Adversity: this is a noun for an item or condition that goes against yours or an entity's best intersests (misfortune, ill luck, bad luck, trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, tribulation, woe, pain, trauma).
Agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known for sure of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. Not a synonym for atheistic.
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").
Anabaptist:After the Protestant reformation, this group pushed being re-baptized again (though originally infant baptized (today also includes German Baptists, Mennonites, and Amish...Wikipedia) and that baptism is only valid when the person confesses their faith and truly wants to be baptized. They believe they should have no alliance to authority other than Christ & withdraw from "The World" and live by a code of non-violence & live as simple a life as possible. They baptized by sprinkling. Later were the Brethren who baptized as Jesus was baptized by total immersion in a running river (nicknamed "Dunkers").
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.
Anger: this is the negative emotional reaction when something or someone causes a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility arise within us. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Anxiety (anxious): The mental state of a divided mind (as between choices). Check
out anxiety basis. To the "fully saved" follower of Christ, anxiety is a result of envisioning without solidly keeping in mind the power-filled truth of your indwelling divine relationship.
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.]
Arrogance: the emotional state of having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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. An agnostic is not the same as an atheist. Atheists are said to be the most easily converted from belief in no
god into states of idolatry. Some claim that it is a religion. Many atheists would certainly be categorized as being filled with faith in what they believe, particularly the so-called “New Atheists”. It would be better to consider those persons to be anti-theists (“against God”) or misotheists (“haters of God”). These men and others like them spend much of their time railing against the Creator whom they say doesn’t even exist. Strangely enough, these misotheists seem to be more obsessed with God than most Christians appear to be! They most certainly hold to their cause and beliefs with ardor and faith (Merriam Webster dictionary broadly defines "religion" as a cause or principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor & faith). YET, there are actually no true atheists--just persons who CLAIM to be atheists. How so? The all-knowing God of the Bible informs us that He has made it evident to all people that He exists, but that unbelievers try to suppress that knowledge (Romans 1: especially 18-20), HERE. As former atheist, Frank Pastore notes, atheists fail to account for & explain the FOUR "big bangs": (1) the cosmological (beginning of the cosmos, (2) the biological (how does life arise from non-living matter), (3) antropological big bang (how did evolution begin), and (4) the psychological big bang (how do we account for the free will, introspection, moral, artistic, and sensibilities of mankind & not animals).
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.
Baptism: spiritual baptism is that special result of the incoming of the Holy Spirit to indwell those at the time of truly believing in Jesus (note John 1:33). Through this mysterious, unfathmable miracle, that believer is involved in an intimacy with God that intertwines every fiber of his or her being for eternity! This is spiritual baptism. Other forms of baptism are related to this process and could even trigger this process. But, at the very least, the one being baptized becomes "clothed in Jesus"...he or she puts on Jesus if done in a sincere fashion. Baptism discussion, HERE.
Believe & "saving belief": as to "believe in" Jesus in a personal state of "saving belief"...such belief is much more than a
calculated hope and is more than just a mental assent (agreement) to an idea. It is not a surrender to a persuasive
power. It is a surrender of your "will". Worldwide, most non-believers are that way because (1) they never heard, (2) they are/were indifferent, (3) they are procrastinators on dealing with the issue of belief, or (4) they are distracted by The World. 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 generate a feeling of real confident and solid 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 for eternity (no matter what happens after that moment of belief) so that you are indwelt by His supernatural availability (your life can be as close as you are willing to make it to the true triune God) in facing the challenges of life in this world. I call it being "fully saved". You can thereafter undergo strengthening
and maturing in The Way...the faith...throughout the rest of your life. Finally, realize that the fact that you would be both (1) willing and (2) "want to" believe
is a gift to you from God that is given to the Elect
[theological definition]. [see "theology", BELOW]
In a larger context, Christian beliefs are on quite a large spectrum for almost all facets! Such belief spectra exist in almost every arena of human thought and discourse. AND, people in all arenas have beliefs which they are willing to honestly express in writing, conversation, and verbal or written debate. Many tout beliefs which are not genuine and they do so in order to fit in with what they percieve as social "group think" within some group they happen to be in. THEN, there are their personal, private, internally confidential Christian beliefs which they share with few or no others.
Benevolent: an attribute of unselfish concern for the welfare of
those He loves.
Bible: The book containing in Scripture form the Word
of God revealed by God, inspired ("breathed" by God) to those divinely appointed to write it down,
and illuminated then and far into the future generations to the believer by the teaching power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within the
Jesus believer. The Old Testament speaks of a coming Messiah; the New Testament is (1) about the Messiah and how He came and (2) about the Messiah (Jesus Christ) showing what it means to have one God and (3) what Jesus came to otherwise illuminate about right relationships between man and God and man with man (HERE). 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 such a non-indwelt reader. [more]...
Biblicism: the tendency of a Bible reader or student wanting to understand The Way of Jesus to appeal to individual biblical verses, or collections of (apparently) uniform verses from various parts of the Bible, to give the appearance of clear, authoritative, and final resolutions to what are in fact complex interpretive and theological issues generated by the fact that we have a complex and diverse Bible.
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: In this fallen world, we can't be truly sure when God intercedes in our behalf or simply allows favorable things into our lives. Favorable things can be what comes in that is good and pleasing or what about us gets changed or amputated &, once gone, can be seen as a benefit. God blesses men by imposing his perfect attributes (such
as omniscience and omnipotence) in favor on them...to their benefit...to their good. Men bless God partly 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. Look to the next word, "blessed" and then read the Beatitudes of Jesus.
Blessed: When you are
"blessed" by God, you are filled with more than "happiness" and "joy"...like a much deeper
and fulfilling contented happiness. Being "blessed" is the above, for sure. And, the favor of a divine blessing onto you always means
that what was given is to pass through you in a beneficial manner to others. BUT, consider who Jesus says are blessed in The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12): the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger & thirst, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted. WOW! What? Jesus wants all of us to know that even these are blessed by what God has done in giving (making Him available) to all of mankind.
Blind: This word means either or both of (1) loss of eyesight or (2) inability to see (believe) what is apparent. The story of Jesus' healing of the man blind from birth (John 9:25) includes the illusion of the bathing in Saloam and the gaining of sight (insight?...knowing belief). We recall, "seeing is believing", which can also disclose the truth that, in order to see (Jesus), you have to believe! See HERE and HERE.
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
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 of [putting on hold...setting our interests
aside for awhile...even dying] 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" or "Jesus Christ".
- 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. As Sarah Young so beautifully said it in Jesus Calling, "Bask in the luxury of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I [Jesus] see you: radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood. I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when Heaven becomes your home. It is My life within you that is changing you from glory to glory. Rejoice in this mysterious miracle! Thank Me continually for the amazing gift of My Spirit within you." 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.
- less strictly, a person fitting in to a culture dominated by Christian ways.
- 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 (the local body of believers) gather to worship God. But, THE
CHURCH UNIVERSAL is the worldwide sum (both living and dead) of all Holy Spirit indwelt true
believers in Jesus Christ of Nazareth who constitute a living body through whom Jesus does His work
Closeness to God: it is one thing to absentmindedly go through rituals about God. Even for those who are fully saved, you can be simply indwelt or you can be actively seeking closeness with our triune God of Abraham. This is done by actively participating in Christian fellowship with other believers, hearing the preaching about our triune God & His desires for us, frequent speaking with God (prayer), and reading and reflecting on The Word of God (Bible). God will not force closeness on us; you can be as close as you are willing to be...THINK about THAT!
Commandments: Whether issued by God, Himself, or through the Prophets, or through Jesus, they are His tough-love rules for living rightly in this fallen world. See This Page.
Communion: Jesus commanded that followers of The Way of Jesus do this in remembrance of Him. A Holy Communion is the sacred eating of the bread (symbolizing the body of Christ) and drinking of the wine (symbolizing the blood of Christ), HERE. Various churches have differing views and proceedures for this. The point is to concretely remember that Christ died for us ALL.
Community: The Way of Jesus emphasizes the longing and need of humanity for community...a sense of togetherness (whether similar or not)! Though every single human is distinct & different from all others, unity is yearned for. The nature of our Triune God in three persons Divinely shows that the top-down best way for humanity is, amazingly, unity by way of differences and otherness! In a population-based way, this would be reflected in various "tribes" (biker enthusiasts, for example) or groups of similar looking or similar thinking or similar interested humans woven together with different "tribes". If we will just look at the world around us, "difference" and "otherness" are intrinsic to God's design of His Creation.
Compassion: Generally and broadly, the word means "suffering together with another". Its an emotional feeling (1) of sympathy or
empathy for another/others stricken by misfortune and (2)
usually accompanied by the observer person's desire to help alleviate the
suffering. Pity is similar but keeps a distance and does not participate in alleviating suffering. This is an emotion with significant risk. Con artists
play on the compassion of good people all the time. Actions based on compassion
often end up causing unfortunate consequences for the person on
whom the help is bestowed (two faces of compassion = feel good vs. do good, HERE). 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".
