A Devotional Snapshot


by God's Little Boy
© MakeshiftDarkroom.com 2010
Posted 7/3/10


My heart is moved with deep gratitude and my soul filled with an abiding peace when I consider this great truth. From the vantage point of man it is called expiation - expiation, through the propitiation! Don’t let the sound of these two theological terms put you off; their meaning is simple and very beautiful.


Expiation - (manward) The act of atoning for a crime; The act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is canceled.

Propitiation - (Godward) The atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to appease his wrath and satisfy his justice and render him propitious (favorable and kind in disposition) toward sinners.

To put it simply: Christ was the propitiation that satisfied the just demands of the father concerning the problem of our sin rendering God favorable toward us and willing to cancel our debt.


The most important word involved in understanding expiation and propitiation is the word SATISFACTION. God the Father is now satisfied concerning our offense because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The issue of our sin has been dealt with forever. Sin, which once drove a wedge between God and man can no longer do so. Satisfaction has been made. The death of Christ (The Lamb of God) has taken away the sins of the whole world. By this "Unlimited Atonement" the shed blood of Christ has completely and eternally satisfied the just demands of God the Father; canceling the debt of sin and reconciling God to sinners.


Expiation!     God's justice satisfied!       Sin's penalty removed!       God reconciled to sinners!


"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be SATISFIED: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (Isaiah 53:11)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”. (1 John 2:2)

“For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified”. (Hebrews 10:14)

“And all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.             (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things of earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled”.                             (Colossians 1:20-21)


God, in his great love for us, sent his Son to die for us - “the just for the unjust”. On the cross Christ bore our sins in his own body and intercepted the judgment and wrath of God, which we deserved. He died in our stead paying the penalty for our depravity. This great demonstration of divine love and grace is known as the vicarious atonement - the substitutionary offering. There remains absolutely nothing we can do to further satisfy God. Expiation has nothing to do with us but was accomplished by God himself through the “finished work” of Christ.

“Salvation is of the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9b

Christ himself was the sacrifice; the propitiation offered up to God the Father as a “sweet smelling savor”. The justice of God was and is satisfied, and now the Father is free to show kindness to sinners. He is free to forgive, and justify (declare righteous) sinners who come to him by faith. God is reconciled to sinners. This is the beauty of expiation.

Through kindness God draws sinners to himself. God, in his mercy, gives of his goodness to even the wicked; granting to them a space for repentance. Though God hates sin, sin, in and of itself, can no longer make God angry with sinners, expiation has made God forever satisfied. Having removed all of the barriers that sin had made, God has now turned his face back toward sinners and graciously extends an invitation for salvation. Sinners only need to freely receive the salvation that God offers.

Oh, how grand and glorious is this theme!   Expiation!   Peace with God!

It is only when we weigh the scope, magnitude, and consequence of the fiery wrath of God toward sin and unrighteousness that we come to a true appreciation for what Christ has done for us. He has averted God’s wrath concerning our sin; and opened the door to justification by faith.

Expiation and faith are each half circles that when joined together form a complete circle. Through expiation God is reconciled to sinners; through faith sinners are reconciled to God. Expiation has paved the way of escape from the eternal condemnation of sin and unbelief. God is now “waiting to be gracious.” Do not tarry another moment, but run down that gracious path, by faith, straight into the arms of God. Complete the circle by faith. "Be reconciled to God"; for ultimately, salvation will only be given to those who receive Christ by faith. Sin can no longer keep you separated from God but your unbelief can.


“How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.” (Hebrews 2:3)




A Hymn by Charles Wesley

"Arise, My Soul, Arise"


Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And "Father, Abba, Father," cry.



See Also


Salvation Legal

Goodness And Severity


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