Text: 1 John 2:1-2
Title: "Where God Meets Man: At The Cross"
Subj: Christ's work of propitiating God on the cross.
Introd: The Bible says, "For the preaching of the cross is to them
that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power
of God." (1 Cor. 1:18)
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness..." I believe that we, as born again believers, have
done a great disservice to our God, and to our fellow man. I believe
that we have over emphasized the love of God to such a degree that
the lost cannot conceive of the wrath of God. I believe that we have
so presented God's love, that sinful man cannot believe or accept
that that same God who is said to love them will punish them with an
eternal, unbearable hell. Therefore, "the preaching of the cross is
to them that perish foolishness..." Why worry about what happened on
a cross 2,000 years ago if God loves everyone? Why worry about
judgment and hell if God loves all sinners?
There is only one verse in the New Testament, that I know of, that
directly says that God loves the lost world. It is John 3:16, "For
God so loved the world...". (The other 6 N.T. verses that speak of
God's love for man all refer to those already saved, though they do
have some application to the lost.) The word "world" in Jn 3:16,
means "the order of God's created universe, which includes the
living place of man, and finally man himself as he operates in God's
orderly creation." God loves what God created despite mans' sin!
Further, this love that God has for His creation, including man, is
not some sentimental, emotional attachment. It is God's attribute of
self-sacrifice (so God gave His only begotten Son) to those in need,
without regard to their response. So God does not simply "love"
sinners, but loves that which He created and that which He desires
Truly, "God is love" (1 Jn. 4:16), but God is also a jealous God Who
is angry at sin. And because only sinners sin, God is angry at
sinners! "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..." (Rms. 1:18). God hates
sin! "The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all
workers of iniquity" (Ps. 5:5) Eph. 2:3-4 "Among whom also we all
had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by
nature the children of wrath, even as others." Though God is love,
love does not and cannot forgive sin. Though God is love, love does
not and cannot overcome wrath. God's justice and holiness demands
punishment for sin, and God's wrath must be satisfied!
Sinful man can never satisfy a holy God, Who, by His nature is
separate from sinners. Only God can satisfy God, and that in the
Person of Jesus Christ. Here is the central message of the cross,
God satisfying God in Jesus Christ. And if God can be satisfied in
Christ, the deepest longings of your heart can be satisfied in
1 Jn. 2:1-2 -- "Where God Meets Man--At The Cross" -- prayer
I. JESUS CHRIST, OUR PROVISION AT THE CROSS (v1a)
Note: Sin is our problem and Christ is our provision There is no
other answer for the sin question.
A. Saved Us From the Penalty of Sin
Ez. 18:20 "The soul that sinneth, it shall die..."
Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 Cor 15:3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also
received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the
B. Saved Us From the Power of Sin
Rom 6:6 "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that
the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not
Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are
not under the law, but under grace."
C. Saved Us From the Presence of Sin
Rom. 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the
body of this death?"
1. At the catching away
1 Thess 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet
the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
2. At death
1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we
shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
D. But He Did Not Save Us From Our Ability to Sin
1 Jn. 1:8,10, 2:1a
1. Commanded us not to sin ("that ye sin not") 2:3
2. Provided for us when we sin ("if any man sin" = a single act)
a. Cleansing blood (1 Jn. 1:7)
b. Advocate (see below)
Note: Just because we sin does not mean we should give up attempting
not to sin. Just because there is cleansing in the blood does not
mean we should sin lightly. Don't give up trying to live holy and
don't give up if you sin! Not only has Christ made provision for our
sin problem at the cross, but His work on our behalf continues.
II. JESUS CHRIST, OUR ADVOCATE AFTER THE CROSS (v1b)
A. "Advocate" = He who has been or may be called to help; a
representative of another, especially in a court of justice, a legal
assistant. This term is used of both the 2nd and 3rd Persons of the
Trinity, here of Jesus Christ, and in Jn. 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 of
the Holy Spirit, where it is the Comforter. There is one advocate (paraclete)
with us that we may not sin (2:1a), and another with the Father if
we do sin (2:1b)!
B. Why We Need an Advocate in Heaven
1. We are sinners by (sin-) nature choice.
2. Our adversary the Devil accuses us in heaven
Rev. 12:10 "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come
salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power
of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which
accused them before our God day and night."