Condemn; condemnation: "To judge" is not synonymous with "to condemn"! In its broadest sense, "to judge" is to make either a quick or thorough evaluation of a person, thing, or situation. People who judge well have a high percentage of advantageous choices with favorable, positive consequences. But, thinking in the Old Testament frame of mind...harsh, suzerain reality in & between nations...these words, "to judge", are "naturally" heard in a harsh, legal vein. As Jesus came later & clarified God as the God of love, mercy, and grace, one can find another vein of meaning. That vein of meaning is that, following a final judgement, one is in a state of "condemned" (set) at a lower level of Divine relationshipping (sort of like the wifi signal between the parties is way too weak or even absent) than it would if one was a Jesus believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is only through this indwelling spirit that we get the Divine power to change ourselves in the earthly life for the better AND THEN to be in a perfect & ecstatic communion with God in the everlasting life in eternity.
Confession: (1) Meaning #1: Spiritually, this is 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. (2) Meaning #2: Denominational beliefs: Many denomonations create a "confession"...set of agreed-upon Christian beliefs (sort of like a creed) that characterizes their particular denomination or sub-denomination.
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
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, to convert or be converted, refers to that moment when an individual actually believes in Jesus as Savior, Messiah, and has the incoming of the Holy Spirit to indwell for eternity. When aroused by the testimony or effects of an individual or
event...one of The Elect...prepared and "set up" by the Holy Spirit, such 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", though they may not yet "see". After conversion comes...hopefully but not for sure...regeneration (if the
convert "receives") begins. Before that person senses any change, there may be doubt about having become "saved"; and there may be several events of being baptized or "accepting Christ" before that person KNOWS that she/he is now different...changed...converted.
Covet: yearn to possess or have something or someone. Covetousness is the thing that one of the Ten Commandments warns against & is the underlying sin with states of envy and jealousy.
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
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
or bond (contract) and originally was in the Hebrew faith and societal sense of a bond between God & God's
people...a non-parity agreement (defined in 1700s as suzerainty...not between equals). 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 between humans, the commonest being a suzerainty treaty.
Of ancient treaties, there were two types: (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. The Bible is divided into the Old Covenant (testament; there were 5 subdivision covenants: Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Priestly, & Davidic) & the New
Covenant signalled in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (testament; one covenant, Luke 22:20 by the blood of Jesus), HERE.
Creation: The issue of creation is one in which Christians tend to be supportive (but many kept confused by the seclarist scientists). Secularists tend to be atheists or at least agnostic and consider that, by way of scientific (rather than biblical) reasoning, they are leaning on an array of pure, solid FACTS. Not so: science has changed its "facts" regularly, throughout history. In the end, God planned & effected Creation; and science is correct in having discovered some of the components of the creation process.
Creed: a carefully & concisely constructed consensus written statement...such as Christianity...of the faith (such as Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athenasian Creed).
Cross of the crucifiction of Jesus: In the first book of the Bible, the "tree of knowledge of good & evil" (Genesis 2:9) is noted, and Adam & Eve are warned to never partake of its fruit...but they did...and sin entered the Creation. There was a Tree of Life, too. Jesus died on "the tree"...the wooden cross...to pay the price of the sin of mankind. Hence, the Christian Cross is the prime powerful symbol that believers see in order to recognize their group of mankind. And, whereas that fateful act by Adam & Eve brought thousands of years of shameful sinning by mankind, the crucifiction & resurrection of Jesus also gave us the Cross as a mighty symbol of the grace & love of God. The Tree of Life is rooted in the wise plans of God...obtained by believers (as wisdom) possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit so that earthly things are put to death through what Jesus did on The Cross. As The Cross brings memories of the Tree of Life, that Tree of life is the Tree of Knowledge, the High Tree, the Tree of Wisdom, the Sheltering Tree, and the Tree of Healing.
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
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.
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 the consequences of sin as relected in 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 that deceased, biological corpse (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 the count of 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...maybe 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.
Demon: Demons are real (Mark 1:29-39); for demons (evil, bad, wrong, dark-influence, unclean spirits, etc.) and demonics, check HERE.
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.
Disciple: a follower, learner of, and practitioner of a method or way of an authority or expert. If you think of yourself as a Christian, are you a follower of the Way of hsitory's and the world's highest authority...the Lord Jesus?
Dispensation: check this out
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. These (doctrines) are sometimes referred to as the "confessions" of a Christian group.
Egotistical: this is a state of mind of being excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; self-centered. It does not conform to the teachings of Jesus. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Elect, the: Election: I wonder if "elect" persons are predominantly foreknown by God (rather than pre-determined by God). Anyhow they are conventionally said to be those who are chosen, foreknown, and "set apart" (as if
on a checklist) by God for eternal life with God...set apart through Jesus by election (the phenomenon which lead Calvin to the doctrine of predestination). In a similar way, Israel
was & is God's originally 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, some serious 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 character factor that includes large numbers of people with the ability of endurance and indicates a wider step beyond endurance.
Enemy: An enemy is (1) an actively opposing opponent and or (2) someone who weakens or harms someone else. What humans do that (1) interferes with
right relationships (a sin of commission) or (2) fails (by your ommission in acting right) to foster right relationships makes a person an enemy of God.
Enslaved: the condition of having become a slave [defined HERE] to some thing, some person, or some institution. If government and/or charitable programs "throw a rope" of help to you that only lifts you up high enough that you hang on for fear of the fall...but does not have a path to lift you OUT, then you may have become unwittingly enslaved!
Ensoulment:this is the action of the soul being introduced into a new human at some unknown time prior to birth.
Envy: It is a type of loss of self esteem arising out of covetousness. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life. Envy is a resentment of what others (1) possess or (2) have become in life when compared to yourself & for which you actually have no right. Envy is doubly dangerous because, in a meritocracy such as the USA, political types can easily mobilize the large number of envy-filled citizens with promises and handouts which suppress aspirations and cause dependency. In countries without upward mobility, envy has no political use (because your status is simply the luck of your birth)
. "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). Jealousy is similar, but the feeling is over something essentially stolen from you or cheated from you to which you actually DO have a legitimate right.
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.
Eternity: For the ancient Jews and Greeks, the concept meant forever. But, as to the afterlife for the Jews, it meant that God was eternal. But, since God created man at a point in time, man was not eternal...man was immortal. Man went on in some form a long time after death but not forever and ever eternal. Saint Augustine argued that time was not eternal...that time and space were a creation of God. So, in a "time" sense, some would argue that it is more correct to consider that souls exist not just after (a "time" word) death...even moreso, beyond death. Dinesh D'Souza presents modern concepts of the the 3 dimensions of space, the dimension of time, and then such modern scientific thinking concepts as String Theory, one form of which sees 10 dimensions of space and one of time. So, the eternity that God is talking about could even transcend time...even do without time. In short, D'Souza exposes (1) how often mankind has thought that it "knew it all" and was wrong or incomplete. And, (2) he shows how scientists and famous atheist spokespersons can have a blind eye. [D'Souza, Life After Death: The Evidence, 2009, 269 pages & very readable.] As he notes, the profound implication of eternity right NOW is that we treat others as immortal souls and not just perishable biological bodies.
Evangelist (Christian type): an advocate, ambassador, announcer, marketer, proclaimer, teller, testifier, "messenger"
(of the Gospel of Jesus). To evangelize is to be involved in any aspect of "messengering" (in
religion, taking the message of that religion...telling about it). 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. Evangelizing is person to person, revivals, crusades, and now by the internet [ see the Jesus Film online...an amazing video/film evangelizing tool to reaching billions IN THEIR OWN native language; and see Billy Graham Evang. Assoc. BGEA on line evangelizing; and; and see Global Outreach Media (GOM)]. 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 HOLY SPIRIT indwelt "newcomer"...a convert to Christianity. The David Wood Ministries (personally known to me) is a Christian organization devoted to supplying tools to new indigenous ministers in emerging Christian areas to help THEM help more of their own neighbors become "newcomers" in the following of Jesus Christ. Without true belief and conversion, the Holy Spirit does not enter that person and indwell so as to be a Divine power source. That power source can help thwart forces which try to pull the convert away from his/her new faith. The effects of excellent marketing (telling) can only last so long without the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Evil: Except that Satan is 100% evil, evil does not exist
unto itself. Evil is the absence of God. As darkness is the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat, "evil" is a
word that man has created to describe the varying absence of God. God did not create
evil. Evil is the result of what happens when humans have a variable absence of God's love present
in their hearts.
In humans, there is an ineradicable
fallenness that some would call basic evil. Humans all are on this spectrum or continuum: (1) at one end is "thoroughly good"...the least manifested fallenness and (2) at the other end is "thoroughly evil". From a religious perspective, humans are caught in a titanic struggle between the forces of good & evil...between God (agape love to a Divine degree end of spectrum) and satan (malignant narcissisistic self love). 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. [this is NOT the same as presence or absence of "religion"] That is, evil manifests itself in the absence of God. Humans can be Godly and be believers and yet have "pockets" or "streaks" of evil...or, at the extreme, be religious narcissists. The line between God and Satanic evil does not run between "us" & "them" but through each human's heart! . From a scientific viewpoint, psychiatrist Dr. Scott Peck's 1983 book, People of the Lie, points out features strikingly present in actual, certifiably evil persons: (1) narcissim (selfish, self-centerred; "its all about me"); (2) inability or refusal to admit to fault or wrong; (3) arrogance; and (4) they often have child-like magical thinking (their thoughts about things in and of themselves make things "so") in the sometimes very subtle context of obsessive-compulsive behaviors to the degree of a neurosis. They tend to be con artists. His encounters of several thoroughly evil folk evoked a gut reaction that instantly put him on guard. One way to think on this is the "saying" that there are two wolves inside of each human, HERE.
