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I've heard it a thousand times, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Recently I came across a verse in Psalms 5:5

Psalm 5:5 (KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Is this a proper translation?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Great question. I think where people often struggle with this is the imposition of the assumption that hate and love are mutually exclusive. This often tends to be the case with us, but it is a result of our sinful nature. God can both hate the sinner for what he does, and still love him in many ways.

Donald Carson has a great little book (free PDF) called the Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, in which he argues that God's love is not spoken of univocally throughout scripture, but instead that there are multiple perspectives that scripture gives to show us a broader lover than we can see from only one angle. I've reproduced the author's breakdown below.

  1. The peculiar love of the Father for the Son, and of the Son for the Father.
  2. God’s providential love over all that he has made.
  3. God’s salvific stance toward his fallen world.
  4. God’s particular, effective, selecting love toward his elect.
  5. Finally, God’s love is sometimes said to be directed toward his own people in a provisional or conditional way—conditioned, that is, on obedience.

Allowing for a multiperspectival approach to understanding God's Love helps us to see God as simultaneously loving and full of wrath.

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I know that the Bible is the Word of God, but it may be important to remember that that particular verse was written by David; "To the Chief Musician". David did not say that he was writing a prophetic word from the Father. It was meant as a song of worship and it was written by man.

I think the most outstanding proof that our Father loves us, sinners all, was shown by his amazing sacrifice through His Son.

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new wings, welcome to Christianity.SE. This looks like it has the makings of a great answer, however it needs a bit more. Would you mind expanding on this answer, fleshing it out with a bit of support from other scripture? Thanks. It also looks you are new to SE sites. Please feel free to stop by our FAQ. –  wax eagle Sep 14 '11 at 21:44

Here is a few beautiful bible verses I think pertinent

Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16-18 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God does not hate the sinners. We are all sinners by our nature and he definitely does not hate us all. The verse in the OP seems to be a bit out of context me thinks

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Proverbs 7:16-19 says:

These six things doth the Lord hate: yes, seven are an abomination unto him; A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

So, at least from this scripture (albeit from the Old Testament), we can see that God does not HATE sinners. He definitely hates the sin itself, it can be ascertained. Although it does say that he "hates" a false witness, it is clearly the sin of deceit that is what is hated by the Lord.

So, no to answer the OP's question, God definitely does NOT hate sinners. As has been said before, he sacrificed his only son in order to save an entire RACE of sinners (us) from damnation.

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protected by David Stratton Jun 22 at 18:00

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