I have often wondered why, even in the face of compelling contradictory evidence, so many people today believe exactly one way and one way only (especially when it involves a scientific looking chart). They rarely seem to entertain the possibility that the parent, teacher, mentor, church, book, or whatever else it was that influenced them might have been wrong. And, although I have absolutely no idea as to how it works, there is one other factor. If something is persistently and continuously put forward as being the absolute truth eventually, and in spite of contrary evidence, it will be accepted as such. Apparently, Adolph Hitler both believed and said this - He certainly proved its accuracy. And once people have made up their minds - an act of Congress or even of God does not sway them in the slightest.
They have made up their minds and that is the end of it - no other point of view, no other fact is going to be allowed in. Holding on to what they have decided to believe with a tenacity that any self respecting bull dog would profoundly admire - they have stopped listening, stopped reasoning, stopped analyzing, and tragically, have stopped learning.
This seems to hold true in virtually every facet of our lives - but especially in the fields of politics and religion.
Why? Not being a psychiatrist, I have absolutely no idea.
However, thousands of years ago the Bible told us that this would happen. People would want to hear whatever pleased them, whatever made them feel good about themselves, their lives, and their futures. They would want their ears tickled.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, (2 Timothy 4:3 NASB)
While there are unending examples of Christians and non- Christians alike believing things that just aren't so, the focus of this article is on the misconceptions Christians have about God's love.
God Hates The Sin, Not the Sinner
Along with God loves everyone, it is almost universally believed that God hates the sin and not the sinner. In fact, this statement is so well known that I suspect that many have a vague notion that it originated in the pages of the Bible.
It did not
The first known instance of this dictum is when Augustine included the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum in a letter he wrote to a group of nuns (c. 424). Roughly translated the phrase means "love for mankind and hatred of sins" both of which I believe he was urging them to do
While I have no clue as to whether he ever read Augustine, Gandhi (1869-1948), who led the non-violent struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule, did much to propagate the idea by using the phrase "hate the sin and not the sinner" in his autobiography.
And this is not the only thing that many people believe and that the Scriptures know nothing about.
Other Erroneous Beliefs About God's Love
People also commonly believe that
God loves everyone equally and unconditionally and there is nothing we can do that would make Him stop loving us. Nor is there anything we can do to deserve His love or make Him love us more.
I am sure that every one of us has heard one or another version of these statements, but how many of us have bothered to take the time to confirm that this is what the Bible actually teaches.
Just for the record it does not.
This is a typical example of telling people what they want to hear and saying it so often that they are eventually convinced that it must be found in the Bible and must be the truth. Not only are these 'facts' conspicuous by their absence in the Scriptures, but Jesus Himself flatly contradicted all these beliefs. Pay close attention to what He told the disciples,
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9-10 NASB)
The word "if" clearly indicates that only those who keep Jesus' commandments abide in His love. In other words, there is no getting around the fact that if we do not keep Jesus' commandments we do not abide in His love. So much for God loving everyone equally and unconditionally.
But that is not all
If we stop for a moment and analyze Jesus' words, we will realize that, in this one sentence, Jesus turned the rest of our ideas about His love on their collective heads. He said His love is based on what we do - we can earn/deserve His love by keeping His commandments - and we can stop Him loving us simply by ignoring them.
And this was not the only time Jesus affirmed that God's love is conditional (i.e. He loves those who keep His commandments). He did so on at least two other occasions
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. (John 16:27 NASB)
"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him... "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. " (John 14:21, 23 NASB)
What about John 3:16?
The assumption that God loves everyone equally and unconditionally has to come from somewhere - I suspect primarily from a mis-interpretation of John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life".
However, since Jesus clearly and absolutely contradicted our understanding of John's declaration in more than one place in the Gospels, we need to take a closer look at what John said - Perhaps our interpretation is not quite what John meant..
