This is my first in-depth Christian Apologetic post, defending why we believe. I hope to cover more.
Note About Post Length: A simple answer is not good enough. We must define terms and understand how they apply. We must understand God’s nature in order to understand why He decides for particular events to happen. This post is broken down and detailed because I want you to be well-informed. I want you to have a solid understanding, and I hope if these questions are making you unstable in your faith that this post is solid enough to help you. ~ T. R. Noble
Love Is Not What We Think It Is
Love tends to be misunderstood. We make it fluffy and tolerable to all. Biblical love is extremely different from how the world views it.
We take one verse from (NIV) 1 John 4:08, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” and we leave it at that.
Many are confused when they say “God is love” when they do not know what “love” actually means. Many do not have an answer to the question, “If God is so loving, why did He kill His Son?” Today, I hope to give you that answer.
Paul tells us what love looks like in the love chapter. Did you ever notice that the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) never says, “Love does not hate?” What it says is, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
What does it mean to delight in something and what does it mean to NOT delight in something? Answering this will help us understand why God delighted in the Savior’s death because He loves what is good.
What Is The Opposite Of Delight?
Consider these definitions regarding God and His relation to sin.
- Delight– to take great pleasure, to satisfy greatly. Synonyms: glory, joy, love, and rejoice are some. (Note: Hebrew “chaphets” is discussed later in post.)
- Hate– intense aversion, the very opposite of love. (Hebrew “sane” is discussed below.)
- Aversion– a feeling of repugnance (disgust) for something with a desire to avoid it.
The opposite of delight means to greatly annoy, cause displeasure, anger, enrage, grieve, regret, and these are just a few. The Bible gives us a similar story.
Consider The Hebrew Word “ATSAB” To Grieve
Atsab means to grieve, worry, hurt, anger, make sorry, and the like. It is used in Genesis 6:06 when God is grieved and expresses His regret for creating mankind. There are 17 occurrences of this word in Hebrew, if you would like to view here.
Sin causes grief and regret. God regretted creating mankind because of the fall of man. He did not delight in the wickedness of men but hated it to the point He planned to wipe out mankind. The truth is sin disgusts God and it has no part with Him. But where there is righteousness God loves. Despite the wickedness on the earth, Noah was a righteous man who followed God. Noah and his family were spared from the flood. (1 Peter 3:20, Genesis 6:09)
True love will hate what comes against it. God is love. God is good. Therefore, God hates sin because it goes against His love. Sin is the complete opposite of God and love.
Examples Of God Hating Sin
We can understand He hates sin, but the Bible does not leave us with a vague idea of what sin is. We have plenty of examples.
- A proud look
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked plans.
- Feet that are swift in running to evil
- A false witness who speaks lies
- One who sows discord among brethren
Scripture does not stop there.
- (NIV) Deuteronomy 12:31, “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 16:22 also talks about His hate for false gods. Both scriptures use Hebrew “sane” meaning to hate, see below.)
- (NIV) Psalm 11:05, “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, He hates with a passion.”
- (NIV) Psalm 5:04, “For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with You, evil people are not welcome.” (Other translations say evil does not dwell with Him.)
- (NIV) Psalm 5:05-06, “The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence. You hate all who do wrong; You destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful You, LORD, detest.” (Hebrew used for detest is “sane” see below.)
God hates what is against Him, and He is love. God is good. What oppresses love, goodness, and truth, He hates.
Consider The Hebrew Word For Hate “Sane”
The Hebrew used in most of the listed passages above is referred to as sane this means to hate personally. To view all 147 occurrences of this word check out this link.
Curse Of Sin & What It Means For Us And God
When Adam and Eve fell in sin, their bodies became corrupt, and therefore all mankind was born under the curse of sin. This separated us from God. We became sons and daughters of disobedience, children of wrath. God’s wrath to be exact.
Our eyes became open to all sorts of evil. Our flesh became exposed to death. Therefore, sickness entered. Hardship entered. The body would struggle with weather, child-bearing, selfishness, and much more.
