Why does God hate sin?
Is it really that bad?
In the Relationships, Love and Sin and Temptation sub-segments of the Growing as a Christian section toward the end, I cover sin in more depth and give a more detailed explanation as to why sin is so bad. I encourage you to read those segments for additional understanding. It will give you greater insight as to why sin is bad enough to cause a separation between us and God, as in this verse in Isaiah.
Isaiah 59:2 “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.”
In a nutshell, temptation is rooted in selfishness, which is to think of ourselves above others, which is the opposite of what is important to God. Giving into temptation is a sin because we choose our selfish desires over loving others. Since selfishness damages relationships, and relationships are of utmost importance to God, any damage caused to a relationship also causes damage to the relationship we have with God.
At the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry page, http://carm.org/why-god-hates-sin, we see some of the examples of sin.
“Sin takes many forms. It can be aggressive as in rape and murder. It can be passive as when we choose not to do what is right and let others suffer. Sin can take the form of misrepresentation so that such things as adultery is called “an affair”, Homosexuality is called “an alternative lifestyle,” and abortion is called “the right to choose.”
Again, as to how bad sin is, who gets to determine the answer? When we think of someone who has committed a crime, what determines whether the person will pay a $100 fine or be sentenced to death? The severity of the crime, right? Who determines the severity of the crime? Is it the criminal? No. Most criminals feel at least partially justified in doing what they have done, otherwise they wouldn’t have done what they did. Right? The end result of the crime, someone’s death through a robbery for example, they may not have intended, but they are still responsible for these results. That is why when a crime is committed against a person or in our society, the citizens elect leaders to determine the punishment for crimes. And notice also that crimes are almost always due to the selfishness of the one perpetrating the crime.
‘When we sin, who are we ultimately offending? God. As such, God is the one who determines the severity of the offense and the punishment required. What standard does God use to determine the severity of the offense? I believe it is the degree to which a relationship has been damaged. A disagreement causes a slight damage to a relationship, where a murder is the irreversible termination of any existing, possible, or future relationship.
Again, in the later sections on Relationships and Temptation we see that God indicates that relationships are the highest ideal to strive toward. Love is foundational to all relationships, selfishness is foundational to all temptation, and temptation is foundational to all sin. When we sin we are choosing our own selfish desires over what God desires, and so we choose against God’s highest ideal. Since our sin is against the ideal that is most significant to God, our sin then demands the most significant penalty.
In a nutshell, sin is giving in to the temptation to fulfill a selfish desire. All temptation is rooted in selfishness, in thinking of ourselves above others. This selfishness is the opposite of love for others which God indicates as the highest virtue we can strive for. This is because it is the necessary foundation for all relationships, which God places incredible value on. Considering that relationships of incredible value to God are damaged due to our selfishness and lack of love, this damage requires an incredible penalty to be paid.
We need to remember that sin is all the things we do and don’t do which satisfy our selfish desires and which are the opposite of what God desires. The reason God desires that we don’t sin is because sin damages the relationship we have with Him and others, and goes against God’s very nature.
How close would you feel to someone who has lied to you, stolen from you, or told others lies about you? You would probably be very hesitant to have any kind of relationship with them. That’s what our sin does to our relationship with others and ultimately God.
Why is Sin so Bad?
Why is Sin so Bad?
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