When you open an English translation of the Bible to Romans 3.25, depending upon which version it is, you may encounter the word propitiation referring to Jesus. For instance, the King James Version reads:
whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Other versions use the word expiation or the phrase atoning sacrifice or something similar. At first glance, these various translations may impress themselves on our mind as meaning more-or-less the same thing, however, when we dig in to study, we will find that they actually have very different, even opposing meanings. I encourage you to study with me and on your own, to see how the word choice of different translation committees (responsible for what ends up in various versions of the Bible) reflects on the character – or lack of character as we will see – of my Father and yours. Most importantly, I want to convey that how we perceive God on this topic can very much affect – either positively or negatively – our intimacy with Him.[Read more…] about Propitiation: This Unbiblical Word May Be in Your Bible
Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. — James 1.2
Editor’s note: I recently posted the a question that occurred to me as I read James 1.12. Below is a thoughtful response I received to the question:
Here’s the response… have a thought you care to share? Leave a comment below or submit content here.
Hi Jack, I have to thank you for your question about the crown of life mentioned in James 1:12. I prayed, read my Bible and then a song came to mind. Here’s what was revealed to me.
In Revelation 2: 8-10, Jesus tells the church at Smyrna[Read more…] about Crown of Death Crown of Life
Editor’s note: I post this sermon from George MacDonald’s second volume of “Unspoken Sermons” with the hope of addressing some well-intentioned concerns about statements in the Scriptures that indicate universal reconciliation (e.g., Romans 5.19, Colossians 1.19-20, etc.) and universal salvation (e.g., 1 Timothy 4.10, etc.).
Two incipient responses to universal reconciliation/salvation include:
Are you saying, ‘Everyone is going to heaven?’ (a get-out-of-jail card for everyone without any real penalties for sin).
What about ____? Hitler, Stalin, etc.
This sermon occurs to me as one of the best answers to such concerns and others. Here is a summary of the major components of the sermon:
- The Parables: their purpose according to Jesus
- The importance of doing what we see to do and the (merciful) blindness placed on those who insist on understanding instead of doing.
- Christ our righteousness – never an imputed righteousness
- Righteousness is simply fairness with a dialogue of objections
- Choose to be righteous and help will be freely given; otherwise, there are ways to compel you
- A vision of the prison of “The Outer Darkness”
Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy; for thou renderest to every man according to his work. – Psalm 62.12.
Some of the translators make it kindness and goodness; but I presume there is no real difference among them as to the character of the word which here, in the English Bible, is translated mercy.
The religious mind, however, educated upon the theories yet prevailing in the so-called religious world, must here recognize a departure from the presentation to which they have been accustomed: to make the psalm speak according to prevalent theoretic modes, the verse would have to be changed thus:
To thee, O Lord, belongeth justice, for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Let the reason of my choosing this passage, so remarkable in itself, for a motto to the sermon which follows, remain for the present doubtful. I need hardly say that I mean to found no logical argument upon it.[Read more…] about Justice, A Sermon by George MacDonald