19th October, 2017
Heaven sent: A timely and beneficial occurrence attributed to God.

 

Word Explained17.6.11

Created on www.wordle.net 

 

PREVIOUS DEFINITIONS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

Abaddon: The place of destruction.

Abba: a) Jesus' term of endearment for God as our heavenly Father, a relationship embracing trust and intimacy.
           b) A Christian’s relationship with God is also to reflect this Father - child connection.

Abstinence: To keep yourself from. Biblical references usually refer to immoral behaviour.

Abyss: The prison for all who stubbornly refuse to obey God.

Abiogenesis: The creation of living matter from inanimate matter.

Abrahamic covenant: God’s contractual promise to bless Abraham and all people through Him; a blessing fulfilled in and through Jesus.

Absolved/absolution: To be released from the guilt, blame and ultimate consequences of sin through Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross.

Acceptable (Year of the Lord): Isaiah’s prophetic allusion to and Jesus' proclamation of His work being a God- appointed, delightful and desirable time for liberation from sin and its consequences.

Access: A freedom to enter because of the favour and assistance of another (Jesus); Refers to grace and God the Father in the New Testament.

Accuser: A title for Satan as the one who accuses, charges and blames in an attempt to undo what God has done.

(Last) Adam: Christ the redeemer who restores God’s creation to an Edenic relationship with Him.

Adonai: God, Lord and Master over all created beings.

Adoption: Speaks of the rights and privileges of sonship given to those who receive Jesus as their Lord through God'sgrace.

Adore: To worship, love and give divine honour to God.

Adulterer: a) A person who has sex with someone other then their spouse.
                  b) Often said of Israel who breached their relationship with God by turning to idols.
                  c) Christians who choose to be ‘friends with the world’ (In today’s parlance – ‘friends with benefits’.) and so fail to remain committed to Christ.

Advent: The celebratory lead up to Christmas incorporating the four Sundays prior to 25th December.

Adventists: Historically, a Christian group who were waiting for the Second Coming (advent) of Jesus. The Seventh Day Adventist Church grew from this group.

Adversary: a) Enemy, foe, legally someone who opposes you in a lawsuit.
                    b) Satan. He seeks to bring a lawsuit against Christians in an attempt to undo what God’s grace has set out to achieve.

Advocate: a) A counsel for defence who pleads another’s cause.
                   b) God the Holy Spirit is a Christian’s advocate (John 14:16).

Agnosticism:  A belief that if God exists, He is unknowable.

Alembic: a) That which refines or makes pure.
                 b) Nature of the Holy Spirit’s work in a Christian’s life.

Allegory: A story infused with a spiritual meaning.

Almighty: God; the One who has the strength to be ruler of all.

Alms: Outdated term for giving goods/money to the poor. New Testament references denote this giving comes from a merciful and empathetic attitude.

Alpha and Omega: God is first and last in time, eminence, source and consummation; He is all in all.

Altar: Place for sacrifices. In a church, the altar is a constant reminder of Jesus' sacrificial life and hence it is often acommunion table.

Ambassador: As ambassadors for Christ we have been appointed to interpret the mind of our master to those who live contrary to His good judgement.

Amen: a) Said by people: "Let it be so".
             b) Said by God: Emphatic - "It is and it shall be so”.

Angels: Spiritual beings who are the messengers, representatives and attendants of God.

Animism: A belief life is in nature; that trees, animals etc have souls.

Anno Christi: Latin for 'in the year of Christ'.

Anno Domini: Latin for 'in the year of our Lord'.

(The) Annunciation: The angelic declaration to Mary concerning her conception and who her Son was and would be.

Anoint: God gives authority to a person to operate in a particular gift, ministry or area of service.

Anointing: When the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit touch a person, or group of people; to heal, strip away, encourage, enthuse, restore etc. God's presence is electric on these occasions.

Antediluvian: Occurring before the flood of Noah.

Anthropomorphism: A representation of God in human terms to aid our understanding of Him.

Anthropopaphic: Applying human feelings to God.

Antinomianism: A belief that Christian faith supersedes moral law and therefore you can do as you please.

Antitype: The fulfilment of a type. Many Old Testament practices, events and people are types fulfilled in the New Testament. For example, Jesus is the antitype of the Levitical sacrifices.