Evolution: Almost always confused with "evolutionary adaptation", this is the unprovable theory (essentially a "faith" among arch believers) that everything started as the simplest form of matter to gradually progress to all of the living and non living matter we see today. This evolution is counter to the universally scientifically accepted second law of thermodynamics. These evolutionists tend to be very aggressive in trying to shut down any discussion that disagrees with them.
Evolutionary adaptation: this is the actual observably true process whereby living creatures succeed and reproduce surviving next-generation creatures who survive. Then the survivors (who survive by luck & superior "fitness" [intelligence, adaptibilty, and strength] reproduce what may be a line of offspring of ever-improving & adapting qualityt & success.
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. With true Christian faith, the one hoping in faith is indwelt by the Holy Spirit ("fully saved"), a situation that offers divine "leading" in making correct choices in all matters. When we board an airplane, we all have worldly 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, friendly mentors, preachers, etc. It does so with little or no actual personal search for proof of the reliability 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. Believers gain faith through parental influence and teaching, association with faith-filled family and friends, and through Christian readings, movies, church service and Sunday School attendence, and the powerful influences of older adults as we, ourselves, move toward adulthood. As adults, we continue to gain faith through fellowship with faith filled people. Many have found strong faith when faced with adversity. 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!
Fallen: Jesus eternally loves each and every human and is able to rescue each one if they let Him into their lives. "Fallen" is the basic, fundamental state of mankind..."the human condition"..."fallen humanity. AFTER the fall of Adam and Eve, we speak of the "fallenness" of mankind. HERE.
Family: The family is the basic unit of societal stability and maintains its integrity since the Law of Old Testament days & then after Jesus came by placing prime value on a family foundation based on God & strict attention to The Golden Rule and righteous interpersonal behavior & relationships that are highly respectful of strong societal norms of, among many things, morally restrained sexual behavior and constant attention to right relationships & law-abiding behavior. Relativism does not work to the common good and creates a blindness about consequences. "As sex goes, so goes the family; as the family goes, so goes the society." Parents are the prime source of earthly HELP for their children.
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...with respect to God (the Lord), "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"...your reverential awe, adoration, and submission to His will). 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
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
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.
Fool: though us defined as "a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person", a fool actually is a person who is seriously lacking in the amount of wisdom he or she should possess in view of their age, life experiences, and amount of knowledge they possess.
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 (rather than politically or legally):
The ability as a human 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:
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 which makes the believer qualify for forgiveness in a way that they actually can get a grip on the fact that they are forgiven. If Jesutruly paid the price for ALL of mankind, then the unbeliever, though forgiven, can never really get comfortable that they ARE forgiven!
- 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. As a believer, pray as often as you must that God help you FEEL freedom from the guilt that you feel (and do this each time in the future that you feel guilty. Also, in quiet, confidential, private prayer, discuss with Jesus any sins that you still know of and ask for help).
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 indwelling of the Holy Spirit into the divine relationship of eternal salvation: a forgiveness that impacts through
The person can then gain
future additional benefit with the constant unburdening (while still on Earth) that comes with
his/her regular confessing & private discussions (I John 1:9) of sins..as noted above...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. The documentary, The Power of Forgiveness is said to explore forgiveness in an academic way, looking at many faiths & some scientific studies, HERE (I have not actually watched the documentary); and the source web site is HERE.
Gentiles: all (not Jews) other humans in the world not descended from Abraham and
Sara of the Middle East & detailed in Bible, Old Testament.
Generosity: a virtue meaning to give willingly to others of your time and/or self and/or what you
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).
Gnostic: one with a world view prizing "knowing" secret or
special information that lifts one above the mundane & the all-to-human. A
God: At least from the time of ancient history, mankind...in various ways...has acknowledged a god, gods. or God. From antiquity, there are visions of heaven and hell types of experiences or existence. The topic of NDE adds some scientific evidence of the true God who radiates love and acceptance. Some 99% of NDE testimonies (many are on YouTube) could give the impression that there is no advantage in Jesus "belief"...belief in God...but the advantages are HUGE. Firstly & generally for the whole world, after Jesus died on the Cross, the way was cleared for God to back off from roles of active wrath when His people were societally disobedient and could thereafter reset to a passive wrath roll...when wrath is warranted (if you desert Me, I'll let the negative consequences happen), HERE.
Here, we are talking about the true characteristics of...and only...God (with a capitol G)...the God of Abraham. He is not a monad (not a single unit); He is a relational community of three...the Trinity (God...Abba...the Father ["father" being a relational term], God the Son ["son" being a relational term], and God the Holy Spirit)...existing in a way mysterious way that some have tried to explain. To speak of God in a Christian way is always implying right relationship and community! And, Jesus informs humanity that God is filled with love, mercy, and grace toward His creation, especially the humans who are created in His image. As some have said, this is a God who gives and gives and gives. On earth and in the afterlife, He wants His humans to receive what He gives. To increase the intimacy between humans and God so as to "receive", we humans need to work on (1) our willingness to increase our state of receptivity to Him and (2) our willingnes and skills to increase our attentiveness to Him. Though there may have been rare exceptions throughout the history of mankind, the spiritually baptizing receipt of the internal, eternal indwelling Holy Spirit (get fully saved) by truly accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is the unique key to the fullest possible relationship with God. However, I do believe that the death of Jesus paid the price to spare all humans from eternal & complete separation from God (hell) but DID NOT set the stage for the perfect after-life relationship with God (again, see fully saved)...and see "closeness" while on this earth.
Golden Rule: Matthew 7:12 = "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." That is, always treat others as you would want them to treat you. A critical point is that this DOES NOT say to do the maximum or minimum amount that to others that you'd want them to do for you. I think this means to do...exactly appropriately for the situation...to others as you wish they'd do to you. And, in many fields of eneavor, that appropriateness is ever-changing. This is a key component of living your life in The Way of Jesus!
Gospel: Gospel = "good news"...that Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected from the grave so that salvation was/is a fact! It is incredibly important that the good news by told and presented to a person or peoples in THEIR language!!!Here is the good news in more detail: (1) Jesus
died to pay the price for the sins of all mankind (savior) & was entombed/"buried". Because of this act, every human can stand before God pre-judged as "not guilty" ("saved")...a wonderful thing but not even close to being fully saved. (2) Jesus
affirmed/proved to mankind who He is by undergoing resurrection (arising from the dead). (3) Upon a person's true belief in Jesus (personally accepting the truth of the Gospel), the Holy Spirit of God comes into that person (spiritual Baptism) to indwell forever [how could such indwelling NOT set up...enhance...that believer's relationship with God?...eventually to perfection in Heaven?]. (4) Once "fully saved"...indwelt, "Do not be afraid!" [Luke 12:32]. (5) 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"?
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.
Grateful, gratitude: as a follower of Jesus, you will become attracted to the mental state of gratitude (thankfulness) which is a condition or attitude of being grateful for what you have, both materially and mentally...in relationships, opportunities, and blessings of family and the society you are in. BONUS: Gratitude (thankfulness) takes the sting out of adversity
! WARNING: the type of government that you live under can destroy the foundation of gratitude = see HERE.
Greed: a consistent desire to have far more or demand the best
(in a highly unreasonable way) without regard to current or future need. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Guilt: state of being wrong, in error, illegal, in sin. Spiritually, 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. Guilt and false-guilt are negative emotions which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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
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).
Head: the Bible is, foremost, a portrayal of spiritual directions clarified especially by Jesus as to the fundamental bedrock of "right relationships". So, the "man" being the head in (1) a married couple relationship or of (2) a classical husband-wife family with children is first about his role as spiritual exemplar or leader. That is, a classical family without the father being the spiritual leader (not necessarily meaning "most knowledgeable") setting an example has an increased risk of adverse functioning. I don't know of any evidence from Jesus that being "head" is anything like an appointed or elected office or anything that is demanded or that "headship" is something that a wife "knuckles under" to.
