The Truth... What is it?





DICTIONARY

Afflictions: As in the New Testament, from the Greek word "thlipsis"...meaning a pressing-in (almost to the point of crushing)...anything which results in a burdening of your spirit by circumstances or persons. 

Alive: As with the definitions of death & dead, below, a person may be (1) biologically alive or (2) spiritually alive (and a person can also be academically, intellectually, politically, socially, athletically, etc., alive). If not "alive" in an area of life, then you can be described as "dead" in that area. From 1963-1990, I would describe myself as having only had a flicker of spiritual life (only barely spiritually alive). 

Amen: This is a word used to close a conversation, statement, or prayer that pronounces "may it be so", or "so be it", or "that's the way it is" ("that's the way I see it"; "that's the way I feel").

Angel: (1) Of those spirits in the spiritual realm, "angels" are: "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" [Hebrews 1:14] They are messengers (In Revelation 1:1, The Bible seems to indicate that the angels of God have a restricted service). So what are secular people imagining (or what spirits are actually there?) when they speak about angels in the 1990's? (2) Human "messengers of God" are also angels...or at least angelic individuals. There may be countless ways in which such humans are used as God's messenger. An example: Angel Unaware (written by Dale Evans Rogers) is the compassionate story of Down's Syndrome child, Robin Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of radio, movie, and TV cowboy & cowgirl stars, Roy and Dale Evans Rogers. A timeless message of hope and faith for parents of Down's Syndrome children, as well as for those with other illnesses, this enduring classic has sold more than 500,000 copies since its first publication in 1953.

Anxious: The mental state of a divided mind (as between choices). Check out anxiety basis.

Apocalypse: A Greek word meaning revelation, applied chiefly to the book of Revelation by John: an uncovering; an unveiling; a revelation.

Apologetics: This is the study of, and the execution of defending the person and the message of Jesus Christ....defending the beliefs of the Christian faith as well as forming the positive construction of a full-fledged Christian philosophy. Evangelism and apologetics are the twin pillars upon which the outreach of the church is built. Summary of evidence for Jesus of Nazareth HERE.

Apostle: One personally chosen by Jesus, son of God, and sent with a special message and/or commission. Luke 6:12-16: Jesus called his disciples together and chose 12 by name and designated them apostle's (also Luke 5:12-16); named also in Matthew 10:1-4; affirmed as designated by name by Jesus in Mark 3:13-19. Peter's criteria after Jesus' death (Acts 1:21-22): apostles were men chosen by Jesus to be with Him during his ministry on earth and personally acquainted with the Lord's ministry from His baptism by John to His ascension. Under divine guidance, the remaining apostles chose Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot. And Jesus, Himself (after His ascension), chose Paul on the road to Damascus. Having been sent by God, Jesus is the first and highest apostle (Hebrews 3:1). Though Mary Magdalene was so very close to Jesus, He did not name her...political reasons? [In those days, to name a woman as a leader figure may have been just "too much" for fallen humanity to deal with...a female pastor is even too much for many Christians in 2014!]...as one of the twelve apostles

Atheism: standing on the belief that there is no God...requires a reckless arrogance and/or extremely strong self-faith that can be in such deep denial of the testimony of the creation around us. Atheists are the most easily converted from belief in no god into states of idolatry.

Atonement: that special result of the reconciliation between a Holy God and a sinful mankind brought about by the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Because of it, salvation is available.

Believe & "saving belief": as to "believe in" Jesus in a personal state of "saving belief"...it is much more than a calculated hope and more than mental assent to an idea. It is not a surrender to a persuasive power. It is a surrender of your "will". To believe, you must not only be (1) willing but also (2) want to believe. No longer will your "will" be "on the fence" about belief. You mentally declare to yourself, "I WILL believe!" In this use, it refers to having or placing your TRUST in Jesus...personally acknowledging THE TRUTH of Him as the Messiah as "the truth". Immediately or with belief growth, you mean that you have an assured reliance and confident dependence on the character, ability, strength, and truth of Jesus. Arriving at a state of "saving belief" (really and truly "believing") accomplishes "spiritual baptism" and can happen instantly at the moment of declaring belief or may take some time and study in order to feel confident and solid in belief. No matter how much evidence one wishes to collect and evaluate, one will never find overwhelming positive evidence for "belief". Therefore, as Jesus declared, the decision to believe will have to be with the simplicity of the decision of a little child. Only an/the individual and God can know if a person truly "believes", but no decision in life is more important: a person either does or does not "believe"...there is no in-between. "Saving belief" brings the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that you are indwelt by His supernatural availability in facing the challenges of life in this world. You can thereafter undergo strengthening and maturing The Way...the faith...throughout life. Finally, that you would be both willing and "want to" believe is a gift of God that is given to the Elect [definition].

Benevolent: an attribute of unselfish concern for the welfare of those He loves.

Bible: The word of God revealed by God, inspired ("breathed" by God) to those divinely appointed to write it down, and illuminated to the believer by the teaching power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within the believer. Those who are not truly believers may also derive great benefit from the reading of the Bible; but, The Word of God will fall short of true "illumination" of the reader. [more]...
[re: commandments].

Bitterness: A state of mind of being bitter...distressed with resentfulness & vengefulness toward the offending person or situation. Bitterness is an emotional toxin or poison that we prepare for the offender & then drink ourselves. Bitterness injures the person holding the bitter frame of mind.

Blasphemy: defiant divine irreverence.

Bless: God blesses men by imposing his perfect attributes (such as omniscience and omnipotence) in favor on them. Men bless God by celebrating and ascribing to Him all those perfect attributes that are His. Men bless men by predicting, hoping for, praying for, and speaking out for the blessings of God onto that man or women. When you are "blessed" by God, you are filled with more than "happiness" and "joy"...like a much deeper and fulfilling contented happiness. And, the favor of a divine blessing onto you always means that what was given is to pass through you to others. 

Bond servant: see servant, below.

Born again Christian: one who is a true saved believer and follower of Jesus of Nazareth, having been made (born again) into a new creation by the incoming & indwelling of the Holy Spirit into his/her heart.

Canon: the agreed-upon & set "measuring stick" writings or the "standard" writings by which other writings are evaluated.

Care: A Christian should "care" about others. As a baby believer, one learns to care about Jesus and about those who are attractive and lovable. With further maturation, the ability to "care" both widens and deepens. This use of the word "care" goes back to a Latin root which means "chatter". This suggests that the attention Jesus would have us pay to others moves across a spectrum from the fellowshipping of "chattering with each other" to the laying down [putting on hold...setting our interests aside for awhile...even dying] of our lives for others.

Christ: the official title of the One anointed by God as the savior or messiah. As "King" David is the title of a king, Christ Jesus is the title of the savior of mankind. The title went to God, himself, coming to mankind in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Often spoken of as "The Christ".

Christian/Christianity:

  • a Person/people who believe Jesus is the savior and "believe" in such a true way that they are baptized by the Holy Spirit into a "born again" condition, leading an active person-to-God relationship through a living and on-going relationship with God through Jesus.
  • a Person/people who believe Jesus is the savior. This belief may be no deeper than that of following a family custom of "saying" one is "Christian". Some who attend Christian churches do so out of habit or as a way of belonging to a group; they may not have given any real thought to what they actually believe. The main divisions of the Christian Church are: Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Armenian.
  • Christianity: a history and system of doctrines and beliefs underpinning a "world-view" or "religion" which can be studied in comparison to other philosophies, world-views, or religions.

Church: a church is a building in which worshippers gather to worship God. But, THE CHURCH is the worldwide sum of all true believers in Jesus Christ of Nazareth who constitute a living body through whom Jesus does His work on earth.

Compassion: an emotional feeling (1) of sympathy or empathy for another/others stricken by misfortune and (2) usually accompanied by the person's desire to help alleviate the suffering. This is an emotion with significant risk. Con artists play on compassion all the time. Actions based on compassion often end up causing unfortunate consequences for the person on whom the help is bestowed. Dependency is the most common adverse consequence. A Reader's Digest article in the 1960s predicted that the new antipsychotic medication, chlorpromazine (Thorazine) would cause old-time "mental hospitals" to release a majority of their patients on this medication. In time, the author predicted, they would quit taking the medication and end up on the streets (we did not even have the term, "street people", back then). These types of frequent adverse consequences have generated the need for the term, "tough love".