- (NIV) Ephesians 2:03, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” (Children of wrath some translations say.)
- (NIV) Ephesians 5:05-06, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a person is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Children of disobedience some translations say.)
- (NIV) Colossians 3:05-06, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (God’s wrath is coming upon sinners, as our earthly nature refers to our sinful flesh.)
God will have no part with sin and sinners. From the very beginning, when man fell in sin, God knew He was the only One who could fix the damage between mankind and Himself.
(NIV) Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” Our first prophecy of the Savior.
From the seed of David, the tribe of Judah, Jesus came.
(NIV) Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sin has a cost and it is death. The consequence of being a sinner is the wrath of God, for He is a just God and sin is evil. By nature, we are evil/wicked. We are not righteous. We are deserving of death and punishment.
Sin Requires A Pure Sacrifice
Throughout the Old Testament, we see the Lord bring up a group of people that He set apart. God redeemed the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. They were passed over the plague of the death of the firstborn by the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. They were given a Law that pointed out what sin is, and the Law gave instructions on holy living, including the atonement of sin. (These are all types and shadows of what was to come.)
- (NIV) Romans 3:20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” The Law itself shows us we are sinners, and that we cannot be perfect/holy by our own good works.
- (NIV) Romans 7:07, “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
Since the death of Abel, who was considered righteous and faithful, blood begins to hold deep value in the Old Testament. Blood is life. Remember, sin takes life away. Blood, however, seems to protect and pass over the sins of the sinner. Again, we see this in Exodus. (Hebrews 11:04, Leviticus 17:11)
- (NIV) Hebrews 9:22, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
- (NIV) Exodus 12:23, “When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.”
Thus, after this, we see animal sacrifices offered up for sins. Only animals considered pure and without blemish were chosen for the sacrifices of sin. As Hebrews 9:22 points out, the loss of life (shedding of blood) cleanses and atones. Through this atonement, God forgives the sin because the sacrifice is pleasing to Him. These sacrifices in the Old Testament were a type and shadow of what was to come.
- (NIV) Hebrews 10:01-02, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.” Sacrifices of animals never cleansed completely as a final atonement. The sacrifice was external, but internally the sacrifices could not change the worshipers.
Now, let me ask you a question. If God loves what is good and true, would He not consider a pure sacrifice for sin to be good?
Would He not be delighted in a perfect sacrifice that not only could atone for sin once and for all, but change the believer from the inside out?
Consider The Hebrew Word “Chaphets” To Please or Delight
(NIV) Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”
In other translations instead of saying, “it was the Lord’s will to crush Him,” they say, “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” There are a few meanings of “chaphets,” and the two main takeaways relate to delight and take pleasure in something. Chaphets when used in this verse means, “pleased to do a thing with the infinitive” it is used in this manner in only three scriptures. Isaiah 53:10 is one of them. (There are 75 occurrences of chaphets which you can view here.)
God did, indeed, take delight in the Savior’s death.
A Better & Perfect Sacrifice For The Human Race
The first Adam led to all of mankind being under the curse of sin. Everyone is born under the curse because they are born under the first Adam. Not one human born in sin could ever be pure and blemish-free. No human of a sinful nature could fulfill the atonement of sin. As I’m sure you realize, the life of an animal is not the same as the life of a human.
- (NIV) Hebrews 10:11, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” Referring to the Levitical priests in the Old Testament and their sin sacrifices for the people.
- (NIV) Hebrews 10:03-04, “But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
The Messiah was the One Who could do what no other human could and because the Messiah was and is God, He, in His infinite glory, took the form of a man (the image of the first Adam) so He could make intercession on our behalf. The Person of Jesus became our Mediator.
(NIV) 1 Timothy 2:05-06, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”
The Purpose Of The Messiah
Jesus was and is completely righteous and unblemished. He took on human form and the role of a Servant. Christ was now both God and Man. He became the second Adam. One who was blameless and not under the curse of sin to save those who were.
