Saturday, March 31, 2007

Propitiation, Mercy

Greek Word Pronunciation: hi-las-MOS
Strong’s Number: 2434
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2662
Key Verse: “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins.” -- 1 John 2:2

Hilasmos carries the basic meaning of appeasement or atoning. In its verb, noun, and adjective forms, this word is found 8 times in the New Testament.

In Matthew 16:22, Jesus is telling the disciples what will soon happen to Him, and Peter responds, “God forbid it, Lord.” (The KJV/NKJ translates “be it far from Thee”; NIV, “never, Lord.”) He was saying, “Be merciful to thyself, and then no one else can be cruel to thee.” He would have Christ to dread suffering as much as he did. We are in error, if we measure Christ's love and patience by our own.

This word is translated 3 times as “mercy.” [Note: Other Greek words for “mercy” refer to compassion or subjective pity felt in witnessing misfortune. Propitiatory mercy is applied only to God.] In Luke 18:13, the tax collector says “be merciful to me, the sinner.” He is saying, “be propitious toward me through sacrifice; let an atonement be made for me. I am a sinner, and cannot be saved but in this way.” In Hebrews 8:12, God says “I will be merciful to their iniquities.” God pardons none but those to whom He is pacified, or rendered propitious by Christ. Hebrews 9:5 speaks of the “mercy seat.” (translated in NIV as “atonement cover.”) This refers to the golden cover of the ark, on which was sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the day of atonement. The mercy seat of the Tabernacle where God met man was called the propitiation. Christ is our mercy seat, where God meets us in mercy and forgiveness.

The remaining 4 verses all refer to Christ as our propitiation: Romans 3:25, “… whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood”; Hebrews 2:17, “to make propitiation for the sins of the people”; 1 John 4:10, “God sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”; and 1 JOHN 2:2, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (NIV translates “atoning sacrifice”). Based on God’s nature of holy love, He has so dealt with sin that He can show mercy to the believing sinner in the removal of his guilt and the remission of his sins. Propitiation is Jesus Christ satisfying the holiness of God on the cross. He is the means by whom God shows the mercy of His grace to the believing sinner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Valuable info. Fortunate me I found your site unintentionally,
and I am surprised why this twist of fate did
not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

My blog post ... zcode system review