What is propitiation?

The threads of salvation are interwoven through every page of Scripture. Certainly, we should do all we can to understand them.

Sometimes the terminology eludes us because we don’t use it in daily life. Propitiation is a prime example. We find it in Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 and since it pertains to our Lord and our salvation, it’s imperative that we understand it.

Propitiation refers to a sacrifice made to appease the gods or rulers and to avert their anger. With flawed beings, it opens the door to petulance, bribery, unrealistic expectations and countless atrocities.

Our God, however, doesn’t think like we do (Isaiah 55:8-9), so he will never be subject to the failures of men. We can trust his motivations and judgments.

“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Psalm 18:30, NKJV).


“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9).

God loves us but he can’t abide sin so when we associate ourselves with unrighteousness, we must suffer the consequences (Luke 13:3).

No one is special enough for God to act contrary to his nature or to abandon his plan (Hebrews 10:26).

Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23) and the only way to return to him is by Jesus, the sacrificial lamb of God (John 1:29; Revelation 7:14).

The blood of Christ on our soul appeases the Lord and justifies our entrance to his throne (1 John 1:7; Romans 5:1). What’s more, God’s rules will never change (Numbers 23:19).

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Share your thoughts: