Over the past three decades J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God has become a classic of the Christian faith. This excerpt is from the chapter on The Heart of The Gospel and is the first of two parts that will be offered.(pp 180-181). J. I. Packer / wikipedia
Propitiation in the Bible from Knowing God
by J. I. Packer
In the Old Testament, it underlies the prescribed rituals of the sin offering, the guilt offering (“trespass-offering” in the KJV), and the day of atonement (Lev 4:1-6:7; 171-34); also, it finds clear expression in such narratives as that of Numbers 16: 41-60, where God threatens to destroy the people for maligning his judgement on Korah, Dathan and Abiram: “Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started.’…So Aaron…made atonement for them…And the plague stopped.” (vv.46-48)
In the New Testament, the propitiation
word group appears in four passages of such transcendent importance that we may well pause to set them out in full.
The first is Paul’s classic statement of the rationale of God’s justification of sinners.
“But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested…even the righteous of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation , through faith, by his blood, to show his righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at the present season: that he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26 RV)