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Propitiation (ἱλάσκομαι)

Propitiation (ἱλάσκομαι) is the act of making compensation, thereby providing a satisfaction. In the Old Testament, propitiation is found in the place between the cherubs on the Ark of the Covenant. The place of propitiation (ἱλαστήριον).

God set forth Christ as a propitiation through His blood to demonstrate His righteousness in the deferring of punishment for previously committed sins, Romans 3:25. Therefore, we are justified out from faith through grace, not through works, because Christ’s death for sin satisfies the righteousness of God in forgiving sins, Romans 3:24. Christ’s propitiatory work not only atones for the sins of those who are saved, but the entire world, 1 John 2:2. Therefore, God is just in permitting unrighteous beings into His presence while He demonstrates an aspect of His character to the spirit beings.

The Apostle John writes that God loved the world in this way, He gave His unique one-of-a-kind Son so that all the ones believing in Him would be saved, John 3:16. His Son made a propitiation for our sins and therefore makes it possible for us to be saved, 1 John 4:10. This is how God loved the world, by giving us a Savior Who was able to satisfy the righteousness of God and provide a sacrifice for the sending away of sin.

Under the Old Testament, The Mosaic Law, God had them build an Ark for the Covenant to reside within and as a place of propitiation for the sins of the people, Exodus 25:10. Often translated as mercy seat, the place between the Cherubim on the Ark was a place of atonement or propitiation, a place of covering (כַּפֹּ֫רֶת kapporet), not of mercy, Exodus 25:17. Either kindness (חֶסֶד kesed), Psalm 23:6, compassions (רַחֲמִים rahamim), […]

Propitiation (ἱλάσκομαι)2024-01-17T06:16:43-08:00

Image and Likeness

In the first chapter of Genesis, Scripture records that God states He would make man in His image and likeness, Genesis 1:26. However, by Genesis 5:3, after the fall of Adam, the likeness and image of humans is that of Adam, for he passed on his corrupt nature to his children, Genesis 5:3.

The concept of image (צֶ֫לֶם – tsĕ-lĕm) is that which has a similar appearance. When examining God’s appearance, we find that He dwells in light, 1 Timothy 6:16; therefore, when God created Adam, He wrapped him in light so that Adam would have a similar image. When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they were stripped of this image, Genesis 3:7. It is worthy to note here that the word used in Genesis 3:7, often translated as naked (עֲרוּמִּ֔ים), actually means stripped (עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם). They both knew they were stripped, for they could visibly see that they had lost their covering. However, this does not mean that the similarity to God was lost entirely to humans, for Adam was made in the image of God. This is why, after the Noahic flood in the dispensation of government, a new rule is placed upon the household that if a man sheds the blood of another man, his life is to be forfeit, Genesis 9:6. Although Adam was created in a state of innocence (not knowing good and evil) and resided in the garden during a time when there was no sin upon the earth, his offspring inherit his corrupt nature resulting from the penalties of spiritual and physical death for his trespass and sin, which brought death into this world, Romans 5:12, 17.

In the realm of false religions, an image refers to the […]

Image and Likeness2023-12-14T08:08:24-08:00

An Age (αἰών)

An age (αἰών) is a period in which God shows something about Himself to intelligent beings. Ages are not restricted to time and are distinct from dispensations (οἰκονομία), which are administrations within time during which God shows something to humans about themselves. Ages may overlap with another age, begin at the same time as a dispensation, or run for a period longer than a single dispensation. Ages end when God has finished revealing the intended aspect of His nature to the intelligent created beings. Dispensations change due to judgment coming upon those in the household for failing to abide by the rules and run consecutively and are bound to time.

An age is not the same as eternal or forever. When referring to things that go beyond the ages, such as the eternal life we have in Christ, aiōnios (αἰώνιος) is used, 1 John 5:13. Where aiōn (αἰών) references a period in which God is showing something about Himself to intelligent beings, whether in or out of time. In the future, there will be ages (αἰών) of the ages (αἰών); however, each age (αἰών) is not eternal (αἰώνιος). This is also true in the Old Testament where ōw·lām (עֹולָם) conveys the concept of an age, Psalm 9:6; however ăd (עַד) with the preposition (לְ – to) expresses perpetuity, Psalm 61:8. The Lord will reign from an age (עֹולָם) and perpetually (עַד), Exodus 15:18.

Before the creation of humans, Scripture reveals that there were three ages. God created the spirit beings before He created the universe, Job 38:7. Therefore, the first age was the creation of the universe. During this age, the spirit beings learned of the omnipotent power of God, for they witnessed Him create the universe […]

An Age (αἰών)2023-12-14T08:08:48-08:00

Atonement

Keper (כפר) means “to cover”. When used of sin it takes on the meaning of atonement. However, atonement does not modify its definition; rather, it is a specific use for the word “to cover”. It is not a word that is restricted to religious purposes.

Noah is instructed to cover the ark inside and out, Genesis 6:14. In expressing the aspect of recompense, Jacob sends many of his possessions before him to Esau seeking to make an atonement for stealing the blessing from their father, Genesis 32:18.

The ark of the covenant has on top of it the place of covering, often translated as the mercy seat. This is the place where the High Priest would make an offering of the blood of bulls and goats each year to cover the sins of Israel, Exodus 25:17. The Mosaic law made place for the covering of sins by gifts and the offering of a sacrifice, Exodus 29:36. However, the gifts and sacrifices could not make the one preforming the religious service clear concerning their conscience, Hebrews 9:9.

In the New Testament, atonement is expressed by propitiation. In Hebrews 9:5, we find a reference to the Mercy Seat in the Old Testament Temple, which is translated by a word meaning “a place of satisfaction” or “propitiation”. Christ propitiatory work relates to the righteousness of God because He deferred judgment on previously committed sins, Romans 3:25, and was for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2. However, propitiation is not equivalent with salvation. When it comes to salvation, Christ did not make a covering for sins, He sent them away (ἄφεσιν), Colossians 1:14, and it is by His blood that our conscience is cleaned from dead works, Hebrews 9:14.

Atonement2023-12-14T08:11:28-08:00

Regard (נבט)

The word for looking at something in the Hebrew language is typically ראה (rah). After Lot separates from Abram and goes down into the valley to reside among the Sodomites, God has Abram lift up his eyes and look (rah) at the land, showing him all that his descendants will receive, Genesis 13:14. To gaze up on a person is expressed by שׁור (sor), Job 7:8. Those who see (rah) Job will no longer glance (sor) upon him. נבט (nabat) then relates to seeing in a way that gives regard to something; therefore, it is not specifically referring to the physical appearance, but of consideration or concern.

The distinctions in different words for how we see, are important to understand because by their use we are expressing specific meaning. When Lot’s wife turned and looked at Sodom after they had been rescued from its destruction by the Lord, she did not turn and physically glance at the city, or in fleeing decide to turn around and go back to Sodom. She turned her regard back to this extremely wicked place, and as a result God included her in the judgment by turning her to a pillar of salt, Genesis 19:26.

When Abraham is told to look towards the heaven and count the stars, God is not focusing on their appearance but on giving regard to all the stars in the heavens, Genesis 15:5. After God speaks to Moses through the burning bush, Moses hides his face so as to not look intensely or give regard to what he was seeing, Exodus 3:6. Later, the people of Israel give regard to Moses every time he goes out to the tent of meeting. When Moses entered the tent the […]

Regard (נבט)2023-11-23T17:59:41-08:00
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