Q. You have written that in effect Jesus said to hate the sin but love the sinner. My friend says no where in the Bible does it say that Jesus or God ever said hate the sin, love the sinner.
A. Your friend is correct. Jesus never said hate the sin, love the sinner but that’s the way He lived. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus re-defined sin to a previously unheard of level, essentially saying that thinking about sinning is as bad as doing it. But He was frequently accused of fraternizing with sinners, and in fact spent most of His time with them.
With the woman caught in the act of adultery, even though He told her to stop sinning, He refused to condemn her (John 8:11). The same was true with with the crippled man He healed in John 5:14.
When they nailed Him to the cross to kill Him, He prayed, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).
He never condoned the sin, but He never condemned the sinner. He said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). His goal in dealing with sinners was always reconciling them to God, and He ultimately accomplished this with His death.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20) Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).