Confession: Agreeing in prayer with God...not just admitting it...that what we have done is not in keeping with His righteousness. The born-again believer is already "saved," and all people have been forgiven; but the act of confession invites God's restoration of any damage the sin has caused or set in motion in the relationship with Him.

Conscience: A person's conscience...believer or non-believer...is the God-given capacity enabling that person's mental awareness to distinguish between right and wrong. But this conscience must be "programmed"; how was/is yours programmed? See how here.

Consecration: the setting apart of a person/persons or thing for the worship or service of God.

Contrite: the state of being broken in spirit by a sense of guilt or a sense of sorrow for one's sins.

Conversion: In the Christian arena, this refers to that moment in the mind of an individual when (aroused by the testimony or effects of an individual or event...one of The Elect...prepared and "set up" by the Holy Spirit) a person decides to place his trust in Jesus by accepting the gift from God of salvation. By accepting, one turns from darkness to light...the "eyes are opened". After conversion comes...hopefully but not for sure...regeneration (if the convert "receives").

Conviction: noun...State of being brought to belief or understanding that something applies to you. "I heard the sermon and have become convicted of my sinfulness!" Having a conviction about something is far "heavier" than having an opinion about a matter: no one is ever willing to die over an opinion about a matter; Christians by the thousands, however, have been willing to die for those beliefs powerful enough to be designated "convictions"

Courage: a virtue which...in our context...pertains less to rare hero episodes and more to a state of being able to live life with an absence of fear. You live fearless because you have mastered the fear through your relationship with God through Jesus, gaining confidence and trust through faith. 

Covenant: a solemn agreement (testament) or bond (contract) and originally was in the Hebrew sense of a bond between God & God's people...a non-parity (suzerain...not between equals) agreement. This is a basic way of societal operation in those times (until well into the history of the covenantal form of USA government) which sets the context (the society mindset) for biblical implication of those living Biblical times & our subsequent modern interpretation. In that the agreement is between vastly different unequals, biblical covenants ought to be viewed somewhat like treaties of biblical times between humans, the commonest being a suzerainty treaty. >OF ANCIENT TREATIES, there were two: (1) a "parity treaty" was between equals and (2) a "suzerainty treaty" (the Hittite king was a "suzerain") between unequals (usually between the nations of the conqueror & the conquered). Beyond the simple legal sense of a contract, a covenant between people of God goes in strength to the point of being a sin before God if  the covenant is broken. A divine covenant always involves a blessing from God to the one/people entering into covenant! Theology HERE.

Creed: a carefully & concisely consensus written statement of the faith (such as Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athenasian Creed).

Cult: A cult is a group of people polarized around an individual with a magnetic personality, who deviates from orthodox Christianity by distorting the central message of the Bible by additional revelation or by introducing their personal aberrant understanding of primary biblical doctrines such as the person of Jesus Christ, heaven, hell, salvation, atonement, the virgin birth, etc.

  • Occult: Secret or hidden knowledge. This knowledge is not discerned by the five senses and is therefore, supernaturally received through the practice of divination.
  • Witchcraft: The use of scripturally forbidden supernatural powers to manipulate people and events. Commonly known as the "craft of the wise" or "Wicca", the worship of nature and the feminine energies of "mother nature". Witchcraft is manifested in two opposing views: white magic, and black magic or witchcraft (see Deuteronomy 18:10)
  • White Magic: the use of supernatural power to manipulate a person or an event to bring about good. The practice of divination is used to bring about "positive" results such as knowledge, healing, etc.
  • Black Magic: the use of supernatural power to manipulate a person or an event to bring about evil or destruction. Manipulation is achieved by use of rituals and the casting of spells.
  • Satanism: unlike witchcraft, Satanism is the worship of Satan, formerly known as Lucifer, and the practice of Black Magic. Satanism is a reaction against the Christian church and the Word of God in particular. Satanism is a demonic mindset that promotes a do-what-you-want attitude and is ultimately the worship of oneself. 

Curse: to be cursed means to endure God's judgment on sin.

Death: (1) The Bible indicates that the only things that last eternally are souls and the Word of God. When you die, your body will biologically cease to exist as a living organism. But your soul will leave (the Jesus-saved will become absent from the body and present with the Lord in Heaven). God's chosen of Israel...certain Jews...go to Abraham's bosom & the unsaved go to Sheol). Your physical body degenerates in its grave. The souls are thought to be in a sort of "limbo" (think of going under anesthesia...they ask you to count to ten...you make it to two & then it seems like the nurse coaxes you back up at 3...even though it was a 2 hour operation). The Bible speaks of the dead as asleep. Near death experiences (NDE) studies shed some extremely re-assuring information as to the afterlife. Upon the return of Jesus, ALL of God's humans will be "raised" from the grave...probably not at the same time; and then comes the Judgment within the context of a perfectly loving and grace-filled God (as clarified so by Jesus). When the Bible speaks of a person being Dead, it could mean (a) biologically dead or (2) spritually dead. Spiritual "dead" is the state of being uninterested and unengaged in general or specific spiritual matters or the spiritual life...the spiritual life being essential to a fulfilled life on this earth. See "alive", above.

Denomination: As with protestant Christian churches, these are the administratively man-formed organizations of like-minded people who worship and work together. As seriously studying believers undergo the discipleship of how to live The Way, different areas of scripture are interpreted differently or placed at different levels of order of importance. Probably a high percentage of the members of any given denomination (for example, the Baptist, Methodist, or Lutheran Protestant denominations) are only casually aware of the differences between denominations. Many are critical of denominational differences; but, The Body of Believers is formed of many (personal/individual; local church; denominational; greater church) parts...which, in being varied, may be used of God in highly different ways on earth.

Dispensation: check this out

Divorce, marital: a sending out, sending away, casting out (implying with little thought, notice, or provision)...originally referring to the nearly thoughtless casting-out of a wife by a husband. Though divorce is one of His prohibited things, even God granted a certificate of Divorce between Himself and the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 3:8) !

Doctrine: A formulated belief about a particular aspect or topic upon which two or more persons declare agreement to believe.

Elect, the: Those who are chosen, foreknown, and "set apart" (as if on a checklist) for eternal life with God...set apart through Jesus by election. In a similar way, Israel was & is God's chosen (elected) people/nation. Jesus was God's elect son, chosen to redeem mankind from sin. The Body of Christ, The Church, is the elect people of Jesus (having a special receptivity to the Gospel message), chosen for their life purpose of glorifying God. The 144,000 of the Bible book of Revelations are Jesus-believing messianic Jews elected to spread the Gospel through the tribulation period of 7 years (a time when previous true believers will have gone already...the Rapture of The Church...to be with Jesus). Biblically speaking , then, election refers to God's sure choice of a person or persons to fulfill a divinely appointed purpose. Unless you be careful to know which elect group a Bible passage refers to, overall confusion can result. Jesus died to pay the sin debt of all. Since the true Jesus believer is indwelt forever after due to having been blessed with this special receptivity to the Gospel, that indwelling Spirit continues within him/her in Heaven and gives perfect receptivity to the love and one-ness with God through eternity!

Endurance: hanging in there...hanging on...refusing to quit; "tenacity" is another step beyond endurance.

Envy: This is a resentment of what others have or are compared to yourself. "No man who says, 'I'm as good as you' believes it. He would not say it if he did. The claim to equality outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing a awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept. And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Now this useful phenomenon is in itself by no means new. Under the name of Envy it has been known to the humans for thousands of years. The delightful novelty of the present situation is that you can sanction it - make it respectable and even laudable - by the incantatory use of the word 'democracy'." ("Screwtape Proposes a Toast" from The World's Last Night, C.S. Lewis)

Epiphany: Generally, it is an appearance, a showing, a flash of revolutionizing insight. The "epiphany season" recognizes and celebrates that the visit of the Magi pronounced the presence of God's new covenant of grace in Jesus Christ. For individual Christians...constantly being worn down by the fallenness of general "life" in this world, it actually is a season of: "Tell me again what God is like." Then we remember that JESUS is our view...our insight...of what God is REALLY like. See epiphany as to the church calendar.

Evangelist: advocate, ambassador, announcer, proclaimer, "messenger" (of the Gospel). To evangelize is to be involved in any aspect of "messengering" (in religion, taking the message of that religion). It is a word highly associated with Christianity, and it refers to one involved in taking the message of the Gospel [the good news of the eternal salvation purchased by Jesus and available to any who will claim it ] of Jesus Christ. A proselyte is a "newcomer"; so, to proselytize (in Christianity) is to go beyond being a messenger and to engage in any or all that might lead to a person becoming a "newcomer"...a convert to Christianity.

