The word love is mentioned more than 300 times in the Bible (KJV). As Christians there is a lot of emphasis on love and rightfully so. God is love and His love is amazing, read more about it here.
The most important commandment our Lord Jesus Christ told us is about love:
Matthew 22 vs 37-39 ‘Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like it:‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’’
It follows then, that when you love something or someone, you automatically hate something else that gets in the way of that love. Let me give you an example: I love my husband so much, I hate it when we are apart. And it follows that what you hate you can kill/ eliminate. So, in this example: I hate it when my husband and I are apart so I eliminate any chances of us being apart.
When you love God, yourself and your neighbour as the most important commandment says , it automatically follows that you must hate something else and even desire to kill whatever stands in the way of that love.
To hate is to have an intense feeling of dislike towards someone or something, to despise, regard with disgust, find intolerable or to feel hostile towards something.
But God is love (1 John 4 vs 16) so does He hate? And if He does, what does He hate?
Proverbs 6 vs 16-19 (AMP version) says ‘These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him:
1) A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others],
- Pride is the first thing God hates. It was, after all the first sin committed in the world by the devil which made God throw him out of heaven (Read Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28: 12-18).
- God hates pride because He cannot share His glory with anyone else. Isaiah 42:8 says, ‘I am the Lord, that is My Name; My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved idols.’
2) A lying tongue:
- The devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). When we lie, there is no truth in us. And God is truth.
3) Hands that shed innocent blood
- God hates the hands that kill innocent life because he values all lives. Notice that God hates the hands which commit the sin he doesn’t hate the sinner but the sin committed by the hands.
- Remember God is love but he does deal justly with those who shed innocent blood, unless they repent of course.
4) A heart that creates wicked plans
- The devil is a schemer. Look at how he devised a plan to cause chaos in the world by tempting Eve in Genesis 3. And since then he has been part of any evil scheme in the world. God hates evil scheming because the devil is always behind it.
5) Feet that run swiftly to evil
- The members of our body ought to be used for God’s kingdom not to do evil. Don’t go to places that are ungodly and don’t be quick to do things that are not in line with God’s word.
6) A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths]
- A false witness would be someone who observes something but lies about what he saw. They twist it to suit their needs.
- I can admit that in conversations I have added some half truths in an effort to make a story interesting (embarrassing, I know) . This, the Lord hates.
7) One who spreads discord (rumours) among brothers
- Rumours are dangerous. The have broken marriages, friendships and churches. So, God hates them. Rumours result in distrust and where there is no trust, relationships are broken.
These are the 7 things God wants Christians to hate because He hates them to.
To sum it all up: God hates SIN, Christians should also hate sin. Remember God doesn’t hate the sinner but the sin itself.
To kill is to put to death, eliminate, put an end to something or to cause the failure/defeat of something.
- The Bible wants us to kill-to kill the ungodly desires that are running around inside our bodies. Those desires are what will cause us to commit the sin God hates.
- Colossians 3: 5-7 says ‘So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body (with it’s sensual, self-centered instincts) immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God].
So, what does God want Christians to kill?
8) The FLESH
Newsflash: You are a Spirit, living in a body, with a soul.The flesh is part of the body.
2 key reasons we must kill the flesh
1) What the flesh wants is opposite to what God wants
Romans 8:7-8 says ‘Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God’
- When we do what the flesh wants we cannot please God. So, we must KILL the flesh
2) The flesh enslaves
- In John 8 vs 34 ‘Jesus answered “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin.”’
When you give in to the desires of the flesh repeatedly over time, you become a slave to it. Have you ever tried to stop committing a sin but just keep doing it? That’s slavery- you have lost control of your flesh. If we don’t kill the flesh, then it will control us.
Ok, so what action can you take today?
1) Repent before God:
- Do you hate and kill the 8 things described above? If not, repent before God and ask him to give you a hatred for sin and desire to kill the flesh. This is an on-going process.
2) Know and remember YOU are Free!
- Jesus Christ has set us free indeed through His death- we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6 vs 6-7). Now all you need to do is walk in that freedom, trusting and believing God all the way.
- Galatians 5 vs 1 says ‘It was for this freedom that Christ set us free (completely liberating us); therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (which you once removed).’
3) Practice the most important commandment: Love
- Love God and love your neighbour (Matthew 22: 37-39). You love God by spending time in prayer and in His word, trusting and obeying Him. You love your neighbour as God loves you.
Romans 18: 9 says ‘Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.’
4) Know that the flesh is weak and always be on guard
In Matthew 26:41, Jesus said to his disciples ‘Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’
5) Don’t stay in the flesh.
- John 3 vs 6 says ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’
- Only by being in the Spirit can you kill the desires of the flesh. Praying in the Spirit and memorising scripture is one of the best ways to kill the flesh and it’s desires.
6) Be intentional with what you feed your mind
- Meditating on things of the flesh like spending hours on end on social media focussing on people’s lives and ungodly content will not help you kill the flesh. Mediate on the things that will make you grow in Spirit.
Romans 8:5 says ‘For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.’
7) Fellowship with other Christians.
Being with like minded people who share your faith will help you grow and focus less on the flesh and its desires.
My encouragement to you:
Unless we hate (not tolerate or endure) sin and kill the flesh, they will have control over us and be our downfall. Even when you are saved, you must continue to guard against anything that is not of God. Because the truth is not hating sin and not killing the flesh has dire consequences. Romans 8 vs 13 says, ‘For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.’
Lord, thank you for loving me and teaching me how to love. Help me to hate sin the way you hate it and kill the desires of my flesh. Help me to stay in your word and in prayer continuously while fellow-shipping with other Christians. I choose to live and walk in the freedom that I have in Christ. I choose as Romans 13 vs 14 says to ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts’. Thank you, Lord, that through You, I can overcome sin and the desires of the flesh and live freely.
In Jesus name, amen.