Satisfaction (expressed in Hebrew by מָלֵא, to fill; שָׂבִע, to satiate; and רָוָה, to glut; in Greek [according to the A.V.] by less distinctive terms, χορτάζω, to fodder; once [Col 2:23] πλησμονή, satiety), in general, signifies the act of giving complete or perfect pleasure. In the Christian system it denotes that which Christ did and suffered in order to satisfy divine justice, to secure the honors of the divine government, and thereby make an atonement for the sins of his people (Heb, כפר, to atone for). This use of the word satisfaction is taken from the sense of the word in the Roman law, viz. contenting an aggrieved person by some consideration consistent with a remission of the debt or offence for which the satisfaction is offered. The death of Christ as an expiatory sacrifice was the satisfaction for the sins of the world (1Jo 2:2; Ro 5:11). Satisfaction is, in fact, propitiation and atonement. Christ's satisfaction is vicarious and expiatory, being made for us and instead of us or our act, we having ourselves no power of offering satisfaction to the offended majesty of heaven. Satisfaction is distinguished from merit thus: The satisfaction of Christ consists in his answering the demands of the law on man, which were consequent on the breach of it. These were answered by suffering its penalty. The merit of Christ consists in what he did to fulfill what the law demanded before man sinned, which was obedience. The satisfaction of Christ is to free us from misery, and the merit of Christ is to procure happiness for us. See Owen, On the Satisfaction of Christ; Gill, Body of

Div. s.v.; Stillingfleet, On Satisfaction; Watts, Redeemer and Sanctifier, p. 28, 32; Hervey, Theron and Aspasio. SEE ATONEMENT; SEE PROPITIATION.

Definition of satisfaction

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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