Evil: Just as darkness, in the physical world, is the absence of light, evil is the state within and among those who are distant from God. That is, evil manifests itself in the absence of God. [this is not the same as presence or absence of "religion]

Faith: All humans operate daily on huge doses of some sort of faith. God appreciates and loves being believed...having us have spiritual "faith" in Him. When we board an airplane, we have faith that the machine works and that the pilot and crew know what they are doing. Rev. Tony Evans jokingly says that a child once told him, "Faith [spiritual] is believing in something you know isn't true!" Faith is sometimes confused with "positive thinking", which it is not. And faith has little to do with intense commitment, determination, or effort. Do you lack assurance about The Truth? "The World" says, "seeing is believing." Yet, the world accords huge faith in science, government, leaders, airline pilots, doctors, teachers, preachers, etc. It does so without little or no actual proof which that indivual has self-ascertained. No, they have faith in the very distant direction and advice of others who also depend on others, etc.

True biblical, spiritual faith is the reverse: "Believing is seeing". (1) Hebrews 11:1 defines it, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (2) St. Augustine is said to have said, "Faith is the ability to believe in things unseen but known to be true." (3) Or, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. (4) One pastor said, "Faith is when I decide to step toward God, & I feel confident that He will receive me and not incinerate me!"

All of chapter 11, the book of Hebrews, is often referred to as the "roll call of faith". Spiritual faith is strengthened through the (1) hearing of, (2) the reading of, and (3) the experiencing of the works of God. As believers become mature in their spiritual "walk", they become more able to have some vision of what God desires to do in and through their lives. An outcome of faith is acting and trusting God in harmony with that vision. Spiritual faith leads to a deliberate, confident belief and reliance upon the perfect character of God, a God full of love, grace & faithfulness, whose ways we may not understand and whose will we increasingly desire. Faith is the heroic effort of the believer's life: God wants us to risk it all in an abandoned, reckless CONFIDENCE...faith...in Him! Faith is trust or commitment to what you think is true, and Jesus Himself is the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)! Again,  Sarah Young says, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, confirmation of things we do not see, and the conviction of their reality, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses". Faith cannot be measured quantitatively. Faith is not something to be increased, as in blowing up a baloon or filing up a gasoline tank. The apostles begged, "Increase our faith!" [Luke 17:5], and Jesus immediately replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard see, you can say to that mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea', and it will obey you." Check out another summary!

Fatalism: This "-ism" comes up in the consideration of God's attributes of omniscience and omnipotence. "Fatalism" says that all things "are" and, therefore, must "be"...so, all things are in essence decreed...made so by "fate". The truth is, God has appointed this and that, not because it must be so, but because it is best that it should be so. Fate is blind, but the destiny of Biblical scripture is full of "eyes". God does nothing by chance but is always purposeful. God does allow consequences; sometimes He spares consequences. In our fallen world and the fallen state of humanity, we all make choices, and all choices have consequences (so, things are not "set" on course so that life occurs robotically). What we do not know and cannot ascertain for sure is whether events or things "happen" because a purposeful and loving God makes it happen. Or did it "just happen" as a consequence of action or inaction in a fallen world. It is not fatalism to say, "it is what it is" about a current situation.

Father: At its most basic, this can just mean the biological male to an offspring (paternity...one who begets). More complexly, it refers to all that surrounds the status...the relationship...of "fatherhood"...the one who raises you or brings you up as a child. In that sense, it can become more personal, endearing, intimate, closer (not distant) and "bonded" as in "Daddy"...the Biblical word for "Daddy" being "Abba". As William Barclay noted, "If God is our Father, then our fellow man is our brother. The only possible basis for democracy is the conviction of the fatherhood of God."

Fear: In biblical times of yesteryear, "fear" meant to reverence and/or take very seriously; to honor and respect; to not treat lightly, casually, or flippantly (as in : "the fear of the Lord"). As a reflection of this type of fear, you will see a believer stop fighting against God's commands and turn to being delighted in God's advice, convinced that God's way is the RIGHT way. "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death (King Solomon in Proverbs 14:26-27)." In a chapter describing how wisdom calls, Proverbs 8:13 notes, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate."

Feelings: Feelings are the conscious recognition of emotional cues, signals, and responses from within a person. In one sense, feelings could be partly viewed as our internal "profiling radar". Feelings may arise out of memory of real experiences. The danger is that they may arise out of imagined, distorted, or ingrained beliefs that are not accurate...the feelings, thereby, being illogical and unreasonable. Feelings can be on a spectrum from very subtle to extremely powerful. While a very important part of the fabric of living a life, fickle feelings aren't trustworthy as a guide to decision making in life. Once becoming a follower of Jesus and The Way, a person's feelings may include that wee small voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

Fellowship: Christian fellowship the ongoing process of spending time together in the activities of believer families and the activities of the church.

Fidelity: a virtue covering far more than sexual matters, it broadly has to do with "keeping the faith" in our relationship and walk with God through Jesus...by faith.

Flesh: Biological "flesh" degrades & "rots" after biological death. The other "flesh" is the natural part in its fallen state of humanity...the "natural self"...of each human's life that stands...deliberately or ignorantly...in opposition to God [see this]. The opposition usually manifests itself by challenging the restrictions that God has set for mankind's own good. Flesh is easily & naturally subject through that window in human nature to a person's soul through which Satan tempts (temptation is not a sin...James 1:14-15) and entices lust which affects your spirit (in the believer, God speaks through that window through His Holy Spirit to your personal human spirit). Human's are slaves to whom they obey, and that means that we are all slaves ("masters of our lives") to varying degrees to "the flesh". On working toward submission to The Lord & working closer in our relationship to Him, we become more freed of the intensity of that pull toward the flesh & sin. At death we lose our biological flesh and our other "flesh" & become unopposed to the Gospel & possibly ready to unanimously accept Jesus as Savior when He makes His visit to "the dead". Other uses: (1) true Jehovah-Godly spiritual marriage brings two humans truly together..."one flesh". (2) At the Lord's supper, Jesus, saying to "eat His flesh", meant for the believer to continually relate and abide in Jesus...and many think that Jesus is mysteriously in the elements of the Lord's supper (consubstantiation & transubstantiation). (3)"The Word became flesh" means that God's Word became a human...taking on human nature but remaining so submitted to God that He lived a perfect life...as the specific Jesus of Nazareth.

Forgive: generally means to give up your right of revenge & desire to extract punishment for the offence...quit counting a "wrong" against the wrongdoer. But, know this spiritually:

The ability to bestow forgiveness is a virtue and very difficult for anyone to do truly & from the heart who is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Jesus warns of the dire personal consequences of an unforgiving heart [HERE]. Forgiveness has at least two aspects:

  1. Routinely, the offender pays a price (or a sacrifice) which warrants forgiveness in the sense of redemption (Jesus did this for mankind, making a basis for eternal salvation & the eternal  divine relationship perfected by that forever indwelling Holy Spirit).
  2. And the acceptance by God of that payment should cause a release from such as guilt in the mind and heart of the offenders willing to be believers.


Say that we are friends, and you steal my valuable item (and I know that you took it). I can forgive within myself and just buy myself another item. But you will lug around an internal burden of guilt until the day that you confess to me, and I accept you anyhow and forgive you (and release you from the mental debt). For the sake of the divine fellowship of believers with God,

  • Jesus paid the redemptive, sacrificial price:
  • for all of mankind, and that redemption is actually personally completely effected/claimed upon saving belief and the fact of the new birth...being born again by the incoming indwellin of the Holy Spirit into the divine relationship of eternal salvation: a forgiveness that impacts eternity.

The person can then gain future additional benefit with the constant unburdening (while still on Earth) that comes with his/her regular confessing (I John 1:9) of sins as he/she has them regularly revealed during his/her lifetime. For the sake of the fellowship between God & the believer, this process constantly releases the believer from the guilt of those sins.

The parable of the unmerciful servant makes it clear (Matthew 18:21-35) that a heavy price will be paid by believers who will not forgive other believers. But what Jesus asks may be just a way to make us realize that we NEED a savior and how thankful we are to have a savior...because there is no way we could hold to such a standard on our own will power. See this website for some very moving accounts of forgiveness.

Gentiles: all (not Jews) humans not descended from Abraham and Sara of the Bible Old Testament.

