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The Athanasian Creed

According to the "Athanasian Creed", "Whosoever will be saved; before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep-whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: "That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible: and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals: but one Eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated; but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty: and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods: but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord: and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord". And, it goes on to say: "And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another: none is greater, or less than another: But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity".See Deut. 6:4; Isa. 46:6; Mark 12:29; Ephes. 4:6; 1 Cor. 8:6.

Adoption

literally means "to place as a son", and describes the act whereby God places undeserving sinners into a position of permanent sonship, granting them al the rights and privileges consistent with that position.

Agnosticism

the word is derived from the Greek word "a" meaning "without" and "gnosis" meaning "knowledge". Thus the definition of agnosticism is "without knowledge" or the belief that there is not, and cannot ever be, sufficient knowledge or data to determine whether or not God does or does not exist.

Allegory

An allegory comes from the Greek allos, which means "other" and agoreuein, which means "to speak," and is used to describe some fictional narrative which is supposed to continually, if implicitly, refer to some other structure of event or state of affairs, whether political, social or natural.

Amen

In Jewish scriptures, the word "amen" is used to express the idea of "may it be so" or "certainly." Thus, it was said in response to something else a person has said. Often is was used as a response to a promise from God or the priests, and in this fashion it became a ritualistic response among Christians to various portions of the Christian liturgy. Jesus is recorded in the New Testament as using it as an opening, rather than as a response - for example, "Truly (Amen), I say unto you..." It is, in this context, used to solemnize what was about to be said.

Amoral

The term amoral is distinct from the terms moral and immoral, and simply refers to the state of lacking any moral characteristics. An amoral act is not morally good nor is it morally bad - it simply is. An amoral man is one who has no conception of morality or moral judgments. Babies, for example, are amoral.

Anathema

Something which is "anathema" is something which is polluted or accursed. Paul used this term to refer to someone who has been completely rejected by God (Gal. 1:8,9; 1Cor. 12:3, 16:22).

Angel

a word signifying, both in the Hebrew and Greek, a "messenger," and hence employed to denote any agent God sends forth to execute his purposes. It is used of an ordinary messenger (Job 1:14: 1 Samuel 11:3; Luke 7:24; 9:52), of prophets (Isaiah 42:19; Haggai 1:13), of priests (Malachi 2:7), and ministers of the New Testament (Revelation 1:20).

It is also applied to such impersonal agents as the pestilence (2 Samuel 24:16,17; 2Kings 19:35), the wind (Psalms 104:4).

But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Genesis 18:2,22. Comp 19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Genesis 32:24,30), to Joshua at Gilgal (Joshua 5:13,15), of the Angel of the Lord, were doubtless manifestations of the Divine presence, "foreshadowings of the incarnation," revelations before the "fulness of the time" of the Son of God.

The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Genesis 16:7,10,11; Judges 13:1-21; Matthew 28:2-5; Hebrews 1:4, etc. These superior beings are very numerous. "Thousand thousands," etc. (Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Luke 2:13; Hebrews 12:22,23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zechariah 1:9,11; Daniel 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9; Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16).

As to their nature, they are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as "like the angels" (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Genesis 18:2; 19:1,10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them ("sons of God," Job 1:6; 38:7; Daniel 3:25; Compare 28) and to men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as creatures (Job 4:18; Matthew 24:36; 1 Peter 1:12). As finite creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we read of "fallen angels." Of the cause and manner of their "fall" we are wholly ignorant. We know only that "they left their first estate" (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7,9), and that they are "reserved unto judgement" (2 Peter 2:4). When the manna is called "angels' food," this is merely to denote its excellence (Psalms 78:25). Angels never die (Luke 20:36). They are possessed of superhuman intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2th 1:7; Psalms 103:20). They are called "holy" (Luke 9:26), "elect" (1 Timothy 5:21). The redeemed in glory are "like unto the angels" (Luke 20:36). They are not to be worshipped (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10).

Their functions are manifold. (a) In the widest sense they are agents of God's providence (Exodus 12:23; Psalms 104:4; Hebrews 11:28; 1 Corinthians 10:10; 2Sam 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:16; 2Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23). (b) They are specially God's agents in carrying on his great work of redemption. There is no notice of angelic appearances to man till after the call of Abraham. From that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth (Genesis 18; 19; 24:7,40; 28:12; 32:1). They appear to rebuke idolatry (Judges 2:1-4), to call Gideon (Judges 6:11,12), and to consecrate Samson (13:3). In the days of the prophets, from Samuel downward, the angels appear only in their behalf (1 Kings 19:5; 2Kings 6:17; Zech. 1-6; Daniel 4:13,23; 10:10,13,20,21).

The Incarnation introduces a new era in the ministrations of angels. They come with their Lord to earth to do him service while here. They predict his advent (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38), minister to him after his temptation and agony (Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43), and declare his resurrection and ascension (Matthew 28:2-8; John 20:12,13; Acts 1:10,11). They are now ministering spirits to the people of God (Hebrews 1:14; Psalms 34:7; 91:11; Matthew 18:10; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23). They rejoice over a penitent sinner (Luke 15:10). They bear the souls of the redeemed to paradise (Luke 16:22); and they will be the ministers of judgement hereafter on the great day (Matthew 13:39,41,49; 16:27; 24:31). The passages (Psalms 34:7, Matthew 18:10) usually referred to in support of the idea that every individual has a particular guardian angel have no such meaning. They merely indicate that God employs the ministry of angels to deliver his people from affliction and danger, and that the angels do not think it below their dignity to minister even to children and to the least among Christ's disciples.

The "angel of his presence" (Isaiah 63:9. Compare Exodus 23:20,21; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16) is probably rightly interpreted of the Messiah as the guide of his people. Others have supposed the expression to refer to Gabriel (Luke 1:19).

Anthropomorphism

This term comes from the Greek anthropos, which means "man" and morphe, which means "form" and is used to refer to the tendency to attribute human motivations, characteristics, or other attributes to non-human things (like weather, nature, etc.).

Antichrist

(antichristos) anti= "in the place of" or "against". Being in opposition to or against all that is pertaining to Christ. (1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; 2:22; 2 John 7) This will be ultimately manifested in the world ruler during the tribulation period.

Antinomianism

- is derived from the Greek anti, which means "against" and nomos, which means law. As a general principle, antinomianism teaches that moral laws are relative in meaning and application instead of fixed or universal.

As a Christian theological teaching, antinomianism is used to refer to the idea that the Gospel frees a Christians from obedience to any law, scriptural, civil, or moral, and hence that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace rather than through obedience to any rules.

Apologetics

The term apologetics comes from the Greek apologia, which means "defense" or "answer." Apologetics is the task of defending a particular idea or belief system and answering its critics. The origin of the concept of apologetics lies in the beginnings of Christianity. Between the second and fourth century, a number of Christian teachers wrote defenses of Christianity against pagan critics.

Usually, apologetics occurs in a religious context, and involves giving reasons for adopting a particular religion as opposed to some other religion or no religion at all. Apologetic defenses are done of doctrines so fundamental to a faith that it is assumed that no members would disagree with them - thus, the defenses are created with external critics in mind.

Most apologists one encounters tend to be Christian apologists, because a great many Christians believe that it is an important part of their faith that they go out and convert others.

Apostasy

The term apostasy comes from the Greek from Greek apostasis, which means "revolt". An apostate completely abandons their religious faith and either embraces a different religion or simply rejects religion entirely and become irreligious.

Apostle

- a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Hebrews 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he entrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, "the twelve," as they are called (Matthew 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the (Acts 1:13). No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide.

Arminianism

Although trained in the reformed tradition, Arminius had serious doubts about the doctrine of "sovereign grace" as taught by the followers of John Calvin. He was a pastor of the Reformed congregation in Amsterdam (1588), but during his fifteen years of ministry there, he began to question any of the conclusions of Calvinism. He left the pastorate and became professor of theology at the University of Leyden. It was his series of lectures on election and predestination that led to a violent and tragic controversy. After his death in 1609, his followers developed the Remonstrance of 1610 which outlined the "Five Points of Arminianism." This document was a protest against the doctrines of the Calvinists, and was submitted to the State of Holland. In 1618, a National Synod of the Church was convened in Dort to examine the teachings or Arminius in the light of Scripture. After 154 sessions, lasting seven months, the Five Points of Arminianism were declared to be heretical. After the synod, many of the disciples of Arminius, such as Hugo Grotius, were imprisoned or banished. When John Wesley took up some of the teachings of Arminianism, the movement began to grow, and it affected the Methodist tradition as well as the beliefs of most Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

The "Five Points of Arminianism" included the following;

  • 1. FREE WILL

    Arminius believed that the Fall of man was not total, holding that there was enough good left in man for him to will to accept Christ unto Salvation.
  • 2. CONDITIONAL ELECTION

    Arminius taught that election was based upon the foreknowledge of God as to who would believe.
  • 3. UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT

    Arminius and his followers held that redemption was general. The death of Christ provided grounds for God to save all men. However, each must exercise his free will to accept Christ.
  • 4. OBSTRUCTABLE GRACE

    Arminius believed that since God wanted all men to be saved, He sent the Holy Spirit to woo all men to Christ. However, since man has absolute "free will" he is able to resist God's will for his life. Although the Arminian says he believes that God is omnipotent, he insists that God's will to save all men can be frustrated by the finite will of man on an individual basis.
  • 5. FALLING FROM GRACE

    The fifth point of Arminianism is the logical outcome of the preceding portions of the system. If man cannot be saved by God unless it is man's will to be saved, then man cannot continue in salvation unless he continues to will to be saved.

Armageddon

is a Christian concept originating in the Bible (Revelations 16:16) and which refers to the final battle between the forces of good (lead by Jesus) and the forces of Evil (lead by Satan). The term comes from the Hebrew har megiddô which means "the mountain of Megiddo" and is the place where Armageddon is believed to at least start. Unfortunately, Meggido, a strategically located city where several ancient battles were fought, does not itself have a mountain, so the geographic reference is unclear. Whereas the word was originally applied just to the location of the final battle, today it is often applied to the event itself.

Atheist

the word is derived from the Greek word "a" meaning "without" and "theos" meaning "God". Thus the definition of atheism is "without God" or the belief that no God actually exists. this is a blatant and positive denial of God's existence.

Atonement

may be defined as "the bringing together of two who have been enemies into a relationship of peace and friendship" (from The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Merrill C. Tenney, page 83). But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Exodus 32:30; Leviticus 4:26; 5:16; Numbers 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf.

By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement." Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fullness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to guilty men (John 3:16; Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Exodus 34:7; Joshua 24:19; Psalms 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2,6; Romans 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.

The Attributes of God

An attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed to be true about Himself (thus we may learn what is true of God from both natural and special revelation, BUT THESE WILL ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT!)

An attribute of God is something which the finite man can conceive and understand as being true of the divine nature. It is possible that there may be attributes of the infinite God which finite human beings cannot possibly ever know about.

An attribute of God should not be viewed as being merely a part of God. rather, they describe what God is in the totality of His being. In other words, God should not be viewed as the "sum total" of His various attributes. For example, God is love, rather than a part of God is love; God is righteous, rather than a part of God is His righteousness, and so forth.

