But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Never while the stars burn in their silence can it be said that God loves the sin in the sinner. Never can it be said that the holy God loves an unholy thing—and yet God loves sinners!
God loves sinners for that which He sees in them of His lost and fallen image, for God can never love anything but Himself, directly. He loves everything else for His own sake. So, you are loved of God—but you are loved of God for Jesus’ sake! God loves lost men, not because He is careless or morally lax, but because He once stood and said: “Let us make man in our image.”
Man was made in the image of God, and while sin has ruined him and condemned him to death forever unless he be redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ, mankind is a being only one degree removed from the angels. But sin, God knows, is like a cancer in the very being of man. Although once made in the image of God, he is now a dying man, sick unto spiritual death, because of the poison of sin.
But extract and take out that sin and you have the image of God again! And Jesus Christ was the image of God because He was a man without sin.
God sees in Jesus Christ what you would have been! He sees that in His perfect humanity, not His deity—for you and I could never be divine in that sense. When Jesus Christ came to us, He was incarnated in the body of a man without embarrassment and without change, because man was an image of the God who made him.