Generosity: a virtue meaning to give willingly to others of what you have.

Glory: The Hebrew root word stands for importance; weightiness; heaviness; awesomeness. As to God, His unique significance and preeminence.

Glorify: do things to enhance something/someone very important to you; amplify, hold up the importance of, show off, or emphasize their awesome importance. Few things glorify God more than our actually living out acts of life in the manner that Jesus has advised, especially as acted out in relational acts of love as in the two summation commands of Jesus that we (1) love God & (2) our neighbor as ourselves, HERE. Glorification is the state of being glorified...being held up as awesome. In effect, God says that those close to him must glorify Him before all people (Leviticus 10:3).

Gospel: Gospel = "good news". Here is the good news: (1) Jesus died to pay the price for the sins of allmankind (savior). (2) Jesus affirmed/proved who He is by arising from the dead. (3) Upon a person's true belief in Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God comes into that person to indwell forever [how could such indwelling NOT enhance the relationship to perfection?]. (4) Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is coming again to rule.

The original Greek word, "evangelion", means "good news". Prior to its New Testament use, evangelion was most often used to describe good news from the battlefield...a victory had been won when this word was used. "God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19)...these words being the essence of "the gospel" message! Do you know the truth of the "good news"? 

Gnostic: one with a world view prizing "knowing" secret or special information that lifts one above the mundane & the all-to-human. A "knower".

Grace: Unlike any other religion, Christianity is rooted in what a loving, gracious, and merciful God has done for us. At the root of grace is what God has done & also what God promises to do for us! Grace is the combined feelings, attitude, or actions toward someone in a way or manner far better than that person deserves. The grace of God is God's goodness & kindness and free sovereign favor manifested toward the ill-deserving (all humans)...to those who cannot possibly earn it (no human can earn it). Grace is God's unmerited favor poured out on the undeserving. "Grace is the inexhaustible supply of the goodness of God doing for us what we do not deserve, could never earn, and would never be able to repay." His full and perfect grace can not be earned and, yet, is fully & perfectly available to all persons and GUARANTEED to be delivered to all who will honor His goodness by believing in Him the way He wants mankind to believe...through His son Jesus of Nazareth. The first sovereign work of grace is salvation...the second, sanctification. Grace gives the illusion of tolerance; and, if not properly interpreted, the supply of grace can be incorrectly construed by the recipient as a license to sin. Grace is the pipeline to the power of God! To the Jesus follower, there is to be the goal of the primacy of grace. The Law...legalism...depending primarily on laws and regulations with punishment if caught, tried & convicted...can NEVER achieve what grace and mercy can in human relationships (this is NOT to say that there should be no rules).

Grace was bought totally by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus is "the Way"...the cause...the pipeline for the divine application of God's grace. His death bought the grace to save all mankind from being eternally out of favor...out of relationship with the divine Creator. That entire grace came totally at once. A vitally important extension of that total package of grace is activated by a human accepting Jesus as Lord & Savior. On doing so, the Holy Spirit enters that human to "mark" him/her and make available (become the means of this grace) an active, direct, divine connection for help in leading the life on earth. There is never a moment when the entire grace of God is shut off from the Jesus believer.

Greed: a consistent desire to have more or demand the best without regard to need.

Guilt: state of being wrong, in error, illegal, in sin. We are "legally" guilty the moment we wrong or sin. Soul, heart, or spiritual guilt builds quietly within, psychologically disturbing most (but not all) people to varying degrees. Inability to personally shake off guilt, once it is recognized, comes from a combination of failing to properly confess guilt and from an inaccurate understanding of God and what He has done in Jesus Christ. Being saved believers, we will yet stumble many times. So, it is of vital importance for the believer to remember that God has BESTOWED the attribute of righteousness on the believer...we do not earn and re-earn that attribute. By grace it is bestowed (yet not being a license to sin, either). Beware especially of false guilt, one of Satan's favorite tools: it is the condition of feeling guilty for something that we have not done (example: modern southern Americans feeling guilty for the slavery that occurred 150 years ago). On the other hand, even for the mature and active Jesus believer, guilt, though painful, provides a very effective warning system to steer us away from encountered sin, to convict one of a sinful act, to urge one toward confession of the sin, and to aid one towards repentance from that sin.

Hallowed: From the Biblical Greek "hagiazein", to treat as holy...set (higher, not ordinary) apart, that is, to "hold sacred", to hold in reverence. As to God, to give to God the reverence, the honor, the glory, the praise, the exaltation, and the veneration which His character demands. 

Happiness: Unlike joy, happiness is fickle and totally depends on a person's ever changing circumstances. The word refers to our overall sense of satisfaction with life at any given moment...depending on what is happening in our lives. joy and happy or happiness are not the same.

Hate: (1) commonly: intense dislike (2) sometimes in Bible: denied as something of a highest priority (as in John 12:23-25...hate your life... and Luke 14:26...hate your father and mother). 

Heart: that center-core "self" within an individual

Hell: where souls go (or would have gone without the atonement of the death of Jesus) in the absence of being made righteous for Heaven with God. [more]

Heresy: In the second century BC, by way of the writings of Josephus, this word was a neutral word (meaning school of thought) akin to our modern use of the word "denomination". It was later in Christianity that the word took on the negative meaning of doctrinal departures from revealed truth and/or the spreading of erroneous information (for the Christian: spreading erroneous info about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Christian matters). One who does such is an heretic.

Holy: This term does not mean "goody goody". This is a spititual designation of being in the position or status of "set apart for sacred use" from all that is sinful (God, Himself, is only perfectly holy; any human who is holy is only so through the declaration of God...not by worthiness or fact). For the Christian, the incoming indwelling of each believer by the Holy Spirit fundamentally marks that person as one set apart (holy) by God...one deemed by God (not earned) to be in that position of being holy.

Holy Spirit: He is the "comforter" (Greek word Parakletos) or "paraklete" entity of the triune God...God as His own personal representative here on earth...the part of God to come alongside a person so as to lend strength and encouraging support. [more]

Hope: A positive, wishful expectation for the future. True hope, real hope comes from knowing the truth. It comes from seeing/experiencing, and/or believing from historical/educational study, what is possible and believing that it will come to pass. 

Hour: in Biblical times, an hour was one twelfth of the daylight part of a day (see "time", below).

Humility: the condition (and there is a whole spectrum of maturation in it) of being humble and not thinking of yourself as being more important than anyone else; humility lacks vanity; it does not require self-deprecation before others; it is self-awareness that, in God's eyes and by God's perfect standards, we all fall so far short that there is no divinely real difference between the best of us and the worst of us. The opposite of pride

Individual: this implies a "person" with all the attributes that make them unique. See here; also "person" and "personality", below.

Idolatry: the state of giving top priority to some thing or activity or "god" other than the one, true God of Abraham. It involves: (1) constructing a mental idea of a deity that bears little resemblance to the God who actually exists; and/or (2)the giving of respectability to our own opinions of God formed out of our own likeness; and/or (3) fashioning an idea of God according to our personal inclinations and preferences.

Whether one dances around, or kneels before, a little statue or not is the least relevant; the lowered priority (less than #1) and/or inaccurate view (non-Biblical) of who/what God is represent the key components of idolatry. To put it in words as easily understandable as possible: top-priority faith and dependency onanything ahead of God and His will represents a kind of (maybe unconscious and ignorant) idolatry! Pray to be cleansed entirely of idolatry!

Integrity: the state of your "togetherness"...whether you "have it all together"...BUT, importantly, the word has to do with how well and smoothly all of the "parts" of you are fitting and functioning together to form ONE WHOLE "you"...how much your "you" is the same "you" whether it be Saturday, Sunday, at work or at home, out with the boys or at lunch with the preacher. It is the opposite of the type of "compartmentalization of self" for which president Clinton is so famous. By custom, and much more narrowly, we tend to use "integrity" in reference to those who have "got it together" with their virtues on a very high moral plane.

Jealous: desire to be #1 in the minds of a person or others as to any of a variety of things; that emotion of displeasure with someone else's good fortune.

Jesus: He is the savior of mankind, the son of God, being the second person of the Trinitarian God, the one born of Mary in Bethlehem and a resident of Nazareth. The name "Jesus" is from "Yeshua", the Aramaic street language of Judea, which is from the Hebrew "Yehoshua" which means: "Yahweh saves" or "Jehovah's deliverer". Years later it became "Iesous" in Greek (which became "Iesus" in the Latin of Rome), and later being "Jesus" in English. As the prophesied messiah, in Hebrew: "Ha-Mashiah"...messiah, many Jewish Christians refer to Jesus as: "Yeshua Ha-Mashiah".

