The Bible states that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) that He gave His Son to die for our sins. The love of God is clearly stated in the Word, but many ask, ‘Is the love of God unconditional?’ Yes… and you need more to know about God’s love and what He says He hates. We’ll see what the Bible says as we further examine the unconditional love of God.
Types of Love
There are 4 Greek words for love…
- Agape love
In Greek, agape love is considered the highest form of love. It represents divine, unconditional love, loving another by choice, not an obligation. The love of God toward humanity is expressed through agape love (1 Corinthians 13 and John 3:16).
- Storge love
Storge is a Greek word for love that describes familial love: love between parents and children, siblings, husbands, and wives. Storge love naturally develops as bonds are created. It is protective, loyal, selfless, and withstands many ups and downs.
- Phileo love
Phileo love describes genuine affection and brotherly love. It develops when friends are devoted and delighted in honoring each other. It is the kind of love we are to exhibit toward friends, neighbors, and others as if they were family.
- Eros love
Eros's love illustrates God’s design for intimacy, passion, and connection in marriage. Eros love is a word to express sexual love shared by a husband and wife who are joined together in marriage. This description of love is best reflected in the Song of Solomon, when the husband and wife are intimately connected and attracted to one another.
Is the Love of God Unconditional? Yes. And He Hates Evil
God’s Unconditional Love Toward Humanity
Unconditional love means you cannot earn love. The love of God is unconditional, as His nature is to love. First John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God….” (emphasis added). His pure, perfect, unconditional love moves Him toward selfless action. Matthew 5:45 says, “…He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
In other words, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God expresses His unconditional love toward us. He did this through His divine rescue plan—the gospel. He sent Jesus to save us—sinful humanity—from the penalty we deserve, which is eternal death.
Sinful humanity is rebellious toward a perfect and sinless God. Romans 5:6-8 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (emphasis added)
The unconditional love of God made a way for humanity to receive eternal life, which we could never achieve through our own efforts. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
In other words, God took all of our sins—past, present, and future—and put them on Jesus Christ, which He chose to take, and gave us His righteousness. Jesus “put on” our sins and gave us His “robe of righteousness” so we could have a fresh start.
God’s Hatred Toward Things That Separate Us from Him
Though the love of God is unconditional toward humanity (remember, it is not earned), God does not love the sin of humanity. The Bible tells us that we must turn from sin and turn toward God, drawing near to Him.
God is a God of reconciliation. For someone to be reconciled to God, they must first see that they were separated from Him. This is what sin does; it separates us from God.
Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord….”
Jesus sacrificed His life for us, not so that we could go on sinning and live in rebellion toward God, but rather to satisfy the wrath of God toward us. In Jesus, the obstacle of separation and brokenness from God is overcome. And we are reconciled to Him (see 2 Corinthians 5:12-21).
The love of God is unconditional; however, this love does not exclude His hatred for sin. Proverbs 6:17-19 tells us that God hates 7 things…
- “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”
- “And one who sows discord among brethren”
God, holy and perfect, detests evil and sets a firm position against all sin. It is an “abomination” to Him. Proverbs 6:16 says, “These six things the Lord hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him…” (emphasis added)
The 7 things God hates are in opposition to His glory. They keep unbelievers from seeing their need for Jesus and keep believers from walking in the authority, the unconditional love of God, and the power they are given through Jesus.
- God hates pride. James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 state that God resists the proud. In other words, pride creates a barrier to experiencing the blessings God has given us through Jesus.
- God hates lying. Jesus said He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” God hates lying because it opposes who He is…truth!
- God hates innocent bloodshed. Jesus, being the creator of life (Colossians 1:16), opposes the bloodshed of the innocent. God hates unjustified violence and murder (death) because He is life.
- God hates plans meant to harm. When there are deliberate plans to harm another, this goes against God’s plans for good (Jeremiah 29:11).
- God hates the feet that carry out evil. As mentioned, God hates deliberately deceitful and harmful plans, but He also hates the feet that carry them out.
- God hates a false testimony. The second on the list was a lying tongue, but God also hates words meant to bring about a wrong verdict for someone in a trial. The difference between a lying tongue and a false witness in this passage is the audience. God hates it when we lie to someone. He also hates it when we lie about someone with a heart to deceive those listening.
- God hates gossip and “sowing discord.” The final point listed here could be seen as a summation of the preceding points. The things that God hates all bring about disunity and division, not only with each other but even in our relationship with Him.
Is the love of God Unconditional toward us? Yes, God loves us unconditionally, meaning we cannot earn it. The Bible says God is love. But the Bible also says that we are sinners and are separated from God. This is why Jesus came, to take on the wrath we deserve so we could be reconciled to Him. The unconditional love of God is displayed in Jesus Christ.
But God also hates. He hates pride, lying, innocent bloodshed, evil plans, the feet that carry out evil, false testimony, and gossip. These things separate us from each other and separate us from experiencing the unconditional love of God. If you want to know more about Jesus and God’s love toward you, we want to help you find answers to your questions. Go here and move forward in your faith journey!