THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL
To recognize the heart of the gospel.
1. How is biblical religion different from pagan religion? In what way is it the same?
2. What is propitiation?
3. How does propitiation relate to God’s rationale for justifying sinners? to the rationale of the Incarnation? to Jesus’ heavenly ministry? to John’s definition of the love of God?
4. What is the difference between propitiation and expiation?
5. What is C. H. Dodd’s interpretation of the “propitiation word group in the New Testament” (p. 182)? What is Packer’s response?
6. In the section called “God’s Anger,” how does Packer characterize the wrath of which was propitiated at Calvary?
7. In the next section, what three facts about propitiation does Packer state? For what reasons is each fact important?
8. What is the fundamental problem the gospel solves? How does having this central problem solved in your own life affect areas outside the center? (Be specific.)
9. How does seeing the truth of propitiation help us to understand the driving force in the life of Jesus? the destiny of those who reject God? God’s gift of peace? the dimensions of God’s love? the meaning of God’s glory?
Optional: What important Old Testament rituals were related to the idea of propitiation? Using a concordance or Bible dictionary, investigate each of these practices.
What is the heart of the gospel? As Packer asks, “Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity?