>God Hates the Sin, but Loves the Sinner?

>In the continued effort to bring the posts from my old blog (moore4christ) over to this blog, below is a post I published in April of this year and was a submission that I made in a collaboration for Old Testament II. The question as posed by the professor is in red and then my response is in black:

The obvious theme of Psalm 2 is Yahweh’s use of “his anointed” (v. 2) to control rebellious nations. However, not all mentioned in this Psalm are pictured as rebellious and thus as objects of divine wrath. The Psalm closes on a positive note: “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Clearly, the Psalmist believes that the wicked will experience God’s wrath, not his grace. On the other hand, those who bow before him will experience blessing. In light of the Psalmist’s presentation, evaluate the statement: “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.”

I believe that we talked about this somewhat in an earlier collaboration for Old Testament II, but I am glad to see singular treatment using the 2nd Psalm as the context. I think the previous collaboration discussion was on the equality of God’s love – the thought that God loves the entirety of humanity in the same way, equally. There is a sense that in an individualistic and largely democratic society that we live in today, that the thought of equality is certainly a major factor in our idea of freedom. The Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal. This has been the clarion call for all disenfranchised persons in the American tradition and it has also had somewhat of an impact on our view of God’s approach to the sinner and sin. We run to John 3:16 and read, “For God so loved the world…” or I John 2:2, “He is the propitiation of our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world”, and then say that God LOVES the world and LOVES the sinner. God LOVES you and me. When HE was on the cross YOU were on his mind (and in our minds, there is no qualification to that thought – no limitation). Therefore, God even LOVES the unregenerate sinner. But I cannot go that far. Ephesians 2:3 states that we are by nature children of wrath – all humanity. By nature, all humanity is subject to the wrath of God. This is a holy stance against the sinner! Yes, there is an effacacious condescendence by God through Christ to the world because of God’s love for the world so that he might save the elect, but God still must stand in holiness against sin and thus the sinner. God hates sin – with wrath and judgment – and the nature of the sinner is SIN. Therefore, God hates the very nature of the sinner. But this is not an EMOTIONAL hatred that we usually attach to the word in human terms. WRATH is not an emotional response from God – it is a response of holiness and according to the sake and glory of HIS NAME. This HATRED is wrought out of the perfection of God’s holiness. The only people that the phrase, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner” would apply to is the regenerate believer – not the unbeliever.

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