saw his son when he was still very far away, and ran to him with open arms. Maybe I didn’t go all the way into my salvation, but instead, he ran to me the moment I started on the road back home.

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Mench Rodrigo March 7, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Thanks sir Jack and Doc!

Reply

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