Apocrypha: A collection of 15 books found in some Old Testaments. They are generally omitted because they were not in the Hebrew canon, are not quoted in the New Testament and make no claims to be divinely inspired.

Apocalypse: To reveal, unveil, disclose. (Originally, it did not have the cataclysmic end of all things focus.)

Apocalyptic: Relating to the end of sin’s reign in this world and the coming of Christ’s messianic kingdom.

Apologetics: A branch of theology where people engage the public arena to present a reasoned objective defence of the Christian faith and it's doctrines.

Apostle: Someone commissioned and sent out with the message of Jesus.

Apostasy: Desertion from the faith.

Apostle's Creed: Early Christian statement of key beliefs.

Apostolic decrees: Collective decisions made by the apostles regarding the interpretation of Scripture and churchgovernance.

Apostolic teaching: A teaching based on the necessity of experiencing Christ risen from the dead and a way of living defined by Jesus' example and the Holy Spirit’s instruction.

Aramaic: Primary language of Palestine in the New Testament era.

Archbishop: Person who, in some denominations, oversees a large region of the church.

Arrogance: To think more of yourself than you ought, especially in respect to shaping your own life and being the master of your destiny.

Ascension: Jesus' movement from Earth to Heaven.

Ascension Day: A celebration, 40 days after Easter, of Jesus' ascension into Heaven.

Asceticism: A belief spiritual discipline can be achieved through extreme forms of self-denial.

Ascription: A text heralding God.

Ash Wednesday: Follows Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras); a day for placing ash on your head as a sign of penitence. Marks the start of Lent.

Ashes (on head): Used for fasting and mourning.

Assurance: A confidence that comes from knowing Jesus and what He has done for humanity.

Astrology: A belief that a person’s future can be foretold by studying the stars.

Athanasian Creed: Fourth century statement of the Christian faith which articulates the trinity and incarnation.

Atheism: A belief there is no God.

Atonement: An act that brings enemies together as friends, the most notable of which is Jesus offering up His life for ours. This was God's way of offering the hand of friendship and destroying the enmity (sin) that separated us. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Awe: A mixed emotion of wonder, respect and fear often stemming from a revelation or epiphany.

Backslide: To lapse into the life lived before salvation.

Balm: a) An aromatic resin used medicinally.
            b) A figurative reference for healing of the soul and spirit.

Banner: Jesus is the 'banner' under which God the Father has called the people's of all nations to rally.

Baptism: A public declaration that my old life has been washed away and I have begun to live focusing on Jesus and His ability to make all things new, not just for me but for anyone who gives their life to Him.

Beatified: Roman Catholic tradition of declaring a person a saint.

Beatitudes: Jesus' nine declarations of those who know true, deep salvation joy.

Beelzebub: Satan; The Devil.

Behold: To take in everything as it is presented. To meditatively fix on what you are seeing.
For a fuller explanation of behold, visit The Word...

Begotten: Jesus was born in Bethlehem but the more accurate word for understanding His birth is 'begotten'. Jesuswas, is and always will be one with God the Father, 'begotten' of Him, that is separate and distinct from Him, yet still uniquely and intimately one with Him. (John 3:16-18)

Believer: Someone fully committed to Jesus' purpose for their life (not just a mental exercise acknowledging certain facts about Him).

Benediction: A prayer for God’s blessing (some church traditions have a benediction as the final element in their church service.)

Benedictus: Zachariah’s prophetic song of joy at the birth of his son, John the Baptist.

Benevolence: God’s good care bestowed on us.

Beseech: To plead strongly and urgently. Often used in connection with praying.

Bestowed: Given to one as a gift. For example, God has bestowed on us the gift of life, the ministries of the Holy Spiritand eternity with Him.

Bethlehem: Literally means house of bread. The Messiah, being of King David's lineage, was expected to be born here. He would come as the bread of life for His people.

Bible: The set of books recognised as God 'breathed'.

Bishop: A supervisor of clergy and churches.

Blaspheme: To doubt, deny or mock Father, Son or Holy Spirit.

Bless: a) To worship, honour and adore God.

            b) To honour and respect a person for being holy.

