So Where Does That Expression Come From?

While looking at the expression “God loves you, but hates your sin”, we’ve seen that it isn’t a quote from the Bible and also that God Himself says He hates sinners  and not just the sin. So where does the idea of “God loves you, but hates your sin” originate? For something that is quoted so often you would think people would know where it originated. But most don’t. Does it matter who said it? Even whether or not it is true? I think it does. See if I found that Charles Spurgeon was to be credited with saying it then I would lend it more credence than if say Benny Hinn was quoted as having first said it. Not that Spurgeon is always right, but He does get more benefit of the doubt than a false teacher would. But then I would even check up on Spurgeon and see if it could be backed by Scripture. I know it is a radical concept but I would throw out even a Spurgeon quote if it didn’t stand up to Scripture.

The earliest person to be attributed with saying something similar to “God loves you, but hates your sin” is St. Augustine of Hippo.  St. Augustine was Bishop of Hippo from 395 – 430 A.D. In a letter (Opera Omnia, vol II. col. 962, letter 211 ) St. Augustine wrote, he is reported to have said “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” That is a similar statement but it isn’t in context. Is it attributed to God saying it or is Augustine himself saying it? That I couldn’t find out. And it matters greatly!

Another quote from Augustine:

“It is clear, then, that the man who does not live according to man but according to God must be a lover of the good and therefore a hater of evil; since no man is wicked by nature but is wicked only by some defect, a man who lives according to God owes it to the wicked men that his hatred be perfect, so that, neither hating the man because of his corruption nor loving the corruption because of the man, he should hate the sin but love the sinner. For, once the corruption has been cured, then all that is left should be loved and nothing remains to be hated.”

-Augustine, City of God, p. 304

This appears to be saying that a “man” should love the sinner and hate the sin. That is a big difference than God saying He loves the sinner but hates the sin. But notice also Augustine says “no man is wicked by nature but is wicked only by some defect”. I would say Scripture teaches that our nature is wicked from conception. We are sinners from the beginning, not just because we sin.

The next person who is attributed as saying something similar to “God loves you, but hates your sin” is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi from his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth:

“Whereas a good deed should call forth approbation and a wicked deed disapprobation, the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked, always deserves respect or pity as the case may be. ’Hate the sin and not the sinner’ is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.”

I won’t bother explaining why Gandhi, a Hindu, is not someone whom a Christian should accept as worthy of quoting and holding up as a virtuous. For more info on Hinduism see CARM.

God loves you, but hates your sin.

• We don’t have this expression found in the Bible.

• We have direct quotes from Scripture that God hates sinners, ex. Psalm 5:5.

• This quote is quite different than the quotes it appears to be derived from. Since none of them appear to attribute it to God.

So what do we do with this?

Can sin be separated from the sinner?



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.



The Unrepentant Repenter – Jim Elliff

The following is the article my pastor referred to in his sermon Wednesday Night.

Do you have a continuous repentant attitude?

Or did you do that already?

The Unrepentant Repenter – Jim Elliff

The believer in Christ is a lifelong repenter. He begins with repentance and continues in repentance. (Rom. 8:12-13) David sinned giant sins but fell without a stone at the mere finger of the prophet because he was a repenter at heart (2 Sam. 12:7-13). Peter denied Christ three times but suffered three times the remorse until he repented with bitter tears (Mt. 26:75). Every Christian is called a repenter, but he must be a repenting repenter. The Bible assumes the repentant nature of all true believers in its instruction on church discipline. A man unwilling to repent at the loving rebuke of the church can be considered nothing more than “a heathen and a tax collector.” (Mt. 18:15-17)


Weight of Sin

Freedom from Sin by John MacArthur

It is said that a flippant young man once remarked to a preacher in mocking fashion, “You say that unsaved people carry a great weight of sin. Frankly, I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Ten pounds? Fifty pounds? Eighty pounds? A hundred pounds?”

The preacher thought for a moment, then replied, “If you laid a four-hundred-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?”

The young man was quick to say, “Of course not; it’s dead”

Driving home his point, the preacher said, “The person who doesn’t know Christ is equally dead. And though the load is great, he feels none of it”

Do you suffer under the weight of your sin?


Guilt of Sin

What do you do when confronted with your own or another’s guilt over sin?

Do you make light of it?

Do you seek to appease your own or their guilt?

Or do you agree with the guilt and point out that guilt is there for a reason?

Do you share how a Holy God looks at sin?

Load Your Conscience with the Guilt of Sin


John Owen from Mortifying Sin: Bring Your Lust to the Gospel


Whiter Than Snow or Soiled

We still have most of our snow left. What little that did melt earlier today when we got to 33 degrees is refrozen since we are dropping to 19 degrees tonight. Everything still looks so different and so white.  It is shocking how bright the windows are lit up due to the snow even though we’ve not had any sunshine.

