Tag Archive | Love

God Doesn’t Hate, or Does He?

In looking at the phrase “God loves you, but hates your sin”, if you were to search through the Bible you wouldn’t find that quote in there.  Just like you won’t find “God helps those who help themselves.”  But just because a word or phrase is not an actual quote does not mean it isn’t Biblical.  We use words, terms and phrases throughout the Church and in theology that cannot be found verbatim in the Bible.  Such as the word Trinity which is not in the Bible; however, that concept is all through the Bible beginning in Genesis 1:26 where we are introduced to God as “us” and “our”.  So then you will have to see if the Bible supports the concept of “God loves you, but hates your sin.”

Others will point out that “God is love, He doesn’t, or can’t, hate.” But is that true?  Partially, see God is Love is totally true.

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  ESV

1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. ESV

Well obviously that part is simple enough.

But does God hate?

If God is Love, can He hate?  Are those opposites?

Deut 12:31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.  ESV

So, yes, God hates.

But that is just actions He hates, not people, like “God loves you, but hates your sin” says.

But continue on with looking at what God hates.  As Mark pointed out some verses last night, God does hate sinners.

These are the verses Mark shared.

Psalm 5:4-6  For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.

Psalm 7:11 God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 11:5  The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

There are so many more:

God hates Ephraim, a part of Israel, and will love them no more.

Hos 9:15 Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them.  Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.  ESV

God hates Israel, His heritage.

Jer 12:8 My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her.   ESV

Sometimes God hates our worship.

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. ESV

So obviously not only does God hate sin, He says He hates sinners.

Later we’ll look at why He must hate sinners and not just their sin.

 


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Marriage: Value The Details

This story I came across several times recently, originally in a church newsletter.  It has been variously attributed to different authors and was at one time a circulated email according to Snopes.  But I still think it is worth sharing.

Marriage Value the Details

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.”

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

A CHRIST-CENTERED MARRIAGE IS A MARRIAGE THAT IS SURE TO LAST A LIFETIME.

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6

Ephesians 5:28-30 (ESV)
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.

1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.


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Love For The Brothers Evidence of Discipleship

Sunday morning I found another verse that deals with our love for our Christian brothers and sisters.

John 13:34-35 (ESV)
34  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
35  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Not only does love for our brothers reflect the love we have for the Lord, but love for the brethren affects our witness.

Are we trying to share the gospel with the lost and yet our lives don’t evidence love for those in the church?

So in summary our love for the brethren in the church reveals much:

  • They will not lose their reward (Mark 9:41)
  • Evidence of Discipleship, our witness to all people (John 13:35)



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Love For The Church – Jonathan Edwards

If you know anything about Jonathan Edwards history you would realize that for him to say we must love the church is quite notable.  He was removed from the pastorate of his church, yet for years afterward still preached due to their not having a preacher.

“A common argument of many nominal Christians is that they love Jesus but don’t care for the church. The teaching of 1 John exposes the flaws of this argument, revealing it to be an unbiblical dichotomy. All who are saved by God possess the Spirit, which links them to all other people who possess the Spirit. The local church, of course, is not perfect, and some have had difficult experiences with churches they have attended. But when God saves a person, He gives them a love for His people. His people are the church.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan Edwards

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What is the Sum of the Law and the Prophets?

Previously we saw that the Law and the Prophets refer to the first five books of the Bible, the Law and the books of the prophets and poetry.  Now let’s look at what Jesus says sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12 (ESV) “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
 

Galatians 5:14 (ESV) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

This really isn’t a new Law to love our neighbor.  The New Covenant portion is that our neighbor has been expanded to include everyone even the most despised or our enemies.  See even in Leviticus the Israelites were told to love their neighbor but that was their own people.  Now we are to love all people as ourselves, not just those who are like us; not just our own people. 

Leviticus 19:18 (ESV)  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. 

In case there was any doubt Jesus explained this concept several times. 

Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
 

Matthew 19:19 (ESV) Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
 

Luke 10:27 (ESV) And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 

James is clear that fulfilling the royal law is “loving your neighbor as yourself”. 

James 2:8 (ESV) If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 

See this takes you right back to Matthew 5:17 because Jesus fulfilled the Law not only by being the perfect, sinless law keeper, but by loving His neighbor as Himself to the end by giving up His life. 

Matthew 5:17 (ESV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  

John 10:11 (ESV) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

John 15:13 (ESV) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 

Romans 5:7-8 (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.
 

Ephesians 5:2 (ESV) And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

The sum of the Law and the Prophets is Love, as exemplified by Christ in giving up His life for us. 

We are called to do the same and then we have fullfilled the law. 

1 John 3:16 (ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

James 2:8 (ESV) If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 



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Ceremony Over Love

To avoid ceremonial uncleanness–the Jews did not enter the palace.” John 18:28

The religious rulers carried their pious scruples even to the palace of Pilate. Amazingly, they had no scruples about their wicked treatment of an innocent man–but they were scrupulously conscientious about matters of mere ceremonial requirement! They would not set their feet on the Gentile’s floor–for that would have defiled them! Yet meanwhile their hearts were full of evil and murderous thoughts and resolves!

