“Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
On Sunday, March 17th, my Sunday School class, Learning About Jesus and I got into a discussion concerning the word “propitiation” in 1 John 4:10 about which I want to elaborate further. The word “propitiation” as defined in our Sunday school book means “to atone or take on the sins and punishment of another.” This means Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin, not that he became sin as Word of Faith preachers Kenneth Copeland, and others claim. I gave an example of one sibling taking a punishment for a second sibling even though the first sibling was innocent. This is what God’s first born Son did for us, His children.
A member pointed out that 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This is true; however, does it mean Jesus was “made into” sin? No. This is the verse often quoted by Word of Faith preachers to prove that Jesus actually became sin, and was born again in hell. They say Jesus took on the nature of Satan in hell. Word of Faith preachers claim that Jesus was not fully God and fully man while on earth, but that He was a twice-born man. Christians can perform miracles, call things into existence, “name it and claim it” they say because we are the same as Jesus Christ, i.e. twice born beings. This is not true.
Listen to Kenneth Copeland's mis-interpretation of Scripture in this youtube.com video:
Here now are additional passages that corroborate that Jesus was “without sin” and was not “made sin” while on earth:
1 Peter 1:19
1 Peter 3:18
I suggest again purchasing the book, When Cultists Ask: A Popular Handbook On Cultic Misinterpretations by Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes. It is a great reference book that lists often-misinterpreted passages in the Bible with explanation of their correct interpretations. On pages 244-45, is a lengthy explanation of 2 Corinthians 5:9. In summary, Jesus did not become sin himself, personally, actually. He paid our sin debt for us substitutionally, and judicially by dying on the Cross.
Concerning Jesus’ unique nature, Colossians l:15 (NIV) declares Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in the heaven and on earth…,” Colossians 2:9 (KJV) says “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” and John 1:1-3 (KJV) state, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Jesus is God, and He lived a sinless life on earth. Although we are children of God, we do not possess the same nature as Jesus Christ. We are not "gods" as Word of Faith proponents Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Eddie Long propose.
In my next post, I will correct the mis-interpretations of Psalms 82, John 10:34, and Philippians 2:5-8, the "you are gods" passages.
Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!