Jesus' statements about the Father loving someone was addressed to individuals... In other words every person who obeys the Father's commandments would be loved by Him. However, John 3:16 says "God so loved the world...". It is a general and universal statement and does not refer to any individual human being. It is perfectly possible to love and want the best for a group and yet be sharply aware that there are some very bad eggs among them - individuals that one could never claim to love.
Besides which, the word love (translated from the Greek Agape), has little to do with affection, fondness, or mushy sentimentality. In fact, it has nothing at all to do with God's feelings for an individual. Agape is stretching out ones hand to help another person whether or not you approve of them, or even like them.
For example, most people would throw a life jacket to a drowning man, even if the person in the water was someone they had few good feelings for. Thus the Bible's instructions for us to love our neighbour does not mean we are always going to like them - which would be impossible considering we sometimes find ourselves very inclined to hit them over the head with something large and heavy. Loving our neighbour means feeding them if they are hungry, clothing them if they are cold or, most importantly, telling them the glad news of the Gospel if they are unbelievers. It often entails putting their needs before our own. Also See What is love in the Bible (Agape) and How Did It Work?
This is exactly the kind of love that God has demonstrated. When the Bible says 'God loves us', let us please not delude ourselves into imagining that He thinks humans are pretty cool and gets all warm and gooey when He think of us.
God's love means that He cares enough to not want us to perish. In fact, He cares so much that in His Grace (defined as unmerited favor), gave His Son's life so that we wouldn't lose ours. (You did notice the word "unmerited". Of course you did). God cared enough about mankind as a whole so much that the life preserver He offered us cost Him the life of His son.
But that does not mean that individuals cannot earn His love and respect. The Bible speaks of many people of whom God approved.. including Abraham, Noah, Job, Daniel, David , Cornelius etc. Why? Because they were righteous.
So What's Wrong With Conditional Love?
Conditional love can also be called approving love.
And while some people might balk at the concept, I think it is actually a very good thing.
I don't know about you, but I would much rather be loved by someone who approves of me, rather than be loved by someone who is simply showing compassion. Wouldn't it give you a very warm feeling and make you feel really good about yourself if you hear someone say "I love you because" - and then proceeds to name the things they really value in you. On the other hand, knowing that someone loved you in spite of the fact that they found nothing in you that they liked or admired, would be a real downer and would probably leave you feeling that you had crawled out from under a rock.
But it is wise to remember that we have to do something to gain approving love. Jesus did. He earned and deserved His Father's favor.
"For this reason the Father loves (Gk. agapao) Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. (John 10:17 NASB)
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love (Gk. agape); just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love (Gk. agape). (John 15:10 NASB)
Note, in all these verses, the word 'love' was agape in the original Greek, thus love in John 3:16 cannot be understood as "unconditional love."
But I would like to return for a moment to the part about God supposedly hating the sin but not the sinner - an oh-so-widely accepted concept that the Bible pleads complete ignorance to.
Yes, you read that right.
Holy writ does not anywhere tell us that God hates sin and not the sinner. Much to the contrary, the book of Proverbs says
A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who points with his fingers; who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, who spreads strife. Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing. (Proverbs 6:12-15 NASB)
No one who actually pays attention to Isaiah 59:1-9 can believe that the sinner is not the target of the Lord's aversion and hostility
Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. (2) But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. (3) For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness. (4) No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. (5) They hatch adders' eggs and weave the spider's web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth. (6) Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands. (7) Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways. (8) They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace. (9) Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom. Isaiah 59:1-9.
And if there remains any doubt that God doesn't like (read hates) sinners, Proverbs 6 goes on to say
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB)
(Most of these are pretty much self explanatory. However, I have included a short note on each one in Footnote II. See Footnote I for the literary style used)
But what is really important is that not all that the Lord hates are 'things'. The last two in the list are the false witnesses who utter lies, and those who spread strife. In other words, the Lord hates the sinners, not only the sins.