However the pristine white, clean look has faded somewhat.  🙁   No longer is the snow smooth and new.  That’s what happens when children run and play in the snow.  :O

So we no longer have this:

Now we have this:

Sorta like our Christian life.  The Lord cleanses us and makes us whiter than snow.

Psalms 51:6-10 (ESV)
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Yet we still can sin and soil our white robes.

Revelation 3:3-5 (ESV)
3  Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
5  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

We need a regular cleansing “by the washing of water with the word” so we can be presented without spot or blemish.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)
25 … as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Have you been washing with the water of the Word?


Food, Beauty and Control – Genesis 3 Traps

In Genesis 3:6,  we find three traps that Eve fell into.

Genesis 3:6 (ESV) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

During the True Woman Conference there was a breakout session on this very topic.

TW 2010: Has Food, Beauty or Control Captured Your Heart?

In a breakout session Friday afternoon, Bob Lepine of the daily radio program FamilyLife Today unpacked from Genesis 3:6 three areas that tend to trap and even enslave women: food, beauty and control.

Here are some of Bob’s insights:

  • Food. Women are more likely than men to suffer from eating disorders, to do emotional “binge” eating and to be obsessed with healthy eating. Even an obsession with healthy eating can become an idol in their lives when it takes on proportions it was never meant to have in their lives. …

So do any of these areas in life enslave you?

Have they become encompassing idols in your life?


The Sin in Lot’s Choosing

Genesis 13:10-11 (ESV)

10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.

There are so many sermons that attribute sin to this event in Lot’s life.  Mostly though they are just speculative ideas.  Scripture doesn’t itemize the sins of Lot.  Actually there is very little said about what Lot did right or wrong and without 2 Peter 2:7-8 we might would have to wonder if Lot was even a believer.

The ESV Study Bible has this note for Genesis 12:10-20:

The events described in this section raise many questions that go unanswered, creating a sense of ambiguity as to how the behavior of everyone involved should be judged.  As is common in biblical stories, the narrator gives no direct evaluation of the participants’ actions, leaving the reader to figure out the ethical questions.

We could speculate Lot sinned by:

  • Taking the first choice
  • Letting his herdsmen and animals interfere with his Father figure’s livestock and herds.
  • Not choosing to stay with Abraham
  • Choosing the “best” portion
  • Choosing an evil area

However there is one definite we are given “Lot chose for himself.

Lot didn’t choose what the Lord would have him do.  Lot didn’t choose what would be best for his family.  Lot didn’t choose what would be best for Abraham.  Lot chose for himself.  What appealed to Lot was the criteria for the selection.

Later in the Bible the Jewish people are told by Joshua to choose whom they will serve, either the foreign gods or the Lord.

Joshua 24:15 (ESV) And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Was Lot serving the Lord?  No, Lot served himself.  Being in Sodom was not the sin.  Why Lot was in Sodom was the sin.  Lot was in Sodom to serve himself.  Lot saw that the area around Sodom was fertile and well watered which would help increase his flocks and his wealth.  Was the choosing an area due to the potential wealth the sin.  No.  Not seeking the Lord’s will was the sin.

Lot did not seek the Lord for help in deciding what should be done about the situation between him and Abraham.  Lot did not seek the Lord for wisdom in making a decision.  Lot did not seek the Lord’s will nor did he seek the kingdom of God.  Lot sought for himself.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Lot also didn’t seek what was best for his family, if he had one at the time, nor did he seek what would be best for his future family.  Lot sought the potential of the area of Sodom.  Lot was after financial gain and ease.  He took the easy way out to wealth.  Later in Genesis we start seeing mention of wells in Abraham’s portion (Genesis 21:25) and Isaac is known for his well digging (Genesis 26:18). But Lot chose the well watered portion that reminded him of Egypt.

Lot, the orphan who followed Abraham to a new country, failed to trust in the Lord.  The Lord that had made Abraham “very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2) and had also made Lot very rich in “flocks and herds and tents” (Genesis 13:5).  Lot couldn’t trust the Lord to continue to sustain him.  Lot must help himself to get and keep his wealth.

Where was Lot’s fear of the Lord?  If Lot had feared the Lord he would have been instructed in what he should choose.

Psalms 25:12 (ESV) Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.

Lot was in Sodom because he chose for himself instead of seeking the kingdom of God.  The Lord might have sent Lot to Sodom anyway as a witness to the people similar to a Jonah to the Ninevites.  But our first goal in any decision should always be to seek first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33)