God The Just Is SatisfiedSeries: Christology
GOD THE JUST IS SATISFIED
Sermon By Terry Siverd /November 06, 2022 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
At the center of any study of Christology is the “why” “so-what” - - i.e., what was the purpose?
WHY did God the Father send His only-begotten Son to enter into the human realm?
The incarnation of Jesus had as its primary focus ATONEMENT (“at-one-ment”).
Another word often used to describe this oneness with God is the word RECONCILATION.
This word should immediately prompt the question, “reconciled from what?”
This same line of thought takes place in speaking of two other salvific words, REDEMPTION and SALVATION.
The goal of atonement is to reconcile us to God … to redeem us from our debt … to save us from our sins.
The gospel is not just the story of the arrival of Jesus, it is the announcement of the good news:
our sins can be washed away … a price has been paid for our redemption … our path to reconciliation is opened-up.
The process of atonement can be best understood with two words.
The first word is EXPIATION.
Although this exact word does not appear in the New Testament, this word serves to
accurately describe an important aspect of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf.
Expiation addresses the problem of SIN, which infects and affects us all because
as Paul makes plain in Rom.3:23 - - all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Jesus was sent by God to become the fulfillment of the numerous types and shadows of the Old Testament.
Jesus becomes the sacrificial Lamb of God.
In a test of his obedience, Abraham prepared an altar on which to offer up his son Isaac,
God stayed his knife-wielding hand by providing a ram caught in a thicket (Gen.22:13).
The children of Israel were given the means that would provide an exodus from slavery in Egypt, by painting
the blood of the Passover Lamb on the doorposts and lintel of the doorways of their dwelling places (Ex.12:13).
The New Testament alludes to this image in several places.
John the baptizer testified of Jesus saying (Jn.1:19), Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Peter reminds the early Christians (1Pet.1:18-19) - - ...you were not redeemed with perishable things
like silver or gold...but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
As part of His incarnation, Jesus also became and The Scapegoat that we read about in Lev.16:20-22, which,
on the day of atonement was driven into the wilderness symbolically carrying away the sins of the people.
1Pet.2:24 notes: He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
Heb.13:12-13 speaks of His being crucified outside the gate and includes an exhortation to go to Him outside the camp.
This concept of expiation has to do then with the covering of sin and/or the cleansing of sin.
As the late R.C. Sproul noted with great clarity,
“(Expiation) has to do with taking away guilt through the payment of a penalty or the offering of an atonement.”
When you encounter this word expiation in your New Testament, note that it starts with the prefix, “EX” (out of).
When you read of expiation think of:
Exodus … Exiting … Excusing … Exorcizing … the Expulsion of sin.
The second word that we want to consider this morning is the word PROPITIATION.
Here again is that passage that has become our most-often referenced citation throughout this entire series,
Heb.2:17 / Therefore, (Jesus) had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful
and faithful high priest In all things pertaining to God, to make PROPITIATION for the sins of the people.
The apostle John employs this same word in 1Jn.4. In vs.14, he refers to atonement in broader terms - -
And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
A few verses earlier (1Jn.4:10) we read about the great love of God that generated this action - -
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the PROPITIATION for our sins.
Here we encounter this word propitiation, which is essential to a fuller understanding of Christology.
Unfortunately, this word propitiation is not generally a working part of our daily vocabulary.
Newer versions of the Bible can often be helpful in attempting to comprehend deep redemptive truths.
The NIV renders 1Jn.4:10, He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
In Jn.4:10, the NCV speaks of God's love for us in sending His Son to be the way to take away our sins.
When one reads this same text from the NEB, the translation is even more explicit:
the love He showed to us in sending His Son as the remedy for the defilement of our sins.
These three varying translations are efforts to communicate this powerful concept of propitiation.
Propitiation has to do with the object of the expiation. It begins with the prefix “PRO”, which mean “for”.
One of Paul's more quotable quotes is a simple line from Rom.8:31 - - If God is for us, who (can be) against us?
The study of Christology reveals that Jesus was engaged in crisis theology (crisis meaning judgment).
Jesus was sent by His loving Father to save us from judgment. cf. Mt.5:22; 12:36 & 41; 23;33 and Jn.8:36 & Rom.5:9).
The apostle Paul encapsulates the mission of Jesus in declaring (1Thess.1:10, (He) delivers us from the wrath to come.
When we participate in sharing the gospel of Christ we must take care to present the bad news before the good.
The gospel is “good news” chiefly because it deals with the “bad news”. But before one can relish the good news
we have to come to terms with the bad news: that we are all sinners and that the wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23).
The fact is that we are all worthy of death. The prophet Isaiah wrote saying (Isa.59:2) - - Your iniquities have made
a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.
I've borrowed the title of today's sermon from the second verse in an old hymn, Before The Throne Of God Above - -
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. For God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.
In Lk.18:13, this marvelous word propitiate is spoken by sinner in Jesus' parable contrasting a pharisee and a publican,
The tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was unwilling to lift his eyes to heaven,
but was beating his breast, saying, 'God be propitious (merciful) to me, the sinner.'
Jesus concluded His parable saying, I tell you, this man went down to his house JUSTIFIED rather than the other...
Being JUST, God could not, cannot and will not wink at sin.
Propitiation takes place when God looks upon sinful people through the unblemished blood of Christ.
It is not so much that we find ourselves as sinners in the hands of an ANGRY God - - a God who stands on
the brink of an outburst of uncontrollable rage that can only be pacified by some act of placation or appeasement.
Rather it's that the holiness of God demands an atoning propitiation that can only be satisfied by righteousness.
In this case, God's satisfaction does not derive from anything we have done or can do. It comes to us freely,
by way of GOD IN CHRIST. In Rom.3:24, Paul states: We are justified as A GIFT BY HIS GRACE through the
redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.
Quote Gal.2:20 and note that baptism is the means by which we are “crucified with Christ” (Rom.6:2-5).