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.