UNDERSTANDING CHRISTIANITY-PART 2
The word "propitiation" ... describes the best offer we will ever get. Understanding what it means, could bring the most joy and happiness to us that we will ever know. Anywhere, ever.
There isn't a more valuable word. Couldn't be.
First of all, we need to understand that the word "propitiation" is loaded with the character of God. The character of the One who made us. And His character towards us is kindness ... naturally. Don't ever forget that.
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins". 1 John 4:10
But there's an interesting twist to this word propitiation. Yes, God always wants to show His kindness to us because that is His nature. But while we are in a rebel state towards Him, he is compelled to deal with the wrong ways operating in us, and causing us to rebel against Him. For without that change, we will continue to naturally oppose Him.
So how does God make His enemies His friends?
God's dilemma is twofold: 1) He wants to shower His favor upon us (due to His kind heart), but 2) He can't do that in any great measure ... when we are acting in ways that oppose Him. His righteous character won't allow Him to have fellowship with wrongdoing. The scriptures tell us, that it's our sins that separate us from God (Isaiah 59.2).
Said another way, He must be consistent with His own character, which is to act consistently in kindness towards us, but He is also compelled (by His own right character) to oppose the rebellion that is in us. What a mess for God. Parents have probably felt this same dilemma with their rebellious kids.
So what did God do? He formed a plan to fix it, once and for all.
He did it through loving propitiation. Or expiation. The greatest act of love and graciousness the world has ever seen. God is so angry with wrongdoing (because it wrecks His creation), that He'll do anything to get it out of us. How did He do it? He made His own much beloved Son, who was and is perfect and righteous ... a propitiation, or expiation ... to solve things. An absolutely amazing act. Let's break it down.
"Whom God hath set forth (Jesus) to be a propitiation through faith in His blood (blood being spilled to satisfy God's anger), to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past (i.e God staying true to His nature of opposing sin and serving judgement upon it) , through the forebearance of God;" Romans 3:25
God was compelled by his nature to expel his anger on sin, but how? He expelled His full anger on someone other than us ... on someone who could appease His anger, Jesus His beloved Son. That way, once His fury was expelled on wrongdoing and rebellion, He was being perfectly consistent in right-doing, to let us go free. Our sentence of death for wrongdoing...was served to another, it was served on His own Son Jesus, and in so-doing, an angry God was appeased. That's what propitiation means, i.e. to appease an angry God.
The result of propitiation allowing God to expel His anger and judgment on sin & wrong, it is now possible for us to be forgiven & find favor with Him, as He views us as not guilty any longer, because of Jesus. By accepting this gracious and powerful expiating act of God with a grateful heart, and confessing that we have done wrong in opposing God and sinning, we can be completely forgiven by God, and brought into His favor. The best offer we will ever receive.
The rebellion that once ruled us inwardly, then changes to love and gratitude, with the help of God's Spirit. And the more we learn, the more we love, and the more wholeheartedly we are willing to follow in all of His ways.
How amazing is that? I'm in tears writing this.
Good friend of mine, this expiation, or propitiation (which was completed by Jesus), or appeasement of an angry God, is also available to you. It can set you free from your alienation with God ... and make you a new & different person. You can find yourself in full favor with God, being blessed beyond your farthest imagination. You can finally be a friend of God and not an estranged enemy. Favor with God...all because God willed it to be so, and was proactive in making it happen. Doesn't that sound good? It ought to, considering who He is that we're dealing with. All the complaint of man, can be fixed when we're in right fellowship with Him. Because He has power to change things.
"And He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2
Don't forget ... that God put this plan together. For everyone. You and I didn't dream it up. It was His doing, to bring us back into favor with Him ... due to the compelling need of His kind nature. He is a kind heavenly Father, and I have experienced this in manifold ways. And He did all this for us, at a terrible cost to Him and His Son Jesus...that can't even be measured. The love in that act ... is worthy of our worship...forever. We who have found that this all works, we will praise Him on into eternity, as we learn more about it. The result of our being made right in His sight, is that the full kindness of God follows us in this life, and later. And the power of God is there for us now ... to assist with the hard things in life.
We'll never be offered a better deal than this. What springs forth is a life full of blessings. And even a taste of the glorious things ... that go beyond normal human experience. Don't delay in pursuing it for yourself, as you'll never find a better offer than this, and He's given us a span of time to accept His loving plan :-)