As approximately stated in the book, Killing Jesus, Jesus would never write a book, compose a song, or put paint on a canvas. But two thousand years from His birth, after His message has spread to billions of people, more books will be written about His life,, more songs sung in His honor, and more works of art created in His name than for any other man in the history of the world!

John: at least when applied to John the Baptist, the name means "God is gracious". 

Joy: This refers to a sort of state of mind operating in a positive and uplifting manner from a position of divinely granted positional strength, despite a person's circumstances. Because of "joy", one can rejoice even during severe trials. The divinely secured position from which one exudes joy is that of being a child of God through the true acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior: (1) there is, therefore, a personal relationship between the true believer and Jesus; and (2) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit serves as a wellspring of joy as you become more and more like Jesus. Joy is not the same as happiness. The most complete & comprehensive joy is possible ONLY through belief in Jesus conferring that special relationship with God, being active in which relationship YOU must choose to give priority!

Justice: receiving consequences which your actions deserve. Jesus satisfied the justice of God by taking upon Himself the death penalty that sinful humanity deserved.

Justification: the process of assembling evidence to show that your position is "right". A teenager tries to "justify" his/her desire to stay up late on a school night. As to God and "justification", it is a sovereign and divine act whereby an infinitely holy God judicially declares a believing and still-sinning sinner to be righteous and acceptable...judicially pronounced "cleaned up"... before Him because Jesus has borne the sinner's sin on the cross and actually become the believer's state of righteousness as seen by God..."just as if" (just i fy) the sinner had never sinned. Jesus' willing and God-planned death on the cross completely (there is not a single thing a human can add to what Jesus did...Jesus will be all or none...no amount of "works" adds a thing) paid the price of justification for the redemption all of mankind, for all past, present, and future sin. Therefore, in doing so, Jesus performed THE act that a PERFECT God agrees with and on which basis eternal afterlife salvation is "justified". IF/when an "elect" person will use his/her free-will choice and make a decision to believe in Jesus and that Jesus did it, the person will have a new life on earth. In John 19:30 Jesus declares the work of justification, "It is finished." Justification is a available by the grace, alone, of God...because of Jesus at/on the cross; and it is absorbed by the believer by the mechanism of faith, alone; and the reflection/manifestation of such conscious appropriation (acceptance and receipt of) of justification is "works" or "doing" as an earthly  Christian.

THE LAW: Commandments issued by God to show us how perfect we must be....thereby showing the futility of trying on our own...thereby finally to convince us, once and for all, that we MUST have a savior...to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24); and He sent Jesus as that savior to save us. To the Jews, The Law consisted of all that was said in the first five books of the Old Testament Bible. As to lawbreaking and sin, condemnation is the opposite of justification.

Levites: These were a tribe of priests and Temple guards directly descended from Levi, a son of the patriarch, Jacob.

Lie: a fundamental vice, being the loveless misuse of language, behavior, and actions with the conscious or subconscious intentional and premeditated design of deceiving another....never an accident or a slip.

"lost persons": (lost; the lost) this is a New Testament biblical term describing the spiritual condition of persons who have not received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. To the Jesus believer, this a "tag" for sadly labeling...NOT for passing judgment...people who either actually deny Jesus or who appear not to be actual true believers...destined for an eternity separated from God. We cease to be lost when our own internal spirit is made alive by being born again (John 3:1-21). Thereby, the believer can choose to involve himself in that lost person's life so as to be a participant in the dynamic process leading to a choice for Jesus...for eternal salvation. 

Love: God, our heavenly Father, is love. Jesus, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, is able to transform a person into one now equipped to truly love...He is the agent for implanting this divine attribute (when truly approaching agape love) into mankind. This word has 3 big meanings. (1) Erotic (from eros) love is sexual love. (2) Filial (from Greek, philo..."I love") love is not about sex but about attachment to, and a particular personal affection for, a person...a human-type "brotherly love". (3) Agape love is a high-minded, virtuous devotion (Greek agapas) out of personal judgment and deliberate choice to be devoted to a person, the highest expression of agape love is the love of God toward His creation. And, see the 5 love languages identified by Gary Chapman [here]: giving/receiving physical touch, giving/receiving words of affirmation, giving/receiving acts of service, giving/receiving quality time, & giving/receiving gifts [short love essay here]. As to love for The Lord, such love is demonstrated by obedience. Death is the opposite of love! I John 4:1-21 is John's essay on love. In John 21:15-18, Jesus challenges Peter. Peter had bragged many times amongst the other disciples that he would be the last to turn his back on (deny) Jesus. Now Jesus asks Peter three times, "Do you love me?" In the first two, He uses the word for "agape" love; Peter hedges. Then Jesus, the third time, uses the more human word form ( "phileo"), and Peter admits & agrees that his love is at that level (I find it interesting to read some on line Bible commentaries about this exchange).

Loyalty: an essential ingredient in your relationship with our triune God...devotion to God...a thing of the heart....a sort of steadfast, faithful love. It is a factor which can grow and grow. 

Lust: stimulated fleshly desire.

Magi: these were people from "The East" who brought gold (symbolizing a lavish gift for a king), frankincense (a fragrance symbolizing divinity), and myrrh (an embalming herb, foreshadowing His death) to Jesus as an act of worship, making them the first gentiles to worship Jesus [see shepherd, below]. Magi were experts in astrology and magic.

Meek: the condition, state, or attitude of bridled power...tamed strength. A calm, gentle temper of mind, not easily provoked. Meekness is not weakness. The opposite of wimpy. The meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5, KJV). [additional concept explanation]

Mercy: not receiving what (punishment) you justly deserve.

Messiah: Son of God, savior, deliverer (as with the messianic delivery that God effected so that the Jews got out of Egypt (and for which they would ever after celebrate Passover) and then the coming of Jesus, the Messiah to deliver humanity, HERE.

Mind: This is more than a person's brain. We are sure, that of all God's creation, at least humans are convincing shown to have complex minds for the consideration of pros and cons, god and bad, ethical and nonethical, merciful and merciless, etc. For each individual, the mind is the place of formation of beliefs which then guide the person with his/her set of personal standards of behavior. The mind is the computer tio guide in skill of "right relationships". The mind is the personal intersection between things of heaven and earthly things. And, because of its centrality in a person's conduct of his/her life, it is the battleground between heaven and earth.

Minister: a Christian servant to the local body of believers by way of an attitude that those believers are superior to the one ministering to their needs. A chain of command or organization is implied: from Jesus at the top (the Great High Priest of God) down to each individual believer who is willing to take up his/her ministry to others.

Name: In modern times, this word indicates that which one is called by...what is your name? In Biblical times, the "name" summarized and manifested the personal character of him/her who was named. As the "name" is uttered, a major part of the verbal experience is the emotion...in a flash...of the memory of all that the named person stands for. As to God, the Name of God means the nature, the character, and the personality of God as they have been revealed to us.

Obey, obedience: doing what is asked or commanded. Obedience is the language of love to God...if you obey Him, obedience expresses your love for Him. Jesus Christ is life's Great Liberator; obedience is the threshold, and the Great Liberator knocks at your door!

Ordinance: "ordinance" and "sacrament" are similar, with sacrament inclined toward the sacredness of it and ordinance inclined toward the divine authority with which it was ordered or ordained......a divine vehicle through which power flows. 

Ordination: usually a ceremony & usually associated with a laying on of hands by those already set apart and vested with ministerial authority...an act of the organized church; no example of Jesus doing such.

Parable: A simple story illustrating...but not clearly explaining...a moral or religious lesson. HERE are the parables of Jesus of Nazareth.

Passion (of Christ): In the era of Jesus, a suffering or enduring of imposed or inflicted pain; any suffering or distress; specifically, the suffering of Christ between the time of the last supper and his death, esp. in the garden upon the cross. Our modern definition is more about a strong desire or drive.

