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.