Blessed/blessing: a) To have a deep-rooted joy which comes from joining with Christ to live the life God planned for us.
                                       b) To receive a God-given gift at a particular time, such as protection.

Blessing (in disguise): A hardship or misfortune which produces something positive.

Boasting: Seeking to impress others. An evil flowing out of pride that great separator of man from God.
For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Book of Life: God's list of believers who will abide with Him.

Booths: Rough shelters made of woven boughs that were constructed on roof tops or in fields as part of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Born again: This is synonymous with being a Christian. It's about receiving the life Jesus offers.

Brethren/brothers: A term indicating the connection and love that is to exist between Christians.

Bridegroom: At the end of this age Jesus will be a bridegroom to His bride, the church. He will come feasting and celebrating His marriage (see the Titles of Christ).

Calling: a) God asks everyone to honor and serve Him; become more Christlike; add to the health and well-being of His church; and, to witness to this world what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done and are doing.
                    b) A particular area of service God has asked a person to be committed to and for which He has prepared them.

Calvinism: John Calvin’s theology which emphasises God’s sovereignty and includes the doctrines of predestination, depravity and irresistible grace.

Campanology: The skill of ringing bells musically.

Canon: The 66 books which are the authoritative Word Of God, the Bible.

Canonical Hours: Catholic tradition of seven prayer times to the day.
     Matins: Daybreak
     Prime: 6am
     Tierce: 9am
     Sext: Noon
     Nones: 3pm
     Evensong (Vespers): Early evening
     Compline: Just before bed

Canonise: To formally recognise someone deemed to be a saint.

Canticle: A song or chant of praise, without metre, which has lyrics sourced from a Biblical text.

Captive: Theology declares we are a prisoner of sin and error, or a captive of Christ and His love.

Carnal: To seek to fulfil all physical desires or to be content with pursuing only what this world can offer.

Carol: A joyful song, usually penned to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Catechised: To be systematically instructed in the Christian faith.

Catechism: An instructional Christian book summarising creedal beliefs in a question and answer format.

Catholic: A Christian adhering to the Roman Catholic Church centred on the Pope.

Cerinthianism: Heretical view that the Christ spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and left just before His death on the cross. Tries to maintain there is a Christ spirit separate from Jesus.

Chancel: The front part of a church containing the altar, sanctuary and sometimes the choir.

Charismatic: Of or relating to spiritual gifts given to the church by the Holy Spirit.

Charity: Love

Cherubim: Mighty angelic beings whose chief duty is to guard the throne of God. Their field of expertise is justice.

Chief CornerstoneJesus is the foundation strength of the church. That which is built on Him cannot be washed away (see the Titles of Christ).

Choir: Traditionally, a group of singers in a church.

Choral: A traditional stately Protestant tune sung by a choir; especially in the Lutheran church.

Chosen: To be chosen by God means you are known to Him and there is a vital relationship. God chooses us to followChrist and He can also choose us for a particular task.

Christ: A title given to Jesus which emphasises He is the anointed of God; the one with the power and the authority to restore the relationship between fallen man and God.

      The Titles of Christ - 1. Last Adam: Jesus is the DNA of all who are born again.

      2. Head of The Body: Jesus is the director of and sustainer of the church.

      3. Great ShepherdJesus is the leader, protector and sustainer of His people.

      4. True VineJesus infuses His disciples with His life so they can bear fruit.

      5. Chief CornerstoneJesus is the foundation strength of the church. That which is built on Him cannot be washed away.

      6. High Priest: Jesus represents humanity to God interceding on their behalf through His completed salvation work.

      7. Bridegroom: At the end of this age Jesus will be a bridegroom to His bride, the church. He will come feasting and celebrating His marriage.

Christendom: The part of the world where the Christian faith has a prominent role in society.

Christian: Followers of Jesus. People who recognise they are under a higher command.

Christocentric: Theology centred in Jesus.

Christology: The study of Christ and theories or doctrines related to Him.

Christmas: The annual celebration of Christ’s birth.

Christus Victor: A statement summarising the belief that on the Cross, Jesus conquered the powers of evil.

Church: a) The collective body of all Christians or a local group of that body.
                 b) The building Christians worship in.

(Free) Church: church which does not have a set from of worship.

