Preferring God’s Words Instead of Man’s

            From time to time Christians will use the phrase, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” While the man-made phrase can create mixed feelings, the sentiment behind the saying is biblical.

            First off, God hates sin! Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” God despises more than the six examples of sin above. The Bible is filled with attributes and practices of the world that His spiritual children should avoid. Other sins of the Bible include: drunkenness, greed, idolatry, and sexual immorality. One reason God hates sin is because it leads His children toward eternal death.

            James 1:15 reads, “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” As His children, we should abhor sin as much as God in order to truly abide in His light. Matthew 6:24 reads, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

            Second, God knew that mankind would need help to overcome sin, so He sent His son, Jesus Christ. Christians are supposed to exemplify Christ’s love in all that they do. Romans 3:20-25 reads, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Jesus dying on the cross was God’s ultimate act of love toward mankind. Everyone deserved to be punished and destroyed. However, God punished His own son so that all people could be free. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

            Problems can arise with the phrase, “hate the sin, love the sinner” in that it is man-made. Humans are imperfect being, but God is perfect! He is the only one that can hate His enemies’ actions yet still provide them a consistently perfect love. Romans 5:8- 10 (NIV) reads, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Rather than use a man-made phrase, speak with the words of God. Galatians 6:1-5 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.” Always set your minds on Christ and His teachings because where mankind fails, He will prevail.