What is the difference between redemption and propitiation?

What is the difference between redemption and propitiation?

Beginning at the end of 2004, Truth and Tidings printed our brother Lloyd Cain’s helpful series on great gospel words. A few brief comments at this point might once more "put us in remembrance of these" great gospel truths. Both truths are outcomes of that once-for-all work the Lord Jesus accomplished on the cross.

Redemption focuses primarily on the blessing the one who trusts Christ receives. Propitiation points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Christ.

Redemption paints the sinner as a slave of sin and emphasizes three truths through three New Testament words. When Paul speaks about being redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13), the word tells us of the purpose of redemption. We have been bought out of the slave market of sin, delivered to serve righteousness. Paul again tells us that we have been justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24). This word emphasizes the power of redemption, delivering us completely. The third word draws our thinking to the price of redemption. Paul says "He gave Himself that He might redeem us" (Titus 2:14). What a price! Peter uses the same word to tell us we are redeemed "by the precious blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:18, 19). God is the loving, yet righteous One Who paid a great price to deliver and bless us.

Propitiation emphasizes the holiness and majesty of God, Who has been dishonored and affronted by sin. So infinite is the value of the sacrifice of Christ that in that death God has received full satisfaction for the offense of all sin! That satisfaction is through the blood of Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24, 25), addresses our sins and the world’s (1Jo 2:2), and is the foundation of all blessing that will ever result from the death of Christ (1John 4:10), as pictured in the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat (the propitiatory, Heb 9:5; a related word).

David Oliver