  • The Self-Existence of God - The fact that God had no origin and is in no way dependent upon anything outside of Himself for His own existence; He is completely self-contained and self-dependent.
  • The Self-Sufficiency of God - The fact that God is completely capable within Himself and is in need of absolutely nothing outside of Himself; He is self-motivated, self-contained and self-satisfying.
  • The Eternity of God - The fact that God is of infinite duration, without beginning without successive development and without end. The fact that all God ever was He now is, and will be forever.
  • The Infinity of God - The fact that God is absolutely free from any possible limitations; that He cannot be added to in any way or acquire something that He did not already possess from all eternity. The fact that God is limitless and measureless within Himself.
  • The Omnipotence of God - The fact that God can do anything that is consistent with His own perfect being; that God has the power to always execute and accomplish His will.
  • The Omnipresence of God - The fact that God is everywhere present, in every part of His creation and what exceeds it, in the totality of His being, all at the same time.
  • The Omniscience of God - The fact that God knows everything there is to know, all things actual abs all things possible, all at the same time.
  • The Immutability of God - The fact that God is completely unchangeable and cannot change; the fact that what God was in the past, He is now in the present, and will continue to be in the future.
  • The Wisdom of God - The fact that God perfectly applies the knowledge at His disposal' God acting in wisdom is His ability to ordain a perfect purpose, to devise perfect ends, and to achieve those perfect ends by perfect means.
  • The Holiness of God - The fact that God is absolutely free from any moral impurity whatsoever within Himself, is personally separate from any moral impurity outside of Himself, and is hostile toward all moral impurity and unrighteousness.
  • The Righteousness of God - The fact that God will always act in a morally pure and proper way; that God will always act in a manner that is completely consistent with His own holiness.
  • The Justice of God - The fact that God's righteousness will always be expressed to His moral creatures in terms of moral equity; justice is equity and pays back exactly what is deserved in exact proportion to what is deserved, as is determined by God.
  • The Wrath of God - The fact that God will always express His righteous indignation toward all sin and sinful creatures; the punishment of all moral impurity, as measured by God's perfect holiness.
  • The Faithfulness of God - The fact that God will always be consistent with Himself and can never be inconsistent; that God will always be truthful in every respect and cannot possibly lie; that God will always be loyal to the members of His covenantal family.
  • The Goodness of God - The perfection within God which prompts Him to deal kindly and benevolently with all of His creatures; the fact that God always desires to be kind, benevolent, cordial, and merciful.
  • The Love of God - "God's love is an exercise of His goodness towards individual sinners whereby, having identified Himself with their welfare, He has given His son to be their Saviour, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relationship" (from "Knowing God", by J.I. Packer)
  • The Grace of God - The unsought, unmerited, undeserved and unrecompensed favor of God expressed toward guilty sinners. "The sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in themselves and for which no compensation is demanded from them . . . it is the favor of God shown to those who have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill deserving and hell-deserving." (from "The Attributes of God", by A.W. Pink)
  • The Sovereignty of God - The fact that God has absolute right of absolute authority, and the absolute right to exercise that authority over all His creation, both that which is physical and that which is immaterial. The fact that God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as he pleases.

Authority

The fact that the Scriptures are, in all its parts, the voice of God speaking to mankind. Therefore, the Bible should be received as such and accepted as the personal and final guide for all matters of faith and conduct.

Autographa

These are the original "autographs" (manuscripts) of Scripture.

B

Baptism

The term baptize is not a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Catholic term; it is a Greek term. Baptizo in the Greek meant to "dunk," "dip," "plunge," "submerge," or "immerse." Originally, it had no religious connotation. Rather, the word baptize was used to describe a ship that had been sunk in a battle or a piece of cloth that was dipped in dye. Other times it was used to refer to someone who had drowned or a cup that was dipped into a pitcher to drink from. Its use was general in nature.

The first time the word baptize was used in the context of religion occurred as a result of its incorporation into the Jewish culture. The Jewish faith was somewhat complicated with ceremonies, rituals, festivals, and laws. The term baptize was used to describe the ritual known as ceremonial washing. Now, we would not say, "Go baptize your hands before you eat." We would say, "Go wash your hands before you eat." Yet the term baptize was used to describe this function of washing.

There is a second way in which the term baptize was used in the Jewish faith. The Jews developed a way in which Gentiles could become Jewish. It involved a number of things, including circumcision, a covenant meal, the agreement to obey Jewish law, and a ritual bath. The term used to describe the bath was bapto, meaning "immerse." Persons desiring to become Jewish would baptize themselves. The "bath" was an outward sign that they were dying to the old life as a Gentile and were being resurrected to the new life as a Jew. As a pledge of allegiance to the new identity, those who desired to adopt the Jewish faith as their own participated by baptizing themselves as a sign of their commitment.

What happened next involved John the Baptist. John got his name because of what people saw him doing. His unique role of baptizing other people was something that had never been done before, so it was natural that people came to watch. He was literally John the Baptizer. John took an ordinary word that meant to "dip," "plunge," "submerge," or "immerse," and coined it for the specific task he was performing. Soon it became almost exclusively associated with Christianity, and thus the word baptism appears in the New Testament. It's an outward demonstration of an inward work.

Bible

- There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of the evidences of the divine inspiration of the Bible, and these evidences are many and varied. Most people today, unfortunately, have not read any of these books. In fact, few have even read the Bible itself! Thus, many people tend to go along with the popular delusion that the Bible is full of mistakes and is no longer relevant to our modern world.

Nevertheless the Bible writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree. This is an amazing thing for any writer to say, and if the forty or so men who wrote the Scriptures were wrong in these claims, then they must have been lying, or insane, or both.

But, on the other hand, if the greatest and most influential book of the ages, containing the most beautiful literature and the most perfect moral code ever devised, was written by deceiving fanatics, then what hope is there for ever finding meaning and purpose in this world?

If one will seriously investigate these Biblical evidences, he will find that their claims of divine inspiration (stated over 3,000 times, in various ways) were amply justified.

Fulfilled Prophecies

The remarkable evidence of fulfilled prophecy is just one case in point. Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, often long after the prophetic writer had passed away.

For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in about 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel's promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins. This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.

There are extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations and cities and with the course of history in general, all of which have been literally fulfilled. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ Himself at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects.

There is no other book, ancient or modern, like this. The vague, and usually erroneous, prophecies of people like Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and others like them are not in the same category at all, and neither are other religious books such as the Koran, the Confucian Analects, and similar religious writings. Only the Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.

Unique Historical Accuracy

The historical accuracy of the Scriptures is likewise in a class by itself, far superior to the written records of Egypt, Assyria, and other early nations. Archeological confirmations of the Biblical record have been almost innumerable in the last century. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archeology, has said:

"No archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries."

Scientific Accuracy

Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

  • Roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22)
  • Almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9)
  • Law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7)
  • Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7)
  • Vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
  • Law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27)
  • Paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11)
  • Atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
  • Gravitational field (Job 26:7)
and many others.

These are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of the basic world of man's everyday experience; nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts. It is significant also that no real mistake has ever been demonstrated in the Bible, in science, in history, or in any other subject. Many have been claimed, of course, but conservative Bible scholars have always been able to work out reasonable solutions to all such problems.

Unique Structure

The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,000 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout.

The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.

The one consistent theme of the Bible, developing in grandeur from Genesis to Revelation, is God's great work in the creation and redemption of all things, through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible's Unique Effect

The Bible is unique also in terms of its effect on individual men and on the history of nations. It is the all-time best seller, appealing both to hearts and minds, beloved by at least some in every race or nation or tribe to which it has gone, rich or poor, scholar or simple, king or commoner, men of literally every background and walk of life. No other book has ever held such universal appeal nor produced such lasting effects.

One final evidence that the Bible is true is found in the testimony of those who have believed it. Multitudes of people, past and present, have found from personal experience that its promises are true, its counsel is sound, its commands and restrictions are wise, and its wonderful message of salvation meets every need for both time and eternity.

From: Henry Morris and Martin Clark, as adapted from their book The Bible Has the Answer, published by Master Books, 1987. Supplied by Eden Communications with permission from Master Books.

Bibliolatry

The term bibliolatry is derived from the word idolatry, or the worship of idols. Thus, bibliolatry refers to the worship of the bible - taking it so seriously and so literally that it becomes the entire focus of religious devotion, even to the exclusion of everything else. Fundamentalism is often accused of engaging in bibliolatry.

Bibliology

is a science within systematic theology which deals with the nature of the Bible; its revelation, inspiration, authenticity, canonicity, authority, preservation and illumination.

C

Calvary

- the Latin name Calvaria, which was used as a translation of the Greek word Kranion , by which the Hebrew word Gulgoleth was interpreted, "the place of a skull." It probably took this name from its shape, being a hillock or low, rounded, bare elevation somewhat in the form of a human skull. It is nowhere in Scripture called a "hill." The crucifixion of our Lord took place outside the city walls (Hebrews 13:11-13) and near the public thoroughfare. "This thing was not done in a corner."

Golgotha

- the common name of the spot where Jesus was crucified. It is interpreted by the evangelists as meaning "the place of a skull" (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). This name represents in Greek letters the Aramaic word Gulgaltha, which is the Hebrew Gulgoleth (Numbers 1:2; 1 Chronicles 23:3,24; 2Kings 9:35), meaning "a skull." It is identical with the word Calvary (q.v.). It was a little knoll rounded like a bare skull. It is obvious from the evangelists that it was some well-known spot outside the gate (Compare Hebrews 13:12), and near the city (Luke 23:26), containing a "garden" (John 19:41), and on a thoroughfare leading into the country. Hence it is an untenable idea that it is embraced within the present "Church of the Holy Sepulchre." The hillock above Jeremiah's Grotto, to the north of the city, is in all probability the true site of Calvary. The skull-like appearance of the rock in the southern precipice of the hillock is very remarkable.