Circumcision: Instituted in the Abrahamic covenant, the cutting off of every male’s foreskin signified a commitment to God through the generations and a firm belief that He is the one who blesses us with life.

Clairvoyant: A person who claims insight into hidden or future occurrences.

Come to Jesus moment: A moment of revelation, truth, insight. (Sometimes used sarcastically).

Comforter: A name given to the Holy Spirit that denotes the strength, encouragement and presence of God that is imparted in troubled times.

Commitment: To entrust your life to God as you actively serve Him.

(Common) Grace: God’s kindness to all, despite our sin, exemplified by material and social blessings - for example food, shelter, decency reflective of the Creator.

Communion: a) Remembering Jesus' sacrifice for us by eating bread and drinking wine.
                              b) To be ‘in communion’ with God is to have an intimacy with Him that is based on shared hearts.

Condemnation: God's verdict on sin. Bearing the guilt of our sin is not where God finished the story though.

Confess: a) To admit openly to a sin.
                      b) To declare your agreement with God's Word.

Confession (of faith): Traditional statements of belief in various Protestant churches.

Consecrate: The act of giving to God so He can use what is offered (for example, the writing of a book or thecommitment of your life) for His kingdom purposes.

(Historical) Context: An understanding of the people and their culture in a Biblical passage.

(Literary) Context: An understanding of the author and stylistic features of a Biblical passage.

(Act of) contrition: a) A prayer of remorse and penitence.
                               b) An act showing sorrow for a past deed.

Convert: A person who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, turning their back on all other ways of living.

Corpus: All writings on a subject.

Covenant: God has drawn up an agreement, a contract, which binds Him to making it possible for us to build a healthy relationship with Him and each other.

Covenanter: 17th century Scottish Presbyterians who defended their faith by upholding a covenant in response to a political push by the Church of England.

Creation theories - 1.Traditional: Creation took place in six, 24 hour, days.

                                    2. Gap: Original creation (Genesis1:1) was destroyed by judgement. A re-creation

                                                        then occurred in six, 24 hour days (Genesis1:2 on).

                                    3.Theistic evolution: Genesis is figurative and God used evolution to develop
                                                        life. At an appointed time the animal became man with a soul.

                                    4. Pictorial: God revealed creation in six days; He did not create in six days.

                                    5. Universal flood: Creation occurred in six days but the flood of Noah dramatically                  

                                                         changed the earth’s surface.

                                    6. Alternate day and age: God created in six, 24 hour days but these        

                                                         days were separated by vast geological ages.

                                    7. Age-long day: The creation days are a sequence of consecutive ages, as day in theBible                                                         does not always refer to 24 hours.

(God the) Creator: The source and sustainer of everything outside Himself. The Lord over all creation. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Creed: A formal statement of Christian belief.

Credo: A set of strongly held beliefs that guide action.

Criticism (Higher): The use of historical and scientific techniques to critically determine authorship and other aspects of accuracy which go to the credibility of the Bible.

Criticism (Lower): The use of available manuscripts to critically determine the original wording of texts.

(Take up your) Cross: Be willing to pay any price to live life as a disciple of Jesus.

Cross-cultural evangelism: Introducing Jesus to people with a different ethnic and cultural background than your own.

Cult: sect which often has extreme religious ideas.

Damnation: To face the judgement of God having rejected Christ as The Way to come to Him.

Decalogue: The Ten Commandments.

Defrock: An archaic term for removing a priest from ministry for inappropriate behaviour.

Deify: To exalt a man or idol to the position of God.

Deism: A belief in God resulting from reason. Emphasises morality.

Deliverance: God frees us from the bondage of our misdirected lives and enables us to live full lives for Him.

Demon: An evil spirit.

Denarius: A Roman coin equivalent to one day's wage.

Desecrate: To divest or violate the holy and sacred character of a place or object.

Destroyer: A name given to Satan because his purpose is to wreck what God has built.

Determinism: A belief that everything is determined by forces beyond a person’s will (similar to stoicism).

Devil: A deceiver and tempter who uses these tactics against God, Christians and anything good or pure (see Satan).

Devil's advocate: Someone who opposes for the sake of argument.

Diaspora: The scattering of the Jews from Palestine, beginning with the Babylonian conquest in 731 B.C.

