Sunday, December 23, 2012

Peace & Propitiation To You

 Camera: Nikon D60
Aperture - f/5.3
 Exposure- 1/10
 ISO- 1600
Lens- 42mm
No Flash.

Tip: If you like making your own Christmas cards, try doing close up shots of decorations and get them printed. Then write your season's greetings on the back! Fun to do, and super easy. Give it a try next year...or this year, if you like sending belated cards.

I realize I have missed a couple posts in the last several weeks. To make up for that, here's a nice big one. Merry Christmas! :)

What is propitiation and how does it apply to us? Let’s start with the meaning of the word. Propitiation basically means to appease. Many modern Bible translations have replaced the word propitiation with other words. One example of a passage where this has occurred is 1 John 4:10, which states,  “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The New Living translation replaces propitiation with “sacrifice” and the Revised Standard Version has replaced it with “expiation”, just to name a couple. 

While both of those words DO have to do with the subject, neither is a perfect synonym for propitiation. Of course, you know what sacrifice means. But I’m sure I probably just lost you at expiation, didn’t I? You’re all probably like “Oh no, there goes Sarah with big words…“  In short, expiation would be removing the stains of our sins, if you will. Many like to put it that Christ is our expiation; he died for our sins and gives us a clean slate, but does it just take stain removal to appease an angry God? No. And that is what propitiation is for.

So, if propitiation is what Christ did for us, why do people often like to use one of the replacement words instead? One reason is translators feel like they have to put simpler words into the text- because to put it strait, people just aren’t as intelligent nowadays as they were in past generations. The other reason they avoid the word is because too many people anymore don’t believe that God is a God of wrath that must be appeased. They like to take that one verse and just focus on the “God is love”. While yes, one of the attributes of God is love, He is also a God of justice and has a great deal of wrath towards us sinners who are oh-so-talented at perverting justice.

The cross is not only something to point to God’s love, but also to his justice and his wrath. God is completely just, and that is why all us sinners were condemned to eternal punishment; it is after all, exactly what we deserve. Yet as a loving creator, He sent His son to die for His people. Why? Because His wrath against sin had to be appeased. On the cross, Jesus became sin for us and was our propitiator. God is so just that He wouldn’t even bend the rules a little, even for his Son to prevent his suffering. Somebody had to pay the penalty, cause getting off free isn’t an option with total justice.

There are many more places I could go with this whole thing, but not now. Now it’s back to our big word. Propitiation. Why should it continue to be used instead of replaced by simpler words? I’m hoping by now you have a guess at this. It needs to stand because it is a reminder to us of not only what Christ did for us, but also as a reminder to who God is.

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