2009-03-12 - Be a Good Hater
Romans 12:9, "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."
Hate evil as Hell itself. Let your love be sincere. We do not love by tongue only, but we love in our deeds and in our manner of relationship to one another, 1 John 3:18 "In actions and truth." Don't only avoid evil, but hate it. Hate it as you hate Hell itself. The verse has in mind a real detestation of evil. "I hate every false way," Ps. 119:104. "Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate!" Amos 5:15. To cling (or cleave) to that which is good means that we are to be glued to good things. Things that are glued together, or nailed together, are much harder to separate. Cling to what is good. In fact, this word here "cling" or "cleave" is the same word used in Matt. 19:5 and Eph. 5:31, to express the union between a man and wife. So here we have it: We are to hate what is evil, and hold with a death grip those things that are good.
There is a popular view around today among some, that they have sinned too much for God to love them. They have somewhere crossed the line, and Christ's atonement for sin, wonderful as it might be, just doesn't apply to them, because they have sinned past mercy. There are several considerations here. The first is that the application of Christ's blood and His forgiveness to great sinners gives Him more glory. He can save the greatest sinner. It shows how complete His offer of forgiveness is, and how deep His mercy can penetrate. You cannot sin your way beyond Christ's reach of grace. Secondly, it is not our goodness that saves us. Christ didn't only come to die for marginal sinners. He came to "save His people from their sins," Matt. 1:21 all of them." Some think they cannot be saved because they are not holy enough. The truth is that no one can be holy at all until they are saved. The saving comes first. Holiness is the fruit. It is never the ground of our salvation. Holiness is the effect. It is never the cause of Christ's love.
We ought to hate evil in all its manifestations. It is sometimes hard to do. Evil has a subtle draw with us. God has shown us what is good, and there is an evil that is opposite to that which is good. But let us notice what we are told here, and how high the standard is set for us to strive towards. We must not only cease from doing evil; we must hate it. We must hate sin with a godly hatred. We must hate all the appearances of sin in ourselves, others, and in the world. Sin in all its forms must be irreconcilable to what we like. We have to be good haters. Beyond that, we must not only do those things that are good, but we are to cling to that which is good. The good is to be our deliberate choice. It is to be what attracts us. This is not an easy admonition from God's Word, but we are to be good haters of what God hates, and better lovers of those things that God loves.
Soli Deo Gloria,