Calvinism

Interestingly, John Calvin, the French reformer, did not formulate what today we know as the Five Points of Calvinism. This came out of the Canons of the Council of Dort (1618), and subsequent statements among the many Reformed Confessions have expanded upon these matters. Calvinism has been known for outstanding scholars, theologians, preachers, and reformers, men such as John Owen, George Whitefield, William Wilberforce, Abraham Kuyper, Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Those in the reformed tradition who answered the teachings of Arminius chose the word "TULIP" as an acrostic to summarize their answer to the;

Five Points of Arminianism

  • "T" = TOTAL DEPRAVITY - Unregenerate man is in absolute bondage to Satan, and wholly incapable of exercising his own will freely to trust Christ. Salvation, therefore, is dependent upon the work of God who must will to give man life before he can believe in Christ.
  • "U" = UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION - The Arminians believed that God elected those whom He "foreknew" would believe unto salvation, so that foreknowledge was based upon a "condition" established by man. The Calvinists held that "foreknowledge" is based upon the purpose or plan of God, so that election had no basis in some fancied 'condition' on the part of man, but was the result of the free will of the Creator apart from any foreseen "work of faith" in spiritually-dead man. If God left you to yourself, to decide whether you would choose Him or reject Him, you would always refuse God as long as you are "of your father the devil". As long as you are a child of Adam, Jesus said, "You are not able to listen to My word" (John 8:43). Your will always follows your character, your heart, your affections.
  • "L" = LIMITED ATONEMENT - Probably the most controversial Doctrine of TULIP is the Doctrine of Limited Atonement which teaches that Christ's atoning work on the cross is particular and not universal. By that we mean, Christ's redeeming work was intended to save only the elect and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation. In other words, the value of the atonement was sufficient to save all mankind, but it was efficient to save only the elect.
  • The term Limited Atonement has reference not to the number of people who are saved, not to the sufficiency and efficiency of the atonement, but particularly, to the question of the design of the atonement. Thus, it teaches that the design, purpose and goal of the cross of Christ was to save the elect, and only the elect.
  • "I" = IRRESISTIBLE GRACE - The grace of God cannot be obstructed, for, the Lord possesses "irresistible grace". By this we do not mean that God crushes man's obstinate will like a giant steamroller! Irresistible Grace is not grounded in the omnipotence of God, although it could be if the Lord so willed, but, rather, in the Gift of Life known as Regeneration. Since all dead human spirits are drawn irresistibly to Satan, the god of the dead, and all living human spirits are drawn irresistibly to the Lord, the God of the living, our Lord simply gives His chosen ones the Spirit of Life! The moment He does so their polarity is changed. Where they were once "dead in trespasses and sins" and oriented to the devil, now they are made "alive in Christ Jesus" and oriented to God.
  • "P" = PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS - The 'elect', can never be lost since their salvation is by the will of the unchanging, omnipotent God. Since no condition in man determines his being chosen, because Scripture teaches unconditional election, it stands to reason that there is nothing he can do to get himself 'unsaved' once he has been saved by God's grace. Surely, reasons the Calvinist, of it is the Will of God that I am saved, and since He "changes not", then I begin my salvation, continue my salvation, and enter heaven a saved person because He has willed it so!

Canon

-The English word canon goes back to the Greek word kanon and then to the Hebrew qaneh. Its basic meaning is reed, our English word cane being derived from it. Since a reed was sometimes used as a measuring rod, the word kanon came to mean a standard or rule. It was also used to refer to a list or index, and when so applied to the Bible denotes the list of books which are received as Holy Scripture. Thus if one speaks of the canonical writings, he is speaking of those books which are regarded as having divine authority and which comprise our Bible.

Christ

-means: anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word translated "Messiah"

Christ is the official title of our Lord, occurring 1,514 in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One.

Christian

the name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus ("little Christ's!"). It was first used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren," "the faithful," "elect," "saints," "believers." But as distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name "Christian" came into use, and was universally accepted. This name occurs but three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

Christology

- is a consideration of the facts pertaining to the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Thus a complete study of Christology will examine the Biblical data for;

  • the deity of Christ
  • the pre incarnate existence of Christ
  • the virgin birth and incarnation of Christ
  • the sinless life, teachings and works of Christ
  • the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ
  • the redemptive significance of the atoning work of Christ
  • the triumphant return to earth and the Messianic reign of Christ
  • the future eternal reign of Christ

Christophany

- an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ.

Church

Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship.

In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church of Scotland," etc.

Circumcision

The word circumcision means literally "cutting around" and its practice is ancient, although it is not practiced in all cultures. It can, however, be found among the ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Polynesians, and among various tribes in the Americas. Circumcision, normally part of a ritual, involves the removal of the foreskin either of a man or of a boy. Usually this occurs as part of some sort of initiation or rite of passage.

The Comforter

- the designation of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7; RSV marg., "or Advocate, or Helper; Gr. paracletos"). The same Greek word thus rendered is translated "Advocate" in 1 John 2:1 as applicable to Christ. It means properly "one who is summoned to the side of another" to help him in a court of justice by defending him, "one who is summoned to plead a cause." "Advocate" is the proper rendering of the word in every case where it occurs.

Confession

- An open profession of faith (Luke 12:8).

An acknowledment of sins to God (Leviticus 16:21; Ezra 9:5-15; Daniel 9:3-12), and to a neighbour whom we have wronged (James 5:16; Matthew 18:15).

Conversion

- the turning of a sinner to God (Acts 15:3). In a general sense the heathen are said to be "converted" when they abandon heathenism and embrace the Christian faith; and in a more special sense men are converted when, by the influence of divine grace in their souls, their whole life is changed, old things pass away, and all things become new (Acts 26:18). Thus we speak of the conversion of the Philippian jailer (16:19-34), of Paul (9:1-22), of the Ethiopian treasurer (8:26-40), of Cornelius (10), of Lydia (16:13-15), and others.

Covenants

- A covenant is an agreement between two parties, one is God the other man. There are two different types of agreements in scripture. Conditional and unconditional.

  • Conditional

    is based on man keeping the agreement by cooperation. If you will I will.

  • Unconditional

    is based on Gods promise by him fulfilling his part. I will even if you disobey .

Crucifixion

- Crucifixion was a common mode of punishment among heathen nations in early times. It is not certain whether it was used by the ancient Jews; probably it was not. The modes of capital punishment according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword (Exodus 21), strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21).

This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deut. 21:23.

This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of producing pity to avoid a demand for further punishment.

The condemned person carried his own cross to the place of execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was sometimes given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt. 27:48; Luke 23:36). He tasted it probably to allay the agonies of his thirst (John 19:29).

The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the Romans in such cases. He was crucified between two "criminals" (Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion. The "breaking of the legs" of the crucified was intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (19:33) was due to his previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfillment of a symbol (Ex. 12:46).

He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier's spear (John 19:34).

Our Lord uttered memorable words from the cross, including "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (23:43), as well as John 19:26, Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34, John 19:28, Luke 23:46, and John 19:30 ("It is finished.").

D

Decree

Gods eternal purpose according to the council of his will, whereby for his own glory he foreordained what is to come to pass. Some things God proposes to do others he decrees. Permitting them to be done he affects good and permits evil. So he is in control of both yet he is not the author of evil.

Disciple

- A scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14), and of the Pharisees (22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matthew 10:24; Luke 14:26,27,33; John 6:69).

Dispensation

(Gr. oikonomia, "management," "economy") The method or scheme according to which God carries out his purposes towards men is called a dispensation. There are usually reckoned three dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the Christian. (See COVENANT, Administration of.) These were so many stages in God's unfolding of his purpose of grace toward men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.

A commission to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2; Colossians 1:25). Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men either in the way of mercy or of judgement.

Doctrine

The teachings of scripture (fundamentals, practices of ) [1 Tim.4:13-16 2 Tim.3:16]

E

Easter

rendered Easter in Acts 12:4 in the KJV (King James Version), but should be Passover, as in the ASV (American Standard Version). The day on which the church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Effectual Call

- the calling of God is His extending an invitation to people to come to Him (note that it is not people calling upon the Lord - it is the Lord calling out to people). In its particular meaning, effectual calling is that invitation extended to people whereby they are sufficiently enabled to savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e. the call is responded to). Therefore, the effectual calling is both the outward call extended and the inward call realized through the drawing, enlightening and enabling work of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the sinner's belief in Christ.

Eisegesis

Reading into a text what isn't there. Interpreting it by different rules than a consistent understanding from the Bible. Using a presupposition to arrive at the meaning, by ignoring the language and culture it was used in.

Election

This is the sovereign act of God whereby He chooses a certain person or group of people out of a larger company for a purpose of His own.

Epistle

formal letters containing Christian doctrine and exhortation, referring particularly to the 21 epistles of the New Testament, divided into Pauline and General epistles.

Eschatology

A consideration of the facts pertaining to "last things" including the return of Christ, the Great Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom, the resurrection, the future judgments and the eternal state of both the just and the unjust.

The Rapture

- The 'catching up' of the saints, both alive and dead, to meet Christ in the air.

Scriptural Support:

These are the two most important scriptures used to explain the nature of the rapture;

  • For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NASB)
  • Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. I Corinthians 15:51-52 (NASB)

Different Theories of the Rapture

There is no debate as to whether or not the rapture will take place. Several theories attempt to explain the time and/or participants of the rapture.

  • Pre-Tribulationism:

    This view holds that the rapture takes place before the tribulation of Revelation. All Christians on the earth at that time will be taken to heaven to be with the Lord. Some scriptures used for support are Revelation 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9.

  • Post-Tribulationism:

    This view believes that the rapture will not take place separate from the 2nd coming of Christ. These two events are simultaneous, and all believers will take part. Posttribulationists appeal to Historical Theology, the parable of the virgins (Matthew 25:1-13, and to Matthew 24:43, 1 Corinthians 15:54.

  • Mid-Tribulationism:

    This view believes that the rapture will occur at the exact midpoint of the 7 year period in Revelation, and will include all believers. They equate the trumpet mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52 with the last trumpet in Revelation 11:15. They also believe that the tribulation is only 3 1/2 years long, from Christ's words in Matthew 24:21, and Daniel 9:27.

  • Post-Tribualationism

    - Christ comes back at the end of the tribulation and those who are alive through it are raptured. There are 4 views within this position as well. Classic, semi-classic, futurist, dispensational.

  • Partial Rapture:

    This view believes that only those believers who are eagerly anticipating the Lord's return will be raptured, and the rest will be left to go through the tribulation of Revelation. The most important scripture appealed to is Luke 21:36, and they also use Matthew 24:41-42, 1 Corinthian 15:23, Philippians 3:11, 20, Titus 2:13, 2 Timothy 4:8, ; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Hebrews 9:28.

  • Pre-Wrath Rapture

    - A ¾ view which has the church go through much of the tribulation to purify and perfect the bride.

Eternal Death

- (the culmination and extension of spiritual death), the eternal separation of the soul from God in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14)

Eternal Security

- ". . . is that work of God which guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, is possessed forever and cannot be lost. Since security rests on God’s guarantees, its truthfulness does not rest on my feelings or experiences." (C. Ryrie, "So Great Salvation")

"This doctrine teaches that those whom God has chosen before the foundations of the world and efficaciously called into saving faith and regenerated by His Holy Spirit can never lose salvation but shall be preserved in a state of salvation to the final hour and be eternally saved." (J. Dillow, "The Reign of the Servant Kings") A Scriptural Defense of Eternal Security

Eternity

- is defined as "infinite duration; a duration discharged from all limits, without beginning, without succession, and without end". (from A.A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology, page 142)

Evangelism

- is proclaiming the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ to the lost. Evangelism is extremely important for this is God's means of bringing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to lost sinners. Note the emphasis placed upon this by Jesus Himself as He closed out His earthly ministry: Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8. Note also the words of Paul in this regard: Rom 10:13-17; 2 Cor 5:18-20.

SO THE CHURCH HAS BEEN GIVEN THE DIVINE COMMISSION, TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, FOR THIS IS THE ONLY MEANS BY WHICH GOD WILL SAVE SINNERS!

Evangelize

- is to present Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women will come to put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their savior, and serve Him as king in the fellowship of His church.

