Adoption. At salvation the new believer is made part of the family of God and receives divine favor as his child (Gal 4:5; Eph. 1:5; 2:19). Adoption also includes a future aspect; when believers receive their new bodies at the resurrection and rapture and share the privileges of Christ’s throne.
Amillennianlism. The view that there will be no future reign in heaven during the entire church age.
Anglican. Belonging to the church of England (Episcopal).
Annihilationism. The teaching that the wicked cease to exist at death or after a period in the lake of fire.
Anointed. In the Old Testament refers to an act if dedication to God’s service by pouring oil on the person’s head. In the New Testament is refers to an empowering, or energizing, by the Holy Spirit.
Antichrist. A false Christ who will appear at the end of this is age, become a world dictator, and demand worship.
Antisupernatural. Denies the existence and really of the supernatural. Tries to explain everything in terms of natural law.
Apocrypha. Books written during the period between the Book of Malachi and the birth of Jesus. The Jews did not include them in the Hebrew bible and all the protestant reformers rejected them as not being inspired.
Apostasy. A deliberate and total turning away from Christ and his teachings.
Apostle. A “Sent one,” or ambassador, specifically, those chosen personally by Jesus to be with him and to be primary witnesses to his resurrection and his teachings (Matt. Century A.D.)
Ark of the covenant. In the Old Testament a gold plated box that was the receptacle for the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments received on Mt. Sinai by Moses.
Armageddon. “The mountain of Megiddo,” the site of the final battle between Christ and the antichrist (Rev. 16:16).
Arminians. Followers of James Arminius (1560-1609) who taught that god chose to save all who will believe in Christ, that it is possible for true believers to fall away and lose their salvation.
Ascension. Christ’s bodily return to have forty days after his resurrection (Acts 1:20-21).
Atonement. The covering of human sin by the payment of the price of Christ’s death and the shedding of his blood. It blots out sin and guilt and makes possible reconciliation with God.
Attributes of God. The special traits, characteristics, or qualities of God that constitute his nature and being.
Autographs. The original handwritten manuscripts produced by the human authors of scripture. These were probably circulated and copied so many times that they wore out. None of them are now known to exist. However, copies from close to the time they were written do exist.
Backsliding. A lessening of Christian commitment to do God’s will.
Barbarian. In New Testament times this was a term used of anyone who could not speak Greek. KJV uses the term often; NIV uses it once (Col. 3:11), resorting more often to “Foreigner,” “non-Greek,” etc.
Bishop. (Old English bisceop from the Greek episcopos, “overseer,” “superintendent.”) In the New Testament a president of the congregation. In later history it became the title of the chief pastor of a church.
Book of life. A book containing the names of those who are born-again believers (Luke 10-20; Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 21:27), and therefore “fellow citizens with God’s people” (Eph. 2:19)
Born again. Also means “born from above,” a spiritual birth to a new life of obedience to Christ Jesus when a person puts faith in him (John 3:3). It is evidenced by a sincere desire to please him, show his love, and avoid sin and evil.
Bridegroom, The. Jesus Christ, who anticipates his future union with his bride, the church, when he comes again at the end of the age.
Calvary. The Latin translation of the Greek kranion and the Aramic Glolgotha, “a skull.” One ancient tradition says it was so called because Adam’s skull was supposed to be there.
Calvin, John. A reformer (1509-1564) who taught God’s absolute sovereignty demanded absolute predestination of those who should be saved and who should be lost. He failed to see that god is sovereign over himself and therefore able to give human beings true free will.
Camp meeting. On the American frontier thousands of people would pitch their tents around a clearing and have an open-air revival meeting. Later, large tents of plain auditoriums would accommodate the people as they worshiped.
Canon. The list of books accepted by the church as scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Canonical. Accepted as par of the canon of the bible.
Charismatic. Related to or possessing powerful spiritual gifts. The charismatic movement came into being through the emphasis and practice of charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Christ. Greek christor, “Anointed one”. Used as a title of Jesus as God’s anointed prophet, Priest, and king. A translation of the Hebrew Mashiach, “Messiah,” also meaning “anointed one.”