And Proverbs is not the only book that says that God does not distinguish the person from their actions. And why doesn't He? Simply because people do what they are - their actions provide a clear insight into their character. (One time sins may not indicate character but continuously doing the same thing over and over again does). Thus if God disapproves of sin, there is no question that He must disapprove of the person committing the sin.
While modern Christians prefer to see only a God of love - someone who bestows wonderful things upon us and never causes any grief whatsoever, the fact remains that He Himself says He actually hates and withdraws from people who practice evil. Nor will He have the slightest qualm about judging them according to their deeds.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. (Psalms 5:4-6 NASB)
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. (Psalms 11:5 NASB)
"I have forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; I have given the beloved of My soul Into the hand of her enemies. "My inheritance has become to Me Like a lion in the forest; She has roared against Me; Therefore I have come to hate her. (Jeremiah 12:7-8 NASB)
"I, the Lord, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you," declares the Lord God.'" (Ezekiel 24:14 NASB)
Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, and they do not know the Lord. Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. They will go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them. (Hosea 5:4-6 NASB)
All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels. (Hosea 9:15 NASB)
Additionally, the first seven of Jesus's beatitudes presented seven attitudes that God looks favorably on.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5) "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. (6) "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (7) "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (8) "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:3-9 NASB)
Most of these contrast with the seven things and people God said He hates in Proverbs 6. For example, the first beatitude was a blessing on the "poor in spirit" while God's hatred of haughtiness is the first named in Proverbs. The blessed 'peacemakers' of the Beatitudes neither bear false witness nor spread strife - the people God hates do. Also those who's feet "run rapidly to evil" can be contrasted with those who are gentle and merciful peacemakers.
In the New Testament Jesus not only called God His Father an uncountable number of times, but repeatedly referred to Him as being our Father. . See for example, Matthew chapter six.
I guess that at this point some must be wondering how our Father could actually hate someone..
Well the answer is fairly simple.
God is not everyone's Father. In Romans 9, Paul makes it very clear that "they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel" (Vs. 6) and goes on to add that not all Abraham's descendants are counted as descendants - only the children of the promise, i.e. the ones born into the line of Isaac rather than Ishmael. Similarly, Romans 8 emphasizes that those who are led by the Spirit of God, are sons of God. They, and only they, have been adopted into the 'family' as sons.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:14-15 NASB)
In short, only born again believers can legally call the Father "Abba!"..
Jesus Did not Show Any Hatred Towards Sinners.
Christians often defend their worldly behavior (and their association with those who do) by claiming that Jesus was called "a friend of sinners" because He 'hung out' with them, and would do exactly the same if He were to walk the earth today. In fact. (He was called a "gluttonous man and a drunkard" as well. Matthew 11:19).
Sadly the subject is rarely thought through..
There is little question that Jesus' inclusiveness was extraordinary. Unlike his religious contemporaries, He included among His followers those who were generally excluded from religious life - and probably polite society as well. The list included tax-collectors, sinners, lepers, and even women who were considered second class citizens. However, Jesus' inclusiveness was not the 'come as you are' sort - He offered these sinners something no one else had - forgiveness for their sins and a new and transformed life in God's kingdom. As He Himself said, He came to call sinners to repentance - not the righteous.
See The Inclusiveness of Jesus And The Message of The Bible
The parable of the Lost Sheep, that tells of a man who has a hundred sheep but rejoices over the one that was lost but subsequently found, only speaks of how much God wishes people to accept His offer and how glad He is when they do. One sheep returned to the fold means a great deal to Him. Similarly, the strength of Jesus' sadness about people who will not take the proffered lifeline is amply demonstrated in Luke 13:34
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! (Luke 13:34 NASB)
Jesus certainly did not preach a "God loves everyone" message - Just ask the scribes and Pharisees whom He had nothing but contempt for, calling them broods of vipers, hypocrites, whitewashed tombs etc. Certainly, the money changers in the Temple would attest to the fact that Jesus soundly disapproved of what they were doing. However, at the same time, Jesus lamented the fact that the vast majority of the people of Jerusalem would not come together under the umbrella of His protection and, as a result, would suffer God's wrath and punishment.