Heart: that center-core "self" within an
Heaven: What comes to mind when we hear about "going to Heaven"? We think of a glorious place where God the Father resides...a place entirely for the after-life. Sarah Young has pointed out that, for the Jesus believer, Heaven is both present and future! And she notes that the essence of Heaven is closeness to Him (by way of the miracle of The trinity, believers are at once close to the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ holding our "right hand", and God the Father). By that fact, believers are already on the way to Heaven! The thousands of stories from Near Death Experiences also give comforting glimpses as to Heaven. While most think of Heaven as place, realm, dimension, or state "up there", it may be that Heaven gets instituted here through a Divine & radical transformation of the earth and/or into a new dimension where there is a mix of those in PERFECT union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit plus all of those who were spared by the blood of Jesus but did not "believe" and gain the eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Hell: At least as originally thought, Hell was a place, realm, dimension, or state devoid of connection with, or presence of, the one true triune God where souls go permanently (or would have gone without the atoning
death of Jesus) in the absence of being made righteous for Heaven with God. BUT, the death of Jesus has reconciled mankind and its sins with God (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). So, if complete separation has been cured by The Atonement, might "Hell" now be what those who got The Atonement by the blood of Jesus but never chose Jesus as Savior experience? Verse 28 in Matthew 10:24-39. There is at least one testimony which indicates that, at the near death or death of a non-believer, that person's soul might at least briefly become the fully tormenting evil that the person had sided with on earth (see Tamar Laroux's powerful video testimony). Then these not-fully-saved recipients of The Atonement experience God's presence (in some way or degree) for eternity but with what amounts to a very poor cell phone connection? This poor cell-phone connection is or would have been completely cured by fully-saving Belief and the eternal personal internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If you are indwelt for eternity with the Holy Spirit, you cannot experience the Hell of the afterlife. [but, see Holy Spirit indwelling, below]... [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 Spirit: The Spirit was sometimes sent "upon" people prior (HERE) to the conception of Jesus in His mother, Mary. He is the "comforter" in the sense of being an "advocate" (which Jeus promised, John 14:16) (Greek word Parakletos..."paraklete") entity of the triune God for the benefit of the believer. The Holy Spirit sired only one human in all of world history, Jesus the Son...the Christ. This advocate is God as His own personal representative here on
earth...the aspect of God to indwell and be within a person so as to lend strength, encouraging
support, and to give direction as to what to do or what to avoid. Either upon spiritual baptism at an age of reason or upon confirmation of infant baoptism at the age of reason, that person...in essence...is saying, "I want You [Jesus] and the indwelling advocate/comforther that you promised to your followers. The "voice" is mostly like a spiritual nudge...rarely loud & unmistakeable. I like Leonard's editorial relative to life-direction "speakings", HERE. In Old Testament times, God's Holy Spirit was Divinely placed upon some in a ministry which I think is called "enduement". At Pentecost, the Church Age began with the possibility of spiritual baptismal eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit which began at Pentecost. Holy Spirit power..."enduement"...may be given (as an answer to prayer?) on top of (in addition to) the personal indwelling within the Jesus believer. The Holy Spirit gives "gifts of the Spirit" which...if used...result in "fruits of the Spirit". Indwelling the born again believer, I believe the Holy Spirit also imparts an eternal advantage of perfect resonance of intimate communion between that believer and Almighty God in the afterlife. This perfect communion throughout eternity is what I believe represents perfect spiritual "life" (as opposed to spiritual "death") and is the difference between Heaven and Hell. This would seem to explain why Jesus can indicate that He paid the price of sin for all of mankind and, yet, there would be some eternal difference between those who do and did not believe in Him. The Holy Spirit is applicable to this saying about the two wolves inside of each human. And [HERE] is about the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity (God [Father], Jesus [Son], and The holy Spirit...the Three in One).
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
Hound of Heaven: Jesus is the Hound of Heaven, a moniker or nickname for the fact that Jesus will pursue and hunt down certain of those who have not come to full salvation...a great example is the Apostle Paul (see this astounding story in Acts chapter 22). Christian testimonies labled as such tend to be exaggerated ones which happen suddenly, dramatically, and stunningly as with George Foreman and Kirk Martin. I consider my own personal testimony to be an extremely subtle example.
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.
Idolatry: the state of giving top priority to (1) some thing or
activity (2) 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 idolatry involves
(2) the giving of respectability to our own opinions of God formed out of our own likeness and ideas.
And/or idolatry involves (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 factor. The lowered priority (less than #1) and/or
inaccurate view (non-Biblical) of who/what God is represents the key components of deity idolatry.
To put it in words as easily understandable as possible: top-priority faith and dependency
on anything ahead of God and
His will represents a kind of (maybe unconscious and ignorant) idolatry! Where do you put you time, momey, and energy? For example, though progressively developing a sense of self sufficiency is admirable, it is MUCH better to think in terms of being in a growing partnership with God through Jesus and with increasing ability to sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray to be released & elevated away from idolatry or idolatrous thinking!
Incarnation, The: Literally, this means "the enfleshment". An earthly king of a country or nation undergoes "coronation". In a general sense, this name reflects the status of the process & resulting entity when a diety embodies...puts on...human flesh. For Christians, this is the term for the Divine mystery of the Holy Spirit "coming upon" (Luke 1:35 & Matthew 1:18-25) Mary, mother of Jesus, to effect the conception that became the Baby Jesus...The Incarnation...& resulted in His birth which we celebrate each Christmas day (John 1:35). Jesus is The Incarnation of the one true God!
Individual: this implies "you" in the totality [elements of "individualness" & "profiling"] of all of your physical (material) and your soul and non-material characteristics as a "person" [check that link and this one, HERE] with all the attributes that
make him or her unique and compose his or her "life". See here; also, "personality" and "self", below.
Inferiority: It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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.
Interpret & interpretation: With respect to reading Scripture (the Bible), every person's mind interprets (gets the meaning out of) the words as they are read. We interpret (discern) a word's meaning by what we already think it means, by looking it up in a dictionary, or by what some other person says that it means. At that point, we interpret "literally". If we are interested in what it might have meant in the native language in which it was written and what the word might have meant back then, we engage in "historical-critical" interpretation. But, there is still a major gap. Much of the Bible was passed down orally in "street language". Later writing tended to be in classical, academic forms of the lanuage. So, correct "meaning" becomes a matter of faith in the over-riding themes of our Faith! Getting the meaning literally..."It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of God."..., this quote of Jesus, Himself, ought to scare nearly all Americans to death (Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). The correct meaning is much richer and faith building.
Jealous: Jealousy is that emotion of covetous displeasure with someone else's good
fortune because that person deprived you of...or cheated from you out of...that for which you actually have a legitimate right. Envy is a similar covetous feeling but over what someone else has to which you have NO right. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Jesus: He was sired...begotten (not made)...by the Holy Spirit (the spirit aspect of God) with Mary and is the human aspect of God (God as Man). For those who truely believe in Him and accept Him as their personal Savior, those get the eternal (present & future) benefit of a personal Divine, perfect friend and One who loves them with the deepest and most genuine & authentic & dependable love that is possible in the entire universe! Moreso, Jesus is NOT beyond (unavailable to) the common man or even the lowest human. Plus, He is King of all Creation. 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, His birth is well documented, and one Gospel mentions him at age 12 (Luke 2:41-52). Then we have the "missing years" until He is baptized as about a 30-year-old adult in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. It is thought that He grew up in...and lived during those "missing years"...in Nazareth (a population of about 500). 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 human or divine in the history of the world! Converts to Christianity who feel (or inactive Christians who finally give in and claim the Faith), in retrospect, that a "force" dragged them while resisting the "pull" into the Faith will sometimes refer to Jesus as the Hound of Heaven (as if Jesus were like a blood-hound who would not give up on the cold trail to that person's heart...some case examples, HERE). In a way, I am one of those. When a Jesus believer & follower has a need. he or she should simply say in a rip-cord prayer, "Jesus, help me!"
Jew: These are the middle-eastern descendants of Abraham and Sara and are responsible for the Hebrew Bible and founders of what is now known as Israel. HERE is the Wikipedia review. While the Romans intended to end Israel with the Temple destruction of 70AD, they actually set Judaism on a course far ahead of the rest of the world. The Temple in Jerusalem, in which sacrifices were performed by a small elite of high priests, and the reading and the study of the Written Torah, which was also restricted to a small elite of rabbis and scholars. (It was the power of this elite that the Jew Yeshua ben Josef, later know as Jesus Christ, so often decried.) Momentously, it canceled one of the two pillars of Judaism, shifting the religious leadership within the Jewish community from the high priests in Jerusalem to a much more widely dispersed community of rabbis and scholars. In so doing, it transformed Judaism into a religion whose main norm required every Jewish man to read and to study the Torah in Hebrew himself and, even more radically, to send his sons from the age of six or seven to primary school or synagogue to learn to do the same. In other words, literacy was required!"
The fruit of "Genesis 12:1-3" = Though not fully accurate, I have seen the following very thought provoking story several times on the internet: "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"
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
Judge: In its broadest sense, "to judge" is to make either a quick or thorough evaluation of a person, thing, or situation. People who judge well have a high percentage of advantageous choices with favorable, positive consequences. But, thinking in the Old Testament frame of mind...harsh, suzerain reality in & between nations...these words, "to judge", are "naturally" heard in a harsh, legal vein. "To judge" is not synonymous with "to condemn" [check out "condemn"]!
