New to the faith or church in general? Confused by some of the words or lingoes the pastor and congregation are using? Fear no more. This list – while by no means exhaustive – is here to help you get a better understanding of what some commonly used church verbiage really means. I will update/alter this list as long as I continue to run this blog. If there is a definition you would like me to add, please drop a comment below. You will be able to find this document at any time under the “Resources” tab.
Advent – The coming, or second coming, of Jesus Christ.
Antinomianism – The idea that Christians no longer have any obligation to the moral law of God. This is a false understanding of grace.
Atonement – This word simply refers to Christ paying the penalty for sins. He “atoned” for believer’s sins, providing the reconciliation between God and man.
Baptism – Baptism is a sign that represents a covenant relationship between God and Man through Jesus Christ. R.C. Sproul Explains, “When a person is baptized and comes to faith, if he later worries about the loss of his salvation, he can recall his baptism – not because the baptism guarantees his salvation, but because it reminds him of the unfailing promise of God to preserve all those who are engrafted into Christ.”
Believer – One who affirms the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Communion (AKA Lord’s Supper) – Christ commanded the church to partake of bread and wine – symbolizing His body and blood – for the remembrance of His death on the cross.
Damned – The state of being condemned to eternal judgment in hell.
Depravity – The belive that humans are naturally corrupted due to original sin.
Eisegesis –The method of interpreting a text by applying your own thoughts and preconceived ideas about what the text should say. In essence, rather than allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, you would speak into the Scriptures. This is a false and dangerous hermeneutical approach.
Elect – Those whom the atonement of Christ benefited. Some denominations hold to the position that God’s election is based on His foreknowledge of certain events. He simply looks into the future to see who will believe, and He chooses those whom He sees choosing Him.
In the Reformed tradition, Scripture is believed to teach that God has had a special love relationship with the elect from all eternity and on the basis of that love relationship chosen them for salvation, due in no part to their work. (Read more from Grace to You Ministries.)
Eschatology – The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.
Eternity – Infinity; the state of being outside of time.
Exegesis – The method of interpreting a text based on its content. In essence, allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves.
Expository Preaching – The method of interpreting a text based on its content. In essence, allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves.
Fellowship – Biblical fellowship means to spend time in community with other believers. The Greek word it is translated from is “koinonia” – literally meaning “communion” or “becoming familiar with.”
Faith – A strong conviction or belief in the truth of God.
Gospel – The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” What is the good news? As rapper/pastor Shai Linne puts it, “the Gospel is He [Jesus] came to redeem us from sin”.
Grace – The unmerited favor of God.
Heaven – A place of eternal union with God, experienced after the physical death of a believer.
Hell – A place of eternal, conscious torment for those who die in their sin, having rejected Jesus Christ as Lord.
Hermeneutics – The method of interpreting or exegeting Scripture.
Incarnation – The term ‘incarnation’ comes from the Latin word incarno, formed from the prefix in- and “caro” meaning “flesh.” The word literally means to “put into flesh.” In Christian theology, the incarnation speaks of the truth that Jesus Christ – a deity – put on flesh and became as a human.
Invisible Church – Converts within the assembly of the visible church.
Justification – To be declared righteous in the eyes of God.
Local Church – A local gathering of believers.
New Testament – The final 27 books of the Bible, commonly divided into five basic groups: The Gospel, The History of the Church, Paul’s Epistles, General Epistles, and Apocalyptic Literature.
Old Testament – The first 39 books of the Bible divided into four basic groups: Law, History, Poetry, and the Prophets (both Major and Minor).
Omnipotence – God’s attribute of being all-powerful.
Omniscience – God’s attribute of being all-knowing.
Omnipresent – God’s attribute of being all-present.
Original Sin – The natural tendency to sin passed on to all mankind through first-created human being, Adam.
Perseverance– The eternal security of those who are saved.
Prophet – Biblically, those who received direct, audible revelation from God. In modern times, the word is sometimes used to denote those who proclaim Scripture.
Prophecy – Biblical revelation from God regarding a future event.
Regeneration – Regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit in the non-believer. Regeneration gives the unbeliever the ability to understand and accept the things of God.
Repentance – Repentance is submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ by turning from repetitive sin.
Revelation – The received words of God.
Sanctification – When we become united to Christ in salvation, we are given a new heart and a new spirit – becoming a new creature. The Holy Spirit is sent to us as a Helper, dwelling within us, assisting in our understanding and application of Scripture, thus conforming to the image of Christ.
Sovereignty – The characteristic of God referring to His control over all things.
Sin – Repentance is submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ by turning from repetitive sin.
Salvation – To have the penalty of hell removed through faith and repentance toward Jesus Christ.
Temptation –Enticement to evil by argumentation, flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.
Theology – The study of God.
Topical Preaching – Topical preaching is when the pastor or teacher uses a passages or verses to support their thesis regarding a particular topic.
Trinity – The Trinity is a divine, singular, and infinite being made up of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit – all equal in power.
Universal Church – The collective group of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural believers spanning the globe.
Visible Church – The visible members of a local assembly,
Worship – The adoration of God by believers.
Yahweh – The Hebrew name for God. (Read more here: http://bit.ly/2hFO7AP)