24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:24-26

The word propitiation in Romans 3:25 does not mean appeasement, and has nothing to do with God pouring out wrath on Jesus at the cross.

The word propitiation, comes from the Greek word “hilasterion,” which is employed by the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) for the mercy seat. Also in Hebrews 9:5 it is translated as mercy seat.

A close observation of the context of Romans 3:25 shows that the word “hilasterion” is used in conjunction with our faith in the blood of Jesus, meaning that what ever “hilasterion” refers to, it refers to who Jesus is to us through our faith in his blood.

The expression “faith in his blood” is therefore the determining factor in each of our lives as to whether or not Jesus is our “hilasterion.” For God has set forth Jesus to be a “hilasterion” (atonement, reconciliation, mercy seat) through faith in his blood.

While some claim Romans 3:25 proves that God poured out his wrath on Jesus, the context is not about what God did to Jesus, but what God has made Jesus to be, according to his grace, in the lives of all who have faith in his blood.

Christ is the atoning sacrifice, the mercy seat, or the provision of God’s forgiving mercy to all who have faith in his blood.

Appeasement, on the other hand, is a concept which comes from the worship of pagan gods, because there was no natural disposition of good will in them.

Appeasement is not taught by the New Testament, nor is it foreshadowed under the Old. The worship of the one true God is nothing like that of pagan religions. The two are diametrically opposed to one another. Appeasement belongs to pagan worship, but expiation which is atonement or reconciliation through grace, belongs to the truth of the one true God.

The fundamental problem with appeasement theology is that it miss characterizes the character and nature of God. Appeasement is an act directed toward God in an effort to change him; to turn Him from wrath or anger. Expiation or atonement is an act by God directed towards man to show mercy and grace. The Bible never says that God was reconciled to man; instead it is always man who is reconciled to God because of God’s mercy and grace.


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