Judgementalism: This is a frame of mind as to at least two things: (1) watching others and thinking or even accusing them of sins or religious shortcomings. Or it refers (2) to the topic referring to a personal disposition or state of mind where-in you are quick to lump people profile types too quickly (& with a tendency for you to be resistant to changing that initial profile classification) into a category that is less desirable than your category. The Bible seems generally clear that Jesus is WAY more interested in your getting to truly know & be closer to Him and to The Way of Jesus than to be judging everything around you!
Justice: In the primitive "law of the jungle", might makes right; and there is no concept or need of justice. The justice idea enters when groups begin to organize. Legal & secular justice has to do with our receiving consequences which your actions "deserve" according to laws and/or societal customs. Jesus
satisfied the justice of God by taking upon Himself the death penalty that sinful humanity
deserved. But, in the Christian spiritual sense, Biblical justice involves making individuals, communities, and the cosmos whole, by upholding both goodness and impartiality. It stands at the center of true religion, according to James, who says that the kind of "religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27). Earlier Scripture says, "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern" (Prov. 29:7).
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.
Kingdom of God:
Synonymous with Kingdom of Heaven. This Kingdom [more HERE] is on earth and composed of all of those true believers in the one true God, a portion of which are the members of the Church Universal...those believers in Jesus Christ who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (more). There is NO WAITING until the afterlife for this Kingdom! Kingdom of God dwelling begins for the believer in foretaste fashion on earth. So, in TRUTH, history began anew with the resurrection of Jesus and effective 50 days later at Pentecost with wide availability of the Holy Spirit to anyone willing to believe and accept Jesus as Savior.
Knowledge:This is the body of known information which might be possessed by a person, a group, a nation, or mankind. It consists of factual information as well has writings (commentary, literature, scholarly stuff, etc.). A certain amount of knowledge is needed in order for a person to exist. But, knowledge is a route to the master sin of too much pride (being so very proud of how much you know). One's knowledge must become tempered by wisdom (wisdom at a common level is referred to as "common sense") so that you do not become foolish.
Language: Until the invention and wide-spread use of the printing press in 1440AD, 95% or more of humankind communicated in their own, local "heart language". As Jesus grew up, his culture spoke Aramaic. AS the Holy Spirit came down on the 500 or more from many countries at Pentecost, each person heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in his or her own tongue (language). Therefore, Bill Bright had the idea behind the plan to compose and distribute The Jesus Film (most viewed film, by FAR, in human history) in 1500 languages (by March of 2017) for the spread of the "good news"...the Gospel!
Law: A "law" within casual social groups may just be an unofficial custom. When the official society makes "laws", those are rules which the people are required to follow. When someone says, "the law" is coming, they tend to mean the police (the enforcers of the laws). From a biblical standpoint, The Law of God of the jewish Israelites was the overall set of directives for living life (found in the first five books of the Bible Old Testament...and these Bible books became amplified by additional laws by Israelite leaders). The Law of Moses refers to the Ten Commandments issued by God directly to Moses (the greatest mind and individual in Israelite history) to show humans the target for how perfect we ought to
attempt to be. The mass of 613 laws of The Law should, by its very bulk, show the futility of trying to obey it all perfectly on our own. On seeing this futility, The Law should finally convince us,
once and for all, that we MUST have a savior. That realization is meant to finally lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24); and God did finally
send Jesus as that savior to save us (1) from the penalty of the ancient Hell and (2) additionally give those who will believe in Jesus the eternally advantageous indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
As far as Paul was concerned (as Paul wrote and preached after the ascension of Jesus), there were no categories of laws within The Law where some applied and some didn’t. Personally taught as an Apostle by Jesus, Paul taught that if one felt that they had to obey any law of The Law, they would have to obey all of it. In another place (1 Cor 8:11) Paul actually refers to those who believe Old Testament (OT) laws still are the deciding factor for eternity as being our “weaker brothers and sisters”. This seems to indicate that Paul viewed those who still wanted to live rigidly under parts of the OT law as being spiritually immature (instead of morally superior). The Law is over- it was brought to the natural ending point with Christ’s death on the cross. Thus, The Law is not the end-all in the life of a Christian. From Jesus, it has been clarified that The Law is an expression of God's steadfast love and faithfulness as He uses them to point out stuff that brings negative consequences into human lives (and, for the Jesus follower, it is the Law of the Spirit of Life...Romans 8:2).
As to lawbreaking and sin, condemnation is the opposite of
justification. HOWEVER, this salvation through Jesus does not give anyone license to do things that lead others astray as happens when disobeying many of those laws in The Law (see Paul's story about this in I Corinthians 8:1-13). If you’re a Christian, you’re not under the old Law, but a new one: the teachings of Jesus found in the red words of the Bible. All this he said, could be summarized via “love God” and “love everyone else, too”. Live by right relationships! A source discussion, HERE.
Levites: These were a tribe of priests and Temple guards directly descended from Levi, a son of the patriarch, Jacob.
Lie: lies and lying are 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. It is a negative habit which, if done repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Life: In the arena of our world...Earth, it is the condition that distinguishes animals and plants..."living things"...from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. In a personal sense, it is (1) that biological element PLUS (2) "self" plus (3) any spiritual indwelling non-biological element such as the Holy Spirit or a demon(s) that might be present within.
"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
Love: Love is a thing that one must be able to (1) give, (2) receive, and (3) ferment in for it to have the uplifting effect we hope for. God, our heavenly Father, is the essence of true 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. His love does not depend on your performance; His love is constant and never ending for YOU! 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 magi 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
Marriage: We are talking here about a spiritual marriage within the organized faith of a classical religion such as Judaism or Christianity (in Christianity = a sacramental marriage). [more on MARRIAGE] I am not at all sure that ancient Israel had "marriage laws" in any way similar to the modern USA. And, early Christianity was not talking about legalisms either. The context of Biblical scripture on marriage was in those ancient times. As we can readily see in 2015 USA, the societal LEGAL definition of mariage is fairly easy to manipulate. But, in the days of Jesus' commentary in Israel, modern legalities were unimaginable. There is a difference between civil and sacramental marriage. Trying to force the definition of sacramental marriage upon the government is destroying the separation of church and state. Maybe we need to stop treating civil marriages like sacramental ones.
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
Mercy: not receiving what (punishment) you justly
Meritocracy: This is the the component of cosmic justice that is key to all of the religions of the world except one = your fate in the afterlife depends on what you merit. But Jesus declares at the outset that NO human is good enough to get to Heaven! Jesus makes it clear that the bar for "sinless" is incredibly high. Though some humans are better than others, Jesus (in essence) says that the differences are not enough to matter. Rather than merit, Jesus died to pay the price to nulify the adverse eternal consequences of sin for all of humanity. He simply asks that we acknowledge our sinfulness and accept God's grace...not a bit through our "merit".
Messiah: (1) 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 (2) the coming of Jesus, the Messiah to deliver humanity, HERE. Amazingly, the angel's announce the Messiah's arrival (the Epiphany) along with Simeon and Anna's separte stories of awaiting the Messiah & then recognizing and KNOWING that the baby Jesus was/is The Messiah (Luke 2:1-40, HERE)!
Mind: This is more than simply electrical and chemical reactions from/in a person's brain. The mind and soul have no weight or physical deminsions. The seat of the mind...the physical "CD player"...is the brain. That is, the brain is not causal. The brain is a gateway or transmission vehicle for the mind. We are sure that, of all God's creation, at least humans are convincingly shown to have complex minds for the consideration of pros and cons of consequences, good and bad, ethical and unethical, merciful and merciless, etc., PRIOR to taking action.
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 immaterial "self" to guide in the hopefully constantly strenghtening 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, the mind is the battleground between heaven and earth...between "good" and "evil"..."the two wolves within you". Upon becoming a Jesus believer and undergoing the instant indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you now have a divine Champion available to help you (you must learn to hear/discern its input) with your ever-restless mind. Long after you have learned some control over your tongue, you will find that your thoughts will defy your will to walk (live) the Christian walk. As one author has opined, the God-granted freedom and ability of people to think for themselves amounts to a godlike privilege.
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. Mt. Moriah: The site under that modern day Dome of the Rock within the old walled city of Jerusalem in Israel. See why it is so sacred to all three of the world's Abrahamic religions, HERE.
Miracle: this is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws or ordinary probabilities or expectations. A miracle can be tiny or can be earth-shaking and famous. It may be for a brief time, added time [HERE], or for a long time. Most importantly, it is a sign (John 2:11) of God in that it indicates that God has interceded beyond what one could expect naturally. A Christian "testimony" is sort of a miracle story about a life changed by Jesus in what is sort of proclaimed in a miraculous way.
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 (there are many) means the nature, the character, and the personality
of God as they have been revealed to us.
Obey, obedience: To many of us, to "obey" is doing what is asked or commanded of us & hasslave-like, negative overtones. In many ways, Jesus clarified living in right relationships that obedience is the
language of love to God (and to our fellow man)...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
Ordination: usually a ceremony to ordain a person & 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,
- 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
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 complete enablement of that
inner source can only be switched on by the
inner presence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ (through the indwelling in the believer of the Holy Spirit). 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
Person: A person is a soul-possessing human (soul plus biological, anatomical body)...an individual. The personal component of a "life". As noted in I Thess. 5:23-24, created humans have 3 main parts: (1) physical...biological..."body", and the non-physical "mind" with (2) soul and (3) spirit. There other components as facets of (2) and (3) that make up personality: will, intellect, emotions, conscience, heart, etc.
