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Satisfaction (1 John 2:1-2)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 02 June 2013 00:00

Sunday we looked at 1 John 2:1-2
1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

2And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

John the apostle is here affirming that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in His own person is the propitiation for our sins. Of course, His sacrificial death is clearly in view.
But it is significant in this context that it is not His sacrifice per se that is called a propitiation, but Christ Himself! As such, our Advocate stands before God as One who is a visible and personal “satisfaction” for our sins.

As the writer of Hebrews puts it: “When He had by Himself purged our sins, [He] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
And there, in the very presence of God, the Father’s eye can rest on the Person of His Son with complete satisfaction! This is not only because of what Jesus is ~ He is righteous ~ but also because of what Jesus has done at the Cross, the wounds of which are still visible in His resurrected body (John 20:25-27)!
Our Advocate is perfect! God looks upon Him with complete satisfaction! The Father is completely propitiated or appeased with regard to any sin we commit.
He is thus fully faithful and completely righteous (just) to respond to our Advocate’s intercession for us, since no matter what our sin might be, Christ has made satisfaction for it.

As a propitiation (satisfaction) for sin, He more than just barely “satisfies” God for our personal sins, or even for all the sins of all Christians everywhere. The astounding fact is that this propitiation covers the sins of ALL humanity, not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Christ’s death covers the totality of human sin from the birth to the death of every single person whose ever lived from the beginning of creation until the end of history when eternity begins.
For the apostle John, Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,’” just as John the Baptist announced Him at the beginning (John 1:29).

The argument that, if Christ paid for all human sin all would be saved, is a misconception.
The removal of sin as a barrier to God’s saving grace does not automatically bring regeneration and eternal life. While God’s holy and just requirement that sin receive His judicial retribution is fulfilled at the Cross, the sinner remains dead and “alienated from the life of God” (Eph 4:18). The wages of my sin was death and I remained spiritually dead as a result of my sin before I believed in Jesus for eternal life.
Faith is the prescribed way for this alienation from the life of God to be bridged, bringing the believer eternal life.

Our Savior’s universal sacrifice for sin makes eternal life available, but not automatic.
By the Cross God is fully propitiated for all sin, so that He then might have mercy on any who believe. The worldwide extent of God’s love is proved by the worldwide extent of this propitiation (John 3:16)!
What is John’s point in affirming universal atonement here in this passage?
Since even in Christians, feelings of guilt often persist after confession is made, Satan can use such feelings to make believers wonder if their sin is somehow too serious to merit effective intercession from our Advocate with the Father.

It is reassuring to be reminded of the universal sufficiency of our Lord’s sacrificial work, so that God sees in Him a perfect propitiation for every human being who ever has or ever will walk the face of the earth.
This includes the most depraved, notorious sinners in history! From Nero in John’s day to the Hitlers and Stalins of more recent history, in the fullest possible sense, Jesus paid it all!
Thus, the universality of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross is a testimony to the profound truth of John 3:16 – God loved the world! But it is more than that. It is also a powerful reminder to the believer of the total sufficiency of our Advocate’s work of propitiation for all sin. We cannot doubt, therefore, that when we sin, His intercession for us can obtain from the Father all of the mercy and grace which at such times we so greatly need so that we may continue to walk by faith in His promises and be restored to useful service for Him! What a Savior!

 

 

 

 

 

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