This past week, someone asked me "Does Jesus hate me because I got drunk last night?" Naturally, many of you want to know what my response was to that question. To keep it simple, "No, Jesus doesn't hate you." Of course, that was not the extent of the conversation and I'm not going to talk about what my response was in full detail because that's not the point of this read. What I'm hung up on isn't my response, but the reasoning behind asking the question. This is going to be a short and simple read but hopefully one that brings some clarity.
Grace Is Not A License To Sin
Jesus didn't die on the Cross just so you could show your "get out of Hell" card every time you sin. The power of sin is so real and many of us don't realize it's power until we begin to fight it. The beauty of the Cross is that there is no sin that we can ever commit that Jesus did not pay for when He died. God's grace doesn't get bigger the more we sin, but it is simply greater than any sin that you can ever commit. With that being said, Grace does not justify a lack of repentance and a deliberate rebellion against God in a constant pursuit of sin. A life that is constantly running back to Jesus when they fall into sin is different than a life that attempts to use Jesus as a justification to continue on sinning. One has experienced the transforming power of Christ, while the other simply has not.
External Behavior Modification < Internal Transformation
Jesus did not come and die for your sins so that you could be a better version of yourself. Instead, He came and died for your sins so that you may have an opportunity to spend eternity with Him in glory through a personal, real relationship with Him in your heart. The Gospel is not one where you must clean up before you can come to Jesus, but rather one that invites you to bring all your brokenness, insecurities and imperfections to Jesus in order that He may show you that He is greater than all of it. A relationship with Jesus is not about sinning less, but about pursing holiness. For when we pursue holiness, we will sin less. Sinning less should not be the root and reasoning of your relationship with Jesus, but it should be the result of pursing holiness which produces fruit of sinning less. Jesus didn't die for you to be a morally good person, but to be transformed from within by The Holy Spirit so that you may be changed from the inside out.
Where's Your Heart?
In conclusion, God does not hate you when you sin but He does hate sin. If we have truly been saved by Jesus and transformed by The Holy Spirit, we should desire the things that God desires. Following Jesus is easy, sin makes it hard. Because we have been saved by Christ, we should desire to pursue the things of God and run from the things that draw us away from Him. I pray that this simple and hopefully easy read challenges you and brings some clarity to some things that you may have been thinking. Jesus loves you too much to keep you the way that you are, never forget that.