Category Archives: 1 John

Jesus as Propitiation: A Gift for All

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

You have never received a gift comparable to Jesus Christ. He is beyond imagination. The wealth flowing from His presence is immeasurable. The dimensions of his gift cannot be known by mortals, at least not now. The verse above is probably the most succinct description of his endowment to men.


Propitiation is not a common word in the Bible. It occurs only four times (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). In the broader Greek writings, it is considered a rare term when used as a noun as it is here. So, we must use the Biblical context to appreciate the use of the word by John.

Propitiation is closely associated with sin, more specifically, the removal of sin. Every New Testament verse that includes propitiation also includes the word sin. Paul links the word with Jesus’ blood and the resolution of God’s forbearance (Romans 3:25). The writer of Hebrews also connects it with sin and Jesus’ action of resolving the people’s sins.

Recalling that Hebrews is written to a Jewish community well-versed in the Law of Moses, we must see this propitiation of Jesus as linked to the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. Consider John the Baptist’s exclamation, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Isaiah’s prophecy is on point here, for he says, “with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The prophets use of words like “stricken” (vs. 4, 8), “afflicted” (vs. 4), and “crush” (vs.10), point to the horror awaiting the Savior. We also note Isaiah’s inspired claim that all of this was done by the Lord,  “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; (Isaiah 53:10). This statement parallels Acts 2:23 that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”


We conclude that God planned the suffering of Jesus. But why? When you and I view the cross and all the attendant events, we are peering into the wrath of God against sin. Wrath, unlike propitiation, is not a rare word. It occurs over 200 times in the English Bible. We understand wrath as powerful anger directed against an enemy. Because this wrath comes from God, we may say it is a divine or righteous wrath. This is no temper tantrum, but the outpouring of appropriate and holy retribution for that which spoiled the perfect creation – sin.

Concerning the mistreatment of widows and orphans, God says, “my wrath will burn…” (Exodus 22:24). We may think such a response is harsh, but we understand that His divine wrath is directed at evildoers. But why Jesus?

Nahum offers, “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him” (Nahum 1:6). The obvious answer is that no one can stand before God’s wrath, for none are innocent (Psalm 14:1 – 3).

Following these verses, we discover that we are all lost and have only a fearful expectation of destruction from before the holiness of God. We need a shield, an absorber, to soak up the wrath of God and protect us. We need a propitiation.  We need Jesus. As a shield, Jesus stands between us and the wrath of God. Our sins are removed, and we no longer fear destruction

In some unimaginable way, the same God that destroys in his wrath finds a way to save the objects of his love by focusing his wrath upon Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for this unspeakable gift!

Jesus is the gift for all. Sadly, most will never accept the gift. We must proclaim the nature of the gift to all the world. It awaits for all men. Let us all be heralds of this wonderful gift!

Justification: The Other Side of Condemnation


Condemnation and justification are two key concepts in our faith. They are opposites; different sides of a coin. One is very good; the other is very bad. Let’s look at both and bring the contrast into a sharp focus. We start with the bad one.


Mankind has been condemned since Eden. When God warned not to touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he said that doing so would cause death. Indeed, the moment Adam and Eve took and eat, they were spiritually dead and instantly began to die physically (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:6, 7, 22-27). Spiritual death spread because sin, now in the world, also spread. Like a viral contagion sin has found its way into every life. In the very first generation after the sin of Adam and Eve, their son slew his own brother. Today we see the impact of sin and lawlessness everywhere. Why? Because all have sinned (Romans 3:9, 23; 1 John 1:8).

Paul writes that the payment (wages) of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In your Bible you might want to write Genesis 2:17 in the margin next to Romans 6:23 and vice versa. You must understand that sin brings death. There are always consequences to our actions. In the case of sin, death is always the consequence. So we can say that sin brings condemnation and that condemnation is a sentence of eternal death.

Man is in a sorry condition because of his own choices. Nothing but eternal death awaits him. There is nothing beyond the grave except horror. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

[bctt tweet=”Where there is justification there is no condemnation!”]


It is good news that the story doesn’t end there. It is the gospel message that proclaims the news that the Creator has intervened in our world. He steps in to justify and save us from our own, well-deserved condemnation.

Justification is a profound topic and there is no way to do it service here. It is just too deep to fully comprehend in a brief article. Volumes have been written and still do not cover justification fully.

The Father, working through Jesus, has given us a way to escape to punishment; a way to escape condemnation and be justified despite our sins. That too is part of the gospel message. In order to gain justification one must obey that gospel message (Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17). In the case of the first Christians (and us) obedience was the result of the frightening reality that we are sinners (Acts 2:36-41). In Paul’s case, it was described as having his sins washed away (Acts 22:16).

[bctt tweet=”darkness cannot co-exist with light, condemnation cannot co-exist with justification!”]

Now here is where it really becomes wonderful. Where there is justification there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1)! Just as darkness cannot co-exist with light, condemnation cannot persist in the presence of justification!

Are you in Christ? Condemnation does not exist in Christ as we walk in the light (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:7-10). Again, are you in Christ?




Identity of the AntiChrist

The identity of the Antichrist is a subject of great and growing interest among both religious and non-religious people. So much has been said about the Antichrist that people are seeking answers to identify this horrendous being and to learn what to expect from his devilish devices.

The Bible is the only reliable source for a study of the Antichrist. You will soon see that the Biblical account of Antichrist is greatly different from what the popular religious press and the entertainment industry present. In fact, religious groups have wrested the entire concept of Antichrist from its Biblical moorings and created a cartoon-like character which has little to do with the real Antichrist.

Antichrist in the New Testament

The term “Antichrist” occurs only 5 times in all of Scripture. The occurrences are found only Continue reading Identity of the AntiChrist