- (NIV) 1 Corinthians 15:47, “The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.”
- (NIV) Phillippians 2:06-07, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Christ did not act as Judge when He first came to the earth as the Savior. He came to bear witness of the Father. He proclaimed Himself as God and that He is the only way to salvation. He came to fulfill the sacrifice of sin. He came to become our atonement.
Though Christ was God in the flesh, He never used that to His advantage. Jesus obeyed the Father, struggled with temptation, and overcame sin! (John 10:30)
- (NIV) John 5:36, “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given Me to finish–the very works that I am doing–testify that the Father has sent Me.”
- (NIV) John 14:06, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
- (NIV) Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin.”
Jesus Paid Off Our Debt To Sin
All of mankind was under the curse of sin. We all are sons and daughters of disobedience. We all are deserving of an eternal punishment because we are not righteous by our own works.
Christ took our form because no other human was a sufficient sacrifice for sin’s atonement. Our debt to sin was paid off because of Christ’s perfect and pure sacrifice. Like the Israelites in Egypt, God redeemed us through the blood of the Lamb. Our punishment was forgiven (passed over) because of the blood of Christ.
- (NIV) 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
- (NIV) Hebrews 9:12, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”
- (NIV) 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Christ’s Resurrection Is Our Justification
Jesus was born because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, a virgin. Christ said we needed to be “born-again.” He said one must be “born of the Spirit.” Jesus did not mean for someone to be physically reborn, but spiritually regenerated, becoming a new creation.
The death of Christ paid off our debt to sin, but Christ did not die and remain dead. He resurrected. The resurrection of Christ broke our bondage to sin, like Israel’s bondage in Egypt.
The book of Romans tells us that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our justification. For all who believe in Jesus and have faith in Him, they are saved. They are forgiven through His blood and repenting of their sin, for if they truly believe they will act and obey the words of Christ, to repent and sin no more (this will be discussed soon). Knowing it is not by our own works we are saved but through the atonement of Christ.
- (NIV) Romans 3:23-24, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
- (NIV) Romans 3:25-26, “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Justification– to justify
Justify– to pronounce free from guilt.
Consider The Hebrew Word Dikaioó To Make Righteous
Between chapters 3-8 of Romans there are a few verses with “dikaioó.” (There are 37 occurrences total if you would like to view.
When Jesus overcame sin and death, He provided a way that we, too, can overcome our sin and death. Overcoming is done through Christ’s atonement, being cleansed by Him inwardly, something the animal sacrifices could not do. He declares us righteous because He paid off our debt, but then He also helps us walk in the way of righteousness.
The Purpose Of Being Born Again
Once an animal was killed for sacrifices in the Old Testament it could not come back and it could not dwell within the heart of a Jewish worshiper, it could not continue to convict of sin (Hebrews 10:01-02). Once we have been forgiven by Jesus, we need a transformation and conviction to happen within our spirit to help us not sin. Christ is the answer.
- (NIV) 1 John 2:06, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.”
- (NIV) John 15:04, “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” “Remain” is another word for abide, and the Greek/Hebrew for “abide” means “to dwell.” Bear also in mind, Jesus is the Vine (John 15:01)
- (NIV) John 14:15-16, “If you love Me, keep My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever–” Christ lives in all who have faith in Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Advocate and Comforter.
- (NIV) John 15:09-10, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”
Consider The Hebrew Word Menó To Remain
In John 15:04 “menó” is used meaning not to depart but to continue to be present. Those who have faith in Jesus have the promise that Christ is with them. (There are 118 occurrences of this word.)
A new believer is forgiven through faith in Christ because of His death on the cross and resurrection. Regeneration happens when a new believer dies to sin because of Christ dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit. Outside our body is still perishing but spiritually we are growing. The fruit which comes from the Holy Spirit will emerge outwardly for those in Christ. Those who love Him obey His commands, and walk according to the Spirit.
