Why God Hates Sin

Reposting this entry from 2017.

God has good reasons for hating sin…and we should, too.

Posted on  by Editor

So many people think that God is vengeful & mean, just sitting on His throne in heaven waiting to zap us with a thunder-bolt every time we do something wrong.

For starters, that image is more appropriate to a pagan God, like Zeus or Odin.

When I speak of God, I am speaking of the One True Living God. God the Creator. Jehovah, El Shaddai. The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. God the Father, the One who sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus, who is also God, and the Holy Spirit. The divine Trinity.

I make this distinction for a reason. God, little “g”, represents many different things to different people. When someone says they believe in god, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they believe in the Judeo/Christian God, or Jesus, who is the only one who gives us access to the real, true living God, big “G”:

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6

Now that I have laid that foundation, back to the reason for this post: God hates sin. No ifs, ands or buts. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something…or deceive you…and is deceived themselves.

Sin is anything that God says is sin, or sinful. Sin is not subject to trends or societal mores. There are no acceptable & unacceptable sins in God’s eyes. That’s a human construct. That is, if the human in question even considers the reality of sin. Many people don’t and are highly offended by the use of the word. Here is one thing the Lord says in regard to sin and sinners:

“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! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!” ~ Isaiah 5:20-21

Good is also whatever God says is good, just so we’re clear. There are many good things that our western society calls bad: monogamy, integrity, obedience to authority, truth, freedom, purity, forgiveness, mercy, etc.

Since I am a parent, a mom, I’m going to share with you what God has shown me in regards to hating sin, from a parent’s perspective. I think anyone, though, who truly loves someone else can relate to the example I’m going to use.

As a parent, I hate anything that has the potential to hurt or destroy my child. Let’s use addiction as an example for this post. What my child may see as good or desirable or harmless, like say drugs or alcohol, I see as a threat to my child’s health & well-being. Just because something is legal or natural does not exempt it from being dangerous. While liquor is legal for adults over 21, how many people’s lives have been destroyed because of someone’s misuse or overuse of beer, wine or distilled beverages? The same applies with drugs, dangerous sexual activity, gambling, food, spending money…whatever. The addicted person is no longer in control of that thing. Instead, the thing is now controlling them.

I am not saying it’s a sin if you drink alcohol. Just please consider what I am saying. As a parent, no matter how young or old your child is, it hurts to see the one you love enslaved to an addiction of any kind. Marriages are destroyed because of addictions. Families break apart, children are scared, scarred & abused because someone in their world is under the control of something stronger than they are. The reality of an alcohol addiction is not the breezy, beachy Corona scene of commercials:

beer_beach-06-2407

It more often looks like this:

Children-Growing-up-with-Alcoholic-Parents

or this:

alg-teen-alcohol-jpg

If your child or loved one is under the control of alcohol, do you have warm, fuzzy thoughts when you see them drunk? Are you happy to see that six-pack enter your house? Is it a pleasant surprise when you find liquor bottles hidden in a closet or stashed under a bed? My guess is you would hate the thing that is contributing toward the destruction of your child, spouse or friend. I know I would.

After a period time you may start to resent and hate the person too, if you’re not careful. After all, they are causing you a lot of emotional pain, possibly physical pain as well.

You hate the thing that is destroying your child. God hates sin, because it destroys the ones He loves…us. And here’s the thing: everyone has sin. Not one person is exempt from the condition or consequences of sin because we are born with it:

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” 1 John 1:8

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

Now, as a parent, spouse or friend of someone who is addicted to (*fill in the blank), wouldn’t you do anything to see them set free, healthy & whole?

God has already done something. Sin does not have to hold you in bondage any longer. You’ve heard it before, but hear it again:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

God is giving you an escape, a way out of the sin that you were born with and can never be rid of on your own.

“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.…” John 3:18

Just like an addicted person who thinks they can handle their (*fill in the blank) and doesn’t need any help from anyone, we can never do enough good works or be “good enough” in and of ourselves to satisfy the righteous standard of a Holy God.

God punished sin when Jesus, His sinless Son, willing went to the cross & took the sin of the world upon Himself… past, present & future…suffering a punishment we all deserve but are spared when we accept His sacrifice on our behalf.

Haven’t their been instances when someone you love is suffering, and you think, “Oh please Lord, let it be me and not them!” This is what Jesus has done for you. He suffered in your place. He took our sin, and the punishment our sin deserves, because of His unfailing love:

“Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Jesus laid down His life for you. Receive the mercy, cleansing & love He paid such a high price to give to you and be free.

Outstretched Handedited

The Dangers of avoiding correction from God

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. ~ Psalm 32:5

The words above are lyrics to a song or possibly a poem, a psalm, written by David, the King of Israel. Like many songwriters & poets, David communicated his emotions through words and music, pouring out his heartfelt expressions of love, anger, fear & contrition. Psalm 32 falls into the last category.

