Rom. 3:24-25 Propitiation

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This word propitiation occurs only in Rom 3:24-25 and 1 John 2:1-2; 4:10. It comes from two Greek words: First, hilasmos, meaning atonement or expiator ( 1 John 2:1-2; 4:14 ); second hiasterion, meaning an expiatory place or thing, an atoning victim, or the mercyseat ( Rom. 3:25 ). This latter word is translated mercyseat in Heb. 9:5.

The idea in all these passages is that God is made loving, kind, and forgiving to the sinner by the shedding of blood, and that the sacrificial blood evinced the sinner's acceptance of the righteous sentence of God's holy law, so that He could be propitious to the sinner. Thus, God covers, overlooks, and pardons the sinner. Propitiation is the basis on which God sets forth His own righteousness, and yet pardons men without compromising His own justice and righteousness. God can through the propitiation of Christ forgive and be just in justifying every sinner who believes and becomes reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.