Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Propitiation: Evoking Our Worship!

Our pastor, Craig Cabaniss (Grace Church, Frisco, TX), gave a wonderful message this past Sunday in his series on The Atonement. Pastor Cabaniss reminded us that to fully understand God’s love for his people, we must first understand His wrath from which we were saved (i.e., God sending His son to be the propitiation for our sins).

Hallelujah! What a Savior
(Philip P. Bliss, 1875)

Man of Sorrows! what a name; For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we; Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die; “It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing: Hallelujah! What a Savior!
(Sovereign Grace Ministries)

More on 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,' (Rom. 3:25). It was the Father who sent the Son to be the propitiation (I John 4:10) for all (I John 2:2)." (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)

"It is God Himself who in holy wrath needs to be propitiated, God Himself who in holy love undertook to do the propitiating, and God Himself who, in the person of His Son, died for the propitiation of our sins. Thus God took His own loving initiative to appease His own righteous anger by bearing it His own self in His own Son when He took our place and died for us. There is no crudity here to evoke our ridicule, only profundity of holy love to evoke our worship." (John Stott, The Cross of Christ, InterVarsity Press, 2006)

“The gospel tells us that our Creator has become our Redeemer. It announces that the Son of God has become man and has died on the cross to save us from eternal judgment. The basic description of the saving death of Christ in the Bible is as a propitiation, that is, as that which quenched God’s wrath against us by obliterating our sins from his sight. God’s wrath is his righteousness reacting against unrighteousness; it shows itself in retributive justice. But Jesus Christ has shielded us from the nightmare prospect of retributive justice by becoming our representative substitute, in obedience to his Father’s will, and receiving the wages of our sin in our place. . . . If you [understand this], you are now seeing to the very heart of the Christian gospel. No version of that message goes deeper than that which declares man’s root problem before God to be his sin, which evokes wrath, and God’s basic provision for man to be propitiation, which out of wrath brings peace. Some versions of the gospel, indeed, are open to blame because they never get down to this level.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, InterVarsity, 1993)

Resources -

Of Propitiation, Atonement, and Reconciliation, as Ascribed to Christ (John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book 6, Chapter 6)

Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
(Steve Jeffery, et. al., Crossway, 2007)
(Free Copy of Chapter 1)

The Truth of the Cross
(R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries, 2007)

The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross
(Leon Morris, Eerdmans Publ., 1955)

The Atonement
(Leon Morris, InterVarsity, 1984)

In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement
(J.I. Packer & Mark Dever, Crossway, 2008)

Introductory Essay to John Owen’s Death of Death in the Death of Christ (J. I. Packer)
(John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Banner of Truth, 1959)

More on the Atonement.


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