Paper Tigers & Impressing God
A Write 31 Days Series
I promised I was going to talk about Jesus's part in the avoiding paper tigers and pleasing, not impressing, God. Here we go. Let's discuss those big churchy words in this verse above.
There is a difference between atonement and propitiation.
Atonement happens when God skips over sin, it isn’t punished because blood has covered it. This happened with animal sacrifice, and the passover is a perfect picture of atonement. The Jews placed the lamb’s blood over their door posts, and the angel of death passed over their house.
Propitiation is noun meaning that God has been appeased. He has been placated or satisfied. The demands have been met.
The act of atoning for sins was done over and over by the Jewish people on the Day of Atonement. It was not a permanent solution until Jesus died on the cross. He not only atoned for our sins on the cross, but He was the propitiation for our sin. God was satisfied. It was finished. I like how The Message version of verse 21 says, “Something new has been added.” Jesus became both atonement and propitiation.
Romans says that God is the just and the justifier of anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ. God has done this for us. This promise of being justified can be counted on. As The Message version of Romans 3, verse 4, says, “God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth.”
How do we deserve this gift of atonement and propitiation? What must we do?
It is a free gift. Let me say that again. F R E E G I F T.
We cannot earn this gift; we cannot deserve this gift. If we could, it wouldn’t be a gift. As verse 24 says, we “are justified by his grace as a gift” The very word grace means received something that we do not deserve. It is unmerited.
We get saved. We are born again. We feel the grace was over us. Then something happens. We continue living as mortal humans. There are days when we feel so sinful that we don’t think propitiation could have possibly been made for us. The lie is so easily believed. It feels like that rightness with God wasn’t real and true.
Then there are days when we think we can live up to our title Christian. We try so hard to make God happy, serving in church roles, going on mission trips, avoiding the big sins, not watching those TV-MA shows. We’ve got this God. We are good Christians. We forget about our gift. Pride creeps in.
My father-in-law use to say that if pride smelled like boozy breath or cigarette smoke, the church would be an awfully smelly place.
Either way, we remain sinners. Our sin does not continue to need new atonement because propitiation has been made.
Trying hard to be good, thinking that we are taking some kind of load off of that heavy burden Christ carried at the cross, is futile.
Let God be God; only He could straighten out the mess of sin once and for all.
Praise the Lord for sending His son to make the final, perfect sacrifice for atone for our sins, once and for all!
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I like to include a song with each blog post. Worship God with me.
Look how amazing God is. I found this song this morning, and the testimony of writing this song goes right along with what I am writing in this series. Praise the Lord for His Truth!