1 John 2:1-6
My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father…
I. THE NEED OF PROPITIATING. To propitiate is to turn away wrath. We would rather not think of the wrath of God, but "propitiation" has no meaning unless the wrath of God be real. Hardly anything is more to be dreaded than an inadequate sense of sin and its desert. If we ask how God's wrath utters itself, we may venture to reply, In His separation from the sinner. Can anything be worse than that? can "outer darkness" exceed what it is for a soul to be left with its sins cut off from God? But why propitiation? If a parent can lay aside his anger merely on the child's contrition, cannot God? That is not a correct statement of the case. God has said that sin is such an evil that He cannot pass it by without penalty; if e parent has so said of the child's fault, the question is not whether he can pass it by without penalty, but whether he ought to. Divine love would deserve no reverence did it ignore righteousness.
II. THE PROPITIATION PROVIDED.
1. This is a propitiation provided and made by God Himself. It was no laying our sin on another, it was the taking it upon Himself.
2. This propitiation is by the substitutionary offering of God the Son.
3. This propitiation is sufficient for the sins of the world. We cannot doubt that if we remember by whom it was made.
III. THE PROPITIATION MADE USE OF. Propitiation does not save: it makes it possible for God. Propitiation removes the hindrance to the prodigal son going home, and when he says "I will arise and go to my Father," Faith is the going. The end of it, therefore, is the filial relationship fulfilled, and that is salvation.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: