Limited Atonement

Part 3

By Nick Bibile




Today we are going to study on propitiation. Many of you have come across this word, and this word has enormous value to atonement. Now in simple terms what does it means? It means to appease, meaning to pacify, to make quiet, to make still, to calm a persons anger. We see this word appearing in the New Testament three times.


Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

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


First let us look at Romans 3:25 as this is the first time we are going to meet this word. This word is applied to Christ. It says, propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness. Let us take the context of Romans.


Romans 3:9 says, Jews and Gentiles, they are all under sin.

Romans 3:10, there is no one righteous. Not one.

Ro 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Ro 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Then we see from Romans 3:13 to 18, the depravity of man because of sin.

Rom 3:19 says that the whole world is guilty before God.

Rom 3:20 says that on one is going to be justified before God.

Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


We do not see a good picture here; we see the result of sin here. We see all are guilty before God, and we are all under condemnation waiting to be punished by that everlasting punishment.


Then we see it is not man who intervenes as man in his hopeless condition cannot intervene but God intervenes. It is only by the grace of God that he intervened.


Ro 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.


We know the meaning of the word propitiation, to pacify to make calm, still or to soothe a person. Also we know the person who made the propitiation is Christ. If you have been following this study, you will be able to answer the next question. Whom did Christ pacify?

It is the Father. Why? God is angry with the sinner.


Anger of God.


We know when men get angry most often it leads to sin. Also, there is a righteous anger. If I see my child violating the rules of the house, I will be angry and will discipline my child. This is a righteous anger. When Jesus was angry with the people who made the house of God to a market, he made a whip and chased them, this was a righteous anger, and we know that Jesus did not sin. In the same way, God is pure and holy without sin and his anger is a holy, righteous anger.


Anger in God has to do with the sinners as he is sin is displeasing to him.


Nu 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.


2Sa 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.


Isa 59:15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.


All sin is displeasing to God; he cannot take any pleasure in it, nor look upon it with delight; it is so contrary to his nature. Therefore, God is angry at the wicked everyday. (Psalm 7:11) Why? Because they are daily sinning against him. The man who is not born again or the man who is in unregenerate state cannot please God as he is not a new person in Christ, he is living in sin daily and God is angry. The heat of his anger is called the wrath of God. This is the fury and the fierceness of his anger. We see his wrath in the flood of Noahs days, Sodom and Gomorrah, and other places in the Bible.


Isa 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.


Isa 42:25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.


All are ungodly, unrighteous and under sin. They are all under the wrath of God.


Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;


2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.


We need to realize even the elect were under sin and under the wrath of God.


Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Note the distinction)


Ro 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.


1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,


Peace between God and man


Christ came to appease, pacify the justice of God. So there will be peace and calm between God and his people. Christ came as the mediator, he stood between the justice of God and his people, became a mediator between God and man to bring reconciliation and peace. That is why he is our of peace.


Lu 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.


Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


A good illustration is when Jesus and disciples were in the boat, there was a great storm, and the disciples were frantic and scared to death thinking all are going to die, while the Lord is fast asleep in the midst of the storm. During the storm, the sea was raging with fury and anger. However, the mediator was calm, he came to do the will of the Father and he fulfilled all the demands that was required by the Father. When the disciples came awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.


This is exactly what our mediator did. He brought peace between God and man. The offering of Christ was a sweet smelling savor to the Father. He was well pleased with him. The justice of God was appeased and the demands of the law were answered. In Rom., 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 ("mercy-seat") the Greek word hilasterion is used. It is the word employed in Ex. 25:17.


Mercy Seat


The word mercy seat is the same word as propitiation.

Ex 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.


kapporeth kap-po-reth. Hebrew word. (Mercy seat)

Mercy seat, place of atonement

·                 The golden plate of propitiation on which the High Priest sprinkled the seat 7 times on the Day of Atonement symbolically reconciling Jehovah and His chosen people

·                 The slab of gold on top of the ark of the covenant which measured 2.5 by 1.5 cubits; on it and part of it were the two golden cherubim facing each other whose outstretched wings came together above and constituted the throne of God


The exact Greek word is hilasterion hil-as-tay-ree-on. You will find this in Heb. 9:5

Heb 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.


The mercy seat is the cover of the ark of the covenant which is in the Holy of Holies. On the day of atonement it was sprinkled with blood so Gods anger towards his peoples sin would be appeased.


Another great illustration is when the tax collector exhibited the propitiation of God in the temple when he cried out, God be merciful to me a sinner! The word merciful is propitious.


Also the word atonement, though often used in the Old Testament, of typical sacrifices, making satisfaction of sin; as in #Le 1:4 4:20,26,31,35 5:6,10,13,16,18 16:6,10,11,16-18,27,30,32-34 #Le 17:11 where the word kaphar kaw-far is used, which signifies to "cover"; and Christ, is a covering to his people, from the curses of the law they have brokenfrom the wrath of God they have deserved. It is once used in the New Testament, #Ro 5:11.


Ro 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (katallage kat-al-lag-ay- The word means here atonement or reconciliation)


This Hebrew word kaphar in a proper sense signifies reconciliation. As this same word, kaphar is translated as reconciliation.


Le 6:30 And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile (kaphar) withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.


As our subject today is particular atonement or limited atonement, was this propitiation applied to everybody or only for the church.


1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


The question comes when it says very clearly that he is the propitiation not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world. The author apostle John is a Jew. According to the Jewish mind, there were only two groups of people. The Jew and the Gentile. The world here is the Jew and the Gentile.


Atonement is made only to the church.


Le 10:17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?


The lamb that was slain, and the ransom price that was paid, the sufferings and the death of Christ was done according to the determinate counsel of God, and it was determined before the world began, and it is applied not only to the Jewish believers but also for the Gentile believers.


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


Here we see clearly that cause of propitiation was because of his love for us, us are the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers. We did not love him first but God loved us first. However, without grace we cannot believe in Christ. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began. (2 Tim 1:9)


1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.


Ac 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.


Ac 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.


The seed of the woman that should bruise the serpents head was prophesized in Gen 3:15 and Jesus came from the seed of the woman, the messiah and he came to destroy t he works of the enemy.


For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)


In the fullness of time, the second person of the Trinity left his heavenly throne, came down to earth in human nature to take away sin, and even abolished it, by the propitiatory sacrifice of himself, He was the sin bearing sin atoning Savior who satisfied the law and the justice of God and made peace by the blood of his cross, and reconciled us back to the Father. This is the good news; it is the gospel of God, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of grace and the gospel of peace. It was a mystery before when it was first prophesized in Genesis 3:15 and now this mystery was manifested in Christ.


Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.


Ro 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.


Ac 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.


Ro 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!


Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.