1 John 4:10-12 describes how love manifests itself in the Christian. It describes what happens when we have Christ’s love in us.
For Christ to propitiate for our sins He first had to be pure. He second had to do it selflessly. He third had to suffer our judgment, not just give His life. Fourth, because one sacrifice was to be the perfect sacrifice, He had to give it for every single soul that ever existed, did exist, and ever would exist on earth. Fifth, His sacrifice had to satisfy the punishment for every sin that could ever be committed, or conceived. In the Septuagint, the Greek word translated here as “propitiation” is used in almost every case with reference to sacrifice for atonement.
This is not just a satisfaction, but a way to that satisfaction and fulfillment of that satisfaction.
It is easy to say, “propitiate means to satisfy anger.” It is far and away harder to contemplate the complete satisfaction Jesus wrought for our salvation. Wrought means “to beat out or shape by hammering.” How do you see Jesus working out your salvation? Wrought is the participle of work. It is working out our salvation with great effort, toil, hardship and, as some might say sweat equity. Working through every obstacle Satan could conjure. Jesus pounded every nail, hammered and shaped every corner, smoothed out every rough spot. God toiled, He worked (Is 62:11), He humbled himself (Phil 2:8), and He was wounded and bled for our salvation (Is 53:5). At the end of every day, He leaves His blood on every thing He works on. He leaves little bits of His flesh in everything He does. He loves you so much that every one who accepts Him, He gladly gives pieces of himself, quite literally, and bleeds on you so you can be purified. God’s love is first from Him and manifested itself in His giving His own body and blood on the cross.
Love is not from you to God until it first extends from God into you. Only then can we consider ourselves capable of true love. God’s love is pure, just, righteous, selfless and perfectly so in all ways. We can have and project this love, but only after we have Christ within us. There-in is love.