Generally, to be a person is to be capable of...or be of an animal kingdom "kind" usually capable of...rational thought and the formation of sentiments and have imagination. A "person" is able to be in "relationship", including some or all of relationshipping: with our Creator, with one another (first with your mother prior to birth), and with the "wider created order" (D. J. Zscheile, author of "The Agile church: Spirit-led Innovation in an Uncertain Age"). This word encompasses human material (biological) and nonmaterial aspects (to include a soul...which soul the indwelling Holy Spirit may or may not have yet indwelt). The Bible is unclear at what point between conception and birth (or even after birth) the soul enters a person. Surely, at that point of ensoulment, the person should have legal rights against being killed. Are cherubs baby souls in heaven? Therefore, in the absence of a clear, authoritative answer, I am going to personally presume that ensoulment takes place no later than when it gets that slightly human shape at about a half inch in length! Personhood, certainly after birth,
includes their personality, their intellect, their emotional self, their psychological self, their physical self, their social self, their all-important spiritual self, and their soul. A "person" includes such things as having free will! Think about it: without free will, freedom of choice is impossible and therefore morality is impossible and so are "respect", treating with dignity, etc., impossible. A wonderful book for laypersons about the tangle that philosophers get into on this topic is by Dinesh D'Souza, Life After death: The Evidence. As he clearly points out in Chapter 8, there is no possible material explanation for human consciousness and free will; they do not even have any natural explanation! Material things are perishable and destructible. It therefore follows that conciousness and free will...both being non-material...may not be bound by such material limitations. Being the defining features of the human soul, the implication is that, whatever might happen to our physical bodies & brains after death, our souls may well live on! The Trinity = God in 3 persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit)...Jesus also has/had material, biological aspects.
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].
Personhood: to speak of personhood in a Christian way is to speak about personhood in relationship (yearning for right relationships) and community, just as Christians should think of God!
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 law in every arena of Jewish life.
Pietism: a movement within the Lutheran Church after the Protestant Reformation that focused on the believer living a life alive in Christ (somewhat monastic) and not worrying so much about doctrinal issues (Wikipedia). It focused on small group Bible study & a personal relationship with Jesus (sort of like modern day evangelicals...as if Billy Graham was P. J. Spener's spiritual great-great-great grandson). Moravians were a somewhat early pietist group (originally pre-dating the Reformation) &, In USA, started in Bethlehem, PA. Compared to other early non-Catholic Christians, the pietists gave much more importance to women. Yet the early Moravians required people to actually live in same-gender & similar-age groups (but did not demand celebacy). Children were raised communally after weaning.
Pity: this is an emotion of feeling sorry for someone who is suffering but without any desire to endure the suffering with them. Unlike "compassion", pity does not participate.
Praise: appreciating someone's worth and value by telling them
the ways and attributes which you find so valuable. Linked also to thanksgiving and
Pray & Prayer: Praying is the act of communing (by "prayer") with God...becoming "one" with
God. Especially for the "fully saved" Jesus believer, I wonder if it is best to pray to Jesus (Matthew 28:18). Praying is relating deliberately & personally to & with our one true, triune...3-in-one (Father, Son [Jesus], & Holy Spirit)...God. God already FULLY knows (1) every single thing & thought about you and (2) what you need before you ask (Matthew
6:8). Marvel at this: through prayer, you are communing directly with the Creator of the universe!...and often from the comfort of your home!!! Do "subjects" get to do that with earthly kings?...citizens with the President? 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" or a church's Prayer Ministry, Prayer Team or church bulletin Prayer List. It is so very important to not let prayer be just a perfunctory ritual without mindful intent & participation. And it should not be something that is done to gain recognition or fame amongst the hearers and bystanders. Pray without being manipulative or presumptious that YOU know what is best: God's plans, knowledge of what is best, and His perfect will are most often totally unknown for us ahead of time. In the end, in order to emphasize that the key point of prayer is that you are speaking with 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. Strictly defined, a pastor may preach but does much more (in the manner of a shepherd for a congrgation). Either by custom of certain churches or as an additional way to express an acknowledgement of an especially honorable style of being a pastor, one might say such as, "This is my pastor, The Reverend Johnny Appleseed."
Predestined: Predestination...in the Christian sense, this was a concept by John Calvin (1509-1564) formulated after the Reformation of 1517 of people being set aside or pre-assigned by God for salvation or non-salvation as Calvin noted that, in people of very similar circumstances did or did not respond to the Gospel & relates to The Elect [here].
Pride: the master sin of an unreasonable 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. It seems especially negative when it is a false pride attitude. C. S. Lewis is said to have pronounced
"pride" to be THE GREAT SIN.
sin] It is a negative emotional state which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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).
Profile:as a verb, this means to make a quick safety generalization about a stranger, HERE.
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
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.
Proselyte: this a fancy word for a new believer ("newcomer" to the faith), see HERE.
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
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
Regret: a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over some thing(s) that has/have happened or been done. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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? Another definition is: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. There are many different religions. Some recognize a deity. Others
(atheists ?) believe in nothingness. Some worship many gods. What you believe in, whether in nothingness, many different gods, or
some other deity or no deity, is an attempt to fill the void deep within each person. Humanity is uncomfortable
with this belief or spiritual void. People are searching what they believe, for the sacred. There is a quest for inner peace and
meaning for life...people are 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
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...a change of heart. To repent for salvation's sake (repenting in the sinners
prayer to accept Jesus into your heart) means to change your heart from a life founded on self interests
to a life founded on Jesus' interests...choosing to take the fork to attempt to walk the narrow road (Matthew
Reprove: admonish, convict, find fault. The work of the Holy
Spirit will include the reproving of mankind (John 16:8).
Resentment: this is a negative, covetous feeling arising out of a state of low self esteem or self hatred when a person suffers either prolonged covetous envy, jealousy, or self-pity. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Resurrection: Scripture seems abundantly clear that souls will leave the dead body and be resurrected to be with God or apart from God. Jesus is a special case. [some discussion] His flesh and bones were gone from the empty tomb. The Jews and Romans had a HUGE vested interest in finding AND displaying His corpse so as to disprove His claims to be lifted up to God. But, to this very day some 2000 years later, no legitimate trace has ever been found. So, when scripture (John 6:51-58) speaks of believers eating the flesh and blood of Jesus in the bread and wine of Holy communion, is it possible that God kept the biological atoms composing Jesus and mysteriously and miraculously annoints the bread and wine with one or two in the bread and juice of each Holy Communion since the death of Jesus?
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.
Reverend: this is a "prefix", "title" or "rank" term as with Capt., Dr., Mr., Mrs., etc., for a Christian spokesperson with training & status & is one of a number of such terms (Bishop is another). While it might, by chance, apply to a person who is a preacher or pastor, such is not always so.
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). Following the commandments helps greatly in doing this. Righteousness or righteous = 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...keeping the law alone cannot make one righteous). For the Jesus follower who has become fully saved,that person has been clothed by God in righteousness conferred upon that person by God & is righteous (not thereafter sinless but no longer a slave to sin or ruled by sin or helpless to turn away from sin, Romans 3:21-26).
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").
Saint: a "called out" one...called out by God in your new birth
as a Jesus follower..."one set apart" [fully saved, see below] by God through Jesus Christ...the believer's new
spiritual identity (his/her identity is no longer that of a sinner). While on earth, that person's spiritual identity is as a "saint" but the earthly condition is as still a sinner. After that person's death and and going to be with Jesus, the identity and condition BOTH become the same = a saint. The word is also often casually used to refer to an especially loving and helpful member of a body of believers ("She is a saint!").
Salvation: Many interpret Scripture as indicating that Jesus died...shed His blood...to pay off the sin debt owed to God by EVERY single human who ever lived, lives, or will live (note the assurance by the apostle, John, (John 1:29). The debt has already been paid off...the price is paid..."it is finished"...by Jesus on the cross! The great good news...The Gospel ...is that, standing before God, we humans are "not guilty!" So, we now ALL will NOT be completely separated from God (complete separation = fiery Hell?). And, God's interpreted position on "wrath" changed, HERE. But a miraculous MORE is possible: FULL eternal salvation ("fully saved", see below)! The shed blood of Jesus permanently opened up access for any who would truly believe in Jesus to gain the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit irrefutably for eternity. But, as with Hound of Heaven experiences, God can additionally declare anyone He sees fit to declare such as "fully saved" (see below)...an individual just will not know until he/she knows. This word (salvation) is related to the material..salve...that we put on scrapes and sore spots. In that sense, this earthly component of salvation has notable points of the salvation being re-emphasized often (almost as if re-applied "salve").