Also, do not forget that Jesus continually warned everyone that the days of God's mercy were coming to an end - at which time His wrath would fall on the unrepentant.
"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NASB)
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15 NASB)
"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? (Matthew 23:33 NASB)
The so called "gentle Jesus" of the Gospels is the same Jesus who, in the book of Revelation, pours out His wrath on millions of people once the offer has run its course and is no longer valid. See
"The Kindness Of God Leads Men To Repentance."
This verse from Romans is often taken to mean that sinners are more likely to respond when they hear about God's love for them rather when they are warned of His displeasure or impending judgment. The problem is that even if this verse were a stand alone, it does not lead sinners to repentance - no more than telling career criminals that judges are kind leads them to become law-abiding citizens. All that will happen is that they traipse along fat, dumb and happy until one day they actually come face to face with the judge and get the shock or their lives when they find out 'kindness' plays no part in the verdict they pass - the judge will uphold the law.
But in any case, the verse has been hopelessly misinterpreted. Just like virtually every other one in the Bible, one cannot accurately discern the point being made unless the verse is read in context. See Context is CRUCIAL
And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. (Romans 2:2-8 NASB)
God's kindness does not mean weakness.. God's kindness is seen in the fact that He has mercifully delayed judgment giving sinners time aplenty to repent and save themselves. Thinking lightly of God's kindness, or contemptuously mistaking it for weakness, will do nothing but see us at the wrong end of God's judgment in the final day.
Of course sinners would rather attend a church where the message is strictly about God's love for them and nothing is said about the consequences of unrepentant sin. Scripture says that God is love, but it also says that He is a consuming fire (see Hebrews 12:29). Paul wrote, "Behold the kindness and severity of God" (Romans 11:22).
We cannot focus solely on the aspect of God's character that we particularly like or find warm and comforting. Neglecting His other side is not doing ourselves or anyone else any favors. See Seeker Friendly Failures in The Bible
While the following is not a perfect analogy, it will suffice. If doctors were to tell their cancer patients that they are perfectly healthy, all that will happen is that the patient will be temporarily cheered. However, this will not stop them from dying. This is why doctors tell their cancer patients the bad news in the hope that they will take all possible steps to (hopefully) be cured.
Similarly, telling believers (or would be believers) nothing but the good news that God loves them, gives them a false sense of security. They never get around to taking the steps that would ensure they are not sentenced to death at the judgment.
See Sin, Repentance and Salvation on THIS Page
The literary style used in Proverbs 6:16-19 and often found in Scripture is, as I understand it, called a Numerical Ladder. It is a poetic arrangement apparently designed to show that definite numbers are not being used and the list is open to expansion.
For example, when Ecclesiastes 11:2 says "Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth", the Preacher was advising generosity. Because the future was uncertain, a person may one day stand in need of similar help. Proverbs 30 has at least four examples.
"From six troubles He will deliver you, Even in seven evil will not touch you. (Job 5:19 NASB). As said by Barnes - "Six is used here to denote an indefinite number, meaning that he would support in many troubles"
This literary device was also much used by the prophet Amos to describe the judgment of the Lord against various nations whose sins had piled up (three transgressions and for four). The first judgments were against Gentiles followed by those against Judah and Israel.