Church council. A meeting of representatives from individual churches to discuss matters of doctrine and practice.
Church age. The period between Christ’s resurrection and his second coming.
Circumcision. The cutting off the foreskin of the penis. It was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14) and became a sign of being a Jew.
Clergy. Those ordained by the church to perform pastoral and teaching functions.
Collectivism. The theory advocating collectives control over production and distribution of goods and services.
Communions. The setting apart of a person or thing for the Lord’s use, or service. Also used of the seeking of a richer, deeper Christian life, wholly committed to god.
Conversion. The turning of a life from sin to serving Christ. It involves repentance that confesses and forsakes sin ad that places faith and trust in Christ.
Conviction. The Holy Spirit’s work in convincing a person of being a sinner and needing Jesus as Savior.
Covenant. A solemn, binding agreement God’s covenants are agreements by which he pledges to bless those who accept the covenant.
Day of atonement. The tenth day of the seventh month (our Sept. –Oct) of the Old Testament years. On that day the high priest offered sacrifices to make atonement for the sins of all the people of Israel (Lev. 16).
Deacon. A word meaning “servant,” “ helper”. An office in the local church. Both men and women served as deacons (Rom. 16:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-13)
Deity. Being god, having the nature of God.
Demons. Spirit beings, sometimes called evil of unclean spirits, who work under Satan. Some believe they are fallen angels.
Denomination. A group of churches with a particular name who are organized and work together on the basis of a set of beliefs and practices they accept.
Depravity. Moral and spiritual corruption or pollution.
Desecration. Treating something that is holy with irreverence and contempt, usually in an outrageous way.
Devil. “slanderer” (Gk. Diabolos). The chief of the evil spirits, also known as Satan.
Discipleship and submission movement. Teaches that a person should choose someone to be a “shepherd” (always a man) and submit to him. Also called the shepherding movement.
Doctrine. Teaching, especially teaching concerning biblical truths.
Dominion. Authority, sovereignty.
Easy believism. The idea that a person can express a mental belief in the gospel and in Jesus as savior without any genuine repentance and without any responsibility to follow and obey him.
Edification. The building up and strengthening of the believers.
Efficacious. Achieves what God intends.
Empirical data. Data received through the physical (five) sense.
Enduement. Form the Greek, enduo, meaning, “to be clothed upon.” Used of the reception of the Holy Spirit’s power.
Eternal kingdom. The final state of the saved in the new heavens and the new earth, with the New Jerusalem as their home and headquarters.
Evangelicalism. Affirms the inspiration and authority of the Bible and the truth of its teachings, with emphasis on the need for personal conversion and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
Faculty. Ability, power, capability to act or do; natural aptitude.
Faith. Belief in God and Christ expressed in whole-hearted, trustful obedience. Biblical faith is always more than believing something is true. It always has god and Christ as its object.
Fall of man. Adam and Eve’s initial act of disobedience by which they lost their close relationship with God.
Fellowship. The sense of unity and partnership with god and Christ and with one another as Christians pray and work together in a spirit of mutual encouragement.
First fruits. In the Old Testament each year the first part of the crop was given to God. This came to include the meaning of “the best”
Folklore. Customs, stories, and sayings passed down from previous generations by word of mouth.
Fundamentalist. Conservative evangelical who emphasize the inerrancy and literal interpretation of the bible and takes a stand against antisupernatural liberalism.
Gnostics. Those who, beginning in the second century A.D., taught that salvation comes through special superior knowledge. Some taught physical matter is evil, and most denied the humanity of Christ.
Godhead. Originally, “Godhood.” The nature of God, existing as one God in three divine persons.
Grace. God’s Riches At Christ’s expense; his generosity to humanity.
Great commission. Jesus command to spread the gospel to the whole world.
Great tribulation. The period of the outpouring of God’s wrath as judgment on the ungodly world system at the end of the age.
Great white throne judgment. The final pronouncement of judgment on the wicked (Rev.20:11-14).
Heathen. Pagan; worshipers of false gods.
Heresy. An opinion or way of thinking that contradicts the teachings of the bible.
