In contemplating the expression “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin”, we’ve seen that God hates not only the sin but sinners, that the expression isn’t from the Bible just quotes from others, and the sin cannot be separated from the sinner. So where does that leave those who believe on Christ for salvation?
The problem with using such a trite expression is what happens often when people attempt to evangelize. It leaves out the gospel and Christ. Just as “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”, leaves out Christ and the gospel. We cannot leave out the gospel and Christ. It would be like throwing out a rope to a drowning person and forgetting to hold the other end of the rope. It may make the drowning person feel better for a while but it won’t help in the long run.
Ever participated in a typical youth group activity where the youth are told to write out on pieces of paper their sins. Then they are told to nail their sins to a large wooden cross. Sounds all nice and encouraging, right? A way for youth to visualize Christ taking their sins because He loves them so much. But it is flawed, just like the expression above is flawed. See what was crucified on that Cross of Calvary was not just our sins but also us. The sins Christ bore were not what was crucified but Christ Himself was crucified. You cannot separate the sins from the sinner.
Gal 2:20-21 (ESV) I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We were crucified with Christ, not just our sins. We died and were raised again as new creations. It is no longer us who live but Christ in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We are accepted due to Christ (blessed in the ESV).
Ephesians 1:6 (KJV) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Our sins are atoned for. We are justified by Christ. We are reconciled with God. We are at peace with God. We are loved.
Romans 5:7-11 (ESV) 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Romans 5:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 15:9 (ESV) As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
But what if we sin after we have been justified? Not only are we new creations, Christ is continually interceding for us with the Father.
Romans 8:34 (ESV) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.