Today, we seem to so easily lose grasp of the weight of words.
In the Gospel, we find many words that carry eternal weight and substance in their description of the seminal act of Christ. Let’s not lose hold of them.
Propitiation, brings about a change in God’s attitude, so that He moves from being at enmity with us to being for us; we are restored into fellowship and favor with Him
Atonement, which reconciles a holy and just God to mankind; since Jesus lived a perfect life, God’s justice could be satisfied by allowing Him to die for the sins of those who will be saved; the punishment He bore when He died on the cross was accepted by God as satisfaction of His justice in regard to the sins of others
Expiation, taking away guilt through the payment of a penalty or the offering of an atonement
Justification, is forensic, which means that it is legal; we are declared just in God’s courtroom because Jesus lived an obedient life and paid the penalty for our sins