Exegesis

- to draw out extracting what is in the text the way it was written. Finding the true meaning and explain the passages of scripture from their context

Exposition

The communication of the meaning of the text along with its relevance to present-day hearers.

F

Faith

- is accepting the truth and the person the truth actually represents. Faith is trusting entirely on that truth and that person alone forever. It might also be described as a clinging to the truth; embracing the truth; committing to the truth.

The essence of saving faith is not the faith itself, but rather the object of one's faith. Faith by itself avails nothing; just as faith in itself avails nothing. In a similar manner, misplaced faith will avail nothing and it will never save. Therefore, it is the truth that must be believed, and the person of God must be the object of one's faith!

Fasting

- The Bible teaches that fasting is a way to add emphasis to private prayers. Fasting has become of interest in today's world where it is hard to concentrate in the midst of busy lifestyles in a quickly-changing world.

Because fasting centers on the abstinence of taking food, there are some precautions that must be taken before a person can fast successfully.

  • What is your state of health? (If it would harm you to abstain from food entirely, don't do it! God would not want you to harm yourself for Him.)
  • What is the purpose of your fast? (If it is merely to lose weight, a sensible diet is far more effective. If it is to come closer to God, food should be the furthest thing from your mind.)
  • Do you have a prayer support team? (If you have people praying for your success on a fast, the chances of temptation are greatly reduced.)

Figurative Language

- the moon turns to blood (meaning red). look for the literal meaning first before attempting to interpret it as symbolic.

Forgiveness of Sin

- is one of the constituent parts of justification. In pardoning sin, God absolves the sinner from the condemnation of the law, and that on account of the work of Christ, i.e., he removes the guilt of sin, or the sinner's actual liability to eternal wrath on account of it. All sins are forgiven freely (Acts 5:31; 13:38; 1 John 1:6-9). The sinner is by this act of grace for ever freed from the guilt and penalty of his sins. This is the peculiar prerogative of God (Psalms 130:4; Mark 2:5). It is offered to all in the gospel.

Foreknowledge

- This means more than just "prior knowledge" since that is a quality of omniscience. The idea of foreknowledge in scripture (Greek - prognosko) is usually related to people and it means foreknown in terms of relationship, fore-loving, or a fore-choosing (see Gen 18:19; 24:7; Amos 3:2; Acts 26:5; Rom 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet 1:20)

Foreordination

This is the method by which God decrees and determines a particular outcome and is most closely related to predestination. It is related to both people and events in Scripture.

G

Glorification

- to become like Jesus at either the rapture of the Church, or at preceding resurrections. (to become immortal and incorruptible in a permanent state) [Rom.8:17; Phil.3:20-21; 1 Cor.15:42-44,49-54]

God

The Bible contains no definition of God, but contains many allusions to His being and attributes. God is Spirit (John 4:24), infinite in power (Dan 4:35), complete in wisdom, absolutely truthful (Heb 6:18), perfectly holy (Lev 11:44). He has revealed Himself through nature (Rom 1:20) and through His Son (Heb 1:1-2). There is only one true God (Deut 6:4), eternal transcendent apart from anything made. Has plurality within his nature as three identities simultaneously existing (persons) who are united in the one essence that is God. Other gods are mentioned in the Bible as false (Judges 6:31; 1 Kings 18:27; 1 Cor 8:4-6), or as demonic (1 Cor 10:19-22)

The Gospel

- "Glad tidings" or "good news, " The English word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word godspell, which meant "good news." As now used, it means the message of Christianity and the books in which the story of Christ's life and teaching is found (Rom 1:15, 16). In the New Testament the word is never applied to a book but to the message (Rom 1:1; 1 Thess 3:2,9; Acts 20:24; Eph. 6:15).

Grace

The undeserved favor bestowed upon sinners, a gift from God giving us Christ's riches which we do not deserve nor can earn. (Eph. 2:8-10).

Grace is derived from the Greek, charis. In secular Greek, charis was related to chairo, meaning "to rejoice." As far back as the time of Homer it denoted "sweetness" or "attractiveness." It came to signify "favor," "goodwill," and "lovingkindness" especially as granted to an inferior by a superior.

H

Hermeneutics

- The science of interpreting the written word, to find what the text actually meant. What God originally meant it to say. Eliminating what it never could have meant. This includes the whole field of interpretation. The use of tools such as a different bibles (word for word translations and paraphrase), bible dictionaries, interlinear, Greek word pictures and tenses, Concordance, etc.

The Holy Spirit

- ". . . is a person of full deity and eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son" (Adapted from "Westminster Larger Catechism")

The following facts may be gleaned from this definition of the Holy Spirit and those of "God" and "Trinity";

  • The Holy Spirit is God (co-equal and co-eternal; same essence)
  • The Holy Spirit is a person (not merely a "godly" influence or "force" -- the Holy Spirit is not an "it", the Holy Spirit is a "He".
  • The names given the Holy Spirit; the attributes ascribed to the Holy Spirit; all the works of the Holy Spirit prove Him to br God!

Homiletics

The science (principles) and art (task) by which the meaning and relevance of the biblical text are communicated in a preaching situation.

Hyperbole

Ps.119:20: "My soul is crushed with longing. Luke 14:26: " If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. " An exaggeration or overstatement not to be taken literally but used to express another meaning.

Hypostatic Union

- The dual nature of Christ being both 100% God and 100% man dwelling together as one person. (Jn.1:14,18 Phil.2:6-8, Isa.9:6 Heb.4, Col.2:9)

I

Idiom

an expression of language or dialect of a people that is not understood outside its culture. A special terminology.

Illumination

The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit whereby He causes and enables people to understand the inspired revelation of Scripture.

Impute

To place on ones account Christ's righteousness in exchange for our sin.

Incarnation

- God becoming flesh the eternal Son who is God (the word) becoming the son of man through the virgin conception. (Mt.1:21-23; Isa.7:14)

Inerrancy

The fact that the Scriptures are free from any mistake or falsehood, and that what they reveal concerning any subject will not ultimately be capable of being proven to be false.

  • To every word/portion of the inspired text; inspiration guarantees
  • the accuracy of every fact recorded in the Scriptures (whether historical; geographical; scientific; etc.)
that God has recorded exactly what He has desired to say; exactly what He wants revealed; and it is all true.
NOTE: inspiration guarantees inerrancy, and inerrancy guarantees the facts to be truthful; but the facts will always be a limited discussion, rather than an exhaustive discussion, on ant particular subject (i.e. the facts will be scientifically accurate but all the scientific data will not be presented.

Infallibility

- The inability and the incapability of the Scriptures teaching any deception.

Infinity

- is defined as "that which is free from any possible limitation". In other words, something greater cannot possibly be conceived of, and nothing can be added to the infinite that it did not already possess from all eternity. (adapted from A.A. Hodge, "Outlines of Theology", p. 133)

Iniquity

this is a reference to that which is altogether wrong.

Inspiration

"That extraordinary supernatural influence exerted by the Holy Ghost on the writers of our Sacred Books, by which their words were rendered also the words of God, and therefore, perfectly infallible." (by Benjamin Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, P & R, 1948; page 420)

Verbal Inspiration

- The inspiration extends to the very words of Scripture.

Plenary Inspiration

- The inspiration extends to every part of Scripture.

Verbal Plenary Inspiration

- This is the traditional orthodox view. It teaches a verbal inspiration, meaning that the Holy Spirit guided the human choice of every word in the original autographs. However, the human authorship was respected and the characteristics pf the human author was preserved. It teaches a plenary inspiration, always meaning that every portion of the original autographs is equally inspired, resulting in an inerrant, infallible and authoritative record of divine revelation. This is the best view for maintaining the "dual authorship" of the Bible. "By the term 'dual authorship' two facts are indicated, namely, that, on the divine side, the Scriptures are the Word of God in the sense that they originate with Him and are the expressions of His mind alone; and, on the human side, certain men have been chosen of God for the high honor and responsibility of receiving God's Word and transcribing it into written form" (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol . 1 of 8, page 72).

A belief in a wholly-inspired Bible is the very foundation principle of the Christian faith. The verbal inspiration of Scripture is a doctrine of fundamental importance; for if the writing of the Bible was not Divinely (and therefore infallibly) guided, then the source of what we know of God and His dealings with men would be unreliable. If we could not, with absolute confidence as to its Divine origin and production, turn to the Bible as the authoritative Word of God in all its parts, then we would be quite unable to make any certain progress towards true enlightenment in spiritual things and in matters related to salvation.

The key aspects of Biblical inspiration are as follows:

  • The Bible was produced by the 'outbreathing' of God through His Spirit:
2 Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (where the italicised words are a single Greek word, theopneustos, meaning, literally, 'God-breathed [out]'). (There are no really sound linguistic grounds for weakening the sense of Paul's words, as the NEB and the RV do, by translating it as "Every Scripture inspired of God is also . . ."; the RV margin, the NIV, the Jerusalem Bible and many other modern translations give the proper sense required by the Greek sentence construction.)
  • The Spirit of God 'carried men along' to write His Word:
2 Peter 1:20,21 - ". . . no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved [Gk. phero, 'to be carried (along)'] by the Holy Spirit".
  • The inspired writers of the Bible wrote with the Divine authority of God Himself, and their words are binding on God's people:
1 Corinthians 2:12,13 - "Now we have received . . . the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth".
1 Corinthians 14:37 - ". . . the things that I [the Apostle Paul] write unto you are the commandments of the Lord".
John 10:35 - According to Jesus, "the scripture cannot be broken".
  • The inspiration of the Bible involved the Divine control or superintendence of the very words used:
Numbers 22:38; 23:3,5 - "And Balaam said . . . the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak . . . and whatsoever He sheweth me I will tell . . . And the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth".
2 Samuel 23:1-3 - "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said . . . The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said . . .".
Jeremiah 1:7,9 - "But the Lord said unto me [Jeremiah] . . . whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak . . . Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth".
John 14:10,24 - ". . . the words that I [Jesus] speak unto you I speak not of myself . . . the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's Which sent me".
  • Because the words themselves were Divinely inspired (as well as the writers), the possibility of the original Scriptures containing errors is excluded:
Psalm 12:6 - "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times".
  • The power of God's Spirit to enlighten, to convert, and to save is in the Scriptures themselves, and the benefit of their Divine origin is conveyed to us in their words, which do not require the additional operation of the Holy Spirit to make them intelligible:
2 Timothy 3:15 - ". . . the holy scriptures . . . are able [Gk. dunamai, 'have power'] to make thee wise unto salvation".
John 6:63 - ". . . the words that I [Jesus] speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life".
Acts 20:32 - "I [Paul] commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified".
Romans 10:17 - "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".
Isaiah 55:11 - "My word . . . that goeth forth out of My [God's] mouth . . . shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it".

Interpretation

- The science whereby man attempts to discover the exact meaning of the inspired revelation of Scripture, using precise hermeneutical principles and always allowing all Scripture to ultimately interpret itself.

J

Jesus Christ

- Jesus Christ our Lord is undiminished deity and perfect humanity united in one person forever.

