Bible Text: 1 John 2:2 

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins:
and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


  • In your imagination, can you hear a judge saying, “I’m satisfied with that.”?
  • What does he mean by “satisfied”?  Is there some pleasure gained in that situation?  Not necessarily.
  • Under what conditions would that happen?  Would we think badly of the judge? because…
  • Satisfaction = receiving payment or performance of what is due or demanded by justice.
  • Our text uses this idea with the word “propitiation.”
  • A word that drips of religion, but has real life meaning.
  • I intend to think all around this word so that we understand it so well that we know what to DO with it.

To understand it, we should set the verse in its context and approach it from the paragraph before.
Let’s go back and read vs 1:5-10 — written that Ye Sin Not! (be not a sinner)
vs 2:1b if any man… (commit a sin)
the Father–relationship still exists
Our Advocate (paraclete=comforter) what a comfort!
is Jesus Christ–THE Righteous.  AND… he is the propitiation:

Interpretation & Explanation

  • What is propitiation?  “Satisfaction”
    • mercy seat — Day of Atonement
      • necessary b/c of God’s Law
      • a bloody mess (years of blood)
    • sin offering — morning and evening
      • tremendous NT story involving the evening sacrifice
      • pharisee and publican, Luke 18:9-14
  • The Need for propitiation:  “for our sins”
    • Our sins have violated the Law of God
    • The Judge of all the earth must be “satisfied”
    • Hebrews 9:22
  • The Receiver of propitiation:  God
    • God is angry with the wicked every day
      • (Psalm 7:11-13)
    • Christ died to satisfy GOD
  • The Provider of propitiation:  “He” (Himself)
    • the Righteous One
    • Hebrews 9:22-26 (himself)
    • The Lord will provide “himself” a lamb
    • Who His own self bare our sins in his body on the tree..
  • The Extent of propitiation: “AND the whole world”
    • there are many views of what this means (universalism, limited atonement, etc.) = all say to me, “Everyone must be told that the path of pardon is open to them if they will accept it”
    • So,,, I offer of pardon to you — “God be merciful to me a sinner”
      • You can go down to your house justified
      • You can have the propitiation applied to your case
    • And, we offer of pardon to all
      • Not good enough to understand doctrine
      • We must DO doctrine. Doctrine is practical
      • We know how the way is made clear for every person in the world to have his sin pardoned.  It is because the debt has been satisfied (propitiated) by the bloody, sacrificial death of Jesus Christ the Righteous One.
      • We must let them know!


  • God’s plan of redemption is not just the story of loving grace.  It is the story of a righteous, holy God’s satisfaction being carried out on his own Son and that Son being our righteousness.
  • God’s plan of redemption is not just a story to appreciate, it must be told to all who do not know of it
  • Christ, made sin, that you might be made righteous.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:21
  • Christ satisfied ALL the demands of God’s justice, so that God can be just AND the justifier of you when you believe in Jesus. Romans 3:26
  • The message to the church
    • “I can tell you how you can have all your sins forgiven by God forever, are you interested?”