Jesus Is Our Propitiation

April 19, 2013
Our house has become overwhelmed with boxes.  Some of you may have heard that we are in the process of moving.  When we first told the boys that we were moving they had some mixed reactions.  Our oldest had a lot of questions, but seemed to trust the decision.  Our four year old, however, was quite upset about it.  As his older brother asked questions, we began to understand why he was so upset.  One of the questions was, “will we get to bring our toys?”  After he found out that they could bring their toys, then he wanted to know if they could bring their beds.  It had never even occurred to us to explain to them what moving meant.
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As a pastor I have come to realize that sometimes when I talk about spiritual things I do not explain what I mean as well as I should and thus I can end up leaving people just as confused as my little boy was. 
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For example, when talking about Jesus’ payment for sin on the cross, I will use the word “propitiation.”  That word is found in 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
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The problem is that if we do not have any idea what propitiation means, then that verse does not have the meaning for us that it should have.   Microsoft actually has a dictionary in the Works Word Processor program that I use.  It describes propitiation as: “win somebody's favor: to appease or conciliate somebody or something.”
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So what does Jesus have to do with winning someone’s favor?  To answer that question, we must first realize that without Jesus Christ, all of us are out of favor with God.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Therefore, Jesus Christ is our propitiation- the one who wins our favor with God- because our sin had caused us to be out of favor with God.  Read I John 2:2 again with that in mind, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  
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Looking at the further part of the definition, we find that propitiation means “to appease or conciliate somebody or something.”  Jesus Christ has won our favor and has appeased our sins.  He appeased God the Father because there is no way that any of us could do enough to appease God for our sins.  Consider as well the word “conciliate.”  That means to bring two opposing sides together.  Jesus’ propitiation brings us and God the Father together. Hebrews 10:1-10 shows that the Old Testament sacrifices of animals was not enough to completely appease God, but Jesus was. 
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Essentially the Old Testament sacrifices were a reminder of our sin and that sin needed to be appeased, but the blood of animals was not enough to be a final propitiation.  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”  (Hebrews 10:4)  But notice what happened when Jesus offered His life on the cross, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  (Hebrews 10:14). 
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So what does it mean when Jesus perfected forever them that are sanctified?  It means that by dying on the cross He was able to appease God and make us holy forever.  But here is the catch.  In order to be made holy forever, you must believe that Jesus really is your only hope for appeasing God. 
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John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  Without believing in Jesus’ propitiation, we are not trusting that God the Father has been appeased and therefore God’s wrath still abides upon us.  Believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins so that you and God can be brought together.

 

Science and Biblical History

April 5, 2013
My little brother recently purchased a payloader.  I am excited about his new “toy” because I am hoping he will let me “play” with it.  He also has a road grader that I would like to play with as well.  I have already played with his backhoe.  When we were kids, we played with Tonka toys like that, but his “toys” are real.
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It is amazing how much dirt you can move with heavy equipment, but then I think of God and his power.  How many payloaders and how many years would it take to d...
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Why Do We Have New Bible Translations?

March 20, 2013
The other day I was driving down the road with my two oldest boys.  Suddenly, the four year old got all excited and pointed, “Look a Christmas goat.”  He was pointing at a lawn ornament of a deer with antlers. 
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I get a chuckle out of his attempts at mastering the English language.  A few weeks earlier he had told me that he wanted Mommy to make “grease juice.”   I said, “You mean gravy?”  “Yes, gravy, “ he replied. 
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Those of us who have been talking for more than three years...
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Do You Value God's Word?

March 7, 2013
Imagine if you built an expensive display case out of beautifully polished oak, padded the inside with the most expensive velvet fabric you could find, and enclosed in with a beveled glass door.  Then you placed your Bible in that case showing to all who entered your home how important God’s word was to you.
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If you really value God’s word, you would not keep it in such a case.  Instead, you would take it out and read it, but what if you read it, but never let it affect your life?  When it...
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Don't Wear Pajamas to Church

February 21, 2013
Among Christians there has been a valid concern over the decline in clothing standards.  Unfortunately, this concern leaves a large looming question over the discussion- what standard should we adapt?  Opinions range from allowing the risqué to imposing legalistic parameters. 
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Often the discussion centers around the clothing choices of the female- for obvious reasons- but I want to step back from that discussion to look at the broader issue.  Not only is there division among the brethren ov...
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Happiness In Following God

February 8, 2013
Our second son recently turned 4, and on his birthday he got to request a favorite food.  I found joy in seeing him enjoy what he had requested.  It made me happy to give him what he wanted on that special day.  Shouldn’t giving God what He has asked us for make us even more happy?  This article will actually look at the first eight verses of Psalm 119 to answer that question.
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Psalms 119:1 says, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.”  As we think of the...
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Finding Real Joy in Prayer

January 25, 2013
We know that prayer is important and Jesus taught us how to pray as He recited the Lord’s prayer.  Thus we know what to pray, but the challenge comes in knowing how to keep praying.  According to I Thessalonians 5:17, we are to pray without ceasing, but do you realize that the longest prayer in the Bible- found in Nehemiah 9- is only about 7 minutes long.
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I believe one of the keys to a consistent prayer life is thankfulness rather than the length of the prayer.  Paul said in Philippians 1:3...
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Give Others a Chance

January 9, 2013
Have you ever met someone that you do not like?  Maybe there was someone at school who was really cliquey and was quite rude to you.  Each time you heard that person’s name, you would have negative thoughts about them.  You might go years without seeing them, but that old resentment still linged.  Then another classmate tells you that they ran into that person and that now years later that same person who used to be rude is really nice.  What would your attitude be at such news?  Would you ...
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Do Not Be Easily Offended

December 30, 2012
My grandpa Miller lost his left arm in a farming accident.  The earliest memories I have of him are of a man with one arm.  He was quite industrious with that one arm.  He would carry a vise grip in his pocket, clip it to the bottom of one side of his jacket and then use the weight of that tool to hold it down as he zipped it up.
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One day he was helping build an addition on my uncles barn when a neighbor stopped over.  The neighbor wasn’t as tactful as he probably should have been and asked ...
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Looking Forward to Christmas

December 14, 2012
Around Thanksgiving time, our boys started to ask us how many days it was until Christmas.  With 3 of our 4 boys old enough to talk, we got tired of answering that question, so finally Crystal made a chain out of construction paper that we hung from the ceiling and we let the boys take turns taking a link off each day.  Now when they want to know how long it is before Christmas, they can just look at the chain.
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Today Christmas is looked upon with much anticipation- especially among children w...
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The blog posts from
November 2010- April 2013
were entered by Pastor Jerry Miller

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