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You’ve heard the cliché “Love the sinner, hate the sin!” And, as we’ve addressed a previous video, that came from Gandhi, not the Bible. The Bible says everyone has sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible also says that God hates sin so much that He will judge sinners to an eternity in hell:
As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur (Revelation 21:8)
BUT, it’s written throughout the Bible that God is willing to do all He can to offer us the opportunity to avoid such an eternity:
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. (John 3:15)
You see? God’s desire for us is to repent and to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ so that our sins will be removed and washed away.
Now, some witty teachers have tried to take the cliché and morph it into a new adage:
“Love the sinner, hate your OWN sin!”
That might sound better, but what it communicates is that we shouldn’t address anyone’s sin but our own.
That’s not what the Bible says.
In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says:
So, yes… address your own sin. Then you will be washed by the grace and forgiveness of Christ (Hebrews 10:22). But THEN, care enough for your brother to lovingly correct his wrongs.
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Followers of Jesus have taken off their old self and all of its practices:
…seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)
And we are to help one another in this process of renewal. We find many passages clarifying which behaviors reflect sinfulness and which reflect Godliness.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and coveting, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
Put on as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
For those who don’t know Jesus, we are to warn the world that they are headed for destruction for their sin.
The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:7)
We need to tell them what sin is and that they need to repent and follow Jesus.
How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14-15)
What would truly be unloving is to know that they are about to die and not warn them at all. When it comes to loving sinners and hating sins, how about this:
Let’s love what God loves, hate what God hates, and delight in what God delights in.
We will know what those things are when we understand the text!