This morning we are going to look at the theological term “propitiation” (1 John 2:2). This is one of many words we find in Scripture to describe the work that Jesus Christ was sent to accomplish on the cross. To “propitiate” means to appease, placate, or make amends for wrongdoing (expiate).
Contrary to popular thought, these big theological terms are not meant to cause us to scratch our heads and shrug our shoulders. They are precious words that describe for us the love and grace of our heavenly Father. Before one angel or man sinned against Him, God set a plan of redemption in place (Revelation 13:8). Salvation is a work of God for which no man can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9), and for which no denomination or religious persuasion can take sole ownership.
From start to finish, redemption of man is the work of God (Hebrews 12:2). That is why salvation is by grace through faith apart from works (Romans 4:1-7). People are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) into thinking that all roads lead to God (Matthew 7:13). This kind of thinking seems right to them, but the end thereof is death (Proverbs 16:25).
Jesus Himself said that Scripture testifies of Him (John 5:39). The volume of the Book points to Jesus, and the redemption that is in Him (Hebrews 10:5-9). But sin has separated all mankind from God (Isaiah 59:2), beginning with Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9-12). Sin is an affront against the justice and holiness of God, and He cannot act as if it never happened. Sin must be dealt with, and Jesus was sent by The Father to do just that (1 John 4:9,10). Salvation is indeed a free gift (Romans 6:23; Revelation 22:17), but free does not mean cheap. The sinless Lord Jesus paid a price for our sin on the cross that we will never fully know or comprehend.
Repent and believe the gospel today, my friend. Christ’s propitiation is for you, and the consequences of that decision are eternal. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)