Love the Sinner... Love the Sin?
"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." 1 John 1:8-10
Have you ever heard the Christian admonition, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin”? It is a good, biblically based statement that speaks to the proper balance between love and truth.
God loves us, but He doesn’t love our sin. In fact, He hates sin and cannot have fellowship with sin. He hates sin so much that when Jesus took all our sins into Himself on the cross, the Father turned His back on His Son and forsook Him – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).
In our world today, there are some who don’t like “love the sinner, but hate the sin” because they don’t agree that what they are doing is sin. These folks want to redefine morality and immorality. They say, “We are enlightened and have progressed … and the ‘bigots’ and ‘haters’ and ‘Neanderthals’ need to wake up, smell the coffee, and get on board with the new program.” What used to be universally understood as sinful and wrong behavior in society, and especially the church, has now become something that we are being forced to endorse and embrace. Love the sinner … and love the sin (although you better not call it that!).
God’s Word is clear, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20). If a person, family, or society wants to experience woe, just simply try to change the unalterable, eternal rules of morality that God has clearly delineated for us. By doing so, you make God out to be a liar, and His truth and His word will not be in you.
WHATEVER THE SIN
All sin separates us from God, regardless of what it is. And the only way to get in fellowship with God is through honest confession and repentance. If we confess (agree with God) concerning our immoral actions and the sinfulness of them, and turn from them, God will graciously forgive and wash us “white as snow” (Is.1:18). If we don’t, He won’t.
I don’t know what sin you are struggling with today. Maybe it is pornography, or adultery, or fornication, or worry, or greed, or idolatry, or unscriptural divorce, or homosexuality, or strife, or jealousy, or just plain old selfishness. Whatever it is, you must face the brutal facts, call your actions what God calls them: sin … and turn from that sin to Jesus. Only then can you be forgiven and set free.
THE CHURCH AND THE CHRISTIANS
May we hold fast to the Word of God and the clear teachings of Scripture regarding right and wrong. May we never become a people of compromise who jettison the moral standards of God because of the pressure of political correctness and societal bullying. May we be like Jesus and always love and embrace the sinner, but never love and embrace the sin. For if we do, we deny Him; call Him a liar; and blow up the only bridge that leads sinners to the Savior.
The stakes are sky high. May you and I be found faithful to God and His Word.
P.S. If you would like for us to pray for you or someone you know, visit us online on our PrayerWorks page.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.