Pastor: a shepherd over the congregation of believers, who:

  • orders the worship service and preaches the Word
  • provides and oversees the care of the congregation (that local body of believers)
  • functions as the head of that local body of believers

Peace: The meaning of this most-important word quickly comes to mind for most people as: the absence of conflict and/or turmoil...even the absence of war...and the removal of tension from a situation.. Jesus means much more in John 14:27, however. But what about inner frustrations due to unfulfilled dreams, unreached potential, or disillusioning circumstances? True peace is an internal thing...it abides no matter what the external circumstances...and it can dissolve all of that disappointment and frustration! It springs from an innermost source. While other solutions can touch positively on that innermost source, the completeenablement of that inner source can only be switched on by the inner presence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Only He can deliver the true, inner peace that settles your mind and spirit! Here's how!

Penitent: repentant, sorrowful, contrite, in a mood to make amends. The penitential church wide period in the church calendar is the Lent season.

Perplexed: the apostle Paul used it to mean that point of feeling that "there is absolutely no way out" of the situation you are in. A more modern definition would call it a state of complex, tangled confusion about what to do about something.

Person: a being...this word encompasses human and spiritual beings. The Trinity = God in 3 persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

Personality: the manner in which a person expresses who they are in everyday actions. Gary Smalley has popularized four types [see as a parameter of components of individualness here].

Pharisees: A group of pious (highly religious toward Jewish traditions) teachers who oversaw the schools in the synagogues, teaching the children Hebrew and instructing them in Jewish law.  Therefore, they were sticklers about Jewish lawin every arena of Jewish life.

Praise: appreciating someone's worth and value by telling them the ways and attributes which you find so valuable. Linked also to thanksgiving and worship. 

Prayer: the act of communing with God...becoming "one" with God...relating deliberately with God. God already knows what you need before you ask (Matthew 6:8). We also use prayer (1) as "how to" examples for our children or those we are discipling who are new in the faith, (2) as a means of sharing our thoughts & prayer words with someone for whom we are lifting a prayer. (3) As part of worship services, we might participate together (corporate prayer) in prayer as part of the order of worship of that gathering. (4) In various situations, prayer can inspire those who participate and hear. (5) And there may be other types of prayer habits or means such as a "National Day of Prayer". It is so very important to not let prayer be just a perfuntory ritual without mindful intent & participation. And it should not be something that is done to gain recognition or fame amongst the hearers and bystanders. In the end, in order to emphasize that the key point of prayer is that you are speaking to God, Jesus advised that we shut ourselves in a closet to pray (Matthew 6:6...so that we are focused on God and not on impressing others). Some "how to" info [here]. Lord's prayer [here].

Preacher: one who speaks publicly, giving a religious discourse, usually based on a text of Scripture.

Predestined: set aside in a special category [here]

Pride: attitude of a "not-depending-on-God" type of self-dependency; self-preoccupation, inordinate self-esteem, vainglory ; a putting of "self" on the throne...in essence, the deification of self; C. S. Lewis is said to have pronounced "pride" to be THE GREAT SIN. [the MASTER sin

Priest: A person with a double outreach ministry. He/she reaches out toward both God & man as a mediator, aiming to stand between the two and help bring them together toward unification. Priesthood would relate similarly.

Prodigal: as an adjective [the prodigal son...Luke 15:11-32], it means extravagantly wasteful and squandering of what one already has or is being given (money, talent, position, opportunity, relationship). A prodigal person (noun) is one who acts that way. The prodigal son squandered both his inheritance and position until he found himself eating with hogs. Many a believer has a prodigal season within their walk with Jesus (saved when young and squander the "saved relationship" and position until turning back to the Lord in later life).

Promised Land: All of that land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants (Israelites/Jews), "From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea [Mediterranean] toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast [Joshua 1:4]." Compared to modern-day Israel, this is a more vast promise...but the people failed to obey God's details for a complete conquest.

Prophet: one who is divinely inspired to communicate God's word to His people and to disclose the future (such a disclosure is a prophecy) to them. Everything a divine prophet declares will come true. They gave a divine perspective on historical events. Old Hebrew law required the death penalty to anyone claiming prophetic visions if the visions were in error or did not come to pass. Prophetic status was not claimed lightly. [prophecy about Jesus]

Propitiation: a sacrifice bringing forth grace. By His sacrificial death, Jesus was a propitiation in the God-mankind relationship....causing God to be propitious (grace filled) toward mankind...fulfilling the need for a perfect atonement for the sins of all of mankind.

Purity: The Old Testament has things to say about ritual impurity (such as the period of time during which a woman has her menses or the event of a nocturnal emission by a man). "Ritual impurities" are things of everyday life that have nothing to do with sin, cleanliness, or hygiene. And, one only had to deal with one's own ritual impurity issues before going into the presence of God (into the Jerusalem Temple). The cure for most infractions was the ritual bath. Only the priests underwent cleansing with frequency. The most impressive focus on this cleansing was the sect of between a dozen to 150 Essene Jews in the small village of Qumran.

Rapture, the: the sudden "taking up"...rapture... of all those, dead or alive, who are "His (the sheep in the sheepfold of Jesus Christ of Nazareth)" upon His sudden and unknowable time of return. Or, is "The Rapture" a way of illustrating the fact that the Romans (after Jesus' death) had begun, especially in Rome, to swoop upon those who actually professed their Jesus belief & took them away to never be seen again & disposed of all the property immediately? Or, was Paul explaining to a people who always wanted to know who would be "first" in everything that those already dead in the faith would rise first...AHEAD of the living...at His coming again (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)?

Reconcile: get it straightened out; get it worked out.

Redemption: while in Biblical times it meant "to release on receipt of a ransom", a modern view is the state of having been "bought back" (as from a pawn shop) or of making your value activated (the value of a coupon is activated when it is turned in); when Jesus died on the cross it was as if he caused a coupon, good for eternal life in heaven, to be available forever after to every human being. When a person reaches "saving belief" in Jesus, the coupon is "made good", redeemed, for that person.

Regenerated: a process (born again) triggered after conversion (deciding to accept God's gift) in which one receives God's gift of salvation by remission of sin and is aware that he has received something from God...he/she is different, regenerated. Regeneration then triggers the process of rehabilitation/sanctification. Though regeneration has happened, sinful inner corruption still remains...we are in need of cleansing and perfecting. You accept the gift; you receive the gift; you begin the change of your life into The Way.

Religion: Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs that answer the ultimate questions: (1) What is humanity's primary problem? (2) What happens after death? (3) What is ultimate reality?
There are many different religions. Some recognize a deity. Others believe in nothingness. Some worship many gods.
What you believe in, whether in nothingness, many different gods, or some other deity, is an attempt to fill the void deep within each person. Humanity is uncomfortable with this spiritual void. People are searching for the sacred. There is a quest for inner peace and meaning for life...in an effort to fill the aching void.

Religious: The opposite of secular; a depending on God (the Christian depends on God by way of Jesus as the "High Priest" who intercedes and has paid the price for the individual Christian believer so that the believer has a right to depend on God) factors in life as "The Way" of life.

Remembrance: the recurring Biblical imperative to "remember" the past great actions of God/Jesus....whether to a people or in your own individual family or self...is not just so we will review the facts with gratitude and appreciation, but to trigger decisions for renewal and to trigger re-realization of the ongoing receipt of the benefits.

Repent: change your mind about an issue, action, habit, etc. To repent implies that a decision of commitment to change must be made. D. L. Moody is quoted as saying, "Repentance is the tear in the eye of faith." Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of direction. To repent for salvation's sake (repenting in the sinners prayer to accept Jesus into your heart) means to change from a life founded on self interests to a life founded on Jesus' interests...choosing to take the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14).

Reprove: admonish, convict, find fault. The work of the Holy Spirit will include the reproving of mankind (John 16:8).

Restraint: a virtue having to do with our responsibilities of teaching and warning others...as to spiritual matters...toward the gift of salvation. We give the message without judgment or anxiety...we point to the wide-open door. We must be creative and personalizing in the giving of the message so that they can hear it; THEN, the hearer makes a choice. 

Righteous: That which does right by God & is predominantly having to do with relationships (man with God; man with man...a great deal of the essence of The Gospel). Righteousness = the state of living in right relationships. By the grace of God, the mercies of God continually sustain and undercut any simple division of the righteous from the unrighteous (Romans 1:18-3:20).

Sadducees: As sect (from 200 BC-70AD), they were some of the top religious voices of their day, they were equally pious about Hebrew ways and the Hebrew law but were wealthy and more liberal in their views & helped to maintain The Temple. Members tended to be local administrators of the Jewish state locally & internationally. They did not believe in fate or an an afterlife at all (your "rewards" or "bad outcomes" in life were much of your own making. Life was life and that was "it").