- (NIV) Romans 8:03-04, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
- (NIV) Romans 8:05-06, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Turning Away From Sin (What God Hates!)
God loves us enough to take our place for a punishment we are deserving of because He hates sin and He desires that we be cleansed from all unrighteousness. God does not only forgive our punishment but because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ He justifies us, making us a new creation. He hates sin and He gave us a way to die to sin so that we could live in Christ!
- (NIV) John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
- (NIV) John 3:03, “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (Sinners cannot enter the kingdom. We must be cleansed, forgiven, justified, and produce fruit of the justification. Jesus is our only answer.)
- (NIV) 1 Peter 1:03, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Jesus came as our Messiah to save us, not to condemn us. We are already condemned because of our sins. Jesus became our mediator, born our condemnation on His shoulders in His death on the cross. He resurrected overcoming the curse of sin, which is death. Through Christ we also can overcome!
So… in answering the questions…
- Question: Does God Hate?
Answer: Yes. God is capable of hate because God is love. God is pure, good, and righteous. Anything which goes against the goodness of love is sin. Humans are under the curse of sin because of the first Adam. We are condemned because our very nature is sinful. God will have nothing to do with sinners in His kingdom.
- Question: How Can A Loving God Send His Son To Die?
Answer: Out of His love, God provided a way for sinners such as you and I to be forgiven, but because the wages of sin is death, sin requires a sacrifice, an atonement, and that is why God gave us His Son. Jesus came down as God in the flesh. Jesus is God and God is love. Jesus willingly sacrifices His life and bears the sin of all humanity. He willingly laid down His life because He loves us and He desires that we be forgiven, cleansed, and obey His commands. God raised Jesus from the grave and He overcome the curse of sin. Christ’s resurrection is our justification. God the Father delighted in the Savior’s death for all of these reasons!
Like God, we also need to hate sin. It corrupts us. It makes us selfish. It separates us from Him. Sin taints us. It stops us from being able to love others with the humility, compassion, wisdom, understanding, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control, patience, peace, and joy of Jesus Christ.
Putting our faith in Jesus Christ is the first step. (See: What Is True Christian Living (What Does NOT Make One A Christian?) Through Christ alone, we will be able to turn from sin and detest it as our mind is renewed. The Holy Spirit helps us, convicts us of sin, and transforms us as we grow in our walk with Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean we will never sin, but when we sin we can seek forgiveness from Jesus and repent!
I hope this post has been informative and helpful to you. If there similar questions like this you are interested in let me know below. I might make a post on it. 🙂
Biblehub.com. 2020. Strong’s Greek: 1344. Δικαιόω (Dikaioó) — To Show To Be Righteous, Declare Righteous. [online] Available at: <https://biblehub.com/greek/1344.htm> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Biblehub.com. 2020. Strong’s Hebrew: 2654. חָפֵץ (Chaphets) — Desire. [online] Available at: <https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2654.htm> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Biblehub.com. 2020. Strong’s Greek: 3306. Μένω (Menó) — To Stay, Abide, Remain. [online] Available at: <https://biblehub.com/greek/3306.htm> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Biblehub.com. 2020. Strong’s Hebrew: 6087. עָצַב (Atsab) — Displease. [online] Available at: <https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6087.htm> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Biblehub.com. 2020. Strong’s Hebrew: 8130. שָׂנֵא (Sane) — To Hate. [online] Available at: <https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8130.htm> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Aversion. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus (p. 73). Springfield, MA, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Delight. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus (p. 281). Springfield, MA, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Hate. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus (p. 505). Springfield, MA, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Justification. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus (p. 607). Springfield, MA, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Justify. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus (p. 607). Springfield, MA, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Merriam-webster.com. 2020. Thesaurus Results For DELIGHT. [online] Available at: <https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/delight> [Accessed 19 August 2020].
Community Prayer for August
Monthly Scripture – (NKJ) Psalm 85:09, “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.”