Though the aphorism is not found in the Bible, it captures well a distinction between the actions people do and the persons themselves.
To see the truth of this let us break it down in two parts.
1. God hates the sin.
2. God loves the sinner.
3. Possible Objections.
God Hates the Sin
Evidence from Death
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23
The consequence of law-breaking is death. When Adam disobeyed God he was sentenced from the garden so that he would no longer be able to eat from the tree of life. In the biblical narrative, this was the moment when death became a reality. The essence of death, theologically speaking, is therefore separation from an intimate relationship with God. Paul, reflecting on this, reminds us that the “The one who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4. 30).
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.Romans 5:12
So death is not the work of God. Death is the consequence of rebellion from God, the life-giver. Jesus, speaking of being the sheep-gate and good-shepherd says this.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
That’s Jesus’ mission. To unravel sin and its consequences. To work against death. To conquer and destroy death.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.1 Corinthians 15:26
Since death is the enemy, which God is working against, and death is brought about by sin, God hates sin. It separates people from his life – from relationship with him.
Evidence from Wisdom
To fear the Lord is to hate evil;Proverbs 8:13
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behaviour and perverse speech.
In this verse Wisdom personified is speaking. God is wise. His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5). He is the only wise God (Romans 16:27). As such, it must be concluded that God hates evil behaviour.
Evidence from examples of the detestable
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out liesProverbs 6:16-19
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Note that all these things are sinful behaviours, which the proverb says God hates. The Bible is full with this type of warnings against sin. That’s because God, who is infinitely loving, hates anything that would harm you or prevent you from being near the source of all life and truth and beauty.
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.Psalm 119:104
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;Psalm 45:7
In conclusion, God hates sin.
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