Before we even think about studying hilasterion and the related words hilaskomai and hilasmos, we must address the three cornerstone words of salvation - propitiation, the means of salvation, redemption, the act of salvation, and reconciliation, the result of salvation. Our word study below enters into the arena of the means of salvation, which is Jesus Christ. Hilasterion Our best understanding is that hilasterion referred to the lid of the ark of the covenant, which was sprinkled with blood, and thus referred to as the mercy seat. Articles on its meaning are filled with classic words like expiation, atonement, and propitiation, all of which convey almost nothing to the modern reader. In a nutshell, under the Old Covenant, the blood of animals was sprinkled on the hilasterion on the day of atonement to provide temporary reconciliation with God and avoidance of the wages of sin. Under the New Covenant, Jesus, covered with His precious blood, has become our "hilasterion" (and our blood sin offering) as the means of everlasting reconciliation with God and avoidance of the wages of sin. Three related Greek words (Hilasterion and Hilasmos-nouns and Hilaskomai -verb) appear 6 times in the New Testament, Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:5 ; 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10, Luke 18:13, and Hebrews 2:17. If we look at several translations we find the words translated as (1) propitiatory sacrifice; (2) propitiation; (3) mercy seat; (4) atonement and (5) atoning sacrifice for the nouns; with the verb being translated as (1) have mercy; (2) be merciful; (3) turn your wrath; and (4) make propitiation. In short the verb refers to the act of having mercy and the noun to the means of having mercy. Therefore hilasterion should be understood as the means of obtaining mercy , i.e the propitiatory shelter in Christ as the means of eternal salvation. Anyone not in Christ is not saved, and everyone spiritually placed in Christ is saved forever. . .