Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

How to Enjoy Jesus Christ as Your Propitiation


God’s complete salvation is incredibly rich! It’s like a beautiful, multifaceted diamond.

“Propitiation” is one of the marvelous facets of the diamond of God’s complete salvation. It is that particular aspect of salvation that shows how Christ took away man’s sin to appease the relationship between man and God.

In this post we’ll consider three shining aspects of propitiation in God’s salvation and how we can experience and enjoy Christ in each aspect.

 What is propitiation and why do we need it?

 Before we can deeply appreciate the three aspects of Christ as our propitiation, we need to understand what propitiation means and realize our tremendous need for it.

To “propitiate” simply means to appease or make favorably inclined, to conciliate a relationship. In its scriptural context—it’s to appease the relationship between us and God.

Since God is absolutely righteous and we became sinners, we need God’s provision of propitiation (Rom. 3:22-23). The disobedience of our forefather Adam brought sin to all mankind (Rom. 5:12, 19). But not only do we have a record of sin, we also have a huge problem that alienates us from God (Col. 1:21).

First, Christ is the unique sacrifice for our propitiation; we need to believe in Him and praise Him for Who He is—1 John 2:2.

From the time sin entered into the world, God determined that His only Son, Jesus Christ would become the unique sacrifice for propitiation to satisfy all God’s righteous demands on us, thus appeasing the relationship between us and God.

Since Jesus, God’s Son is both the complete God and the perfect, sinless man, He is the One uniquely qualified to deal with the problem between us and God (1 John 1:7).

Christ is the only One with sinless human blood that could be shed for our sins. He is also the only One with eternal deity, making His propitiation effective in covering the full span of sin—past, present and future, that is , “the sins of the whole world.”

First John 2:2 says,

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world.”

Since Christ is the unique sacrifice for our propitiation we should simply believe in Who He is and praise Him by saying,

 Lord Jesus, I believe in You as the One Who is both the complete God and a perfect man. You as the eternal, divine One shared in our blood and flesh in order to become God’s appointed sacrifice for our propitiation. Praise you for laying aside Your glory to become a lowly man, the Lamb of God, to remove the problem of sin between us and God!

Second, Jesus Christ made propitiation for our sins; we need to receive it by faith and thank Him for what He has done—Heb. 2:17.

Jesus Christ is not only the sacrifice for our propitiation—the uniquely qualified One. He is also the One who voluntarily took the needed action to make propitiation for us on the cross.

By His vicarious death, Jesus fully satisfied all God’s righteous demands, so appeasing the relationship between us and God. In this way, God can be peacefully gracious to us.

Heb. 2:17 says,

Hence He should have been made like His brothers in all things that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

We could never pay the supreme price required by God. But Christ made a full propitiation for us on the cross, shedding His sinless blood to take away all our sins. Now we only need to receive by faith all He has accomplished in dying for us.

We can do this by simply thanking the Lord,

Lord, thank you for dying for me! I receive by faith all that You have done in dying on the cross for me. Thank you for making a full propitiation not only for me but for all the people of this world. Your death has fully satisfied all God’s righteous requirements removing the problem of separation between us and God!

Third, Christ is our place of propitiation; we need to come forward to Him in our spirit and enjoy Him as our moment-by-moment supply—Rom. 3:25; Heb. 4:16.

Christ became the place where we, the fallen sinners, can meet with the righteous God without any contradiction to His righteousness. This place was depicted by the blood sprinkled cover of the Ark in the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament (Heb. 9:5). It was upon this cover, or lid, that God could meet with and be gracious to His people.

Now we can continually come forward to Christ as our propitiation place (also called “the throne of grace” in Heb. 4:16) by coming to Him in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). Whenever we turn to our spirit, we touch this “throne of grace” where we can have sweet fellowship with God, and receive His mercy and find His grace for our timely help.

Heb. 4:16 says,

“Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”

We can now continually come forward to Christ as our place of propitiation, our throne of grace and enjoy Him by saying,

 Dear Lord Jesus, praise you that You are now our propitiation place—the place where we can peacefully fellowship with God, enjoying His sweet presence and receiving His mercy and grace for timely help. Lord, we come forward to You boldly by Your blood to receive all that You are as our moment-by-moment supply.

 If you’ve enjoyed these three aspects on propitiation, I hope you’ll take a moment to subscribe to the  Holding to Truth blog and then visit our Facebook page or Google+ page to continue the conversation.

This post is drawn from Bible verses and footnotes in the Holy Bible Recovery Version as referenced in the “Topical Directory” of the Using the New Testament Recovery Version, An Illustrated Guide.  By studying all the referenced verses with the accompanying footnotes in this guide, you will be able gain a deeper grasp of this profound subject. You may also enjoy this related song.

Photo Credit:  stevendepolo

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

9 Replies

  1. Ken

    Thank you for the article on propitiation! How wonderful is our Lord’s accomplished work on the cross that we may come freely to God!

    1. Tom Smith

      I’m so glad that propitiation is not just an accomplished fact but a reality that we can experience continually! Christ is not only the perfect sacrifice and the One Who made propitiation for us on the cross. He is now the place of propitiation, the throne of grace in our spirit where we can come and remain in peaceful fellowship with God receiving His continual supplying of grace to live the Christian life.

  2. Todd B.

    Awesome multifaceted diamond! And it was and is for free, and very freeing as well. Thanks

    1. Tom Smith

      The more we behold the many facets of God’s complete salvation, the more we are infused with faith to experience all the riches contained in them. I now have a richer appreciation for how “propitiation” gives us a “standing in grace,” that is, we can continually enjoy God as our grace on Christ our propitiation place–our throne of grace.

  3. Beatriz

    Please tell me why in His salvation God didn’t remove our sinful nature? He did not eradicate the sin that is within us?

    1. Tom Smith


      It is God’s wisdom that in His salvation, He does not eradicate the sin that is within us, that is, our sinful nature. God does not desire that we would be merely sinlessly perfect–like Adam before the fall. He wants us to be conformed to the image of His firstborn Son, Jesus Christ. If we did not have the troubles caused by our sinful nature, we may not be so desperate to experience and enjoy Christ. It is when we see our shortages that we’re constrained to experience Christ in God’s complete salvation from regeneration, through renewing, sanctification, transformation, conformation and glorification which will make us God’s many full grown sons (Heb. 2:10) to express Him.

  4. Fred Northrup

    Praise the Lord Jesus who is Himself the propitiation for our sins! I have been appreciating 1 Corinthians 11:26 freshly. ” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you declare the Lord’s death until He comes.” As often as we enjoy the Lord’s Table, we declare that all problems between us and God and between us and one another have been eliminated by the death of Christ! Now we can come boldly to the throne of grace and be built with one another into a dwelling place of God in spirit!

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. Since Christ has made propitiation for our sins we can now come boldly to the throne of grace, to Christ as our propitiation cover, to enjoy fellowship with God through faith in Christ’s blood. This is the reality that we enjoy every time we partake of the Lord’s Table. We declare that through Christ’s blood all the problems that separated us from God have been resolved. Now we can enjoy sweet oneness with Christ and with all those who share faith in Him.

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