Gaza: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they deported an entire population To deliver it up to Edom. (Amos 1:6 NASB)
Tyre: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of Tyre and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they delivered up an entire population to Edom And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood. "So I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre And it will consume her citadels." (Amos 1:9-10 NASB)
Ammon: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders. (Amos 1:13 NASB)
Moab: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of Moab and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime. (Amos 2:1 NASB)
Judah: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the Lord And have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked. (Amos 2:4 NASB)
Israel: Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for money And the needy for a pair of sandals. (Amos 2:6 NASB)
Footnote II - Hated by God
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB)
'Haughty eyes' is easily understood as a proud or arrogant look. However this look is seldom just the arrangement of a person's facial features, but reflects the person's inner nature. The English word 'haughty' was translated from the Hebrew rūm - that literally or figuratively means to raise or exalt. For example, rūm is used to describe Noah's ark being lifted up (Genesis 7:17) and Isaiah said he saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted (rūm) (Isaiah 6:1)
When applied to people the word rūm is almost always used in the context of someone who thinks very highly of themselves - even to the point of raising their voices and showing arrogant disdain for the Holy One of Israel!
A Lying Tongue
The second of the seven things despised by the Father is 'a lying tongue'. Here are a few examples of what the Old Testament says about deceit.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 NASB)
"The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 19:18-19 NASB)
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. (Psalms 27:12 NASB)
'For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,' declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:9 NASB)
The third chapter of the New Testament book of James stresses the importance of keeping ones tongue under control. He wrote, in part
Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! (James 3:4-5 NASB)
Hands That Shed Innocent Blood
The shedding of human blood is sternly prohibited. Man is made in the image of God, and his life cannot be arbitrarily taken without an accounting. After the flood, the Lord told Noah "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:6 NASB)
However, the Bible makes a clear distinction between killing and murder - the two words not always interchangeable. Killing occurs in war, capital punishment (with due process), accidents, self-defense etc. But the shedding of innocent blood carries grave consequences. For example, Abel's blood cried out for vengeance from the ground it was spilled on - the Lord heard and Cain paid an enormous price. Of the evil king Manasseh the Bible says he did evil in the sight of the Lord shedding very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16 NASB). Two chapters later in 2 Kings 24:4 we are told that the Lord would not forgive what he had done. As Revelation 16:6 says
"for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."
This may cause us to think that we are not in danger of being one of the murderers that the Lord despises since most of us sail through life without shedding any blood at all.
However, it is not that easy.
Beginning around the middle of Matthew 5 Jesus showed how the scribes and Pharisees interpreted and outwardly obeyed each law, and then revealed what was God's true intent in each case. He began His examples with one or another variation of "You have heard that it was said... But I say to you..."
Referring to Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 Jesus said "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'you shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court' (verse 21). He then followed this up with the words
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell"..
In other words, even anger with ones brother without cause puts one in danger of the judgment. Prior to this, unjustified negative feeling towards another human being was acceptable as long as one did not actually commit murder. However since murder, like all sin, begins in the human mind, Jesus was addressing the adverse emotion behind the deed and calling it wrong (Vs. 21-26).
The apostle John elaborated on this "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15).
See Jesus And The Law - Chapter III - Jesus and The Spirit or Intention Behind The Law.
Heart That Devise Wicked Plans
I believe this one pretty much self explanatory.
A person who consciously and maliciously schemes on how to do something that is hurtful to others in an abomination in the Lord's sight. As Christ said
"Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Matthew 15:17-20 NASB)
Feet That Run Rapidly To Evil
is a description of those who are quick to do wrong. They are evil people who show no hesitation in getting involved in all kinds of evil. They seize every opportunity to satisfy their base natures usually at the expense of others.
A False Witness Who Utters Lies
The difference between this and the second thing that God hates (a lying tongue) is that god specifically says He hates the person who lies - specifically the lying witness who perjures himself by giving false testimony. And no wonder. These were responsible for the death of Stephen and of the Lord Jesus Himself bringing about the death of innocents.
Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." (Acts 6:11 NASB)
Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. (Matthew 26:59 NASB) Also See Mark 14:55
One Who Spreads Strife Among Brothers
The seventh Beatitude says "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). The Seventh thing (also in this case a person) is someone who "spreads strife among brothers" - stirs up trouble.
This is carried over into the New Testament. In speaking of those who "advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words", Paul says they are
...conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, (5) and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
Galatians 5:19-2 warns that those who practice even "strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes" will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-23 NASB)