This content is part of a series.
Can We Make God Angry? (12 of 14)
Series: CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE
November 27, 2005
I. THE DEFINITION OF PROPITIATION
A. Propitiation means that Christ, through His death on the cross, "Propitiated" God the Father in
that Christ removed the offense of sin and thereby turned God's wrath away.
B. Other synonyms explaining the concept include the following: the cross pacified God's anger,
appeased God's anger, and placated God's anger.
C. Christ's death satisfied the righteous wrath of God so that His wrath was turned away or diverted
D. While redemption pictures man as a slave held as a hostage in sin, and reconciliation pictures
man as an enemy who is estranged from God, propitiation pictures man as a guilty criminal
whose offense has rightly angered the judge.
1. Liberal theology has attempted to do away with this truth since liberals are hesitant
to acknowledge the wrath of God.
2. Liberal theologians think of Christ's death only in terms of it being a satisfactory or
3. While it is true that Christ's death was expiatory, (meaning it provided a covering of
our sins), we must not forget that Christ's death also was satisfactory because it
diverted God's wrath.
II. THE DESCRIPTION OF PROPITIATION
A. Ancient Examples of The Use of Propitiation
1. Homer contains these lines: "So the whole day they sought to "appease" the gods with
a song." "That first of all the gods I may propitiate."
2. Philo, who lived at the time of the apostles, also uses the word in the context of appeasing
3. "The Pastor of Hermas," written in 160 A.D. has a section which reads as follows:
"If this sin is assigned to me, how can I be saved or how shall I propitiate God?"
B. Scriptural Examples of the Use of Propitiation
1. Scripture plainly teaches God's anger toward sin.
Romans 1:18 (CSV) 18 For God's wrath is revealed from heaven agai ...
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