Hierarchical. Referring to a system of church government that has several levels, the flow of authority coming from the top down.
Hieroglyphics. Picture writing used in ancient Egypt.
Holiness. Separation form sin and dedication to the worship and service of the lord.
Holiness movement. A movement originating in the mid-nineteenth century that emphasizes John Wesley’s teaching on total sanctification and Christian perfection.
Holy. God is supremely holy ad separate form all sin and evil in an awesome way. He is also dedicated in a positive sense to carrying out his will and plan. People are holy to the extent they are like him.
Holy Ghost. Another term for the Holy Spirit, the third person of the one Godhead. “Ghost” is an old English word for “spirit”
Humanistic. Asserts human self-sufficiency while rejecting the supernatural. Secular humanism makes human reason its god.
Idolatry. The worship of anything other than the true the water.
Imminent. About to happen, or having the potential of happening at any time.
Immortal. Not subject to death and decay; living forever.
Impenitent. Refusing to repent or change one’s attitude toward sin and toward the gospel.
Imputed righteousness. Christ’s righteousness credited to the believers in Christ who accept his gift of salvation. God then treats the believer just as if he or she had never sinned.
Incarnation. The act by which the eternal Son of God became a human being without giving up his deity.
Intercession. Prayer on behalf of another person or person.
Intuitively. Perceived or know directly without being reasoned out.
Irrationality. A way of thinking that distrusts human reason or that lacks clarity and coherence.
Itinerant. Traveling from place to place.
Judaism. The religion and culture that developed from Phariseeism among the Jews after the temple was destroyed in A.D 70.
Justification. God’s act of declaring and accepting a person as righteous in his sight. God pardons sinners who accept Christ and treats them as not guilty just as if they had never sinned.
Kingdom of God. The reign, rule and royal power of god in the believer’s hearts, in the church, in the world and eventually in the millennial kingdom to ruled on earth by Christ.
Laity. Originally the people of god as a whole. Later used, as a term for Christians not ordained by the church as ministers.
Lake of fire. The place of final eternal punishment for Satan, his demons, and the wicked.
Layman. A member of the laity (not ordained to ministry.)
Liberalism. A movement that denies the supernatural and redefines Christian teachings and practices in terms of current human philosophies.
Lord. “Master,” “owner.” A term used of God and representing the personal name of God (Yahweh) in the Old Testament and used of both God and Jesus in the New Testament.
Luther, martin (1483-1546). Leader of the German Reformation. He emphasized Justification by faith alone rather than by works.
Manicheans. Followers of Mani (ca. A.D. 216-ca. 276), a Persian who taught there would be an ongoing struggle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness for 1468 years. It emphasized denial of bodily desires as a means of salvation.
Manuscript. A handwritten book. Before A.D. 100 these were c\scrolls or rolls. After that they were bound books.
Marriage supper of the Lamb. A great celebration of the union of Christ and the church. It takes place just before Jesus comes in triumph to destroy the armies of the antichrist and establishes the millennial kingdom.
Materialism. Teaches that matter and its laws are the ultimate, or only, reality. The term is also used of putting the highest value on material well-being and the acquiring of material goods.
Mediator. One who goes between two parties in order to reconcile them. Jesus is the only Mediator between god and human beings (1 Tim. 2:5)
Messiah. “Anointed one.” See “Christ.”
Millennial reign. The thousand-year reign of Christ on earth.
Ministry. Service rendered to god or to others. God has ministry for every believer.
Miracle. An act of divine intervention where gods power is greater than and supersedes any natural forces that are present.
Missionary. One who ministers to other cultures and communicates the gospel across cultural lines.
Modernism. Protestant theological liberalism with its critical approach to the bible and a willingness accept current scientific theories even when they appear to contradict the bible.
Monarchians. A second and third century movement that stressed the unity and oneness of God. Some made Jesus just a man. Others taught that god appears sometimes as the father, sometimes as the son, sometimes as the Holy Spirit.
Mount of olives. The hill (2,723 feet elevation) east of Jerusalem’s temple area.
New covenant. The covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31 and put into effect by the death of Jesus (Heb. 8:6’ 9:15-17).
