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John Davenant on Divine Hatred of Sin and Sinner

October 19, 2008

I answer: They are called ungodly and workers of iniquity, who wilfully serve their ungodly lusts; but the regenerate are not called ungodly or workers of iniquity because thy have within them the latent remains of original sin. Nay, it is their perpetual effort to coerce and subdue this indwelling sin, lest it should again acquire dominion. They are therefore opposes, rather than workers, of iniquity. Nor does it follow that God hates the regenerate for their having in them some dregs of original sin. For the love of God towards the regenerate is not founded on their perfection or absolute purity, but on Christ the Mediator, who has transferred their sins to himself, and thus delivered them from the wrath and hatred of God. We readily admit then, that God hateth these remains of sin, and that he shows his hatred, by daily lessening, and at length eradicating them, by his grace and Spirit; but he does not hate the persons of those to whom they cleave, because Christ by his blood hath expiated their guilt. God therefore has willed to punish sin, which he hates, and hath punished it; but he punished it in Christ, who sustained its penalty instead of all the elect.

The sum of our answer comes to this: A two-fold hatred of sin may be considered in God; for he hates sin, either with a simple hatred, or a hatred which reverts upon the person. He hates the sins which cleave to the justified with this simple hatred, because their persons are reconciled to God; but he hates the sins of the ungodly, with that hatred which reverts upon, or is visited, on their persons, because they have not the ransom of Christ applied to them for the expiation of their sins.

John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification (London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., 1844), 1:30-31.

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