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Propitiation

When I talk to people I often hear things like, God is love, so I don’t have to worry about my own lifestyle or my morals, because God is love.  When I die, He will accept me as I am providing I have tried your best.  And of course that is partly true!  God is indeed a God of love.  But we must also remember that towards sin and sinful behaviour, He has great fury, anger and wrath (Psalm 7v11; Jeremiah 21v5). Nothing we say or do can appease His hatred of sin and sinful lifestyles.  Nothing we can do is able to appease God’s anger, because His anger toward sin is unquenchable.  Unquenchable that is, except for one thing.

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This word, propitiation, basically means the turning aside of God's anger by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  All God's anger and judgment of sin falls on Jesus Christ, instead of us.  But in order to accept it for yourself, you need to approach God to appease His anger (Romans 3:25; Isaiah 53:5; John 2:2, 5:6).

Jesus was the sacrifice of atonement, or propitiation, as the one who would quench God’s anger towards sinful people, by taking away sin through His death on the cross. This shows Jesus as being both the Just one and the one who justifies. (Romans 3v25-26) Only through Him could the sins of the whole world, past, present and future, be forgiven.

To some people, even some in the church, this is abhorrent! The very thought that God could willing send His son to be a blood sacrifice for sin is tantamount to abuse, some say!  However God’s requirements are very clear! John 3v16 says it all in response to this “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.  If there was any other way, would not God have done it that way?

So as a Christian Disciple, live a life that is holy and pleasing to God. Not in order to somehow pave your own way into heaven, for that is already assured by way of Jesus’ death on the cross.  Remember no sacrifice you make is greater than the one God made in sending His Son to death as a propitiation for your sin. 1 John 4v10: For this shows God’s real love – tough yet all-embracing Love.

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