Do you remember what the Apostle John wrote about the purpose of his gospel account? “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in his book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (Jn. 20:30,31). John wrote in order that his readers might know God through Christ and–as a result–know that they possess eternal life. That is precious knowledge! How do we know that we are genuine believers, that we are saved from our sins? We know because we know Him. That knowledge is both objective (based upon facts) and subjective (based on our experience with God). I was reminded this morning of another way in which we can know if our faith is authentic. We will love what God loves and hate what God hates. Consider these words from Psalm 45–
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (45:7).
If my exegesis is accurate, the statement above is addressed to a king, probably the king of Israel. Everytime I notice this contrast in Scripture (righteousness–wickedness), I immediately do self-examination resulting in the same conclusion: I, too, love righteousness, but I only dislike wickedness. Can you relate to my assessment? I am just not convinced that I genuinely hate sin. After reading Psalm 45, I found myself in Proverbs 22. Munch on verse three–
“The prudent sees the evil and hides himself” (22:3).
Today–I very much want to grow in my love of that which is righteous (good, just, pure) and my hatred of that which is wicked (all forms of sin). In order to cultivate my love of the righteous, I spent time in God’s Word and led my family in worship. I also plan to read something edifying (a book which will encourage me spiritually). To increase my dislike of sin, I spent time in God’s Word and… (same as above). And, thanks to that time with God, I am more alert, more willing to hide myself when I see sin coming! Precious knowledge should led to practical know how. My hope is that I will more consistently glorify God with my loves and with my hates.
Speaking of the practical know, let me ask you: How have you cultivated your love of righteousness and hatred of sin? What helpful devices have you employed? I’d really like to hear your thoughts.