New-age philosophies. A loosely tied group of teachings based on oriental philosophies with an emphasis on nature worship, often including a smattering of Christian terminology.
Normative. Having scriptural authority concerning what Christians are to believe and do.
Occult. The secret knowledge of supposed supernatural forces or agencies, especially in spiritism, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and astrology. These are dangerous ventures into Satan’s territory.
Omnipresent. God is everywhere present and nothing is hidden form him.
Ontological. Related to being, or existence.
Ordained. Publicly recognized by church as having a god given ministry.
Ordinance. A practice commanded by Jesus and continue as a memorial in obedience to him. the two specific ordinances are water baptism and the Lord’s supper.
Ordination. The public recognition by the church of a god-given ministry.
Orthodox. From the Greek orthos, “upright,” straight,” “correct,” true,” and dokeo, “think,” “believer.” Refers to correct teachings and practices as established by the church. Used by evangelicals of correct biblical teachings. The eastern churches took the bane “orthodox” when the western (Roman Catholic.) church split off from them.
Overcomes. “Winners,” “victors:” all believers who maintain their faith in Christ (Rom. 8:37; 1 John 5:4).
Pantheism. The belief that God and nature or the universe are identical: “God is all, all is god.”
Passover. The annual memorial ceremony by which the Jews remember deliverance from the death of the firstborn, the tenth plague god brought on Egypt in order to deliver them from pharaoh (Exod. 12:1-32)
Pentecost. “Fiftheth,”a name for the harvest feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 believers to empower them.
Pentecostal. The movement that began in 1901 and emphasizes the restoration of the baptism in the holy spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongue and the restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Personal devotions. Private, personal worship and bible study.
Postmillennial. Refers to the teaching the millennium is the church age or an extension of the church age, with Christ ruling but not personally present.
Predestination. The teaching the God chooses something in advance. He predestined that Jesus would be the head of the Church and that the church is a chosen body that he will glorify when Jesus returns. Calvinists believe god predestines individuals to be saved. This comes from Calvin’s philosophy, not from the bible.
Premillennialism. Teaches that Jesus will personally return at the end of the church age and will establish his kingdom on earth for a thousand years. Emphasizes the literal interpretation of the bible.
Probation. The teaching that our present life is preparation for the future life.
Prophet. A speaker for god. In the Old Testament, God used prophet to give his message his people and to the world. They were “forthtellers” rather than foretellers. New Testament prophets are gifted by the Holy Spirit to give messages of encouragement (Acts 15:32; 1 Cor. 14:3)
Providential. Involving God’s care and guidance.
Puritans. A sixteenth-century movement in England that attempted to purify the English church by introducing more Calvinistic reforms, along with simplicity of worship.
Rapture. The snatching away of true believers for a meeting with Jesus in the air.
Reconciliation. The bringing of people to god in restored fellowship.
Redeem. Refers to Christ’s paying the penalty for our sins by his death on the cross and the shedding of his blood.
Redeemer. Jesus Christ, who alone was able to free us from sin.
Redemption. See “Redeem.”
Reformation. The sixteenth-century movement led by Martin Luther that attempted to reform the Roman Catholic Church.
Regeneration. The Holy Spirit’s work of giving new life to the sinner who repents and believes in Jesus.
Relativism. Teaches that any concept, meaning, or truth changes when the situation changes, or changes from one group of people to another. Often denies that there is any absolute truth.
Repentance. Greek, metanoi, “a change of mind. That is, a change of basic attitudes toward god and Christ that involves a turning away from sin and a seeking of God’s rule and righteousness.
Revelation of Christ. The return of Christ in power and glory to destroy the forces and the Antichrist and establish the millennial kingdom.
Revival. The work of the Holy Spirit in renewing the spiritual vitality of individual’s and churches. True revival makes evangelism easier.
Righteousness. Right relationship with god within his covenant, the believer lining up with the standards of justice and truth God has provided in the Bible.
Ritualistic. Dependent on prescribed forms of words and ceremonies.