For large numbers of Christians, full & complete salvation is the indistinct state of (1) your having your soul saved/rescued (without even a request from you!) from eternal damnation (complete separation from God); (2) THEN, your having come to...somehow...honest, true belief (and only you in your own heart can know & certify this) in Jesus as the Savior...the Christ...the Messiah; and (3) that true belief instantly bringing on the spiritual baptism of personally & immediately gaining the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thusly "fully saved" (see below): while yet still alive on earth, you are already living a saved/rescued life (sometimes over and over in the earthly phase) as a person indwelt
by the Holy Spirit of the God of Abraham. [An EXAMPLE].
That is, by the death of Jesus on the cross, one is brought to the place where one is
able to RECEIVE the benefit of something else divine from God...the FULL remission of sin & become "fully saved" (see below).
WHY did God save us? It was not because
of our faith or in any way our deserving it, but because of His perfect Love, grace, and mercy. 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...through meritocracy...deserving salvation. It is NOT won by "works". No human can save himself/herself...Jesus says so, HERE, verses 26 & 27. 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
true believer is fully saved now & for eternity. Being a God of perfect purpose, we are each 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 intends (1) to receive eternal worship, praise,
and glory from us. And (2) we are to be objects and recipients of His eternal love.
Now, this does NOT mean that God never recounts our guilt or does NOT give His judgement of us at Judgement Day. We will all (1) know of our innumerable offenses and (2) recieve a judgement. "My house has many mansions...". I don't have any real idea what happens after the Judgement to those NOT "fully saved". BUT, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, the "fully saved" will be with God, as below.
Fully saved is the threesome of (1) pardon of ALL from complete, eternal separation from God (see the 4 preceeding paragraphs, above) by the atoning death of Jesus on the cross PLUS (2) acquiring the personal eternal matrimonial uniting of you with Jesus & instantly obtaining the personal eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit (availability began at Pentecost)...by truly trusting Jesus as your Lord & Savior...which gets that indwelt believer (indwelt by the Holy Spirit) perfectly plugged into THE true spiritual power grid of God (without which, you may simply be relying on your own personal generator). This union varies on a spectrum in the earthly component of eternity but is percect in afterlife eternity! And, (3) we true believers are born again during this earthly part of eternity into the FAITH of a living hope that all of this is true (I Peter 1:3-4). Colossians 1:13 tells us, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” God does this with His Holy Spirit eternally indwelling the believer. (note Romans 8:2) In the earthly phase of eternity (part of the Gospel), we (1) should NOT be afraid and (2) we are no longer SLAVES to Satan & the life driven by sin! We have declared our independence from that negative road and faith in the positive road of life. Just think of it: on Earth, the "fully saved" have the mighty God of the universe continually with them and ready to enter into dialogue at all times! Shortly before my mother's death, I witnessed her getting a foretaste of being fully saved, HERE. In the Heaven phase of eternity, you effortlessly give your all to God in worship, praise, and glorification of God. Holy Spirit indwelt, you will have that exquisite internal Holy Spirit eternally & perfectly enabling you toward God & clarifying and perfectly amplifying and optimizing YOUR constant & eternal reception of the perfectly satisfying & constantly ecstatic love of God (in a sense, like being on a perfect wifi or bluetooth communion with the triune God of Abraham...the only true God)...this is alluded to in I Corinthians 13:12-13! AND, you have a similar exquisite connection with the other believers in that afterlife! Could it be that...since Jesus died for ALL on the Cross...that Hell became the absence being fully saved? I have NO CLUE whether those NOT fully saved will know what they have missed...for ETERNITY...or not. In the following parable, Jesus says nothing about those who did not respond to His call, HERE.
Could it be that, having witnessed others in heaven perfectly in tune with God and realizing how desperately "dry" he is, the man in "hell" asks Father Abraham for a taste of water (is having water in the afterlife a symbol of having this perfect relationship via the indwelling Holy Spirit?). My mother experienced a "herald" clue to that optimized relationship with God, HERE. The gospel (good news) message may be a complex theological truth
whose depth is inexhaustible, but God has opened this door for the full 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 by "works". The truly saved are quickly indwelt by the Holy Spirit (and are on their way to Heaven) and
annointed by the Spirit with one or more spiritual gifts given for the building up of The
Church (the universal body of believers) . So, there is the combination of (1) sin debt paid and (2) eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am unaware of Scripture indicating that, once eternally indwelt by the Spirit, there is any way that the Spirit will leave you. check out a synthesis
But what about those who don't come to belief (and those hoping for a universally complete or full salvation)? They get the incomplete state of salvation with (1) the sin debt paid BUT (2) without the eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Even if ALLhumans are "saved", without the eternal indwelling Holy Spirit, you will not be able, even in Heaven, to give your all to God in worship, praise, and glorification of God. And you will not have that exsquisite internal Holy Spirit eternally clarifying and perfectly amplifying and optimizing YOUR constant & eternal reception of the perfectly satisfying...constantly ecstatic...love of God! [Again, my mother's experience of a "herald" clue to that optimized relationship she had...days from death...with God, HERE.] Wouldn't that be a Hell of an eternal predicament? Simply summarized: full salvation is the state of no longer having ANY barrier to your eventual perfect oneness with God.
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]
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.
Satan: Otherwise known by many names such as the devil, Satan is a created being who is not red and with horns. He is handsome, beautiful, smart, and powerful. But he was not content to worship. So narcissistic is he that he demanded to be worshipped and pridefully rebelled and was cast out by God. So, in this world, people have either chosen God or, by choice or default, they are with the rebellion (Satan). There are only two domains. Especially on choosing God through Jesus Christ, youy will come under assault by Satan and his legions of demons & followers. For the Jesus follower, the victory has already been won, however (an eternal victory). Remember: Satan cannot be everywhere...he is not omnipresent! He is not omnipotent (not all powerful). And he is not all knowing (not omniscient).
Saved: is the state of no longer having a barrier to your oneness with God; see salvation, above.
Scripture: As the Word of God came to humanity, it came to 40 or so highly special people divinely inspired to hear and pass on and sooner or later write down Thw Word that was told to them. Such writings are the original scriptural autographs. NONE EXIST today. Eventually, a written Scripture was put together into Old and New Testaments. These have gone through a staggering series of translations on into modern times. So, you can see that "Scripture" and "The Word" are not entirely synonymous!
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
Self: see "individual" and person definitions above; "self" is a component of a "life"; then see all of the "self" stuff, HERE.
Self-pity: excessive, self-absorbed type of unhappiness over one's own troubles or deficiencies. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
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 [Magi]. In the Old Testament, the word shepherd often implied the coming Messiah. In the sense of being a key feature of the story of God's gift of Jesus to humanity, one must understand that in those days, "shepherds" were at or amongst the bottom of the totem pole of humanity in the Middle East. they were nobodies...so low and ignorant that they were not allowed to testify in court. No, the angels did not first proclaim to a king, queen, priests, or the rich and famous with their proclaimation, "Glory to God in the Highest".
Sign: Biblically speaking, a sign is an action, event, or status that reflects God. A miracle is a sign...a sign of an intercession by God.
Sin: For ALL humans, wrongs or bad actions tend to be a result of ignorance and/or folly, plus the effect of a spectrum of degrees of innate "badness" (fallenness) or evil. Spiritually speaking, a sin is a sin; but, in this fallen world, consequences of sins vary widely in this earthly life! The greatest percentage of sin (such as sins of ommission...things we are required to do & feel but fail at [for example, "forgiving"...see parable, HERE]), by far, consists of stuff that would seem to most people to be not that bad...if at all...and not uneqivocally "wrong"...not "sin". Most broadly speaking, sinning is "missing the mark [the target]". Sin is an act ommitted or committed either willfully or by igorance that either deviates from activities that (1) optimally assure natural procreative components of life or (2) result in negative effects on "right relationships". The target for the truly fulfilled life is right relationships! Sin originally came into the world through the disobedience of Adam
& Eve [a short story]. Jesus pretty much clarified that even sinful thoughts are sins, and that any one sin is just as bad as any other. Further, he clarified that God is the loving father of mankind...His human creation...and not a hanging judge. God's son, Jesus, died to pay the sin debt for all past, present, and future humans. For the Jesus believer, there is always the tension between desire for being strong in the Kingdom of God vs. The Flesh. We were created for the Kingdom of God (our natural "place" before The Fall). And, yet, (enslaved) we stay in The World...the place of The Flesh...BY yielding to temptation to sin. But after we become fully saved, we are no longer a slave to temptation! Though still liable to temptation, those fully saved are more drawn to tehe love of Jesus & less attraction to sin. Sin
is of two kinds:
- 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:
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 toward God; and,without a holy spiritual life; and,
>ALWAYS inclined continually to actual/personal
>This is so until the heart is "cleansed" by the
incoming baptism of the Holy Spirit & that human possessing the gift of the indwelling
Holy Spirit as helper (and no longer a slave to sin).
>It WILL be an earthly struggle for an "indwelt" individual
to 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
- and actual or
>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;
>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
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 (bring to our attention) 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.
Slave: This is the name of a state or condition (see "enslaved") that a person finds himself or herself in when they are legally or voluntarily or involutarily under the control of a person, thing, condition or habit, social "rules", or entity which has limited the scope of their liberty and freedom of choice and personal expression. We can become slaves of trying to please others...even trying to please God. We can become slaves to less than our potential for life satisfaction by refusing to learn how to relate with others rightly. Many become slaves to alcohol, drugs, porn, money, etc.
