Saturday, January 25, 2014

P2-SFS8 - God's Answer to the Blame Game: Propitiation

The Search For Significance –
Seeing your true worth through God's eyes”
Robert S. McGee

Chapter 8 – God's Answer to the Blame Game - Propitiation

  • How does God determine truth?
  • Does your opinion affect the truth?
  • Does truth matter any more?
  • Does God ever change truth?
  • Does God accommodate man, or is man meant to accommodate God?
  • Some would argue that information about God and what he tells us, while it is true, is still only relative
  • This is man trying to make God subservient to him, because man does not want to be subject to God
  • There is also a “hard” side to God
  • This is also the reason we can depend on God and his Word
  • God is holy
  • To be consistent to his holiness, sin needs to be punished
  • We covered that in chapter 4 about Justification
  • This may not seem fair, many things God says about sin may not seem fair
  • We may think, God why cant you overlook some things?
  • It is only when we understand the horror of coming under the wrath of a holy God, that we will appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross
  • He was our substitute. He took on himself the righteous wrath of God that we deserved
  • The depth of God's love for us is revealed by the extreme actions he took for us: Jesus becoming a man and dying a horrible death in our place
  • Isa 53:4-6
  • 1 John 4:9-11
  • Propitiation means that the wrath of someone who has been unjustly nwronged, has been satisfied
  • It is an act that soothes hostility and satisfies the need for vengeance
  • Providing his own sonas the propitiation for our sins was the greatest possible demonstration of God's love for man
  • To understand the need for ptropitiation, we need to think about what God has endured from man
  • From the Garden of Eden, man's story is of greed, hate, lust, pride, rebellion against the God of love and peace
  • Compared to God's holiness even our good deeds are like filthy garments to God
  • Isa 64:6
  • So our sin deserves the righteous wrath of God
  • God is absolutely holy and perfect – 1 Jn 1:5
  • God cannot overlook sin, or compromise by accepting sinful behavior
  • For God to allow even one sin would defile his holiness, lik smearing him with black tar
  • Because God is holy, his aversion to sin is manifested in righteous anger
  • But he is also infinitely loving, hence Jesus' extreme sacrifice in our place, to propitiate his great wrath
  • Rom 5:7-11
  • God saw what happened to Jesus
  • He could have stopped it and delivered Jesus from the whole ordeal
  • God looked down through time and saw you and me
  • Yet though we were his enemies, he loved us and longed to rescue us from our sins, so he designated Jesus to becopme our substitute
  • Jesus became sin for us - 2 Cor 5:21
  • Nothing can separate us from God's love - Rom 8:38-39
  • We now have a tender, intimate, powerful relationship with him – Rom 8:15
  • Therefore, performance opn our part is no longer the basis of our worth
  • We are deeply and unconditionally loved by God
  • We were spiritually dead, but we are now alive, and have been made his children
  • Eph 2:4-9
  • Propitiation thus means that Christ has satisfied the holy wrath of God through his payment for our sin
  • The only reason he would do this, is that he loves us
  • Infinitely, eternally, unconditionally, irrevocably, he loves us
  • There is nothing we can do that can pay fopr our sins
  • Christ paid for them conclusively, so we can escape eternal condemnation and experience his love now and forever
  • Poor patterns of motivation
    • All our lives people have made us feel bad about ourselves in order to motivate us
    • we us e this on others as well
  • Holding on to unforgiveness
    • Here are some reasons why we don't forgive:
      • the offense was too great
      • they won't accept responsibility
      • they are not truly sorry
      • they didn't ask to be forgiven
      • they did it deliberately
      • I'll forgive but won't forget
      • I'll forgive because I found an excuse for the offense
    • Satan's lie is “Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished
    • So he brings accusation to God
    • Rev 12:10-11
  • How do we overcome the accuser?
  • There is only one way , by accepting Jesus' sacrifice in our place
  • This requires that we stop trying to punish ourselves by doing penance in some form
  • Sometimes we feel we can't experience forgiveness until we have experienced remorese for an extended time
  • But this will ultimately make us more and more depressed
  • No matter how much we do to make up for our sin, we will continue to feel guilty and believe we need to do more, unlress we resist Satan's accusations
  • This is only possible only through Jesus
  • Our own minds are not the source of truth
  • Truth comes from the Bible
  • On a card or piece of paper, write the following: “Because of Christ and His redemption, I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. I am totally accepted by God.”
  • On the other side of the card or paper, write out the words of Romans 5:1 and Colossians 1:21-22
  • Carry this card with you the next month
  • Look at it frequently to remind yourself of what Jesus has done for you
  • This will slowly transform your thinking and bring it in line with God's word

Discussion Questions

  • Are there any sins God can overlook?
  • Read Ezek 7:8-9, Rom 2:4-5, Eph 2:1-3 – what is the object of God's wrath?
  • Read 1 John 4:9-10
    • Are you loved by the Father?
    • How do you know you are loved?
    • Do you feel loved?
  • Are there sins you have difficulty forgiving? List them and confess them to God