"The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man" (from The Westmister Confession of Faith, chapter 8, paragraph 2).
Meaning: Salvation, or "the Lord is salvation," "the Lord Saves." "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua which was originally Hoshea (Oshea) (Num. 13:8, 16 - the King James Version of the Bible spells it "Oshea"), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Num. 13:16; 1 Chr. 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua, from which came the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save. An angel told Joseph (his foster-father), "You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).

JESUS CHRIST

- Jesus, the proper, as Christ is the official, name of our Lord. To distinguish him from others with the same name, he is spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" (John 18:7), and "Jesus the son of Joseph" (John 6:42).

How Did He Die? - Medical experts, historians and archaeologists have examined in detail the execution that Jesus Christ voluntarily endured. All agree that he suffered one of the most gruelling and painful forms of capital punishment ever devised by man. Here is a brief summary of some of the things we know from history, archaeology and medicine about his last hours... SEVERE STRESS, EVEN BEFORE THE ABUSE BEGAN -- Jesus had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Even before the crucifixion, began he clearly had physical symptoms associated with severe stress. The night before the execution, his disciples reported seeing Jesus in "agony" on the Mount of Olives. Not only did he not sleep all night, but he seems to have been sweating profusely. So great was the stress that tiny blood vessels were rupturing in his sweat glands and emitting as great red drops that fell to the ground (see Luke 22:44). This symptom of severe stress is called hematohidrosis. (Learn more...)
Jesus was physically exhausted and in danger of going into shock unless he received fluids (which he apparently did not). This is the man that the Roman soldiers tortured.
TORTURE BY BEATING WITH ROMAN SCOURGES -- Having previously been beaten by the Jews, it was now the Romans' turn. The beatings administered by Roman soldiers are well known to be very bloody, leaving lacerations all over the body. Romans designed their whips to cut the flesh from their victim's bodies. These beatings were designed to be painful to the extreme. It would also cause a fluid build up around his lungs. In addition, a crown of thorns was forced into his scalp which was capable of severely irritating major nerves in his head, causing increasing and excruciating pain, as the hours wore on.
In Christ's severely stressed condition, these beatings were easily enough to kill him. His body was horribly bruised, cut and bleeding. Having had no nourishment for many hours, and having lost fluids through profuse sweating and much bleeding, Jesus would have been severely dehydrated. This brutal torture would certainly be sending him into what doctors call "shock," and shock kills.
In addition, Jesus was forced to carry the the wooden beam on which he would die. Imagine the effect of carrying a heavy weight if you were in that condition.
CRUCIFIXION -- Hung completely naked before the crowd, the pain and damage caused by crucifixion were designed to be so devilishly intense that one would continually long for death, but could linger for days with no relief.

According to Dr. Frederick Zugibe, piercing of the median nerve of the hands with a nail can cause pain so incredible that even morphine won't help, "severe, excruciating, burning pain, like lightning bolts traversing the arm into the spinal cord." Rupturing the foot's plantar nerve with a nail would have a similarly horrible effect.

Furthermore, the position of the body on a cross is designed to make it extremely difficult to breathe.

Frederick Farrar described the intended, torturous effect: "For indeed a death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of horrible and ghastly--dizziness, cramp, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, tetanus, shame, publicity of shame, long continuance of torment, horror of anticipation, mortification of untended wounds--all intensified just up to the point at which they can be endured at all, but all stopping just short of the point which would give to the suffer the relief of unconsciousness."

One doctor has called it "a symphony of pain" produced by every movement, with every breath; even a slight breeze on his skin could bring screaming pain at this point.

Medical examiner, Dr. Frederick Zugibe, believes Christ died from shock due to loss of blood and fluid, plus traumatic shock from his injuries, plus cardiogenic shock causing Christ's heart to fail.

At the ninth hour (the time at which a sacrificial lamb was killed everyday in the Jewish temple), Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" and soon died, after saying "It is finished." At about this moment is probably the time when the temple's priestly ram's horn would have been blown that day, announcing that the priests had completed the sacrifice of the lamb for the sins of Israel. Also at that moment, the great, thick curtain that closed the Holy of Holies room from view, ripped open from top to bottom. -Mark 15:34 and Matthew 27:46

James Thompson believed that Jesus did not die from exhaustion, the beatings or the 3 hours of crucifixion, but that he died from agony of mind producing rupture of the heart. His evidence comes from what happened when the Roman soldier pierced Christ's left side. The spear released a sudden flow of blood and water (John 19:34). Not only does this prove that Jesus was already dead when pierced, but Thompson believes it is also evidence of cardiac rupture. Respected physiologist Samuel Houghton believed that only the combination of crucifixion and rupture of the heart could produce this result. Whatever the final cause of death, there is no question that it was painful beyond words.

Near the end, a criminal beside him mocked, "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us." Little did this sinner know that the man he was speaking to hung there voluntarily. He was speaking to our Creator, capable of releasing all the power in the universe and beyond, and easily saving himself. Jesus remained in this agony and shame, not because he was powerless, but because of his incredible love for humanity. He suffered to provide the needed way of salvation for you and me.

The Jesus Seminar - Among those who work outside of the normal canons of historical research is "The Jesus Seminar,"[1] a gathering of the skeptical-minded whose conclusions are published in The Five Gospels.[2] Instead of demonstrating historical objectivity, their enterprise is a stacked deck of hostile presuppositions.

They presume the Gospels to be error-ridden and implicitly inferior to all other sources contemporary to them[3]. For example, they effectively give the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas greater weight than the canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).[4]

They reject miracle stories out-of-hand as fiction on the allegation that miracles aren't possible.

They presume the faith-motivated first Christians weren't interested in history, and willingly put words into Jesus' mouth to fulfill their own needs.[5] Under their brand of "criteria of dissimilarity"[6] the only words they accept as authentic to Jesus and thus not borrowed, are those which differ from both the concerns of the early church and from the surrounding Judaistic culture.

In rebuttal, this saddling of the burden of proof onto the Gospels instead of onto the critics, violates the entire tradition of historical research. Wayne Booth argues rightly that "Abstract commands to 'doubt pending proof' [ought to be replaced] with [what is] the ancient and natural command to 'assent pending disproof.'"[7] Second, the above opposition to miracles is based on an outmoded, 19th century view of science and commits the logical fallacy of begging the question (assuming what they seek to prove).

Principles behind their third presumption were rejected by secular historians decades ago as author Edgar Krentz admits.[8]

The Jesus Seminar absurdly ends up with a Jew who is stripped of his Jewishness, and with the founder of a Church whose followers rarely bothered to actually quote him. And their "Jesus" fails to account for the strong reactions of his contemporaries. The few words they judge authentic reduce Jesus to an insipid eccentric who would have been powerless to create the strong reactions either against him that resulted in his death, or for him in the movement that turned their world upside-down.

The notion that the first Christians weren't interested in Jesus' pre-crucifixion words is so improbable as to require direct and substantial evidence of a kind not remotely produced. And who is supposed to have created those world-changing words critics allege were put into his mouth? Not communities, which at most shape, but never create, profound discourse.[9]

Likewise, the often touted notion that individual "anonymous Christian prophets" created Jesus' words is shown to be without legitimate analogy. See Ben Witherington, The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth (InterVarsity Press, 1995), p. 200.

Writes John Bright, "It is far easier to credit such... insight to Jesus Himself -- who, on the very lowest count, was one of the great creative minds in history -- than to his early disciples, who were, for the most part, humble and very ordinary men."[10]

It is significant that contemporaneous Christians, Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp described the Gospels as the words of Jesus.

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES

For first-hand reading of Seminar writers see:

1. Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1995), 160 pp. John Dominic Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1995), 224 pp. [up]

2. Robert Funk, editor, The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (Polebridge, 1993). [up]

3. Ibid., Funk, p. 4. [up]

4. Ibid., pp. 15f, 26.; The Apocryphal "Gospel of Thomas" was heavily influenced by gnosticism, and almost certainly is to be dated in the middle next century after the close of the New Testament. See John Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Vol. I (New York: Doubleday, 1991), pp. 124-166. [up]

5. Ibid., pp. 22f, 29f. [up]

6. Ibid., p. 30f. [up]

7. Wayne Booth, Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), p. 101. [up]

8. Edgar Krentz, The Historical Critical Method (Fortress, 1975), p. 78f. [up]

9. See Vincent Taylor, The Formation of the Gospel Tradition (New York: Macmillan, 1935), p. 107f. [up]

10. John Bright, The Kingdom of God (Abingdon Press, 1953), p. 209. [up]

11. See Gary Habermas, The Verdict of History (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988), p. 176f. [up]

Justice

Getting what you deserve from Gods hands, a righteous perfect judgment, rewards and punishments. (2 Cor.5:10; Rev.20:11-12)

Justification

is the legal act whereby God declares the sinner "not guilty" and imputes to them the righteousness of Christ. This places the believing sinner in a right relationship with God. This is not a subjective reality, but an objective positional reality.

"Justification is God's act of remitting the sins of, and reckoning righteousness to, ungodly sinners freely, by His grace, through faith in Christ, on the ground, not of their own works, but of the representative righteous and redemptive, propitiatory. substitutionary blood shedding of Jesus Christ on their behalf." (from J.I. Packer, "God's Words", page 139)

K

Kenosis

- The Bible states that Jesus "emptied Himself" in describing His preincarnate glory contrasted with His humble state as a man (Phil 2). The question debated throughout the centuries has been in relation to exactly what it was Jesus emptied Himself of. Some say deity; others suggest glory; still others suggest power, or rights. Did He give up all His divine attributes, or just some of them? Without discussion of the pros and cons of these suggestions consider the following suggestions of what the emptying consisted of:

1) Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, veiled His preincarnate glory within an unglorified body.

2) Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, restricted the independent exercise of His "omni" attributes and submitted to the Father.

Knowledge

is the act or condition of knowing something with a familiarity gained through experience or association. It means "to perceive directly", "to have direct cognition", to "apprehend intellectually", "to acquire facts".

L

Lordship Salvation

- Affirms 1) the need for complete surrender and repentance from sin in order to receive justification and that 2) God will cause all true believers to persevere in continual, sustained fruit and works in life. This fruit is the source of assurance that one is truly saved.

Background

Lordship salvation is the modern theological successor of reformist and Calvinist teaching. As John Calvin and Martin Luther defended salvation by faith in Christ alone against the onslaught of works based theology from the Roman Catholic Church, they had a very difficult problem. Although many in their congregations demonstrated a changed life, others that had professed faith in Christ continued to live very carnal lives. The Roman Catholic Church used this as evidence that a salvation apart from works could not and did not have the power to save. Luther and Calvin's response was to say that those persons who continued to live carnally had never truly placed their faith in Christ alone because anyone that had truly experienced conversion would necessarily continue in good works. This response to carnality continues today and has been called "Lordship Salvation" by those who disagree with the position (Lordship is meant to highlight the emphasis placed on accepting Christ as Lord of one's life).

The Theology

Lordship salvation proponents, such as John Piper, Tom Nelson, John F. MacArthur, and Steven J. Lawson see two areas as key to their understanding of and methodology for dealing with people who profess Christ, yet continue to live carnal lives.