David committed several egregious sins during his lifetime, yet God forgave him when he confessed those sins…each and every time.

Around the time Psalm 32 was composed, David had been confronted about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. Not only did he have sex with her, she became pregnant with his child. In a desperate attempt to hide his sin, he first tried to get the man, named Uriah, to leave the battlefield and spend time with his wife, and by spend time I mean intimate time, which the man refused to do. David then instructed a military leader to ensure that Uriah be placed into battle where he was sure to be killed, which is what happened.

That was a cold blooded and devious way to deal with a problem. You can read the account in 2 Samuel 11:1 2 Samuel 12:25.

Most people would never consider bringing something this ugly, this heinous to God. But David knew God. He had spent years upon years in intimate fellowship with Him, learning to hear God’s voice and becoming acquainted with God’s character. He knew that God was merciful. He has experienced God’s mercy and grace in His life multiple times.

The beginning of Psalm 32 starts out like this:

Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat
.

We suffer physically, emotionally & spiritually when we refuse to acknowledge sin. It’s a heavy burden that produces guilt, shame, fear and condemnation. The more we harden our heart to the loving conviction of God, the farther away we drift from His grace, to the point where we cease to sense conviction and end up deceived and spiritually blind. This is a frightening place to be.

The next verse is the one at the top of the post, verse 5, when David finds sweet release & forgiveness:

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

David was grateful and overjoyed once he came clean before the only One whose opinion mattered – God. And he didn’t leave it there. David wanted others to experience the freedom and joy that comes from owning up to one’s own sin, and the consequences that come if you don’t:

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. 

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

I’m going to leave you with a scripture that I never tire of sharing. The truth is powerful, so don’t allow anyone or anything keep you from God’s loving arms of mercy –

Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! ~ Isaiah 1:18 The Living Bible

When God Disciplines You

My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke; for the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12

Let’s be real. No one likes to be corrected, including me. It’s not fun. Sometimes it’s even painful.

But I would rather be corrected by someone who loves me & is trying to save me from a world of hurt, than live out the consequences of my rash or stupid decisions.

For the purpose of illustration, I’m going to use an exaggerated example of what I’m talking about. Let’s say person A has a quick temper and is prone to violent outbursts. Person A’s friends & family have warned them that they need to deal with their anger and learn to manage it in a more constructive way. Person A ignores their advice, thinking within themselves that their anger is justified and everyone else is just blind to the facts. As time goes by, person A continues to nurse his/her anger, feeding it a steady stream of dark memories as they replay in their mind every slight and insult hurled against them.

One day, person A is in an argument with a complete stranger. This stranger had the nerve to take the space Person A was waiting for in a parking lot. This will be person B. Person B’s problem is that they are inconsiderate and rude. Family & friends have told person B this many times, to the point that person B does not have many friends left. When the unfortunate B leaves their car, person A starts yelling insults. Person B tells the person to deal with it and continues to walk to the store. Person A snaps, and beats person B so badly, that B dies when his head hits the concrete. Now, multiple people’s lives are affected because A & B refused to deal with their personal issues and sins.

The Lord has given us His word on everything we will ever deal with or face. In addition to the scriptures, He has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us, if we have been born again. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher, our Helper…the indwelling presence & power of God. (Read John chapters 14 – chapter 17 for the descriptions & characteristics Jesus made about the Holy Spirit)

Using our person A example, let’s look at what the scriptures have to say about anger:

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.

Proverbs 22:24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,

And one more (but there are many more in the Word that deal with anger)

Ephesians 4:26-31
“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

If person A had been a believer, the scenario might have developed along these lines: Person A is confronted about their anger by their spouse or other loved ones. They feel defensive & hurt about the words just spoken to them, but instead of lashing out, Person A seeks time alone with God. Let’s even say Person A realizes that they in fact do have problems with feelings of rage, and prays to the Lord: “Father, I have a BIG problem. I just get so angry! I’m mad all the time and little things set me off. I don’t know why I’m like this and I can’t seem to control it. Please, I’m asking for forgiveness for the people I’ve hurt and frightened. I desperately need your help to overcome this. Please have mercy on me. I’m asking this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Here is an example of someone who acknowledges that they have a problem. They don’t try to minimize it, justify it or ignore it. Person A now sees that his/her actions are not pleasing to God and do not reflect the image of Christ, whom they are supposed to represent. They are humbly sorry for their actions and thoughts and are seeking forgiveness, which God, in His mercy, freely gives:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9

Now Person A has the power of God activated on their behalf. They resist feelings of condemnation & shame because God does not condemn believers. Person A has confessed their sin and God has forgiven them. Not because they necessarily feel forgiven, but because they accept by faith what the truth of God says (1 John 1:9). Whenever feelings of anger or rage start to bubble up, Person A immediately cries out to God for help, and God gives them the strength to keep their mouth shut…or walk away…or to respond in a controlled manner. None of this means that person A won’t struggle against anger for awhile. It does mean that they are learning how to walk through this time of change by leaning on God and relying on His help. A very powerful prayer for anyone dealing with a sin is simply to ask, “Father, lead me AWAY FROM TEMPTATION”.

