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The Gospel (Lesson 7)
A Promise of Propitiation | Romans 3:25
"God presented Jesus as a propitiation."
The gospel is a promise of propitiation.
Propitiation is a big theological word that refers to a legal demand being fulfilled.
For example, if I were convicted of a crime and sentenced to five years in prison, at the end of those five years, I would have propitiated justice. My prison sentence before the law would be complete and I could go free.
It is the same way in the Bible. God has established a moral law. Sinners have committed treason by defiantly transgressing the law. The law demands a certain sentence must be served in order for justice to be "propitiated."
In Romans 3:25, the apostle Paul writes,
"God presented Jesus as a propitiation, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."
Okay, there are lots of big words there.
Let's make it simple.
By allowing himself to be crucified, Jesus fulfills the prison sentence God's law demands. In other words, Jesus is the propitiation for our moral crimes against God.
Here is what's amazing. The way to receive the benefit of what Jesus did on the cross is simply to believe he did it for you—to trust that his blood covers all your sins, past, present, and future.
In other words, to believe the good news is to personalize it. Like receiving a gift. To enjoy it, we need to unwrap it.
It's important to note that propitiation is not about appeasing an angry God, but rather, it's about satisfying a holy God's justice. Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled God's justice and made it possible for us to receive his mercy, enabling us to have a relationship with him that no longer fears punishment.
Because the gospel is a promise of propitiation.
What does propitiation mean?
What other words can we use to describe the concept?
Can you think of an example of propitiation in real life?
How does Jesus' propitiation change our standing before God?
How does Jesus' propitiation give us the assurance of salvation?
A Suggested Prayer
Thank you for the propitiation of Jesus for our sins. Give us the grace to live in light of the hope of being fully forgiven, perfectly accepted, and eternally loved by you.
We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.