Today’s Daily Thought –
In the opening chapters of Romans, first the pagan gentile, then the privileged Jew, are shown to stand alike condemned at the judgement bar of almighty God. This is a momentous matter, for the same chapters reveal the dread reality of the wrath of God, Rom. 1. 18; 2. 5, 8. ‘Wrath’ is a holy and merciful God’s unchanging response to the ‘ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’.
Praise God, the glory of this section of Romans is that Christ, by His death, meets the hopeless condition of lost and guilty mankind, whether Jew or gentile. Romans chapter 3 verses 24 to 25 bring together two great biblical words to describe the saving work of Christ. First, redemption - the securing of freedom based on the full payment of the ransom price. Second, propitiation - the root idea being the righteous averting of wrath so that mercy can be dispensed to the unworthy (see Luke 18. 13 RV margin). The following points stand out in Romans chapter 3 verse 25: availability - in contrast to ancient Greek ideas, biblical propitiation is a divine provision ‘set forth’ by God; accessibility - ‘through faith’, that is, accessible only to the believer in Jesus; effectiveness - secured ‘by his blood’.
It is significant that, in the Septuagint, the word is used more than twenty times to describe the sacred cover of the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle, rendered, in the King James Version, ‘mercy seat’. Of the blood-sprinkled mercy seat, God said, uniquely, ‘And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee’, Exod. 25. 22. Here, in verse 25, the emphasis is on God’s setting forth of Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice, rather than the place where propitiation was made.
As believers in Christ, we can rest eternally secure from every manifestation of divine wrath. In Christ our propitiation, God has acted consistently with His own character to bring about salvation, perfectly satisfying the paramount demands of His justice and holiness. Moreover, its potential is unlimited, for ‘he [Christ] is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world’, 1 John 2. 2 RV. Let us rejoice at the scope of this wondrous provision.
Yesterday’s Daily Thought –