*WHAT IS SALVATION?*
Some think Christ paid a price to Satan to secure human release from bondage to Satan, which is not biblical, Satan did not take the blood of Jesus as payment, but God the Father required the blood as a sacrifice for sin.
Redemption is the sinward aspect of the atonement. We are redeemed from sin Rom.3:23-24, Col.1:14, from trespasses Eph1:7, from lawless deeds Titus2:14, from transgressions Heb.9:12,15, and from our former futile way of life 1Pet.1:18-19. Teaching that believers are redeemed from the law’s curse is not so different from teaching that we are redeemed from sin Gal.3:13,4:5. It was sin that caused the law to curse man and obligated man to the law’s penalty.
*RECONCILIATION is the Manward Aspect of the Atonement*
The truth of reconciliation presupposes that man was/is God’s enemy. The enmity of man toward God is taught not only in contexts concerning reconciliation Rom5:10; Col1:21,22, but also in many other verses Luke19:27; Rom.8:7, “carnal” referring to unsaved; 1Cor15:25; Phil3:18.
”…because the mind set on the flesh (unsaved) is *hostile toward God*; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so” Rom8:7
”For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are *enemies of the cross* of Christ” Phil3:18
It is also evident from experience that the unsaved are antagonistic toward God. To complete the picture we must add that God loves his enemies (Jn3:16; Rom5:8). The estrangement was man’s fault. It was man who had caused the alienation. Man turned his back on God and wandered from Him. God is blameless. However, God reacted to man’s hostility with righteous and holy indignation. Therefore, it would be true to say that the hostility was mutual.
Man viewed God as an enemy, but God also viewed man as His enemy. The difference was that man was being sinful in his hostility toward God, while God was fully justified in His hostility toward man. The doctrine of reconciliation considers how the work of the cross affected the strained and hostile relationship between God and Man.
”For if while we were *enemies*, we were *reconciled* to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” Rom5:10
”And although you were formerly *alienated* and *hostile* in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now *reconciled* you” Col1:21-22
”For He Himself is our *peace*, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the *enmity*, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might *reconcile* them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity” Eph2:14-16
Scriptures use reconciliation in the ordinary sense to change a relationship for the better. The relationship is changed from enmity and hostility to friendship and peace.
The Bible gives two aspects, or phases, for reconciliation. In an *objective sense* reconciliation occurred in the past on the cross. The *whole world* was reconciled whether believing or unbelieving Jn3:16, 1Jn2:1,2. However, in a *subjective sense* the *individual* becomes reconciled to God at the *time of conversion Jn1:12*. These two phases to reconciliation can be observed in the Biblical texts on the subject.
”For if *while we were enemies, we were reconciled (universal)* to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (individual)” Rom.5:10-11
Paul tells his readers that, in one sense, they were reconciled to God *in the past* at the time of Christ’s death; but in another sense they have been *now*, at the time of salvation, reconciled to God. Is as if God and man were angry with each other and each turned his back to the other but now God turned facing towards man with open arms and awaits that man turns towards God, by believing in Jesus.
”Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ *reconciling the world* to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” 2 Cor.5:18-20
”…and *through Him to reconcile all things (universal) to Himself*, having made peace *through the blood of His cross*; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you (individual) in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” Col.1:20-22
The two phases of reconciliation are universal reconciliation and individual reconciliation:
a. *UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION* occurred at the cross. It certainly does not mean that all have been saved or that all have ceased to be God’s enemies.
2Cor.5:19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, *not counting their trespasses against them*.”
Christ has paid for all mankind’s sins. If someone enters hell, it will be because of indifference to Christ 2Thes1:9, Jn3:18. Nobody goes to hell because of sin but punishment in hell will indeed be according to men’s sin Rev20:12, just like Christians are not saved by works (Eph2:9) but will receive rewards in heaven according to their works 1Cor3:12-15
b. *INDIVIDUAL RECONCILIATION* occurs at the time of salvation (when one receives Christ by faith).
Hostility and antagonism cease and are replaced by fellowship, friendship and peace (the words peace and reconciliation in the same context:, Rom5:1,10,11;Eph2:14-16;Col1:20
*PROPITIATION: The Godward Aspect of the Atonement*
To say Christ propitiated God means He removed the offense of sin and thereby turned God’s wrath away. Other synonymous ways of explaining the concept include the following: the cross *pacified* God’s anger, *appeased* God’s anger, and *placated* God’s anger. Christ’s death *satisfied* the righteous *wrath of God* so that His wrath was turned away (diverted) from us. Thus, just as redemption is the sinward aspect of the atonement and reconciliation is the manward aspect of atonement, so propitiation is the Godward aspect of atonement.
Redemption pictures man as a slave held as a hostage in sin. 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.
*Definition of PROPITIATION*
a. *God is angry about sin*: Jn3:36; Rom1:18,12:19; Eph5:6; Col3:6; 2Thess1:7,8; Heb10:31,12:29; Rev6:16;19:15,20:11-15
b. In Ex32 Moses is trying to persuade God to not “consume them from off the face of the earth” in His holy anger. Then in Ex32:14 reads, “and the Lord was propitiated to preserve His people.” By his intercession Moses diverted God’s anger away from the idolatrous nation. Another Old Testament example where words from the propitiation word-group refer to *appeasing anger* is Ps130:3,4. Verse three teaches that all men are guilty of sin and that none could stand before God’s wrath if God were not gracious: “If Thou, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Then verse four uses a member of the propitiation word group to explain that God’s wrath need not bring destruction: “For with thee is propitiation.” The word in this context means the *satisfaction or diversion of wrath*.
c. *Propitiation in the New Testament*
The words of the propitiation family (Greek: ilasmos) occur only a handful of times in the New Testament. The verb (to propitiate) appears in Luke18:13 and Heb2:17, and two Greek noun forms (both translated propitiation) appear in Rom3:25; Heb9:5; 1Jn2:2 and 4:10. Finally, the adjective (propitious) occurs in Heb8:12 and Matt16:22.
Rom3:25 is a key text both in the book of Romans and in the doctrine of propitiation: “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.” Is the idea of God’s wrath in the context? Beginning in Rom.1:18, Paul’s goal in the first section of Romans has been to establish that all are guilty sinners threatened by God’s holy wrath. He states, “For the *wrath* of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness on men” Rom1:18. The apostle goes on to say in Rom2:6-8 “who will render to every man according to his deeds…to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, *wrath* and indignation.” Before this wrathful God, all are sinners (Rom3:10,23) and all are guilty (Rom3:19). It is within such a context that Rom3:25 asserts Christ Jesus is a propitiation.
…see part 3