Sunday, April 03, 2011
Propitiation versus Expiation - What do they mean?
Propitiation literally means to make favorable and specifically includes the idea of dealing with God’s wrath/grief against sinners. The word propitiation carries the basic idea of appeasement, or satisfaction, specifically towards God. Propitiation is a two-part act that involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to that same person Expiation literally means to make pious and implies either the removal or cleansing of sin. The idea of propitiation includes that of expiation as its means; but the word "expiation" has no reference to quenching God’s righteous anger. The difference is that the object of expiation is sin, not God. One propitiates a person, and one expiates a problem. Christ's death was therefore both an expiation and a propitiation. By expiating (removing the problem of) sin God was made propitious (favorable) to us. Relevant passages: Luke 18:13 Romans 3:25 Hebrews 2:17 "...and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 John 2:2 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. 1 John 4:10
PROPITIATION involves that GOD IS SATISFIED WITH US because our flaws were expiated/removed with the death of Christ, the flawless One.