Yet there is hope for even the sexually immoral. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul discusses the purpose of God’s law and says the law was given for “the sexually immoral, [and] men who practice homosexuality” (1:10). God has made provision for all sinners! The law was graciously given to expose their sin, their desire to sin, and their inability to stop sinning. But, of course, the law was not enough, so Paul immediately switches from the goodness of the law to the goodness of the gospel, to what he refers to as “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God.”
Those who love must also hate. Those who love what is good, what is beneficial, what is honorable must hate what is evil, what is harmful, what is deplorable. We are defined by the things we love as well as the things we loathe. And what is true of us is true of God as well (or, said better, what is first true of God is subsequently true of us). For God to love he must also hate.
The Bible tells us of many things that God hates, sometimes by right-out saying “God hates this” and other times by describing such things with words like “abominable” or “detestable.” When we put it all together we find there are eight broad categories of things he hates. We have already seen that God Hates Idolatry. Today I want to show that God hates sexual immorality.
God Hates Sexual Immorality
Human beings are sexual beings. We are far more than that, of course, but we are not less. Our sexuality is a part of who and what we are, a good gift of God given to bind together a husband and wife and to expand the human race. Like everything else we have, our sexuality is a gift given to us in trust. We are to steward it faithfully, to use it in the ways God commands and to refuse to use it in the ways he forbids. God stipulates that sex is to exist only in the marriage of one man to one woman and further stipulates that it must exist in that context (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Just as it is sinful to have sex outside of marriage, it is sinful not to have sex within marriage.
God loves when human beings use the gift of sexuality in the ways he commands, but then necessarily hates it when they abuse it in other ways. Specifically, he hates acts of homosexuality and bestiality (Leviticus 18:22-23) as well as cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5). He hates offerings in which the proceeds have come from prostitution—in this case ritual temple prostitution (Deuteronomy 23:18). We might apply this to a modern context by observing that money spent or earned illicitly dishonors God, even when given to a noble cause.
God also hates divorce, the severing of the bonds of marriage (Malachi 2:14-16). Malachi 2 is a tricky passage whose translation is disputed, but we can be confident in this: What may have been opaque in the Old Testament, when divorce was permitted, is crystal clear in the New Testament when divorce is forbidden except in the case of adultery (see Mark 10:1-12). God especially hates divorce when the object is the exploitation of another person as in Deuteronomy 24:4 where it seems the emphasis is on a husband marrying to receive a wife’s dowry, divorcing her, then later marrying her a second time to receive a second dowry.
To summarize, God hates sexual sin, he hates any defilement of the gift of sexuality, and he hates any dishonoring of marriage, the only right context for sexuality.
Why God Hates Sexual Immorality
Why does God hate sexual immorality? Because in some way sexual sin is more serious than other forms of rebellion.