The common expression “Hate the sin, love the sinner” does not appear verbatim within the pages of the Bible. Nevertheless, the sentiment behind this phrase aligns with several biblical teachings and principles. It embodies the idea that Christians should show love and compassion towards others while recognizing the distinction between sin and the person who commits it.
This article will explore the scriptural basis for this concept and its implications for believers.
Should We Hate Sin?
Scripture makes it evident that God harbors a strong aversion towards sin (Psalm 5:4) and expects us to share in this abhorrence (Proverbs 8:13). In Romans 7:21-25, the apostle Paul openly reveals his struggle with sin and his earnest desire to break free from its grip. Hence, it is undeniable that we are called to detest sin.
Jesus took on human form through His incarnation, ultimately sacrificing Himself to absolve us of our sins. As God despises sin, we should align with this sentiment and develop a genuine disdain for it.
However, it is essential to emphasize that hating sin does not mean hating the sinner. Christians are not called to be judgmental or self-righteous but to show grace, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of Christ’s love.
It is possible to denounce sin while yet giving love and compassion to those who are enslaved by it.
RELATED: Is Hate a Sin in the Bible?
Should We Love Those Who Sin?
Despite the seriousness of sin, the Bible emphasizes the importance of love and compassion towards sinners. The Bible also instructs us to display love towards others, even those who may be considered enemies (Luke 6:27).
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus provides the greatest commandments, highlighting the dual nature of love and encompassing love for God and others. As Christians, we are called to extend love to all, including those who engage in sinful behavior.
When someone acts wickedly or becomes an enemy, they engage in sin. As Christians, we are called to bless those who wish us harm and pray for them, demonstrating a remarkable example of loving individuals who commit evil. Nonetheless, we are still called to hate the evil actions they commit, just as we would with our own sinful tendencies.
One might interpret Psalm 5:4-5 as indicating that God despises sinners. However, other verses emphasize God’s love for humanity (John 3:16). Therefore, we can conclude that Psalm 5:4-5 and similar passages illustrate that in comparison to God’s love for the righteous, He expresses hatred towards the wicked or sinners due to their sinful behavior. Nevertheless, God’s love for them still exists.
The verse in the Bible that comes closest to the statement, “Love the sinner but hate the sin,” can be found in Ezekiel 33:11.
While the phrase “Hate the sin, love the sinner” may not appear in the Bible, its sentiment aligns with various biblical teachings.
Christians are called to despise sin and its devastating character while showing sinners grace, love, and compassion. Embracing this balanced approach can reflect the redemptive love of Jesus and positively impact the lives of others.