Justification

the role of repentance and surrender at conversion. Christ preaches several parables where he makes it plain that there is a high cost for discipleship (Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Luke 14:25-27) and true commitment demands complete surrender of everything (Matt. 19:16, 21; Mark 10:23; Luke 14:33). Several of the calls to salvation in Acts use the word repentance (Acts 2:38; 11:18), which is always defined as "turning from sin" as does John the Baptist and Christ in the early part of his ministry (Mark 1:4; Matt. 3:2; 11:20). These passages are seen as proof that one must fully repent (from all sin) and make a total commitment to Christ before salvation can be had. It is not a salvation by works, as faith alone is what saves, but that in order to have faith alone, one must first have committed to a changed life. Jesus cannot be accepted as Savior unless he is also fully accepted as Lord over one's life.

Sanctification

the will of God that all men be preserved or that all men will continue in a godly life until the end (I Tim 4:16; Heb. 10:36). The sanctification of the believer is seen as an act of God alone with no responsibility placed on man. The result is that because God's desire is that all men persevere in good works and that God is the only one in acting in sanctification - all true believers will necessarily persevere. If anyone does not persevere, he must doubt whether his faith was true and therefore if his salvation is secure. Several "tests" have been proposed to determine if a professing believer is truly saved (using texts such as I John). This view is also known as "Perseverance of the Saints" from the 5th point of Calvinism.

Problems with the view

Although the motivations for the Lordship view - a genuine concern for the prevalent apathy of many people in the modern Christian church - are valid and noble, the theology has several severe Biblical and theological problems.

Poorly defined Biblical terminology

Salvation

- Distinctions between justification, sanctification and glorification are not properly established in Lordship theology. Salvation is almost exclusively seen as eternal life in heaven and rarely, if ever seen as present sanctification. This creates a problem in interpreting passages such as Phi. 2:12. Disciple - there is a failure to distinguish salvation from discipleship. Although Christ makes distinctions between the free offer of salvation to all men (Luke 14:15-24) and the high cost of discipleship (Luke 14:25-27) resulting in reward, this distinction is ignored in Lordship theology.

Repentance

rather than defining repentance as it is used in Greek (metenoesan - "to change one's mind")1, an entire theology is forced upon the word giving it the meaning "turning from sin." The Greek translation of the Old Testament used metenoesan for God (Ex. 34:2; Jer. 26:13) who was obviously not turning from sin. John the Baptist and Christ did urge the Jews to repent from sin (John 1:23; Matt. 4:17) to usher in the Old Testament Covenants Christ was to fulfill, but this repentance from sin was not for justification, but rather identification with the imminent Kingdom of God. For salvation, repentance should be understood as a change of mind about who Christ is such as when Peter explains to the Jews who Christ was (Acts 2:36-37), then asks them to change their mind about rejecting him and receive salvation (Acts 2:38).

No Practical Assurance of Salvation

Although Lordship proponents teach ETERNAL SECURITY (that salvation cannot be lost once it is received), they teach that ASSURANCE OF SALVATION can only come when a believer is persevering in good works. Every time a believer struggles in sin or doubt, he is forced to doubt whether or not he is saved. The peace the God promises and that one can know for certain that he is saved (I John 5:13) is denied. Believers need to base their assurance on the objective truth about what the Word says regarding someone that has placed their faith in Christ's provision (Acts 10:43), rather than in the subjective truth of how one feels or what actions they commit.

Misunderstanding of God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility - No responsibility is placed on man for present salvation (sanctification). Although the New Testament places a high value on the results of those that persevere - reward (Phi. 3:14) and rulership with Christ (I Tim. 2:12) - these results are seen as ubiquitous among all Christians because all will persevere.

The Biblical Possibility of Failure

- the New Testament makes it very clear that there is a present reality that a believer may not continue in good works and may face severe disciple (Heb. 10:26-27) even unto death (I Cor. 5:5; Jam. 5:20-21). If it is true that all will persevere, these passages make little sense. Lack of commitment of Biblical Saints - there are several examples of confirmed believers that did not display commitment or perseverance.

Lot

- if commitment is a requirement for salvation, Abraham's cousin Lot surely would not have been saved, for he scarcely displays any commitment at any point in his life. But, the New Testament reveals he was considered holy (2 Pet. 2:7).

Solomon

- Solomon's entire life was characterized by sin with almost 1000 women as either wives or concubines. Although his life is clearly not an example of perseverance, he surely was saved. Ananias and Sapphria - because of their sin (Acts 5:1-2) were taken to be with the Lord (Acts 5:5, 10) as an example of the seriousness that God has toward sanctification. They did not continue in good works and yet had the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3) so were believers.

The Lord's Supper

- (1 Corinthians 11:20), called also "the Lord's table" (10:21), "communion," "cup of blessing" (10:16), and "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42).

In the early Church it was called also "eucharist," or giving of thanks (Compare Matthew 26:27), and generally by the Latin Church "mass," a name derived from the formula of dismission, Ite, missa est, i.e., "Go, it is discharged."

The account of the institution of this ordinance is given in Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19,20, and 1 Corinthians 11:24-26. It is not mentioned by John.

It was designed;

  • To commemorate the death of Christ: "This do in remembrance of me." * To signify, seal, and apply to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. In this ordinance Christ ratifies his promises to his people, and they on their part solemnly consecrate themselves to him and to his entire service.
  • To be a badge of the Christian profession.
  • To indicate and to promote the communion of believers with Christ.
  • To represent the mutual communion of believers with each other.

The elements used to represent Christ's body and blood are bread and wine. The kind of bread, whether leavened or unleavened, is not specified. Christ used unleavened bread simply because it was at that moment on the paschal table. Wine, and no other liquid, is to be used (Matthew 26:26-29). Believers "feed" on Christ's body and blood, (1) not with the mouth in any manner, but (2) by the soul alone, and (3) by faith, which is the mouth or hand of the soul. This they do (4) by the power of the Holy Ghost. This "feeding" on Christ, however, takes place not in the Lord's Supper alone, but whenever faith in him is exercised.

This is a permanent ordinance in the Church of Christ, and is to be observed "till he come" again.

Love

- The ancient Greeks had four different words we translate love. It is important to understand the difference between the words:

  • "Eros" was one word for love. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love. It refers to sexual love.
  • "Storge" was the second word for love. It refers to family love, the kind of love there is between a parent and child, or between family members in general.
  • "Philia" is the third word for love. It speaks of a brotherly friendship and affection. It is the love of deep friendship and partnership. It might be described as the highest love of which man, without God's help, is capable of.
  • "Agape" is the fourth word for love. It is a love that loves without changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given. It gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive. According to Alan Redpath, we get our English word agony from agape. "It means the actual absorption of our being in one great passion." (Redpath) Strictly speaking, agape can't be defined as "God's love," because men are said to agape sin and the world (John 3:19, 1 John 2:15). But it can be defined as a sacrificial, giving, absorbing, love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another.

It is interesting to note that the Greek word "Agape" is a word that was coined exclusively for the New Testament; it was never found in classical Greek and they knew nothing of this Agape, the divine love of God.

M

Man

- A direct creation of God. Made in his image to express God nature and bring glory to his creator. Specifically to have a relationship with God as a child to its parent. Created in holiness knowing only what is good until the fall, then gained knowledge of what is contrary to God.

Mercy

- Is withheld punishment for judgment, God's mercy provides the need for sinful man in Jesus sacrifice.

Metaphor

Jn.6:48 I am the bread of life or eat my body and drink my blood- a figure of speech in which one object is liked to another by speaking of it as if it were the other but in fact is not.

Millennialism

  • Millennium

    - A literal 1,000 years of Christ reigning on earth.(Gr. Chiliasm=1,000 years, mentioned 6 times) The church was pre millennial the first three centuries of the church. His return was considered imminent.

  • Amillennialism

    - Teaches there is no literal millennium before or after Christ returns to earth. Uses an allegorical or symbolic approach to prophecy. (major proponents are Covenant theologians)

The belief that the millennial kingdom is indeterminate in length and fulfilled by Christ currently ruling in heaven. At the end of this reign Christ will come back to gather the church and judge the nations.

Historical

This position was first posited by Augustine (354-430). He believed that Christ would return and the judgments and resurrection would occur at the year 1000 A.D. After this year passed into history, the view was changed to mean an indefinite period of time between Christ's comings. Martin Luther and John Calvin were also amillennialists.

Doctrinal Characteristics

There are two views within amillennialism. The fulfillment of the millennial scripture comes either through the church that exists on earth now, or the saints that are already in heaven.

The church fulfills spiritually all of the covenants and promises made to Israel in the Old Testament. These include the ABRAHAMIC, Davidic, and New Covenants. God is finished with his program for Israel, and is solely concerned with the church, although Jews can enter back into the promises through faith in Christ.

Amillennialists use a combination of literal and figurative hermeneutics. They tend to interpret much of prophecy figuratively. They believe that a prophecy cannot be fully understood until its fulfillment, which is why we should not be quick to affirm a literal 1000 year earthly kingdom.

Scriptural Interprtations

The land promises of the Abrahamic Covenant were fulfilled either by Joshua (Joshua 21:43-45), Solomon (1 Kings 4:21), currently by the church, or by the heavenly Jerusalem. The mystery of Ephesians 3:5 is that the church was actually in the Old Testament and thus fulfills those promises and covenants.

They believe that Daniel's Seventy Weeks Daniel 9:24-27 began in 536 B.C. under Cyrus, not in 445 B.C. under Artaxerxes. The seventy sevens are then imprecise in their exact duration. The seventieth week therefore is the entire church age, not the 7 year period of tribulation in Revelation.

  • Dispensational Pre-Millennialism

    - The 2nd coming occurs in two stages first the rapture of the church then after 7 years Christ returns with his church to rule on earth. Uses a literal interpretation of prophecy.( used by pretribualtionists)

  • Historic Pre-Millennialism

    - The rapture and the 2nd coming are simultaneous events as Christ returns to earth, before the millennium.

  • Post Millennialism

    - Christ returns after the millennium, there is no distinction between the rapture and 2nd coming, it one event.

Minister

one who serves, as distinguished from the master.

Heb. meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Exodus 33:11), and to the servant of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants at court (2 Chronicles 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jeremiah 33:21; Ezekiel 44:11).
Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here used of that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's servants" in Ezra 2:55-58 and Nehemiah 7:57-60.
Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and in this sense applied to magistrates (Romans 13:6). It is applied also to our Lord (Hebrews 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ (Romans 15:16).
Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5).
Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1 Corinthians 3:5), Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21), Epaphras (Colossians 1:7), Timothy (1 Thessalonians 3:2), and also to Christ (Romans 15:8).

Miracle

- an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38)

It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.

In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles:

  • Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
  • Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
  • Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
  • Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in working" (John 5:20, 36).

N

Nicolaitans

- The church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:6) is commended for hating the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (Compare 2 Peter 2:15,16,19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Revelation 2:14.

