There are three words that explain just how complete God’s love for us really is. When you truly grasp their meaning, it makes it so much easier to want to make wise choices in life and relationships because God’s love penetrates to the deepest part of our heart. Discover these three words and what they mean to your faith.
Propitiation is a spiritual transaction of reconciliation. Jesus was born of a virgin and the Spirit, so Jesus was a lamb without blemish. 1 Peter 1:18-19 proclaims, “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold … but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
The Lamb, who was our “propitiation,” payed the penalty for our sins. The Lamb of God reconciled our relationship with the Holy God.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” —1 John 4:10
We love like God when we seek to forgive others and reconcile relationships.
Redemption is a commercial transaction of freedom. This term comes out of the slave trade. Jesus bought us from the ultimate human trafficker, Satan, and the payment made was his very life in exchange for ours. Christ gave His life for ours out of love, making us friends:
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friend.” —John 15:13NASB
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8NASB
When we didn’t even know we could or should love God, God displayed and proved His love for us. We love like God when we seek to redeem harsh or unhealthy situations and show love to make them beautiful and healthier.
This is a legal transaction of acquittal. Picture a courtroom. You are on trial for your life, and you are guilty. There must be a payment for breaking the law. The verdict comes in and you are convicted of that crime. Then the judge, takes off his robes and steps in to take your death sentence. This judge, who has never done anything wrong, takes your place.
God’s love compelled him to look for a way to both fulfill the need of the law to have a payment, yet not require you to be that payment. He also made sure the payment would be for every human for all time and eternity, the only person that could die and pay that “atonement” would be a sinless one. Only Jesus could be the one to take your place and mine.
We love like God when we seek to set others free and when we step up to take the high road and be a hero.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” —2 Corinthians 5:21
God loves us like no other, and while we can’t replicate it, we can try to live by His example and love others with a godly spirit.
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