Romans Bible Study #10
We are doing an amazing thing here. We are studying the word of God, that can only be apprehended and understood, by faith. We must not ever try to change the Word. We must be vigilant to allow the Word to change us. Prayer.
25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Redemption, from last week, spoke of a ransom paid, and part of that truth is, sin had put us into captivity to our fleshly desires and satan, and now, we are set free. This weeks word “propitiation” speaks of something that our natural minds can not wrap themselves around. Propitiation, has to do with averting the “wrath of God” from off of us. ‘Falling short of the glory of God‘ is not seen today as the horrible sin that it is. If the creator and sustainer of all life is despised by His creatures, and they choose to not give Him honor, the universe has been turned upside-down. There has to be a penalty for that. It is ingrained in us by the grace of God, that when one person treats another person cruelly, there needs to be a penalty. How much more so, when a creature betrays God.
Quotes and attempts to define propitiation.
1. Propitiation: This means the turning away of wrath by an offering. It is similar to expiation but expiation does not carry the nuances involving wrath. For the Christian the propitiation was the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. It turned away the wrath of God so that He could pass "over the sins previously committed" (Romans. 3:25). It was the Father who sent the Son to be the propitiation (1 John 4:10) for all (1 John 2:2).
2. Propitiation is a theological term describing an atoning sacrifice. Generally, Christian belief is that the death of Jesus on the cross appeased the justice of God and effected a reconciliation between God and mankind. Christian theology relates this to the "mercy seat" or propitiatory in the Holy of Holies, in the Jewish temple.
3. Romans 3:25 - "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;...."
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation...." -- that is a big word that throws a curve at a lot of people, and the best way I can define "propitiation" is, that everything that is pictured in that Tabernacle experience (all the material that went in to the building of it, all the furniture, the Ark of the Covenant, the Candlestick, the Altar of Incense, the Table of Shewbread, the Laver of Cleansing, the Brazen Altar, and all of those furnishings) is a picture of Christ in His work of redemption. So, that's really what propitiation is...that complete overall work that Christ accomplished by His death, burial and resurrection
Many Christians (including myself) really don't like to use 'propitiation', because the God of the Bible is unlike idols and emperors who could be bribed or kissed up to with gifts, offerings and such. The wrath of this God is the anger of heartbreak and injustice. God doesn't want appeasement, and won't be placated. God wants real justice and self-sacrificial service. God wants to be known and loved. The problem is, such things are so difficult that they never come about without cost. (See below.) The bigger the wrongs, the harder the changes, the greater the separation between God and people, and the bigger the cost. Picture then the cost of all human wrongs bundled up and tied together. Any propitiation as an attempt at appeasement is dwarfed by all those wrongdoings. How much can even a loving God take? But God's love is so strong, and God's awareness of our limitations is so clear, that God came to be among us as Jesus, knowing that we would sentence Him to what for us is the ultimate cost - death. Thus, for Christians, 'propitiation' is what Christ did by suffering and dying on the cross.
So, basically when the accusation comes against God, “You are too soft on sin, look at how You let people continually get away with stuff,” God’s reply is “Look at the cross, that is what I think of sin.“
Isaiah 53:1-12. If we spend time with this entire chapter and God “quickens” it to our hearts, then we will have a beginners understanding of propitiation.
Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
Include Uriah’s dad’s perspective.
Psalm 103:10,11 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. for as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
Include the illustration of opening the book and reading and whose name is on it.
Psalm 50:21,22 "These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.
Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
Proverbs 6:32-35 The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach will not be blotted out.
For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
He will not accept any ransom, Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts.
I’ll repeat my thought from the beginning and add one thought.
We are doing an amazing thing here. We are studying the word of God, that can only be apprehended and understood, by faith, by a gracious revelation from God to us. We must not ever try to change the Word. We must be vigilant to allow the Word to change us.