Church Speak Part 1 - Propitiation

Romans 3:25 (ESV)
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

1 John 2:2 (NASB)
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Within those two verses, we read the word "propitiation."  Outside discussions on those verses, the word finds its way into few conversations.  Nevertheless, the word (or, at least, the truth it communicates) is central to the Christian faith.

Merrill Unger (Unger Bible Dictionary) wrote -

God does not have to be asked to be propitious, because He has become so through the death of Christ.  (page 894)
God, by His choice, favorably disposed Himself toward us while we were still sinners.  (See Romans 5:8.) 

In his book, The Cross of Christ, John Stott wrote -

God does not love us because Christ died for us, Christ died for us because God loves us.  (page 174)
Jesus is the propitiation for my sin because God loves meGod loves you, too!  He sent His son to this world, which He crafted, to restore all things to Himself.  His son accepted the cross, thus taking upon Himself the penalty for our sins.  That is the central act of propitiation and, therefore, the central focus of the Good News.


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