Atonement & Propitiation
Presented by Jeremy Griffin
December 11, 2019



  • The word “Atonement” is an OT word and an OT truth
  • A similar word in the NT is the word Propitiation – but propitiation conveys deeper truth
  • The truth that is consistent between both words and runs through the entire bible from start to finish is that God wants to have a relationship with individual humans
  • His work and plan for the ages all focuses around this desire of His heart
  • The success of it all is wrapped up in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ and His work at Calvary
  • Our study tonight will take a look at the teaching of both words and the resulting impact on our lives


What Does the Word “Atonement” Mean?

  • Hebrew – kafar: cover over
    • First Mention (Gen 6:14) Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch
      • Emphasis on the covering aspect
  • Second Mention (Gen 32:20) For he said, I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept me
    • Emphasis is on the change that the present would produce in Esau’s mind toward his brother Jacob not on the present itself
  • Mosaic Law – the atonement is not the sacrifice itself but a result of a sacrifice (death accomplished)
    • Emphasis is on the blood of the sacrifice being brought inside the veil
  • Summary – the covering over of sins or hiding from sight for a time


What Does the Word “Propitiation” Mean?

  • Greek – hilaskomai: complete blotting out or removal of sin by an acceptable sacrifice
    • Propitiation is the result of what Christ accomplished in His once for all sacrifice at Calvary
    • The result of propitiation is the satisfaction of God so that His holy wrath and righteous anger against sins may be stayed
  • Rom 3:25 – God declares His righteousness to forgive sin based on sacrifice of Christ
  • 1John 2:2 – God declares His desire for fellowship and the value of the sacrifice of Christ
  • 1Jon 4:10 – God declares His love by sending His Son to be the sacrifice that satisfies justice
  • Summary – giving to God the full satisfaction of sin forever
Contrast Table
Atonement Propitiation
Covering over of sin for a time God has full satisfaction for sin forever
Blood carried into the Sanctuary Individual fully cleansed from all trace of sin/guilt
Brief period of rest Believing soul has Eternal rest
Sin remembered at least every year Sin remembered no more
Sin removed for a time but nature unchanged Individual changed from inside out


Why Does this Topic Matter?

  • Because God is offended by sin and man is under the wrath and judgement of God because of his sin
    • A removal of sin is required for a person to be brought into a right relationship with God
  • Because God has set forth (made evident/put on display) Christ to be a propitiation (or mercy seat)
    • He is an open declaration that the sacrifice has been made, the blood has been shed and He is now the mediator between God and man
  • Because God in His love has provided a way for the renewal of communion with Himself
    • Propitiation enables God to deal mercifully with all who exercise faith in Jesus Christ
    • Propitiation is all about God being satisfied and He meets with us on this ground
  • Because God invites us to come into His presence in full assurance that we are accepted
    • The handwriting of ordinances that was against us has been blotted out
  • Because God has laid at Calvary the basis for the eternal triumph of God over Satan
    • Col 2:15Andhaving spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it
    • Rev 5:12 – Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.


How Does it Apply to Me?

  • Salvation
    • First and foremost, it applies to you in the invitation of the gospel
    • God is reaching out to you
    • Has provided a way where you the hostile and guilty sinner can be accepted
    • Provision has been made – requires the individual to exercise faith to obtain
    • Jesus Christ paid the price, because we couldn’t and so we don’t have to face judgement
  • Standing
    • Sin is remembered no more – completely blotted out – God is totally satisfied
    • Believing soul enters into Eternal rest based on finished work of Calvary
    • Clothed in all the spotless beauty of the Son, changed by divine grace, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and given a place of total acceptance
  • State
    • God is finished with “the old man” and “sin nature” but am I?
    • Do you like to sin?
    • Does your sin grieve your heart?
    • Mike Knox spoke at conference about “pet sins” that we like and think we can control
    • Keeping the death of Christ before us, and having a right appreciation for it, will remind us of exactly what God thinks about our sin – cost Jesus His life
    • We grieve the Holy Spirit and limit His effectiveness in our lives by exposing ourselves to and/or choosing to sin
    • The more influence He has, the more like Christ we will become and the closer our “state” will be to our “standing”
  • Service
    • Christ died to set us free from bonds of sin to serve the living God
    • We are not our own, we have been bought with a price
    • Worship – constituted a priest and have received a fitness and title to come into the presence of God as a worshiper
      • Reverence – deep respect
      • Adoration – strong admiration
      • Devotion – strong love or loyalty
    • Ministry – set at liberty from slavery to work for Christ in service to His people, and Christ equips us with the tools to do so
      • Spiritually – spiritual gifts need to be used to be developed/strengthened
      • Practically – resources have been given to us to use for him (time, money, talent)
    • Gospel – we have the treasure in our hearts though we be but jars of clay and have the responsibility of shining the light (2 Cor 4:7)
      • Living – a spiritual life gives credit to the power of the gospel to bring change
      • Sharing – one on one, literature, groups


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