To wrap this post up, I’m leaving you with an encouraging word from Hebrews 12. It’s encouraging because if God is dealing with you about something, it means you belong to Him, and that’s a GOOD thing:

5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
         “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
         NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;

6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
         AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. ~ Hebrews 12:5-11

Time to Grow Up

I hate shallow Christianity.
 
I’m not referring to baby Christians. I don’t hate someone who is just learning their way in Christ, or people who are finding their way back into fellowship with God.
 
I’m referring to people who have never progressed in their walk with the Lord. And when I say “I hate”, I am referring to their lack of righteous fruit, not the individual. I am angered by those whose faith is weak and untested. Not untested because the Holy Spirit has not led them into times of testing, but because they did not recognize their current circumstance was a test. And so they fail…repeatedly…to the determent of God’s kingdom, and to those who occupy the same space with them.
 
Life is always a test, or better yet, a choice. These are people who do not seek God for wisdom. If they do seek Him, they don’t stop long enough to listen. These are Christians who do not seek His truth in the scriptures. If they do look to the word, it’s only for a positive word of scripture…something fluffy that bolsters their emotions. If they happen to run across a word of conviction (translation: are LED to a scripture), one that steps on their toes, they quickly turn the page…or close the book. There is no acknowledgement of ignorance or personal sin. The thought of humbling themselves to ask for mercy and grace is foreign. To respond as Jesus would respond is a fleeting, if never-present, idea.
 
For these believers, it is always someone else’s fault. They have just drawn a bad hand of cards. Life is stacked against them. Excuse after excuse after excuse. And so, in their ignorance, arrogance and unbelief, they war with human wisdom, in a field of flesh and blood, playing right into the enemy’s hand.
 
God’s kingdom operates differently than man’s kingdom.
 
To confront hate, we are to extend love. To counteract slander and persecution, we are to pray and ask our Father to bless the person slandering us. We don’t pay back an evil deed with another evil deed. If God did that with any one of us, we would cease to exist. 
 
It’s time to grow up.
 
It’s time to face the hard truth about yourself. 
 
If the body of Christ is ever to become the beautiful Bride, the Church that Jesus chose for His very own, then we must face our mirror and truly see what we look like in HIS eyes. Just know that He sees us through His eyes of love. You weren’t chosen because you were the most beautiful, the most handsome, the most AWESOME human who has ever walked this earth. You were picked out and adopted simply because of His great love for you. 
 
Let others see how much God loves them through you. 
 
“…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25b-27
 
 
Blind MA

When you know how the log feels

“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.” Matthew 7:5 NASB

This scripture has been speaking to me in a new way and I will tell you why.

When Jesus spoke these words, He had been teaching the people who were present for His sermon on the mount. From Matthew chapter 5 through chapter 7, the knowledge Jesus shared encompassed truth regarding God’s kingdom, how people are to relate to God and to one another, faith, prayer, marriage, the purpose of His coming to earth, giving to the poor, fasting, how to live free from anxiety, discerning good from evil, the way to life vs the path to destruction, and the correct way to build an unshakable foundation of faith. You can spend weeks studying these two chapters and have a feast to chew on for years to come. Matthew chapter 7 concludes with these words:
“…the crowds were amazed at His teaching, for He taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.” Matthew 7:28b – 29

You just know when you are listening to someone who knows what they are talking about. There is a difference in the way they deliver their words. Not only is there conviction and confidence in what they speak, there is power.

The conversations and encounters that have made a lasting impact on my life have come from such people. These are fellow believers who have walked the path I’m on and can relate to my struggle. They understand my pain or confusion because they have experienced similar feelings. Instead of blasting me for my weakness, they lovingly point me in the direction of God, right where I am, showing the compassion and mercy I so desperately need. Even if it’s correction, the people who have received the loving conviction of God turn around and extend that same loving conviction to me.

When God has been merciful to me with my sins and failures, how can I turn around and condemn someone else for theirs?

So, back to the verse Matthew 7:5 and what it means to me:

When I get real with God and allow Him to work in my life, I’m giving Him the green light to have His way. He teaches me right from wrong in every situation; He gives me wisdom and direction, encouragement and peace. I let Him have access to all the dark, fearful or ugly aspects of my life and He in turn showers me with mercy, love and grace. He is conforming me to the image of Christ, turning me into something beautiful out of the ashes of my former self. And I in turn want to point others to God and all of His goodness.

When we care more about helping someone than judging them, then we are prepared to offer assitance for the speck of dirt in their eye:

Matthew 7:3-5 The Message (MSG)

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Pray for one another