Summary: Jesus paid it all.
We’ve looked at the Principle of Applied Priesthood - how we must develop a sacrificial, submissive, sympathetic faith as we come before God and make requests on behalf of others who do not have a right relationship nor a good standing with God themselves.
We then looked at the Principle of Appropriated Promise, which tells us that we must face God with the impossible task of saving others.
We considered the Principle of Answered Prayer, which says if we pray according to God’s will - with a surrendered life, a submissive heart, and in a Scriptural manner - we know He hears and will answer.
We looked at the Principle of Available Power, which says, because of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Father has decreed Satan’s power to be bound and the Spirit’s power to be loosed; and has delegated to us the task of enforcing His decrees through prayer.
Now, today, I want us to consider a fifth Principle of Intercession, the Principle of Absolute Propitiation.
5. The Principle of Absolute Propitiation - 1 John 2:2
Now, the word “propitiation” is not found in the NIV. Instead, the translators of the NIV use the word, “atoning sacrifice.” The Greek word used by John here is “hilasmos.”
“Propitiation” is a word used in the King James version, the Amplified version, as well as other translations of the Bible.
“And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.” - 1 John 2:2 (Amplified)
“Propitiation” is one of those Bible words like, “justification” and “sanctification” that we don’t use in common language and which modern translations tend to find other terms to use when trying to put the Scripture into the common language of the people.
But though “propitiation” is not a word we use in conversation today, it is a perfectly good word that conveys a special meaning concerning the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins.
Propitiation refers to appeasing an angry person by covering the cause of his anger through restitution. Jesus paid our debt by dying in our place. He covered our guilt, turning away God’s wrath.
As we think of “propitiation” in terms of providing a “covering” for sin, I am reminded of the expression, “I’ve got you covered.” If we were in a restaurant, and I said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered,” what would you take that to mean? You would understand that I was paying your bill. I want us to take this illustration a little further as we think about the Principle of Absolute Propitiation.
1. We are all guests in God’s restaurant.
Think of this world as being like a restaurant. God is the creator and proprietor of this restaurant. When He first created His restaurant, it was a show place. In fact, God said it was “very good.”
Now, like any restaurant, God made it for customers to enjoy. God made this world for mankind to enjoy. We were intended to enjoy the benefits and blessings of God’s world - His restaurant - but instead, we have chosen to disrespect its owner.
We are much like the customer who complains about the food, gripes about the service, vandalizes the facilities, and mistreats and abuses our fellow diners; all the while contending that we are the owner of the restaurant and can do as we please. Consequently, God’s restaurant, this world, is no longer the show place it once was; and this has gotten the real owner, God, very upset.
Our lack of appreciation for the provisions of God, our mistreatment of His world and of one another; and our refusal to acknowledge Him as the true owner; is what the Bible calls sin, and sin makes God angry.
“But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin,you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself.” - Romans 2:5 (NLT)
2. Sooner or later, the bill must be paid.
Not only do we owe God for all the good things He has provided us in His restaurant; we owe Him for the wrong things we have done, too. Unfortunately, the human race is like a person who not only doesn’t have enough money to pay the bill, but when the time to pay the bill arrives, he discovers he doesn’t even have his wallet!
Because we cannot pay the bill, we will be condemned to work off our debt in the kitchen (play Hell’s Kitchen theme)! Seriously, that’s what Hell is - having to pay the price for our own sin. The problem is that since the price for our sin is so great, it will take an eternity’s worth of suffering to pay the price!
3. The Son has come to our rescue.