LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let us consider 1 John 2:2

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

Let's focus on the word "propitiation". Strong's number 2434 - hilasmos; atonement, i.e. (concr.) an expiator: -propitiation

Question: If Jesus is the One Who offers Himself to appease the Father for OUR sin, if He is the One Who satisfies an infinitely holy God's justice in dealing with OUR sin; if He is the One Who pays the penalty for OUR sin - OUR sin ... Then it says that He has done so for the whole world as well...
How is it possible that He has done so for us (actual)
And also for the world (potential)?

I do not see how the definition for propitiation can be both actual and potential, especially in view of verse 1, view both together - 1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


Calvinists and nonCals, what say you?

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8 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

doth not election come into view here??? ;-)

May 21, 2008 11:42 AM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Mark,

This is one of those verses where if we insist that "the whole world" means every person ever born, we must also insist, if we are going to be consistent, that Christ expiates all in the world - which of course means everyone goes to heaven.

The clear fact that everyone does not go to heaven, ought to cause us to examine just who is being spoken of when John says "our" and "the whole world".

I think the most obvious, reasonable, and rational answer is probably the right one - in that the "ours" refers to Israelites, and the "whole world" refers to person from other nations.

That is, Jesus expiates for all kinds nationalities of people, not only for Israelites.

This is how it reads to me.

May 21, 2008 1:55 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Ditto to Daniel's view....

May 21, 2008 3:17 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

I'll pretend I'm an Arminian.

Jesus died for the world. John 3:16

He died for the sins of people in the world. And He offers this death as a possibility for these same people to accept it.
God did this great thing, but He only offers His Son as a Holy lamb to those who complete the propitiation by believeing this is true for them.

God allows people to hear about their sins being expiated, and wants them to accept it, but will allow them to either believe, or not believe.

I think that would be the Non-Reformed argument.

May 21, 2008 3:31 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Prhaps this is why the distinction between propitiation and expiation is so critical...and yet so misunderstood..

May 22, 2008 8:27 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

JD, care to unpack some of your thinking here?

May 22, 2008 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

I just fired this off quickly, and it is wordy, and perhaps doesn’t make perfect sense, but here goes…. forgive my mistakes…

Propitiation means the "removal of wrath," and expiation means the "removal of guilt". Propitiation refers to God's wrath being satisfied by the death of Christ. Expiation emphasizes the removal of sin by the sacrifice that satisfied God. Propitiation means God is now favorable toward us, and He could have done that by sheer pardon, taking the death of Christ as a payment, but only in the sense of, “okay, that’ll do” like a 10 year old child who pays you back his allowance money for a month to pay for the window he broke – the money doesn’t nearly add up to the cost of the window, but you accept it as payment anyway. It is not that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough, mind you, but that in this scenario it is more about satisfaction from symbol and potential, for sin in general and not sin specific to each individual. However, Christ’s death secured more than pardon, it was full payment, not merely symbolic of payment, it did more than make salvation securable, it actually secured it for those it paid for. In expiation Christ paid fully the full amount of specific payment due by His own death. Let’s say the ten year old is now 25, and he can pay cash on the spot because he is worth that kind of currency, and Christ is worth more than all the sin in the world, God is made favorable to us through Christ’s death, which also actually paid fully and completely the price of debt owed by us as individual sinners.

Again, propitiation refers to God's wrath being satisfied by the death of Christ. Expiation emphasizes the removal of sin by the sacrifice that satisfied God. In a sense propitiation could be had without certain expiation, in the non-Calvinist schema. For the Arminian, he can say that God was propitiated by Christ’s sacrifice, without actual payment, only potential payment. Oh, it was a real payment, Christ, but only potential for the individual. However, as a Calvinist, we include expiation as a certain action for a certain person, which means that certain sins were actually paid for certain persons on the cross, not in potential, but in actuality, full, finally paid. Perhaps the non-Calvinist may say that this sort of expiation part happens when someone accepts Christ, but in that scenario, it wouldn’t be necessary since Christ’s death had acted to propitiate already. Instead, I believe that expiation is what caused propitiation, in a full measure, not as a plenipotentiary focus.

The non-Calvinist scheme is as if Christ’s death propitiated and expiated by making God’s wrath appeased by potential payment, like someone paying for the whole movie house, but only those who come and get a seat get the benefit of the free movie, and the movie house has seats left over, paid for, but not used. Instead, I believe it is more like everyone who comes has been given a ticket, the exact amount of tickets paid for by the benefactor is the exact amount of seats taken, not in potential, but in purpose.

In the non-Calvinist scheme, people didn’t have to be placed on that cross in Christ; only later do they become part of it, as sort of retroactive placement. They would have Christ making propitiation and appeasing God’s wrath, but then only later have the penalty removal applied to the individual. In the non-Calvinist scheme, the payment is made but expiation, the removal of guilt doesn’t happen on the cross, only retroactively upon acceptance of Christ.

May 22, 2008 2:04 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

JD says."Christ’s death secured more than pardon, it was full payment, not merely symbolic of payment, it did more than make salvation securable, it actually secured it for those it paid for...
Instead, I believe it is more like everyone who comes has been given a ticket, the exact amount of tickets paid for by the benefactor is the exact amount of seats taken, not in potential, but in purpose..."
======
Thanks, JD!

May 23, 2008 6:50 AM

 

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