O

P

Parable

A figure of speech in a story setting to illustrate a moral or spiritual or heavenly truth. Taken from the peoples everyday experiences. Mt.13 The disciples asked why do you speak in parables. It has been to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given . The principle is (Isa. 6:9-10) to reveal to those who are soft in heart seeking truth , they will continue to be given more . For those who are hard of heart it is hidden until they repent. In Mk.4:13 Jesus explains In understanding this first parable of the sower is the key to understanding them all.

Pharisees

a prominent sect of Jews in Christ's time; opposed Jesus and His teachings; plotted His death (Matt 12:14); were denounced by Him (Matt 23). Characteristic teachings: belief in oral as well as written law; resurrection of the body; belief in the existence of spirit world; immortality of the soul; predestination; future rewards and punishment based upon works (Matt 9:11-14; 12:1-8; 16:1-12; 23; Luke 11:37-44; Acts 15:5; 23:6-8).

Physical Death

(the separation of the soul from the body), which affects humankind as the result of Adam's sin charged to our account (Romans 5:12-14)

Prayer

"Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child's conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs." (Billy Graham)

"Though in its beginnings prayer is so simple that the feeblest child can pray, yet it is at the same time the highest and holiest work to which man can rise." (from Andrew Murray, "With Christ In the School of Prayer")

Preaching

proper preaching and teaching is nothing less than sharing the divine oracles of Almighty God! It is declaring God's truth to inform the ignorant, eblighten the mind, stir the emotions, and challenge the will. It is declaring the whole counsel of God in such a manner that everyone who listens is aware of the divine message and the divine presence. Proper preaching might also be known as "bridge building" between the Biblical world and the modern world! (from John R.W. Stott, "Between Two Worlds")

The preacher, if he is true to his divinely ordained task, must preach the Word, only the Word, and nothing but the Word! The preacher is simply the spokesman for God, standing "in the gap" to say to God's people and the world what God would want said. The point is this: God has already preached His message in the Scriptures - thus the preacher has been given the task to simply say again to his culture and his generation what God has already declared! Nothing else matters but a clear exposition of what God is actually saying in the inspired text. Period!

Allegorical Sermons - "One of the poorest methods is what is commonly called the allegorical. This sermon takes certain Bible narratives and gives them an allegorical interpretation. Such a sermon could be preached from the parable of the Good Samaritan. The preacher would explain the man on the road to Jericho as a lost sinner, the priests and the Levites would represent the efforts of the law to save him; and Jesus would be the Good Samaritan. Although all of those truths are in deeds biblical the allegorical method does violence to the literal intention of the Bible narratives." (from Jerry Vines, "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation")
Biographical Sermons - "This sermon presents a study of the life of a particular Bible character. The facts about the particular character form the basis for a message that has modern application. Very often God has a way of teaching truth by wrapping it in flesh and blood. The truth of faith is clearly seen in the life of Abraham, the father of the faithful. The danger of carnality is graphically portrayed in the life of Lot. The biographical sermon can be handled in an expository manner." (from Jerry Vines, "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation")
Devotional Sermons - a sermon emphasizing life situations. It's where a text is used that is not doctrinal, nor an epistle. Usually the preacher will use Psalms, the Gospels, or an Old Testament story with the intent to comfort and encourage; to create within the listener more love and devotion for Jesus
Textual Sermons - "A textual sermon is one based upon a verse or two from the Bible. The main theme and the major divisions of the sermon come from the text itself. This sermon seeks to expound what the text itself actually says. Some of Charles H. Spurgeon’s greatest messages are built around a single verse of Scripture. The preacher may practice imposition, not exposition. He may choose a text as a mere starting point from which to express an idea he is fond of. Or he may use a text as a peg on which to hang something he would like to say. Very often a text is made to serve the preacher’s intentions rather than those of God’s word." (from Jerry Vines, "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation")
Topical Sermons - "The topical sermon is built around some particular subject or idea. The idea may be taken from the Bible or from outside the Bible. A topical sermon may be presented in an expository manner. Doctrinal sermons easily lend themselves to this approach. But usually the preacher gathers what the Bible teaches about some particular topic, organizes the passages into a logical presentation, and then delivers the topical sermon. However, in my opinion, it is one of the poorest ways to preach. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., says the preacher should preach a topical sermon only once every five years, and then immediately repent and ask God’s forgiveness!" (from Jerry Vines, "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation")
Expository Sermons - "Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept (theme) derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through him to his hearers." (from Haddon W. Robinson)
"Not a lecture about Scripture, but the Scripture itself, opened up and enforced."(Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

Predestination

This is God's sovereign act of ordaining the perfect means to accomplish His own perfect ends of what He had determined in His decree. This is always/only related to people in the Scriptures.

Propitiation

This is a concept that is no longer popular within the church, and some have gone so far as to eliminate the concept from their basic theology. The idea is that of God's wrath being "turned away" or "appeased" and thus He is satisfied as a result (Rom 3:23-25; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:1-2). It is the death of Christ alone that accomplishes this propitiation, for it was in this atoning work that the Savior took the full expression of divine wrath, resulting in the complete "turning away" of the divine anger.

The doctrine of propitiation is absolutely essential due to the very nature of God. For in His holiness, He demands absolute perfection. Any violation of that perfection demands justice being met, or the application of moral equity to moral deviation. The result is that the sinner is under the judicial sentence of divine wrath, with the prospect of that wrath being fully expressed being only a matter of time.

THEREFORE, THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE GUILTY SINNER MUST BE AVERTED!

Providence

God working all things to the purpose of his will (Isa.40:28; Ps.139:13; Rom.8:28)

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Redemption

to purchase and set free by paying a price; to buy out of a market place; to loose, set free or deliver; to buy back out of slavery of sin. One is liberated from sin being their master because of the complete payment of Christ’s blood. (Gal.3:3; Eph.1:1; Rom.3:24-25)

Reconciliation

To make man who was once an enemy of God have peace through Christ's atoning death . A change of relationship between God to man from hostility to harmony. Reconciliation does not necessarily equate salvation, it renders all men savable. (Rom.5:11; Col.1:20-21; 2 Cor.5:18)

Regeneration

is that miraculous work of God whereby He causes the dead human spirit to become alive by being "born again" - or actually more literally, to be "born from above".

Repentance

- Repentance is often wrongly viewed merely as remorse, conviction, sorrow for doing wrong, etc. However, the Bible views repentance primarily as a radical change of mind, change of attitude, and change of decisions. That results in a change of one's actions and a new direction adopted.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

- is one of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). The whole of the New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. On the day of Pentecost Peter argued the necessity of Christ's resurrection from the prediction in Psalms 16 (Acts 2:24-28). In his own discourses, also, our Lord clearly intimates his resurrection (Matthew 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-22).

The evangelists give circumstantial accounts of the facts connected with that event, and the apostles, also, in their public teaching largely insist upon it. Ten different appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament.

They may be arranged as follows:

  • To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is recorded at length only by (John 20:11-18), and alluded to by (Mark 16:9-11).
  • To certain women, "the other Mary," Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1-10) alone gives an account of this. (Compare Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:1-11.)
  • To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5.)
  • To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully only by (Luke 24:13-35. Compare Mark 16:12,13).
  • To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others "with them," at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance, (John 20:19-24).
  • To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also 1 Corinthians 15:5).
  • To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance also (John 21:1-23) alone gives an account.
  • To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an appointed place in Galilee (1 Corinthians 15:6; Compare Matthew 28:16-20).
  • To James, but under what circumstances we are not informed (1 Corinthians 15:7).
  • To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend "till a cloud received him out of their sight" (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).

It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42,43; John 21:12,13).

In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ's manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3-9,17; 1 Corinthians 15:8; 9:1). It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record.

The resurrection is spoken of as the act (1) of God the Father (Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:24; 3:15; Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 13:20); (2) of Christ himself (John 2:19; 10:18); and (3) of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).

The resurrection is a public testimony of Christ's release from his undertaking as surety, and an evidence of the Father's acceptance of his work of redemption. It is a victory over death and the grave for all his followers.

The importance of Christ's resurrection will be seen when we consider that if he rose the gospel is true, and if he rose not it is false. His resurrection from the dead makes it manifest that his sacrifice was accepted. Our justification was secured by his obedience to the death, and therefore he was raised from the dead (Romans 4:25). His resurrection is a proof that he made a full atonement for our sins, that his sacrifice was accepted as a satisfaction to divine justice, and his blood a ransom for sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all believers (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:47-49; Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2). As he lives, they shall live also.

It proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17). "If Christ did not rise, the whole scheme of redemption is a failure, and all the predictions and anticipations of its glorious results for time and for eternity, for men and for angels of every rank and order, are proved to be chimeras. 'But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.' Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The kingdom of darkness has been overthrown, Satan has fallen as lightning from heaven, and the triumph of truth over error, of good over evil, of happiness over misery is for ever secured." Hodge.

With reference to the report which the Roman soldiers were bribed (Matthew 28:12-14) to circulate concerning Christ's resurrection, "his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept," Matthew Henry in his "Commentary," under John 20:1-10, fittingly remarks, "The grave-clothes in which Christ had been buried were found in very good order, which serves for an evidence that his body was not 'stolen away while men slept.' Robbers of tombs have been known to take away 'the clothes' and leave the body; but none ever took away 'the body' and left the clothes, especially when they were 'fine linen' and new (Mark 15:46). Any one would rather choose to carry a dead body in its clothes than naked. Or if they that were supposed to have stolen it would have left the grave-clothes behind, yet it cannot be supposed they would find leisure to 'fold up the linen.' "

Revelation

The self-disclosure of God in history, whereby He communicates to mankind through various actions, events or words, the truth about Himself, His ways and His works.

"Revelation concerns the origin and giving of truth . . . The Hebrew word for revelation, "galah", 'to uncover', and the Greek word "apocalyptein", 'to unveil', are roughly identical in meaning. Along with their synonymns in the Old Testament and New Testaments, these terms convey the idea of 'the removal of obstacles to perception', or 'the stripping away of that which keeps one from seeing an object as it is'. This notion was contained in the Latin "revelare" (to reveal), from which the English word "revelation" is derived. In other words, revelation involves 'disclosure' rather than 'discovery'." (from Norman Geisler, "A General Introduction to the Bible", Revised & Expanded edition, pages 39-40)

  • General Revelation

    - The self-disclosure of God which rests upon the basis of creation, and is thereby available to all human beings and is specifically addressed to all intelligent creatures.
  • Special Revelation

    - The self-disclosure of God directed to human beings in a special sense, addressed primarily to mankind as sinners (e.g. Israel's history, theophonies, miracles, the Logos made flesh, the inspired word).

Righteousness

the quality of rightness or justice; an attribute of God. As a result of the fall, man is corrupt and lacking in righteousness (Rom 3:23), and incapable of making himself righteous (Rom 3:19, 20). In justification man is declared righteous through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ when he has faith (1 Cor 5:21). In sanctification man is progressively mafe righteous in character and conduct (1 John 1:7-9).

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Sadducees

Jewish religious sect in the time of Christ. Beliefs: acceptance only of the Law and rejection of oral tradition; denial of resurrection, immortality of the soul, spirit world (Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8); supported Maccabeans; a relatively small group, but generally held the high priesthood; denounced by John the Baptist (Matt 3:7,8) and Jesus (Matt 16:6, 11, 12); opposed Christ (Matt 21:12f; Mark 11:15f; Luke 19:47) and the apostolic church (Acts 5:17, 33).

