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Sermon #3052


A Sermon on Romans 3:25


Romans 3:25 ESV KJV
whom God put 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 had passed over former sins. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Jesus saves sinners, but how are they redeemed in Christ and why did it have to happen in that way? In Romans 3:25, Paul says that God was a “propitiation” for our sins in order to declare His righteousness to the sinner. In the sermon titled “Propitiation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that this word means to appease and avert anger or wrath. The cross of Jesus Christ was needed to appease God’s wrath. Propitiation implies four things: an offense to be taken away, an offended person who needs to be pacified, a guilty person, and a sacrifice of atonement for the offense. Also in this message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns about various translations of the Bible. Many who have translated this specific passage have misplaced the word “propitiation” with “expiation,” giving the verse a completely different context. This happens because personal prejudices can sway the translations. In either case, it is to be clear that without propitiation, the Lord cannot have a personal relationship with a person when there is sin present. This is the reason that Christ had to be the ultimate sacrifice to pay the atonement for sins.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul begins a new subsection in Romans 3:25, describing the redemption available through Jesus Christ.
  2. Verse 25 introduces the idea of propitiation, meaning the appeasement of God's wrath. This is a controversial concept, with some translations using "expiation" instead.
  3. The word "propitiation" refers to the mercy seat in the Old Testament, where the high priest would sprinkle blood to atone for the people's sins.
  4. Propitiation implies four things: an offense, an offended person, an offending person, and a means of atonement. Jesus's death on the cross appeased God's wrath against sin.
  5. Some reject the idea of propitiation, seeing God's wrath as unworthy or blasphemous. But the Bible refers to God's wrath over 580 times. Jesus himself warned of God's wrath.
  6. God's wrath refers to his settled opposition to sin because of his holy nature. It is not uncontrolled passion. Sin separates us from God, so his wrath is personal.
  7. Arguments against propitiation are inconsistent. If sin needs to be expiated, why? If God's wrath is automatic, so is his mercy. An advocate suggests a broken relationship.
  8. Jesus's death did not persuade God to forgive us or change his mind. God himself provided the propitiation through Jesus's blood.
  9. Removing God's wrath removes the need for the Bible. Objections come from Greek philosophy, not Scripture.
  10. We must choose between philosophy and biblical revelation. Philosophy rejects God's wrath, propitiation, atonement, and the meaning of Jesus's death.
  11. The sermon closes with a prayer for understanding, faithfulness to Scripture, and deliverance from worldly wisdom.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.