Do You Hate Sin Enough?

I can answer this question for you.  “No.” 

Honestly, how can any human on the face of the planet answer yes to this question?  If we could answer yes, we would be sinless, or we would be lying.  John tells us quite plainly that “if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:20).  Nobody is sinless. 

Through the illumination of the gospel and power of the Holy Spirit, we finally become somewhat aware of the sinfulness of sin.  As we grow in Christ and God’s holiness we become even more aware of the sinfulness of sin. This is because we become more aware of the awesome wonder of the Holy God who saved us.  God’s hatred for sin is often described in ways that hit us where it hurts. “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” (Psalm 5:5). If we call ourselves God’s children, then God’s sentiments must become our sentiments.  “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13). 

Jesus told us that those who mourn over sin will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). Sometimes it’s easy to read over such statements, especially the pithy little statements in the beatitudes, and not think seriously through their meaning.  What sin should I mourn? How should I mourn? The more I think about this statement, the more I realize that it is a lifelong activity that looks toward an eternal comfort.  Even though we can take great comfort in the forgiveness that is given to us in Christ right now, our groaning in this sin cursed world has Christians yearning for ultimate comfort at Christ’s return. Until that day, we mourn sin actively in our own lives, in the lives of others, in our churches, and in our world in general. 

Here are just some of the ways that Scripture talks about mourning sin. 

We mourn our own sinfulness: Psalm 51:9-12.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.

We mourn over sin in God’s People: Ezra 10:6  Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.

We mourn over sin blatantly overlooked. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2  It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 

We mourn for lack of repentance of sin. 2 Corinthians 12:21  I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

We mourn sin that drives the world toward God’s judgment. Galatians 5:19-21  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We mourn friends who will not recognize their sin and need for salvation. Philippians 3:18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

This list could continue for quite some time, but I hope you get the idea.  The wide-ranging devastation of sin is in us and all around us.  Sin is a comprehensive problem for all humanity and if we are numb to any aspect of sin we offend the perfect holy God who judges us by his perfect holy standard. Sin has ruined us, but much more than that, sin has made an impassable canyon between humanity and our Creator. “…but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2). 

But as all-inclusive as that devastation is, we have hope in the only human to ever live without a sin nature and without committing one single sin. If there were no Jesus, there would be no comfort.  Our comfort is in his great discomfort. He took the eternal wrath of the Father for us so we might be declared righteous. God looks at those who trust Christ and see the spotless lamb in their place. We are eternally comforted in the cross.

Can we possibly hate sin enough? No.  But let’s try.  Out of sorrow for displeasing our Creator, let’s try.  Out of gratitude for the sacrifice of our Savior, let’s try. Out of compassion for the lost, let’s try. Out of a desire to see the church look like Jesus, let’s try. And…knowing that with mourning sin comes the promise of eternal comfort through the cross of Christ, let’s utterly hate sin in all its forms.