Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- PROPITIATION IS ONLY A NEW
It occurs three times in the Authorized Version.
- Hilasmos - noun meaning "that
which propitiates, " 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10.
- Hilasterion - "appeasing,
having expiatory forces, " Heb. 9:5; Rom. 3:25.
"whom God set forth to be a mercy seat" (place of propitiation).
- Hilaskomai - verb, "to
be propitiated," Lk. 18:13; Heb. 2:17.
- THE MEANING OP PROPITIATION
- Dictionary meaning - to appease
or to render favorable; to dispose to kindness one that is offended.
- The Bible meaning - it does
not mean to appease. Rom. 3:21: "The righteousness of God (apart
from the law) is manifested."
- Propitiation has 1:0
do with the satisfaction of God's righteousness and judgment. If God
demands the death of the sinner, and if what Christ did only appeased
God, God has lowered the standard. PROPITIATION INVOLVES THE JUSTICE
- Propitiation demands
a sacrifice or substitute.
A satisfaction had to be made and the publican asked God for mercy
on the basis that he had offered the sacrifice of blood in the temple.
Luke 18:13 reads in the ASV margin: "God, be merciful to me,
Christ was set forth as a propitiation to show that God was just in
forgiving the Old Testament saints. The death of the Lord answered
all the Divine requirements and guarantees the separation of the sin
from the sinner, Rom. 3:25.
- What did the mercy seat
do? Hebrews 9:11-15
- The ark of the covenant
was a box of acacia wood, 3 3/4 feet by 2 1/4 feet. It contained
(Dt. 10:1-5) the two tables of the law, the pot of manna, and
Aaron's rod that budded, Heb. 9:4.
- The lid of the ark
was called kapporeth (associated with the word kaphar). Kapporeth
means the place of covering. The mercy seat was the place of covering,
for there the sacrificial blood was sprinkled (Lev. 16:13-14).
The golden lid of the ark (Ex. 25:17) was a Divine mercy seat
because in Divine righteousness (gold) it covered the broken
law from the eyes of the cherubim (the protectors of the glory
of God, Ex. 25:18-20; Ezk. 1:13-14, 27-28) when sprinkled with
blood shed for the worshipper's sins (Lev. 16:14).
- The mercy seat became
the meeting place of a holy God and a sinful man. C.H.M. says:
"When man takes his place as a sinner. God can, in the exercise
of grace, take His place as a Saviour and then every question
is settled; for the cross having answered all the claims of Divine
justice, mercy's streams can flow unhindered. "
When a righteous God and a ruined sinner meet on a blood-sprinkled
platform, all is settled forever, Ex. 25:22; Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89.
Christ is the mercy seat, the "throne of grace, " Heb.
4:16; the place not only of meeting but of communion between a
holy God and a sinful but believing human being. Meeting God in
Christ, the believer may boldly say, "Who shall lay anything
to the charge of God's elect? God that justifieth?" (Rom.
Christ is the mercy seat; He is the propitiator who puts away
sin by the sacrifice of Himself, having obtained eternal redemption
for us. He is the mercy seat sprinkled with His own precious blood.
- What or whom did
Christ appease by the shedding of His blood? The answer is nothing
or nobody, 1 Jn. 4:10; Rom. 3:25.
God's provision of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrifice upon
the cross so satisfied the demand of the law that the love of
Christ may flow unhindered to the sinner with no compromise of
What would have been for the believer a judgment seat becomes
for the believer a mercy seat, a "throne of grace."
- THE DEFINITION OF PROPITIATION
Propitiation is that Godward aspect of Christ's death which satisfies the
whole demand of the law upon the sinner, opens the way for God righteously
to meet in Christ, God's mercy seat, every sinner that believes.
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