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Displayed publicly (4388) (protithemai from pró = before, forth + títhemi = place) means literally place before oneself, to set forth, to set before the eyes, to set forth so as to be looked at and to expose to public view. Robertson - God set before himself (purposed) and did it publicly before (pro) the whole world. (Greek Word Studies) In secular Greek this word was the technical term referring to the bodies of the dead that were to be lain in state. Vine comments on protithemai in this verse writing that it... may mean either “to determine,” to “purpose” or “to set forth,” so as to be manifest. Either sense would convey a scriptural view here, but the context bears out the latter meaning. The verb is in the middle voice, which lays stress upon the personal interest which God had in doing what is said, as predetermined in His eternal purpose. The aorist tense indicates the definiteness of the act in the past. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson ) Protithemai is found 3 times in the NT (Ro 1:13; 3:25; Eph 1:9) and is translated in the NASB as displayed publicly, 1; planned, 1; purposed, 1 Protithemai is found 8 times in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - 23" class="scriptRef">Ex 29:23; 40:4, 23; Lev 24:8; Ps 54:3; 86:14; 101:3; Pr 29:24. Paul used protithemai earlier in Romans writing... And I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned (protithemai) to come to you (and have been prevented thus far) in order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. (see note Romans 1:13) In Ephesians Paul writes... He (God the Father) made known to us the mystery of His will (we could never have learned these things. We did not desire to learn these things. In fact, we hated God.), according to His kind intention which He purposed (protithemai) in Him (Eph 1:9-note) Vincent says this word means Publicly, openly, correlated with to declare. He brought Him forth and put Him before the public." Bengel, “placed before the eyes of all;” unlike the ark of the covenant which was veiled and approached only by the high-priest. The word is used by Herodotus of exposing corpses (5:8); by Thucydides of exposing the bones of the dead (2:34). Compare the shew-bread, the loaves of the setting-forth (tes protheseos. See on Mark 2:26. Paul refers not to preaching, but to the work of atonement itself, in which God’s righteousness is displayed. Some render purposed or determined, as Ro 1:13; Eph 1:9, and according to the usual meaning of prothesis, purpose, in the New Testament. But the meaning adopted here is fixed by to declare. The idea is that Christ was placed before the eyes of all unlike the ark of the covenant which was veiled and approached only by the high priest. John Piper writes that: Ro 3:25,26 are, perhaps, the most central or most important words in the Bible - especially if you consider them along with Ro 3:23,24...What happens in Ro 3:25-26 is that we penetrate through the issue of "justification" (v24) and through the issue of "redemption" or ransom (v24) to what C. E. B. Cranfield calls "the innermost meaning of the cross" "Whom God displayed publicly [put forth] as a propitiation [in context means "the turning away of...wrath"] in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [Note: this is the purpose of Christ's death that hasn't been mentioned yet - to demonstrate God's righteousness. Now why does God need to demonstrate his righteousness?], because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; [then he repeats this aim lest we miss it] for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Why did God face the problem of needing to give a public vindication of his righteousness? The answer is in the last phrase of v25 and at the end of v26: "because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed;" and because he is "the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Now what do those two phrases mean? They mean that now and for centuries God has been doing what Ps 103:10 says, "He does not deal with us according to our sins or repay us according to our iniquities." He has been passing over thousands of sins...not punishing them as fully as they justly deserve. King David is a good example. In 2Sa 12 he is confronted by the prophet Nathan for committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed. Nathan says, "Why have you despised the word of the Lord?" (2Sa 12:9). David feels the rebuke of Nathan, and in (2Sa 12:13) he says, "I have sinned against the Lord." To this, Nathan responds, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die." Just like that! Adultery and murder are "PASSED OVER" It is almost incredible. Our sense of justice screams out, "No! You can't just let it go like that. He deserves to die or be imprisoned for life!" But Nathan does not say that. He says, "The Lord has PUT AWAY your sin; you shall not die." (Read full sermon text Did Christ Die for Us or for God?) The prophet Micah (name = "Who is like Jehovah?") uses the same Hebrew verb (put away) in Mic 7:18 "Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity And PASSES OVER the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love" AS A PROPITIATION: hilasterion: (Ex 25:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; Lev 16:15; Heb 9:5:; 1Jn 2:2; 4:10) (see dictionary articles Propitiation; Expiation, Propitiation) "WE COME O CHRIST TO YOU" You are the Way to God, Your blood our ransom paid; In You we face our Judge and Maker unafraid. Before the throne absolved we stand, Your love has met Your law's demand. ---E. Margaret Clarkson

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