Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I think this is a cool word.  I have thought so since I first heard it 20 some years ago while studying Romans.  Partly because once you figure out how to say it, it's kind of fun to say--like hemlock for you Psych fans.  More importantly because of all it says about God's love for me and the world.

1 John 1b-2 "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous ; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins ; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 

God is love.  He is also holy.  Everyone sins.  I sin.  God's holiness cannot be in the presence of sin.  The penalty of sin is death, and that penalty must be paid.  We could pay that price, but God does not want us to die.  He loves us.  He wants to be with us.  He sent his son, Jesus, to be the "propitiation for our sin"--to pay the price for us.  He did this for us before we sought Him, before we knew Him, before we loved Him.  He took the initiative.

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

The word propitiation is not used often in every day conversation, but it means so much more than its definition: "Something that propitiates; specifically an atoning sacrifice."

It means:  God's love, sacrifice, payment, gift, forgiveness, unconditional acceptance, Love, God seeking me (and you), compassion, understanding, atonement, appeasement, grace, and more. 

It is the reason I can have a personal relationship with an Almighty, Holy God who LOVES me. 

Propitiation.  Come on, say it with me.  Propitiation.

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