Sanhedrin: This was an "assembly" or council in each Hebrew town, and there was a Great Sanhedrin overall. These assemblies made judgements or judicial decisions until Rome finally abolished them in 358AD.

Saint: a "called out" one...called out by God in your new birth as a Jesus follower..."one set apart" by God through Jesus Christ...the believer's new spiritual identity (his/her identity is no longer that of a sinner)

Salvation: that state of having your soul saved/rescued from eternal damnation; and, while alive on earth, living a saved/rescued life as a person indwelt by the Holy Spirit of the God of Abraham. That is, one is brought to the place where one is able to RECEIVE something from God...the remission of sin. WHY did God save us? Not because of our faith, but because of His perfect Love. HOW did we merit His salvation? We didn't...it is totally undeserved and is available by His grace, alone; we do not work our way into deserving salvation...it is not won by works. Through faith and by God's grace alone (because of the finished work of the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary) the Jesus believer is saved for eternity. Being a God of perfect purpose, we are saved for what PURPOSE? God is intrinsically (by His perfect attribute of love) motivated to "save" us so that He has a desired eternal set of relationships: He to receive eternal worship, praise, and glory from us; and we are to be objects and recipients of His eternal kindness and love. The gospel (good news) message may be a complex theological truth whose depth is inexhaustible, but God has opened this door for the rescue of mankind in a way so simple that a small child can "get it": "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:30-31). As James 2:14-26 portrays, this state of being saved should manifest itself, however, by doing and works. The truly saved are quickly indwelt by the Holy Spirit and anointed by the Spirit with one or more spiritual gifts given for the building up of The Church. check out a synthesis

Sanctification: the condition in the believer...a life-long evolution...whereby (and we progress along a maturing spectrum throughout our believing lives) he/she has moved from Christian "conversion" (coming to belief) to "regeneration". And he/she has begun rehabilitation by deliberately (exercise of free will) giving up his/her "right" to himself/herself (self-centeredness) and giving that right over to the arisen Jesus Christ. Thereby, he/she progresses to a self-identification which focuses more and more on God's interest in other people...increasing in Christ-likeness and Christ-centeredness. One must begin to think like a believer before one can really act like (rather than to sincerely pretend) a believer. Sanctification means intense concentration on God's point of view. It is the "being saved" and being baptized and being regenerated, experiential salvation life on earth. It is the process of cleansing, of rehabilitating, and of perfecting the believer. It is a Holy-Spirit-empowered impartation (in a willing believer) of His (Jesus') attributes into the believer...not an imitation of the attributes of Jesus by the believer. It means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Sanctification is "Christ in you". [check out a synthesis] With sanctification comes experiential baptism. [another synthesis]

Secular; secularism; secular humanism: the non-religious arena...a depending on the non-religious factors in life as "the way" of life. Secularism doesn't necessarily deny God, but it is the practical exclusion of God from our thinking and living. It is "this-worldliness". God becomes a remote or merely historical figure lacking contact with the real problems of our day; and "humanism" suggests that the innate powers and potential of "man" and humanity hold the solutions for societies.

Seek: to search for; and, as to the Trinitarian God of Abraham, seeking has more to do with searching out a personal relationship between yourself and God than it has to do with seeking knowledge about God. It has to do with experiencing and hearing from and seeing the activities of God.

Servant: one who is committed to cause someone else to succeed...one who is moldable, obedient, and remains in the "master's" hand (ready and available)...and one who remembers who is actually accomplishing The Work: God. A "bond servant" (or bond slave) of biblical times was one who so loved being a slave under a certain master that he did not want to be set free. So, a deal was struck between servant and master (implying that both slave and master were exceptionally good persons); a hole was made in the slave's ear and her wore a symbol of that particular  master.

Shepherd: people who tend herds of livestock...in Biblical days, the livestock being goats and sheep. The shepherds, in "Shepherd's Field" between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, who heard the angelic announcement of the birth of Jesus became the first Jews to worship Jesus [see Magi, above]. In the Old Testament, the word shepherd often implied the coming Messiah.

Sin: Sin is an act ommitted or committed that results in negative effects on "right relationships". Sin originally came into the world through the disobedience of Adam & Eve [a short story]. Jesus pretty much clarified that even sinful thoughs are sinful, and that any one sin is as bad as any other. Further, he clarified that God is the loving father of mankind, His creation and not a hanging judge. God's son, Jesus, died to pay the sin debt for all past, resent, and future humans. Sin is of two kinds:

  1. original sin or depravity: that spiritually &, I believe, genetically-altered-by-God inherited corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is:

    >dispositionally "tilted" downhill... & inclined toward the low road, negative mindset, self-centered, and away from outward love toward God or humans.

    >
    very far gone from (1) original righteousness or the pure state at the time of human creation & (2) open to the internal incoming of evil spirits; and,

    >
    in a state of fundamental aversion or disinclination to God; and,without a holy spiritual life; and,

    >
    ALWAYS inclined continually to actual/personal evil.

    >
    This is so until the heart is "cleansed" by the incoming baptism of the Holy Spirit & that human possesses the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit as helper.

    >
    It may be an earthly struggle for an individual learn to (1) call on that indwelling Holy Spirit (2) actually sense the leading, and (3) decide to act accordingly! The results can be amazingly positive/uplifting!
  2. and actual or personal sin:

    >a voluntary violation of a known law (commandments) of God by one capable of knowing right from wrong, which

    >is not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct that are the residual effects of "the Fall" of original sin; and/or,

    >includes attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called sins of the spirit; and/or,

    >there are sins we commit (sins of commission) and sins due to failure to do things (sins of omission).
    >
    Personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love.


Sin is commonly thought of as active, willful, definite, negative rebellion against God...a great amount of it able to be characterized in absolute terms...beginning with the ten commandments. Sin has the immediate and certain effect of placing separation or hindrance in the relationship between the person and (1) God and (2) humans. Sin...in both attitude or behavior...acts to dam up the self-realization of the flow of God's grace into a person's life. KEY POINT: there is no such thing as private sin...ALL sin is against God, first and foremost. No sin...white lies or other...is considered trivial! All sin has a root, and that root runs directly to a basic, unfulfilled need. Except for "pride", all sins cry out, "I have a need!" Pride cries out, "I need nothing! I can manage by myself!" The essence of sin is a shift from positive God-centeredness to self-centeredness...it is anything which detracts from the glory of God. Because it can, therefore, be so subtle and unrecognized, we need to pray to the Holy Spirit to search us and convict us of any unrecognized and unconfessed sin. KEY POINT: because we let the evil spirits in, those spirits act out the sins through us. Such evil spirits can be cast out in the name of Jesus! I am vaguely familiar with one small church used by God to help cast such spirits & demonic forces out.

Soul: Only two things on earth are eternal: the soul of each human and the Word of God. The soul is the non-material sum of a person's mind, will, emotions, and spirit. God speaks to your soul through the window called your "spirit"; Satan speaks through the window called "flesh".

Sovereign: as referring to God: His absolutely supreme headship and power over all things. He can cause to have anything done which He desires to be done. He does not NEED your money, your commitment, your approval, your support, your vote or anything from anyone. If He desires that a thing occur, it can/will be done...no matter what. He is under no external restraint whatsoever. Yet...though He is the supreme dispenser of all events...He has determined, from the time of Adam and Eve forward, that an unknowable proportion of the totality of what a "man" does will be according to mans' own free will. 

Spirit: A person's internal human spirit is the "window" through which God communicates with your soul. This spirit is like a radio or TV receiver of all information of the senses and brain thoughts...and it is somewhat self-tuning on its receiver dials...the receptor sites that are activated the most frequently & intensely become the most sensitive...the most attuned...to their stimulants (righteous receptors vs. lust receptors, for example). A person is composed of a physical self, a soul self, and a spirit self (spirit being a component of soul). Demonic (sinful) and angelic (righteous) spirits (evil vs. good) can influence & entice your spirit to conceive a desire within you about which you make a decision or choice to act or not act on that desire. If a sinful thought stimulates your spirit lust receptor for that sin, you may ignore it; or, that thought might carry you away to conceive lustful thinking of you carrying out that thought...and you may go ahead and actually act & carry out the thought. "Sin of commission" (you "commit" a sin)  is from the point of conception through the act of the sin. When a believer feels "in the spirit" or "filled with the spirit", it means they are in a state of real & focused worship& praise that gives the person a joyous and lifted feeling. The Holy Spirit is YHWH God in the aspect of the enabler coach of the Holy Trinity.