There will always be people who are most punctilious in their religious rituals–but who in practical life, are little better than heathen!

We should learn well, that God is grieved more by our bitter feelings, our lack of love, our hate and envy–than He is with little omissions in religious ceremonies and formalities.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

J.R. Miller from Grace Gems

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David Miller – The Wonder of Unconditional Love

First sesson of the True Church Conference 2010 “The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism”  was led by David Miller.

David Miller’s text was Malachi 1:1-5. The world needs to experience God’s unconditional love for sinners.

The first point: Jacob have I loved

The second point: and Esau have I hated

1. Jacob Have I Loved

By an act of God’s will, he singled Jacob out and set him as the object of divine affections. And if God loved Jacob, then he might love me too. After all, look at who Jacob was. His name means “supplanter.” But in Malachi’s day, the Israelites (Jacob) wanted proof of God’s love.  And God gave them proof by showing the desolation of Esau (Edom) as compared to the restoration of Jacob. And even we today question God’s love for us and want proof. Is not our current circumstances proof of God’s love?

How did God love Jacob? What was the manner of his love?

a. God loved Jacob sovereignly and freely. Not what was deserved. He loves because He wants to.

b. God loves Jacob with selectivity and favoritism.

c. God did not see something special in Jacob. Nothing in Jacob’s life commended him to God.


2. Esau Have I Hated

Esau had an awesome heritage, great privileges, advantages. He was as much a gift to Isaac and Rebecca as Jacob was. He was the first born. He was destined to be the leader of the family.  The promises and the covenant should have been his. He was his father’s favorite. He was a man’s man. But just one problem. God hated Esau.


What does it mean “Esau have I hated”?

a. It does not mean a relative comparison of God’s love for Esau was just less than His love for Jacob. This does not fit the context.

b. It does not mean that God just passed over Esau. That does not fit the context.

c. It does not mean that God loved Esau but hated his sin. That does not fit the context.

d. It means God had a settled opposition, a disdain, antagonism against Esau. That fits the context.


God hated Esau because:

a. Esau sowed to flesh

b. Esau hated what God loved

c. Esau wanted the praise of man

But there is a problem. Jacob was the same way. God had as much reason to hate Jacob as He had to hate Esau. And the same is true of everyone. Even the elect.

So why did God love Jacob and hate Esau? Because that’s what God decided to do.


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Do You Love The Brethren?

“To love those whom we do not like means that we treat them as if we did like them — to choose to act kindly toward them even though we do not like them….The Bible does not ask us to like the brethren, it asks us to love them, and that means, therefore, something like this: we may not like certain Christians. I mean by that, there is none of this instinctive, elemental attraction; they are not the people whom we naturally like; yet what we are told is that to love them means that we treat them exactly as if we did like them. Now, the men and women of the world do not do that; if they do not like people, they treat them accordingly and have nothing to do with them. But Christian love means that we look beyond that. We see the Christian in them, the brother or sister, and we even go beyond what we do not like, and we help that person. Love your brethren — that is the exhortation with which we are concerned?

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on I John 3:16-18 in his book Children of God

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How Are You Advising Others?

Most of us do not serve as official counselors nor do we typically sit down with someone on a regular basis to counsel them. Neither did the servants in the example below.  However, in a general sense we all counsel others daily whether it is a spouse, our children or just our friends in conversation. Do you consider well your counsel before giving it?

An interesting story in the book of 1 Samuel is the story of Saul being tormented by the evil spirit.

1 Samuel 16:14-23

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”
19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul.
21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.
22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”
23 And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
ESV

When Saul was being tormented what did his servants counsel him to do?

1 Samuel 16:15-16
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.

Listen to soothing music. (While the soothing music issue is a very interesting issue, it is for a later discussion.) But what did they not advise Saul to do?

  • Pray
  • Seek God
  • Read the Scriptures

Was Saul ultimately helped by listening to David’s music?

No.

He was only helped temporarily. There was no lasting effect. Listening to soothing and even God centered music did not calm the torment in Saul’s soul. We can see that as we read further into the book of 1 Samuel. Saul was tormented such that he tried to kill David on several occasions and Saul suffered under paranoia and delusional attacks thinking David was trying to kill him.

The music only was a temporary balm, or band-aid, to his troubled soul. The true relief that Saul could have found in turning to God and his Word was not offered to him by his counselors.

It is a lot easier if we just stick band-aids on another’s soul than when we actually deal with the real issue, separation from God. How can we not direct another to the true source of healing from the torments they face?

I’m sure the servants that counseled Saul were concerned for themselves and they sought immediate relieve for Saul if only to make their own life easier. It would have been much harder to point out to Saul that his disobedience had turned God away from him.

1 Samuel 28:16-18

16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy?
17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.
18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day.
ESV

Is it easier for us to seek the immediate relief when counseling another than to deal with the real issues and direct another back to the Lord?

You bet it is.

But temporary fixes do not work.

Despite the fact that Saul was soothed by David’s music, he was also more and more tormented as time went on. Throwing spears in the castle are not signs of a soothed soul. I’m sure that the servants suffered even more during Saul’s mental breakdown.

Oh that we would always encourage another to seek the Lord.

Isaiah 55:6-7
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
ESV



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