“God put (Christ) forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance, He passed over former sins.”

Romans 3:25

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

1 John 4:10

J ust as we have received “the love of God/Christ”, let the thirst for lost souls advance (as an army). Some read Romans 3:25 as “expiation” instead of “propitiation” (the KJV vs the RSV). The meaning of “expiation” is confirmed as Paul goes on to say that in and through Christ, (Christ’s death: by His blood shed), God’s righteousness is shown—and here the word for “show”, literally, to “prove” or “demonstrate”, suggests that the reference is primarily to God’s own righteous character.

No matter, Jesus died in order to redeem us from the slavery of sin. This my friend is the Gospel message for a Gospel-hardened mess-age!! The SIN of this age, this generation, is preferring other things over Him, and acting on these preferences. We literally honor/glorify “things” over God and His Son, Jesus.

But Christ did not give up on those of us who cried out—God save me!!

True, sin deserves God’s wrath (the general meaning of “propitiation”). Why so? Because of the love of God: “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). God does not want any to perish (die eternally without no hope of eternal life). This is the WHY of the Gospel: men are sinners by nature, therefore, He made a way, THE WAY, because HE IS THE WAY to the Father. This, we His people must proclaim with zeal.

Some have a hard time believing that God sent His Son to absorb His wrath against sin. I can comprehend this with no problem. How else can we be free? “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (of sin and death) by becoming a curse for us” Gal. 3:13.

If we use the word “propitiation” (KJV) instead of the word “expiation” (RSV), it means the removal of God’s wrath by providing a substitute. The substitute is provided by the Father Himself; the substitute, Jesus the Christ, does not just cancel the wrath; He absorbs it. This is Gospel love in action.

1 JOHN 4:10

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the (wrath-absorbing) propitiation for our sins”. This echos John 3:16, the initiative of God.

It has been said, “Only he who is already loved can love, only he who has been trusted can trust, only he who has been an object of devotion can give himself”.

First John 4:11 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another”. This is WHY we who have experienced God’s love (and continue to do so) ought to thirst to see others find this great love of God/Christ. This is not mere “human” love, but “agape” love. Agape love is not self-love, but God-love.


The essence of (genuine) Christian love is that it is to be directed precisely toward the unlovable (like me some 46 years ago!!)... even toward the unlovely, the ugly and hostile. Love per se is not only found in Christianity, other religions have love, but mere “humanistic” love, not a SAVING love. Naive, utopian love will not, cannot save a soul.

Do you really care for souls? If so, you are going to ADVANCE God’s/Christ’s love to the lost, hurting world. Feelings may be delusive, but “active love” conquers.