Stewardship: The natural state of man, in a world in which all is owned by God, is that man has no eternal possessions. Mans' "ownership" of anything of this world terminates at death. But the concept of stewardship goes further: this is God's world; all in it belongs... in every respect...to God. Everything...including our minds, talents, abilities, physical attributes, and personalities...is on loan from God. Implied in the term "stewardship" is that we must have the attitude of good and capable managers, heads, overseers, and/or ambassadors of all that God owns and/or has temporarily gifted us with.

Submit to: as in "wives are to submit to husbands". The biblical meaning is that one "put their things in order under"...[example] [about "authority"]

Substitution: the human race is acceptable to God, not because of any human merit, but because of the death (as a propitiation...see above) of Jesus (who died, not primarily out of sympathy, care, or love for humans) who did so out of love and obedience to the Father (the Father having conceived of reconciliation through propitiation). The sin of mankind (past, present, and future) had to be paid for...God's perfect attribute of "justice" requiring satisfaction. In obedience, Jesus...as our substitute...took/bore all of this sin upon himself and died for mankind. By substitution, Jesus became the atonement resulting in the manifestation of God's grace: God's grace is expressed as a salvation invitation to any human, in any condition, and under any circumstance who will believe that Jesus did this substitution for us and ask Jesus to come into their heart and be their personal savio r. 

Synagogue: At the time of Jesus, this was not a structure but a designation of those Jews gathered to hear the teaching (anywhere). The leader of such a group was called an achisynagogos at the turn of BC-AD; a Rabbi was the teacher. A priest was something else. The synagogue, becoming larger and more organized and needing a building, built a synagogue building which was for the reading and the study of the Torah and The Law. After the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in the first century AD, the synagogue building began to be a place of more functions (such as prayer & liturgy. 

Temple: At the time of Jesus, this was the place of dwelling of a God (for the Jews, the dwelling place of Yahweh [YHWH]). Uniquely for the Jews, (1) there was no image or representaion of YHWH, such as a statue; and (2) there was only one Temple which (3) which had to be on the Temple Mount. The worshippers did not go into the Temple residence area of the God. Jews offered sacrifices to God at the Temple (the temple not being the place of teaching). 

Tempt...temptation: a solicitation that catches your notice...a stimulation of your spirit receptors. Temptation is not a sin; having a thought about the sin is not a sin; but conception (thinking about you doing the sin) begins the sin which is completed when you actually "do" it. It is the choosing to enjoy and/or act on the desire that converts from temptation to sin.

Tenacity: is much more than endurance...it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are working at or seeking will be completed or found. A stubborn refusal to believe that your effort will fail...that your patience will not be rewarded. 

Testament: a noun meaning a legal-like promise such as a will or agreement; a covenant. The Bible is divided into the Old Covenant (testament) & the New Covenant (testament).

Thanksgiving: a grateful acknowledgement of benefits, favors, and helps bestowed on you by someone. Related to praise and worship. 

Theology: Theology is reasoned discourse concerning beliefs about God. So, there are as many variations concerning theological beliefs as there are people who recognize God: no two people maintain the exact same set of beliefs about God. And, even a single individual person's theology changes with time, experience, and study.

Thorough: done to a degree of completeness [more] & with attention to detail so as to be an effort of excellence.

Time: Mechanical or electronic clocks did not exist in ancient times; however, the people of Bible History still measured the time of day by "hours." The equivalent term for hour is first found recorded in the Scriptures in the book of Daniel, and later, in the words of Jesus, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:9). The term "hour" referred to a period of time, one-twelfth of the daylight part of the day. While daylight is longer in summer than in winter, and therefore summer "hours" were longer than winter "hours," as a general rule the first hour was equivalent to 6 to 7 am on a modern-day clock, and so on.

Tolerance: a virtue...the personal condition of being willing to accept, relate to (without displays of damaging rejection), those who are different than you.

Transfiguration: the happening on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36) wherein Jesus was caused to shine like the sun; and, in the presence of Moses (the old covenant...The Law) and Elijah (the prophets), Jesus (the new covenant) had his deity verified by the voice of God which was clearly heard by three witnesses (James, John, and Peter) and attested to by Peter in his last writings (II Peter 1:17).

Trinity: The Trinity, as a word for a designated reality, never appears in the Bible (just as "grandfather" may not appear). Rather than points of orthodoxy & dogma, the important TRUTH is that "the Holy Trinity" is a way to describe the amazingly intimate aspect of the love & grace of God as He, relationally, seamlessly & willingly takes on three (3) different personas as He relates to His creation (God the Father, God the Son [Jesus], & God the Holy Spirit). More HERE.

Truth: As a noun, this word has to do with what is true, actual, accurate, and correct. Truth has these characteristics:

  •   has universality: it is the same for all and can not be private (only your opinion can be private).
     
  • is objective: it corresponds with what is "out there". You can't just make up your own truth.
     
  • is without contradiction: qualified, honest, and truthful persons may contend the truth but can not produce compelling evidence against "truth".
     
  • it can be known: while truth may be difficult to elucidate or learn, it is inherently knowable.
     
  • originates in God: Jesus is the person of "the truth", "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." [quoting Jesus, himself, in John 14:6] And the Holy Spirit is the power behind THE TRUTH!

Virtue: personal, acquired attributes [here]...helping toward moral goodness... given by God through Jesus so that our lives are changed in such a way that we reflect the "right" of righteousness in such a way that we are salt and light to a fallen world (Colossians I, chapter 1). 

Walk: a persons "walk" is his/her daily way of living this life on earth.

Will of God: God's will is the desire behind His plans, a desire that comes from the perfect, all-knowing Divine. What could be better for me than for God's will...with respect to me...be done in every detail? Why won't we pray for His will to be done for us?...fear of where He will direct us. But, we should depend by faith on the truism that the love and grace of God will not take a person where the love & grace of God will not protect that person.

Wisdom: an attribute of being skillful to judge or discern while using intelligence, sensibleness, and reasonableness. [getting wisdom, a process flow chart].............[the keys in Proverbs 1-4] [wisdom promise]

Word of God: this is the scripture of The Bible.

Works: things done for the advancement of the cause and Kingdom of Christ and giving & performing acts for others in the name of Jesus and to the glory of God. Works have the danger of becoming idols and sources for boastful pride both in the doer of the works and the congregation to which that worker belongs. Pressure to do works can become the source of both rebellion (I'm quitting...they are asking too much) and despair (I'm no good...I can't do as much as he does). And works can even be a doctrine of requirement to justify getting into Heaven in some religions.

Worry: from German "wurgen" = "to choke"; to strangle or choke the mind or harass the mind with anxiety.

Worship: It is from the older English word "worthship" meaning pondering and praising the worth of the subject or being "worthshipped". It consists of thoughts, observations, hearing and actions of a positive inner "heart" response of love and positive feelings and commitment to someone or something being worshipped. Worship of God means to awaken the conscience to the holiness of God. Though worshiping in groups and churches is worthy, there is no command to do so. One can worship perfectly adequately alone or in small groups or gatherings. Church worship can be uplifting and inspirational. But, in our colonial times, people such as Roger Williams stood against "forced worship". William's quote is, "Forced worship stinks in God's nostrils!" What/who do you worship?...hopefully only the one and only triune God of the entire universe and eternity beyond! 

Wrath of God: Up through the USA Salem witch trials of the 1690s, there was no "scientific" knowledge. Natural phenomena such as lightning could only be conceived of as the work of Satan or the wrath of God. It was Capt. James Cook of the second half of the 1700s who demonstrated so well the infant science of oceanic navigation. The nature of the terror of lightning would not be proven to be electricity until about 1750 (Ben Franklin). Antibiotics to save us from deadly infections would not arrive until 1930-40. Causes of "terrors" have been found so that it is now more plausible to understand the love & grace of God rather than such a focus on natural events as being the wrath of God.  

Yoke: as Jesus spoke of taking on His yoke, he had in mind the yoke placed on animals to help them submit to the pulling of the plow or the wagon (pulling a load)...submitting to toiling with the master. It symbolizes submission of the yoke bearer to the yoke giver. For a true Jesus believer to discard the yoke of Christ is like a bird deciding to discard its feathers!!

 

 

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(posted March 1998; latest minor addition 16 July 2014)