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John Murray on Propitiation

May 10, 2009

On Sunday we examined the Atonement, lingering on the idea of propitiation from Romans 3:25: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” To “propitiate” is to absorb, appease, or placate. On the cross, Jesus absorbed God’s just wrath that should have been absorbed by us. Is God’s wrath at odds with his love? John Murray helpfully states:

The propitiation of the the divine wrath, effected in the expiatory work of Christ, is the provision of God’s eternal and unchangeable love, so that through the propitiation of his own wrath that love may realize its purpose in a way that is consonant with and to the glory of the dictates of his holiness. It is one thing to say that the wrathful God is made loving. That would be entirely false. It is another thing to say the wrathful God is loving. That is profoundly true. ~ John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 31

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