Sorrow: a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others. It is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Soul: Never discussed with respect to abortion, when does a human get (ensoulment) his/her 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. A specific-person instance = the King James version of the Bible Old Testament book of Jeremiah 1:5, which indicates that, at least in the case of this one person, God knew the prophet (knew that Jeremiah's soul existed) "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of th e womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations". In the King James version of the Bible New Testament book of Luke 1:41 (which follows), at least for one babe, John the Baptist, intrauterine responsiveness suggests having become a complete person with a soul before birth: "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost." But Science has little or nothing to say about the soul, and scripture is unclear exactly when ensoulment routinely happens for regular folk (before or after [when?] conception). SURELY, at that point of ensoulment, the person should have legal rights against being killed. God speaks to your soul through the window called your "spirit", the Jesus believer being further enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Satan speaks through
the window called "flesh". I am aware that many religious philosophers have debated this issue, and some religions have taken a position on ensoulment. Alas, our Holy Scripture is not clear on when, as a rule, ensoulment takes place.
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
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.
Spiritual: The difference with which religious folk speak of being spiritual and those who don't believe in God is important. The Christian who is truly spiritual actually has undergone the spiritual baptism of having the Holly Spirit come into the soul to indwel for eternity. A broader discussion beyond the just mentioned special type of "spiritual' is HERE.
Star of Bethlehem: a very interesting explanation is HERE.
Stewardship: Christian stewardship comes from a foundational mindset. The natural state of man, in a Christian-minded 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 Christian 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. This Christian-type stewardship contains courtesy, honesty, thriftiness, inclusiveness, gratitude & thanfulness, along with execution of your jobs and duties in a way that (1) gives proper dues to material things and (2) builds up right relationships & does not tear them down.
Submit to: as in "wives are to submit to husbands". The biblical
meaning of "submit" [check HERE] 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) 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
Superior: this is a mental status of being higher than someone else or some thing and can be an actual fact. It is negative when not a fact. When a person begins to focus on whether they are inferior, equal or superior to others...especially when it developes into a superiority complex, it becomes a state of mind that lacks humility and is against the teachings of Jesus. A superiority state of mind is a negative emotion which, if experienced repeatedly, can become one component of an overall personal negative and degrading outlook on life.
Superstition: This is a belief that there is self-serving power to benefit you by wearing or owning or doing certain things or routines in such a way that magical benefit will come to you. We often see such routines in sports figures. One who does this is said to be superstitious. This thing of believing in superstitions is one example of a large number of markers for demonic beings or forces (rather than angelic beings or forces) to note so that they might gradually ramp up their attempts to gain control over your mind and heart.
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.
Taste: When the Bible mentions "taste", it often means "experienced", HERE.
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
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; there were 5 subdivision covenants: Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Priestly, & Davidic) & the New
Covenant (testament; one covenant, Luke 22:20), HERE.
Testimony: to give testimony is to state what you personally know about some thing or event. A "Christian testimony" is that Christian's story of the miracle-like change for the better that Jesus has brought about in that person's life.
Thanksgiving: a grateful acknowledgement of benefits, favors, and
helps bestowed on you by someone. The desire to celebrate thanksgiving or to offer up prayers of thanksgiving comes out of an attitude of thankfulness (gratitude) which takes the sting out of adversity! Related to praise and worship.
Theology: Theology is the domain of reasoned thinking & discourse concerning beliefs about
God. A person or a society's "theology" begins with a foundation of what God is like. Is God a hanging judge, quick to see faults in His human creation and hand out punishment? Does He ask believers to kill those who don't "properly" believe? Or, is He a God of love, grace, and mercy toward His fallen human creation? So, there are as many variations concerning theological beliefs as there are people who
Deep in each heart, no two people maintain the exact same set of beliefs about God. Each of us carries our own PERSONAL theology around within our head and heart. And, even a
single individual person's theology changes with time, experience, and
study. After personal theology, a local church body may be found appealling to persons with a similar personal theology.
Then church groups band together with similar theologies and may form denominational theology. Beyond that, denominations may group together to form branches of a religion or even entire religions. Satan gets into all of this as he causes arguements, bickering, abuse, and damage to relationships as the parties fight over "who is right". It boils down to "if...then" thinking: "if such and such is what God is like, then that Scripture verse must mean...". Complicating this is the underlying, almost subconscious way that a people group tends to think. Suzerain thinking harks back to the dawn of mankind where the dominant male ruled in the clan. Then it became people groups conquering other people groups and allowing the conquered to live if they followed a covenant treaty. People are accustomed to this "If you follow my rules, I will leave you alone" by the many, many centuries of this thought pattern. These folks have an almost natural tendency to see top authority as angry and therefore punishment is just waiting to happen. [see beliefs, ABOVE]
The Way of Jesus: This "way" is all about (1) “Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
(Matthew 22:37) This "way" comes with belief in Jesus. (2) "And the second
is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'." (Matthew 22:39) This "way" can be practiced by both Jesus believer and Jesus
nonbeliever. (3) Do your best to live by the Golden Rule. (4) And be praying and striving mightily for that Divine help to live by "right relationships"! And we must (5) try our best to thereby live our life in the direction of worthiness of the Grace which has been made available TO YOU/TO US through the example and sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. The Way is not about fighting over faith details or even striving to have the most popular local church! It is about setting the love example of Jesus.
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.
Tithe: This is what a Christian Jesus believer & follower gives to God. It is such a crucial element to a believer's maturation in the Faith that a number of churches offera 90-day, money-back guarantee "tithe challenge"(Here).
Tolerance: a virtue...the personal condition of being willing to
accept, relate to (without displays of damaging rejection), those who are different than
Transfiguration: the happening on the Mount of Transfiguration (Exodus 24:12-18; Matthew
17:1-9; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36; 2 Peter 1:16-21) 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). Why did God do this over-the-top revelation of the Truth of the fact that Jesus was the Son?...because He could & it would be profoundly memorable & even sort of set the stage that Christian Baptism be a time of celebration.
Trials: A trial can be either a legal proceeding before a king (Jesus' trial by Pontius Pilot) or court of law or a personal difficulty. People always ask, "Why would a loving God let bad things happen to people...especially to good people...and most especially to His followers? An imperfect, fallen world presents difficulties and tragedies throughout every human's life (some visible or obvious to others & some internal and unknown to others or to only a few). Some may be sent by God for purposes of getting our attention & our focus on Him. But I believe that most are simply "normal" consequences of decisions & choices in a "fallen humanity" within a fallen world. A merciful God who loves His creation is always there to help. But we usually need to ask for the help.
Trinity: The Trinity, as a word for a designated reality, never
appears in the Bible. Rather than points of orthodoxy
& dogma, the important TRUTH is that "the Holy Trinity" is a way to describe the
unfathomable mystery of 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 though they (by the senses of sight & sound) seem to be separate entities at the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:22). HERE for more on Trinity.
Truth: As a noun, this word has to do with what is
true, actual, accurate, and correct. When one wishes to find truth in any area of life, one must have adequate knowledge (facts), understanding, and wisdom. Especially with regard to Creation and Jesus, Truth has been assaulted with suppression...increasingly so since 2000...since Jesus died and arose from the dead, example HERE; & bull-headed denial since the days of Moses, HERE. Truth has these characteristics:
universality: it is the same for all and can not be private (only your opinion can be
- 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!
Understanding: this is what a person gets when he or she has learned (comprehended) the significance of cause and effect, consequences, etc., of an array of factiual information (knowledge).
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
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...to 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. God has an (1) intentional will (ideal plan) of perfection for our lives that underwent earthly cancellation with the Fall of mankind. He has (2) a circumstantial (permissive) will which is operative within any person's current circumstances. And He (3) has an ultimate will...the final realization of His perfect purposes. As a person is moving down his/her path of life, "bad" things (in an earthly sense) happen. But, the "fully saved" Jesus follower must always keep in mind God's (3) ultimate will (that the "fully saved" will be with Him for eternity)!
Wisdom: Wisdom is an attribute of being skillful to judge or discern while
using intelligence, sensibleness, and reasonableness. It is not the same as IQ. It is not the same as higher education. Many extrememly educated people have very little wisdom. As with everything else, levels of wisdom form a spectrum from mildy wise to extremely wise. A sufficiently wise person at the ordinary, common level is said to possess adequate "common sense". Wisdom tends to result in the person being humble because they are well aware of how much they still fall short of. [getting wisdom, a process flow
chart].............[the keys in
Proverbs 1-4] [wisdom
Woe: this is one of many synonyms for adversity.
Word of God: this is the message contained in the scripture...The Bible.
Works: "Works" are 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. As Jesus Himself says to the crowd asking about works required by God, the only "works" required are: "The work of God is this: to believe in the one[Jesus] he has sent." (John 6:28-29)
Worry: from German "wurgen" = "to choke"; to strangle or choke
the mind or harass the mind with anxiety, HERE.
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!!
***give me your comments about this
check out the Highest
1998; latest addition 13 November 2017)