Sanctification

- Both the Hebrew and Greek words translated "sanctify" or "sanctification" express the idea "to set apart" or "to make holy". Thus the true believer, having been regenerated, united to Christ and justified, is now being sanctified or "set apart" from the world and sin.

Salvation

- to be eternally saved in every respect from all the influences of sin. Thus it means to be made whole, to be made complete, to be made healthy. Salvation, according to the Biblical revelation, is always and only a work of God for man, and never in any case a work of man for God.

The Tenses of Salvation

  • Salvation Past:

    Many passages teach that salvation is wholly complete or totally in the past for someone who has believed (Luke 7:50; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15; Eph. 2:5, 8). This person's salvation is so sure that he is said to be saved forever (John 5:24; 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:1). Knowing that part of salvation is a past completed event is of great encouragement to the believer.

  • Salvation Present:

    In contrast to passages that indicate salvation is a past event, many passages also teach that salvation is a present and continually occurring event in the life of the believer. (Rom 6:14; 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal 2:19-20; Phil 1:19; 2:12-13; 2 Thes. 2:13). This is an ongoing process that may result in a life worthy of praise (Matt 25:21; I Cor. 9:26) or in the shame of barely escaping the flames (I Cor. 3:15).

  • Salvation Future:

    All that is promised from salvation - perfection, complete holiness, sinlessness (Rom. 8:29; 13:11; I Pet. 1:5; I John 3:2) - is evidently not yet complete. The fact that some aspects of salvation are yet to be accomplished in the believer's life does not imply that a Christian should doubt his or her salvation, because nowhere does Scripture teach that that salvation is an act of man. God's faithfulness to complete his work in every believer (Phil. 1:6).

The Parts of Salvation

  • Justification

    : Justification (being considered righteous) by faith alone (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1) is what separates the message of Christ from all other systems of belief. Man's condemnation comes from his inherited sin nature (Rom. 4:12-13) and from his personal sins (Rom 3:23). Justification comes from the blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9) as a payment for sins that imparts to us the righteousness of God (II Cor. 5:21). It occurred in salvation past and because of this, God presently considers us holy and blameless in Christ.

  • Sanctification

    : We participate in the continual process of daily holy living (or being set apart) so that we may be presented holy and blameless to God (Phil. 1:10; II Pet. 3:14). Although most Christians agree that justification is received by faith, most try to live a holy life by human effort and the strength of one's resolve. The Bible teaches that living by the Law always results in failure, but instead the believer is to be set apart in holiness by faith just as he was justified by faith (Rom. 1:16; 5:2; Hab. 2:4). Just as we were required to depend on God for the forgiveness of sins, our present sanctification is achieved only by accessing what God has graciously wrought in us (Gal. 2:19-20).

  • Glorification

    : This aspect of salvation is the future promise of hope for all believers. All those that were justified will surely be glorified (Rom. 8:30). Our flesh will be removed (Col. 2:11) and we will receive a glorified body (Phil. 3:21). This glorified state is often represented by white garments (Mark 16:5; Rev. 6:11, 17:9, 13-14) and will ultimately bring glory to God (Eph. 1:12).

The Power of Salvation

The Penalty of Sin: The wage of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life" (Rom. 6:23). The penalty of sin is death and eternal separation from God. The first thing that salvation saves a believer from is the penalty of sin which is dead. Although we may continue to sin, positionally we have no fear of condemnation. Christ's death on the cross was a payment for our sins releasing us from its penalty (Rom. 3:24; II Cor. 5:21).
The Power of Sin: Although God has makes every believer a new creation (II Cor. 5:17), his present flesh in its complete desire for evil (Gen. 4:7; Rom. 7:9-11) continues to be corrupt. In our flesh, we have no ability to live a holy life (Rom. 8:13). But in salvation, God has allotted resources that allow us, by living in the power of the Spirit, to have daily purity, holiness, and fellowship with Him.
The Presence of Sin: The three things that influence us toward sin are the world, the flesh and the devil (Eph. 2:1). Even in the millennial kingdom, when the world and the devil are removed, those that have not received a glorified body will still sin because of their fallen flesh (Ps. 2:9; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). When the flesh is removed (the presence of sin) we will finally be able to fully experience the fullness of life in bringing glory to God for eternity.

Sanhedrin

- A group of 70 men who were a religious political body for Israel ( a Jewish supreme Court) made up if 24 chief priests (Sadducees) 24 elders (Pharisees) 22 scribes and one high priest overall (71).religious men who dictated how people were to worship God and practice Judaism

Scribes

- copiers of the law a branch of the Pharisees. They were responsible for safeguarding and copying the scripture. They wrote mainly on parchment which consisted of dried up and polished skins of calves and sheep rolled up into scrolls. They had a meticulous Job of cross-checking the letters for any mistakes. Each letter was to be a hair breath away from the next. They would have counters to count all the words to see if there were any mistakes. If they found an error the scroll was completely destroyed. They had memorized immense portions of the O.T. scripture and often argued with Jesus on its meaning.

Scripture

- The English word for scripture is derived from the Greek word "graphe", which very simply means "writing". Thus the "graphe" (writings) of both testaments, being the books that have been canonized and considered authoratative, form "ta bibla" (The books of the Bible). In each case, the names signify the quality of this particular book, or its uniqueness and singularity. Thus the Bible is the book among all books!

Shepherd

- a word naturally of frequent occurence in Scripture. Sometimes the word "pastor" is used instead (Jeremiah 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16). This word is used figuratively to represent the relation of rulers to their subjects and of God to his people (Psalms 23:1; 80:1; Isaiah 40:11; 44:28; Jeremiah 25:34,35; Nahum 3:18; John 10:11,14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:4).

The duties of a shepherd in an unenclosed country like Palestine were very onerous. "In early morning he led forth the flock from the fold, marching at its head to the spot where they were to be pastured. Here he watched them all day, taking care that none of the sheep strayed, and if any for a time eluded his watch and wandered away from the rest, seeking diligently till he found and brought it back. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose has to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. At night he brought the flock home to the fold, counting them as they passed under the rod at the door to assure himself that none were missing. Nor did his labours always end with sunset. Often he had to guard the fold through the dark hours from the attack of wild beasts, or the wily attempts of the prowling thief (see 1 Samuel 17:34).", Deane's David.

Simile

Rev.1:14 "His eyes were like flames of fire." A figure of speech expressing comparison or likeness, terms such as like, as ,so.

Sin

The primary Greek word rendered "sin" is "hamartia". This word essentially means "missing the mark; falling short; or a departure". The essential idea being conveyed by the use of this word is that of "a departure from holiness"; thus "hamartia" means to sin; to depart from God's standard of holiness; to become unrighteous; to fail to live up to what God requires of us. (Rom 3:23; 14:23; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4)

"Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal" (from "The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter VI, Item VI).

Spiritual Death

(the separation of the soul from God), a condition transmitted to us from Adam through our ancestors (Ephesians 2:1,5)

Spiritual Gifts

- The New Testament Greek word most often translated... "Spiritual Gifts" is... "charismata" (the singular is "charisma"). The root word, "charis" is the Greek word for "grace." Thus, "spiritual gifts" are "grace-gifts" or "grace-endowments" that Christians receive from God to be used for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Keeping it simple, we may define a "spiritual gift" as... a God-given, spirit-empowered ability for strengthening the Body and bringing glory to His Name!

Systematic Exposition

- working steadily through a book of the Bible or a section of a book, either verse by verse or paragraph by paragraph.

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Theology

- The word "Theology" is a compound of two Greek words:

  • theos which literally means "God"
  • logos which literally means "speech" or "expression" (John 1:1; Heb 1:1-3)
  • theo-logia which means a "speech or discourse upon the subject of God"

This is a very simple definition for so vast a subject as the infinite and eternal triune God. But the point is that the theological study of God will include His person, His works, and his ways. So our theological study will encompass both the immaterial and material universe, and God's relationship to both.

Theophany

A physical manifestation of God as a person or messenger (angel) a pre incarnate appearance of Christ in human form, called "the Angel of the Lord." (Gen.16:13, 17:1-3,18:1, 32:30; Ex.3:2)

Trinity

The doctrine of the trinity is a reference to the "tri-unity" of God. There is only one God, but this God is a unity of one (Deu 6:4; Isa 44:6-8; 45:5-6; 1 Tim 2:5; 1 Cor 8:4). This God is also a complexity within unity (Gen 2:24; 11:6; 1 Cor 3:6-8). The following statements attempt to express both these concepts:

"We worship one God in trinity, trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance." (Athanasian Creed)

"God is one in His essential being, but the divine essence exists in three persons; yet in such a way that the divine essence is wholly in each person." (from "New Bible Dictionary" [Revised], J.D. Douglas, ed.)

"In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are of one substance, co-equal, and co-eternal. (adapted from the "The Westminister Confession")

"We worship one God in trinity, trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance." (Athanasian Creed)

Transgression

a stepping to one side, or the "overstepping" of those boundaries that God has clearly marked off.

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Vicarious

- to take a place of another as a substitution. Jesus took the place of sinners place vicariously on the cross. Mt.20:28

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Wisdom

is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; it is synonymous with insight, good sense, and sound judgment. It means to have "deep understanding", "to have keen discernment", "to have sanctified common sense", "to have the capacity for sound judgment". WISDOM IS THE PROPER APPLICATION OF BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE!

Word of God

- (Hebrews 4:12, etc.) The Bible so called because the writers of its several books were God's organs in communicating his will to men. It is his "word," because he speaks to us in its sacred pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or precept. All saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit (John 17:17; 2Tim 3:15,16; 1 Peter 1:23).

Worship

- "Worship is honor and adoration directed to God. The New Testament uses several words for worship. Two of them particularly are noteworthy. The first is proskuneo, a commonly used term that literally means "to kiss toward," "to kiss the hand," or "to bow down." It is the word for worship used to signify humble adoration. The second word is latreuo, which suggests rendering honor, or paying homage.

Both terms carry the idea of giving, because worship is giving something to God. The Anglo-Saxon word from which our English word is weorthscipe, which is tied to the concept of worthiness. Worship is ascribing to God His worth, or stating and affirming His supreme value.

When we talk about worship, we are talking about something we give to God. Modern Christianity seems committed instead to the idea that God should be giving to us. God does give to us abundantly, but we need to understand the balance of that truth - we are to render honor and adoration to God. That consuming, selfless desire to give to God is the essence and the heart of worship. It begins with the giving first of ourselves, and then of our attitudes, and then of our possessions - until worship is a way of life." (from John MacArthur, Jr. "The Unltimate Priority")

"Worship is to the Christian life what the mainspring is to a watch, what the engine is to a car. It is the very core, the most essential element. Worship cannot be isolated or relegated to just one place, time, or segment of our lives." (from John MacArthur, Jr. "The Unltimate Priority")

"Worship is the only gift we can bring to God that He Himself has not first given to us."

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