od hates sin but not the sinner. It's a phrase based on a bible verse that we have all heard, but do we truly understand it? Today, our aim is to carefully examine this phrase through Scripture in an effort to fully understand why sin is so detrimental in our relationship with God, and how the grace of God enables us to live the life we were designed for. 

God is Love, but He Hates Sin

From the earliest moments of creation, God made His love evident. He loves us so much that he went to incredible lengths to rescue us. God's love is unconditional. We can't earn it, and we certainly can't lose it.

When Adam and Eve fell into sin, the Bible says that God experienced "grief" (Genesis 6:6). In other words, God was genuinely hurt by their actions! He didn't want them to sin—but they did it anyway. Even though they had rebelled against Him, God still wanted a relationship with them. So He sent His only Son to die for their sins. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we are forgiven and can know God again—if we choose to accept His free gift of salvation by faith.

This unconditional love doesn't mean that God approves of our sin. Instead, it means that He no longer holds our sins against us (see 1 John 1:9). We don't have to be ashamed or apologize for our sin when we come to Him in honesty through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

God's love doesn't blind Him from seeing our sins—but it does prevent those sins from breaking fellowship between us and Him.

God hates sin, but he doesn't hate sinners. He loves you so much that he provided a way for you to be forgiven and set free from guilt. Jesus Christ is God's only provision for your sins. He offers everyone who believes in him forgiveness and hope.

Even when people know they've done something wrong, they can still rationalize it in their minds or blame someone else. Maybe they won't feel guilty about their actions because they believe their sin isn't as bad as someone else's. Maybe they'll tell themselves that their sin wasn't such a big deal and that God will forgive them anyway.

God sees things differently than we do, however. He knows the true extent of our sins even if we don't admit them to ourselves or others (Hebrews 4:13). But he also knows how deeply we have been affected by those sins (Romans 5:8). Even though we can't see our own sinfulness clearly, he sees us through his eyes of mercy and love (Romans 8:27).

Grace Rescues Us from the Penalty of Sin

God's grace is a free gift given to us by God to rescue us from the penalty and power of sin.

God hates sin and all its consequences, but He loves the sinner who sins. Therefore, He sent His Son to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and through Him, God promises to freely forgive sin.

The Apostle Paul was sure that "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," (Romans 8:1, KJV). He based this assurance on several facts: that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3); that "whoever believes in [Jesus Christ] shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:15); that "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9); that "God presented [Jesus Christ] as a sacrifice of atonement...by his blood...he did this to show his righteousness" (Romans 3:25-26); and that "[God] has justified us...because Christ...died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Grace Doesn’t Change the Fact that Sin is Wrong

God's grace doesn't change the fact that sin is wrong. We must always be aware of our sin and not just think that we can live however we wish and that God will let us off the hook. Christ's sacrifice is a payment for our debt, but it doesn't pay off the debt for us. We must still pay it off ourselves by following His commandments.

To say that God's grace allows us to go on living how we want is to say that God's grace makes it okay to be bad, which is really saying that God's grace isn't really grace at all. It's saying that we don't have to follow the rules and use His mercy as an excuse to be lawless.

The truth of the matter is that God sent His Son to die for us because He loves us and because He wants us to follow Him. His grace doesn't mean that we can ignore Him or take advantage of His mercy by continuing in sin. It means that if we do repent and try hard to follow Him, then He will forgive us when we mess up.

Grace Allows Us to Break Free of Our Sin

Paul writes in Romans 6:1-2 that we can be set free from sin's power. How? By dying with Christ. We are saved by grace through faith, and grace is God's favor to us that frees us from being slaves to sin (Romans. 6:14).

There may be a tendency to think of grace as a reward for doing good, but the Bible teaches that it is given to those who acknowledge their need for it, who turn away from the pursuit of their own desires and who acknowledge Jesus' Lordship over their life. This is why grace was such a scandalous doctrine to the Jews (see Rom. 9:30-32). They could not receive it; they did not want to receive it because they knew that if they did, they would have to change and stop sinning. This was a terrifying prospect to them; far better to try and live up to the law and earn their own righteousness than admit their helplessness before God.*

To the Jews, grace was an insult; a right-thinking person would do everything he or she could do before admitting defeat. There is something very humbling about admitting your need for grace, because you know you will never be able to earn it on your own merits.

Grace Enables Us to Live for Him

The truth is we all want to be free, don't we? Free from pain. Free from heartache. Free from the self-destructive patterns that keep getting us into trouble. We want to be free of our sins so that we can live peaceful and productive lives.

What the Jews failed to realize is that toxic religious systems are dead ends. Religious systems built on fear and manipulation are like a treadmill that keeps going faster and faster until you're exhausted and still haven't gotten anywhere.

Our freedom has already been paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. All we have to do is accept it. He has freed us from your sins once and for all–completely and eternally! It's a done deal! 

Now that we are free, why not start living as if you really were free? Why not live in the power of the Spirit? Why not use this freedom to love God more and others more deeply?

That's what we call "grace." Grace is not just about being forgiven for our sins or about having peace with God; it's about living a life that overflows with joy, peace and freedom! Grace is when you're free to live like Jesus did – out of love for God and love for others. 

Grace Gives us Life through the Holy Spirit 

As the Holy Spirit is a person, all God's grace that comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ is directed toward us through Him: "He who raised up Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11); "Christ, who redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, has obtained for us (the promise) that the blessing which is in Christ Jesus might be given to us" (Gal. 3:13).

The Holy Spirit not only gives life to our mortal bodies, but also produces the fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, patience and so on. The Holy Spirit strengthens our inner man as well as our outer man. He teaches and guides us into all things that are true. The greatest gift we can receive from God's grace through Jesus Christ is forgiveness and eternal salvation through Jesus' death on the cross. Through this sacrifice we can have fellowship with God and be cleansed from sin by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior by faith. The Holy Spirit reveals this and removes the guilt of sin when one accepts Jesus as Savior. 

The Law of Love

God hates sin because it alienates us from Him. On the other hand, when we turn to Jesus Christ, He welcomes us with open arms, embracing our changed hearts and minds to write over them the law of love and faith in Him. This is the good news of the gospel. We have been freed from the penalty of sin, so that we may encounter the Love of God through Jesus. Be encouraged today. No matter where you are on your journey with the man who hung between two criminals, God is ready to meet you where you are. His grace is enough.

Nov 2, 2021

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