C. What Kind of Advocate Do We Have?
1. General advocate ("any man")
a. Will intercede for any lost man desiring to believe on Christ
b. Will intercede for any believer in general
2. Personal advocate ("we have" [a present reality])
a. Will intercede for you
3. Powerful advocate ("with the Father")
a. Because of His Sonship
John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son,
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
b. Because God loves Him
John 10:17 "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my
life, that I might take it again."
c. Because of Christ's sacrificial death and shed blood
Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with
blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (setting
Hebrews 9:14 "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God..."
Note: "With [facing] the Father" = When we sin, we break our
fellowship with the Father. Christ has perfect fellowship with the
Father. Therefore, He pleads our case based on His precious blood to
bring us back into fellowship. When we sin, "the Lord Jesus must
"face" the Father with us and our sin. Don't sin!
4. Righteous advocate (v1c)
a. "Righteous" = one who thinks right and acts right according to
God's standard. For Christ, it is perfect agreement between His
nature and His acts, something man does not have.
Hab. 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not
look on iniquity..."
Heb 7:26 "For such an high priest (Christ) became [fit for] us, who
is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher
than the heavens"
III. JESUS CHRIST, THE PROPITIATION ON THE CROSS (v2)
A. "Propitiation" = the turning away wrath by an offering,
Note: Christ's death has two aspects. First and foremost, it was
God-ward, second, it was man-ward. The death was toward God, but the
benefits were for man. God was angry at sin, and could not look with
favor upon man the sinner. God's wrath had to be satisfied before
any man could even have the opportunity to be saved. In the O.T.
God's wrath was temporarily satisfied, and mans' sins were
temporarily covered by the sacrifice of an innocent animal. Thus the
yearly Day of Atonement. Do you remember the 2 men in the Temple (Lk.
18:11-13)? The self-righteous Pharisee giving God a run down of his
religious activities, and the publican crying, "God be merciful
(propitiated) to me a sinner." But by the sacrifice of the spotless
"Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world" God's wrath was
permanently satisfied to the degree that God could now look with
favor upon man's cry of repentance and faith in Christ, because His
justice was propitiated. That is why "no man cometh to the Father
but by Me."
The first aspect of Christ's death on Calvary did not "atone"
(cover) man's sin, it did not "expiate" (cancel) man's sin, it
"propitiated" (satisfied/appeased) the wrath of God in regards to
man's sin-nature. Christ's death first satisfied the wrath of God in
regard's to man's sin, as God's wrath was poured out upon Christ.
All the benefits of that sacrificial, substitutionary death then
accrue to man when by "repentance toward God, and faith toward the
Lord Jesus Christ," man comes to trust in the finished work of Jesus
Christ for salvation.
B. The Propitiation
1. "He [himself] is" = Jesus Christ
Rom 3:24-25 "Being justified freely by his grace through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood..."
Heb 2:17 "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like
unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high
priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation
(propitiation) for the sins of the people."
a. A continuing propitiation ("is")
b. A personal propitiation
1) For our sins
1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he
loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Note: Do you appreciate the work of Jesus Christ on the cross on
your behalf? Are you living and serving Him and Him alone?
Backsliding is nothing more than a fading of Christ's work on the
cross in your heart!
2) For the sins of the whole world
1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for
ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
a) "The propitiation is as wide as the sin" (Bengel)
Note: Satisfaction of God's wrath is found in Jesus Christ, and the
forgiveness of your sins is found in Jesus Christ. You cannot
satisfy God by anything you do, for you are the reason for God's
wrath! You cannot find forgiveness of your sins anywhere but in
Jesus Christ, for "Neither is there salvation in any other: for
there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we
must be saved," (Acts 4:12) "That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things
under the earth" (Philip. 2:10).
Concl: The work of Christ made it possible for God to meet man at
the cross. God's wrath is directed toward sin and sinners, but
Christ's work met each and every requirement of a holy God. He was
our provision against our sin. He is our advocate before the face of
the Father. He is our continuing propitiation/satisfaction before
the Father, Who has and continues to turn the wrath of God from
We all deserve God's wrath, but many of us here have received God's
mercy and forgiveness. Have you? Are you sick and tired of your sin?
Are you willing to repent, confess and receive Jesus Christ as your
personal Savior? Do it today, do it now!
Christian, what sin will cause Christ to have to face the Father,
again, on your behalf? How much longer will you live in disobedience
to Christ? Many of you need to repent of your sins today. Many of
you need to restore that sweet fellowship you once enjoyed with the
Father? You come in obedience.