Propitiation means to appease an angry party; to win their favor. Jesus was a propitiation on our behalf, in order to appease God’s anger. As Paul says in Romans chapter 3, “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of past sins.”
Jesus taught some radical things about himself. They were not popular in his day, have not been popular in history, and are not popular today. Think about this: Jesus taught that God was angry at humans. God was angry at humans because humans had chosen to sin. God had earlier revealed His laws and ways to the human race through the Jewish people. Now, Jesus says, he is completing the era of Jewish law and he is offering himself as a blood sacrifice to appease God’s anger. That sounds rather ridiculous today, don’t you think?
Nevertheless, the concept of propitiation is central to a victorious walk with God. In the first place, accepting the sacrifice of Jesus life as a substitute for my attempts to please God releases me from futile effort. That is, I have peace with God by being justified in the faith that I have in Jesus’ propitiation. Secondly, by receiving this gift I receive a new nature, a new power, a new spirit and a new life. I am not only forgiven, but I can start again and this time have the power of God to resist sin. There is much to say and much to learn at this point about faith and works, the law of the Spirit, maturation, testing and sanctification. Still, it all starts with propitiation.
Another important point that comes up as we consider propitiation is salvation. That is, if God is angry at humans and went so far as to send his own son to die for our sins, and so appease his anger, then what happens to humans after they die? Now we have to look at a whole set of concepts: judgment, damnation, salvation, reward, punishment, heaven and hell. As difficult as these are to think about and as emotionally laden as they are in discussion, they are still some of the most important aspects of Jesus’ teaching. One very clear message comes through: God’s anger at sin is real. Everyone is going to be judged for their life on earth. Those that accept the propitiation of Jesus and who walk with him in life, according to the law of the spirit, will escape the fate of those that have to face judgment on their own.
Given the amount of distorted teaching on these subjects, the degree of hypocrisy in the history of Christianity, the misuse and abuse of name of Jesus, and the confusion between Christendom and true Christianity we offer classes on some of these subjects. Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining clarity on these topics.