Propitiation simply means that God takes our place. We cannot be saved by our own actions. We cannot rely on our own efforts, skills, personal connections, family background, or our beliefs. Only Christ can wash us clean and declare us righteous so that we are saved from our sins (Eph. 2:8-9). Jesus led the perfect, sinless life on our behalf; thus, He took our place, in His perfection, in life and sin through death. His Atonement covered us from God's wrath and covered God (protected) from being affected by our sin. Knowing what Jesus did for you should help empower your faith! The promises of God will be of no use to us unless we have the understanding of God and are obedient to that understanding! We must not have a trace of self-interest in us if we are to call ourselves His disciples! Never say you cannot surrender yourself! Without surrender, you will have a very weak and meaningless faith!
· Righteousness comes by faith in Christ. Paul was accused of promoting sin, because he was teaching a Gospel by faith and leaving out works-thus, no accountability. However, those who are saved by faith should have no desire for sin; and, if they do, they are to confess it before forgiveness can be granted (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 John 1:5-2:1).
· Fear of God is respect and reverence, which turns into trust and obedience. Without faith and trust, we turn to atheism which requires more faith and more trust than what is conceivable and rational.
· We are Reconciliation to God. God has a righteous basis for our justification through the sacrifice of His Son for our sins. Grace was not cheap for God. Christ paid a great debt by pleasing God's wrath, both in metaphysical pain and the human pain of the crucifixion (Lev. 16; Psalm 103:12).
· Pride is our biggest barrier to knowing Christ and receiving His redemption. It is also the biggest barrier to our growth in and application of faith!
· God increases our faith when we develop more confidence in Him and less confidence in ourselves.
· We, by our fallen nature, tend to only seek pleasure for ourselves, and are unable and unwilling to seek God. We have to be awakened by the Spirit to see Him as Savior and to receive His redemption. Without being sought, we would never have the faith to see or receive Him. We would just remain in our pride and blinded to our situation of sin. This means we cannot achieve anything spiritually on our own efforts. We cannot be saved, we cannot grow, we cannot worship, and we cannot even serve Him effectively. The great comfort is in knowing that He does the work; we only respond. But, if we say we are acceptable just by whom we are, that I am OK; I do not need Christ for my salvation and or growth, we have nothing but pride which will lead to our permanent death. Jesus Christ took your place and absorbed God's wrath, He paid your debt! So, be willing to allow Him to take you beyond your self, beyond your pride, so you remain in Him and increase your faith (John 3:5; 30; 15:5).
1. What do you need to do to lead a righteous life by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance from the Word?
2. How would you define faith? Now, how will you put it into practice?
3. How, and in what area has sin affected your life (yours and that of others close to you)?
4. What must the Gospel do to "wake us up," with passion and conviction, to the plight of other souls?
5. What happens when you and your church are not caring for others outside of your circle?
6. How can you best reflect His work in your life?
7. Those who are saved in faith should have no desire for sin; but, we do anyway. So, what are we to do?
8. What will you do today, this week, to confess your sin and seek His forgiveness (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 John 1:5-2:1)?
9. What will happen if you decide not to repent (Psalm 32; 37:23-24)?
10. The fear of God is respect and reverence. So, what can this insight do for you?