Sabellians. Followers of sabellius (third century A.D.) who taught that god is one person who revealed himself in three forms, modes, or manifestations, in succession.
Sacramental. Refers to the belief that grace is dispensed through religious rites called sacrament.
Saint. Translates the Greek hagios, “a holy person. In the New Testament all believers are saints, not because they have reached perfection but because they have turned their backs on the world to follow Jesus. They are headed in the right direction.
Salvation. Includes all that God has done and will do for the believers in delivering from the power of sin and death and restoring the fellowship as well as assuring future resurrection and the full inheritance he has promised.
Sanctification. The work of the Holy Spirit separates believers form sin and evil and dedicates them to the worship and service of the lord. There is an initial act of sanctification as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in putting to death wrong desire.
Sanctify. “Separate to God,” make holy.”
Sanctuary. “Holy place.”
Satan. The Hebrew name of the devil, meaning “accuser,” “adversary.” He opposes god and all believers.
Scythian. Warlike indo-Aryan tribes who moved from central Asia and made several invasions of the Middle East beginning in the eighth century B.C by 100 B.C. they had settled in the Crimea, near the Black sea.
Seal. A mark or impression stamped on something by a signet ring or a small cylinder with an engraved end. It was used to authenticate or identify a document or object. Spiritually it identifies a person as belonging to Christ.
Second death. Eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
Secularism. Life and thought that ignore god and religion.
Seminary. An institution of higher education for the training of ministers and missionaries.
Septuagint. The translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek made during the two hundred years before Christ. A later tradition said it was done by seventy (or seventy-two) men. As a consequence, it is often referred to by the Roman numerals for seventy. LXX.
Sheke. Originally a weight of about ten grams. Later a coin of that weight.
Sovereign. Having supreme authority and rule. God’s sovereignty includes his right to choose according to his own nature and will.
Speaking in other tongues. Speaking in a language given by the Holy Spirit.
Spiritualized. Given a spiritual meaning not in the literal or actual sense of the word or teaching.
Supernatural. Beyond the human or natural realm or activities. Used by bible believers to describe God’s activities that go beyond the ordinary events of nature.
Supernatural manifestations. Gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit and exercised by those receiving the gifts.
Tabernacle. The tent made by Israel in the midst of his people.
Teleological. The argument from design or purpose for the existence of god.
Testament. “Covenant” and “will.” Used also to designate the two major portions of the bible.
Theology of hope. Theodore Moltmann’s construction of theology in terms of the future hope.
Totalitarianism. The theory that the centralized authority of the state should have total control over the individual citizen.
Transcendental meditation. A Hindu religious practice of meditation with the intent of securing happiness.
Transfiguration. The experience of Jesus on top of one shown out like lightning flashes.
Transgression. Translates the Hebrew pasha, “rebellion,” and the Greek parabasis, “overstepping,” “violation,” describing sin that refuses to conform to the limits or standards set by God.
Translation.Greek, thlipsis, “pressure,” “oppression,” of the Great tribulation at the end of the age just preceding Christ’s return in glory.
Typology. The study of Old Testament persons or events that foreshadow or anticipate New Testament truth, especially as relating to Jesus Christ.
Unregenerate. Not born again; without spiritual life.
Version. A translation of the bible.
Vicarious. Totally for the benefit of another, or as a substitute for another.
Virgin birth. The birth of Jesus Christ brought about by God’s creative act through the Holy Spirit so that Mary became his mother without his having a human father.
Virtue. In the KJV this is another translation of the Greek dunamis, “power” (Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19; 8:46), and the Greek, aręte, “moral excellence” (2 Pet 1:3).
Vision. Sometimes-another word for a dream. Sometimes used of a supernatural appearance that brings divine revelation.
Vocation. The call of God to a life of faith and obedience and to particular ministries.
Witnesses. Those who testify concerning their experiences and knowledge of the truth of the gospel, especially with the intent of turning others to Jesus.
Zoroastrians. Followers of the Persian Zarathustra (sixth century B.C.) who taught that there are two gods, one good and one evil, that keep the world in a constant struggle between light and darkness. The good god, Ahura Mazda, demands good works