by Sandy Kirby Quandt
During a recent Easter service, one of the older gentlemen gave a prayer and included a word I’d not heard for decades. Propitiation.
Hearing that word pulled me right out of his prayer and had me wondering how many in the gathered group knew the meaning of the word. I wanted to say, speak plainly, man. Not everyone in your audience knows what you just said.
Although the word was batted about like a ball in the church where I grew up, along with other Christian-ese words, I wonder how many truly understood the meaning.
Propitiation, justification, sanctification, reconciliation, and substitutionary are big religious words. Words a new believer might not understand right off.
And if our goal as Christians is to speak the truth in love, plainly and clearly so others are able to understand the Gospel of Christ, perhaps we need to be mindful of the words we use.
When we share about Jesus to those who don’t know him, we can start with the basics. Although Jesus was God’s son, he willingly came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and took the sins of the world upon himself. He paid the debt we sinners owed, but could never pay.
He died on the cross at Calvary, was burial, and rose from the grave on the third day. He ascended to heaven where he sits next to his Father, waiting for the day God tells Jesus to come back to earth and gather those who love him, so they can be brought to heaven to live forever and ever and ever …
Now all those who believe in Jesus and serve him as Lord of their lives are made right with God his Father. We are set apart to live lives that are pleasing to God through obeying him.
The truths of propitiation, justification, sanctification, reconciliation, and substitutionary are all mentioned in those few paragraphs. Only worded differently. Clearer.
Because someone may not bother to stop and ask us what all the religious sounding words mean, what say ye we speak plainly?
Put simply, a Holy God created us. Our sin separates us from him. Jesus Christ paid the debt we owed for our sins through his death on the cross. Jesus provided a way for us to be made right with God. Because of that we have a decision to make.
What’s our response to that precious, gracious gift?
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Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord, and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way. 1 Peter 3:15 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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