Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mark's thoughts: Bible study on Propitiation available online

A Bible study that I have written for the LCMS Circuit Winkel Bible Studies on the word Propitiation is now available online for download as the November 2014 study.  Although intended for use by pastors, the materials could easily be adapted for use in a congregational setting.  I have written there: 

Propitiation is a relatively rare word in the New Testament.  It only occurs twice as a noun (1 John 2:2; 4:10) and twice as a verb (Lk 18:13; Heb 2:17), along with one other occasion when a different word is used that is often interpreted to mean propitiation (Rom 3:25).  However its conceptual importance for Scripture as a whole far outstrips the frequency with which it appears.  This truth is confirmed by the manner in which the Lutheran Confessions discuss it. 

It is also a word that is foreign to our congregation members.  It is not a term that they encounter often in everyday life.  The familiarity they do have with it may include ideas that appear to contradict the Gospel.

This study will emphasize the importance of the word propitiation for understanding Scripture as a whole and consider how its importance goes beyond the handful of verses where it occurs in the New Testament.  In the course of doing so, we will see that “propitiation” highlights two truths that are central to understanding the Gospel: 1. The wrath of God against sin; 2. The exclusive and comprehensive sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for our sin.

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