Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20040121.htm
APPLYING THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part IV: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Related To God Through Propitiation
(1 John 1:8-2:2)
Lesson: God's WRATH against ALL SINS of WORLD HISTORY was so satiated by Christ's death on the cross that (1) the UNSAVED need only BELIEVE in Christ to be saved. (2) The SAVED are (a) unconditionally free of God's eternal wrath, (b) they are free of any anger God might have toward their PRE-salvation sins and (c) they will be forgiven for confessing ANY sin done after salvation. (d) Even if they die by God's discipline, their souls go to heaven due to Christ's "propitiation" for them!
- Many false religions put man under pressure to try to appease God in some way in order to gain salvation.
- In certain Christian circles, though one may believe he is saved, fear of some horrible pre-salvation sin that one did, or fear that some horrible post-salvation sin one has done after salvation may cause him to think he must be afraid, wondering if God can ever get along with him or let him into His holy heaven.
- One of the riches of God's grace for the believer (as listed by Lewis Sperry Chafer in his Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 237-238) is the fact that believers in Christ are related to God through "propitiation," a truth we examine with its edifying application to these concerns (as follows):
- Applying The Truth That Believers Are Related To God Through Propitiation, 1 John 1:8-2:2.
- To respect how believers are related to God through propitiation, we survey the doctrine of propitiation:
- The substitutionary death of Christ for all sinners in the world so fully appeased the WRATH of a holy God against sinners Christ is said to be the "Propitiation" for the sins of all men, 1 John 2:2.
- This doctrine bears immeasurable value for the unsaved as well as for the saved (as follows):
- Being the "Propitiation" for the sins of the lost, Jesus' death provides a great opportunity for them:
- (a) Toward the unsaved, God's wrath against their sins has been so fully expended by the cross of Christ that God is "propitious," or fully willing to relate to them. This is why when Christ died, God tore the temple veil separating the holiest place where He dwelt from the holy place where the priests would minister -- it showed God's intense desire to reach out to sinners, Matthew 27:50-51.
- (b) The lost need only to trust alone in Christ alone for salvation, Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:16.
- Being the "Propitiation" for the believer's sins, Jesus' death opens a door of available bliss in every believer's relationship with God in every circumstance, regardless of their history (as follows):
- (a) As the believer's "Propitiation," Christ in His death erased every cause for God to be angry at the believer based on any pre-salvation sin(s), 1 John 2:2 with 1 John 4:10. (b) As the believer's "Propitiation," Christ in His death made possible continual victory in one's fellowship with God: ((a)) Every believer still has his pre-salvation sin nature, and by it he has sinned as a believer, 1 John 1:8, 10. ((b)) This is unwholesome, for a believer can sin to the point where God judges him to die a physically premature death, 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:29-30. ((c)) Yet, since Christ is our "Propitiation," if we confess our sins to God in Jesus' name, God is faithful and just based on the cross to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9. ((d)) God does not want us to use confession as a "rabbit's foot" to keep us from judgment; yet, if we do sin, we have an Advocate in Christ Who is also our "Propitiation" to the Father for that sin, 1 John 2:1. ((e)) Even if a believer is slain by God due to living in sin, the "Propitiation" of Christ causes the Father to take that believer to heaven at death, cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13-14, 15.
- Thus, since Christ so satisfied God's wrath against his sin, a believer always may fellowship with God.
Application: (1) All efforts to appease God for pre-salvation sins are FUTILE, for Christ ALREADY DID THAT at the CROSS! (2) Thus, (a) lost men must be TOLD ONLY to TRUST in Christ to enjoy fellowship with God, and (b) believers must confess post-salvation sins to RETAIN intimate fellowship with God. (c) However, may we never dread a loss of the HOPE of fellowship with God, for even if we are slain by God due to the sin unto death, the PROPITIATION of Christ for us opens the door for blessed, intimate spiritual fellowship with God in HEAVEN after we die! (d) May we thus not abuse confession, but USE it if needed to enjoy restored, fulfilling intimacy with God!