Diocese: Region overseen by a bishop (Archdiocese - a region overseen by an archbishop).

Discernment: An ability to see into a problem, to understand why things differ. Christians are required to exercise discernment in respect to spirits, expressions of faith, separating good and evil; and so on.

Disciple: A student of Jesus who daily looks to Him on how best to live.

Divination: Using omens or other means to discover hidden knowledge or foresee the future.

Divine: Of God; relating to God.

Divine election: The doctrine God selects those who will be saved.

Doctrine: A foundational teaching. For example, only through Jesus can we come to God.

Docetism: Heretical view that Jesus wasn’t really human but more like a spirit who appeared for awhile and then disappeared.

Dogma: An established belief held to be true, such as doctrine taught in the church.

Donkey: An animal symbolic of peace and humility.

Dowry: A cultural mandate in Biblical times requiring a man to give the parents of his bride a gift.

Doxology: A statement of praise to God. It is often the final statement in a church service, an epistle or even a line of thought within a book in the Bible, and it underscores everything prior to it.

Dualism: A belief that the universe is controlled by two equal opposing forces – good and evil.

Earthly: Things which are weak, perishable and lacking the glory of heaven.

Ecclesiological: Related to the study of the doctrine of the church.

Ecclesiology: The study of the doctrine of the church.

Eden: Mankind's first abode; paradise; a place deemed to be perfect.

Edify: To build up or to strengthen someone's spiritual growth.

Elect: (Noun) God chose to be for mankind long before anyone gave their life to Him. Hence He elected us. We simply have to choose to be a disciple of Jesus to be in God's elect.

Elohim: God, the mighty judge, who is to be revered.

El Elyon: God is supreme; the Most High One.

El Olam: God is eternal and unchangeable.

El Shaddai: God is complete, all sufficient and all powerful; able to fulfil His promises.

Enshrine: To cherish as holy, to treasure as sacred.

Entreaty: A prayer or appeal earnestly requested.

Epicureanism:  A belief that there is no God or if there is a God, He does not care about this world. Random chance dictates everything. Death is the end so we should live for pleasure. (Similar to hedonism)

Epiphany: a) The showing of the baby Jesus to the magi which is celebrated on 6th January.
                    b) Any revelation or manifestation of Jesus where a person’s response is "once I was blind but now I seeJesus for who He truly is".

Epistle: Any of the New Testament letters written by an apostle.

(Occasional) Epistles: New Testament letters penned in response to a set of circumstances.

Eschatology: A branch of theology which addresses the end of this age and world as we know it.

Essenes: A strict Jewish sect with a focus on purity laws and communal poverty who attributed all to fate.

Eternal: Without beginning or end - such as God's power, Jesusredemption, the life given to a believer in Christ.

Eucharist: The Lord’s Supper, wine and bread, celebrated in acknowledgement of Jesus' sacrifice for humanity and our union with Him.

Evangel: Any one of the four Gospels.

Evangelism: Introducing Jesus to people through whatever medium or method the Holy Spirit anoints.

Evangelist: Someone who regularly introduces Jesus to others.

Evensong: Evening prayer (vespers) and Bible reading. Held Sunday nights in some traditions.

Evil: Any act that is morally bankrupt and whose source is the flesh or Satan - can apply to thoughts and words.

Evil One: A spirit, a force that seeks to seduce us away from God.

Exceedingly abundantly: Surpassing far beyond and above what we think is possible.

Excommunicate: To exclude a person from the fellowship of a church or the church.

Exegesis: A close study of words and passages in the Bible.

Existentialism: A belief that only the here and now is real. Any consideration of origins and destiny is considered pointless.

Ex nihilo: A term indicating God created out of nothing.

Exodus: A departure, especially a mass departure, the most notable being Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt into Canaan.

Expiate: To fully make amends for wrongdoing and hence restore a wronged relationship.

Expiation: Jesus’ crucifixion atoned for mankind’s sin.

Faith: A conviction, a confidence to act on the beliefs Christ has stored up in your heart.

Fallen: Men and angels who lost the level of intimacy God designed for them to have with Him.

Fasting: Abstinence from food for the purpose of purifying motives and being attuned to God's will.

Fear of God: Being in awe before God, the One to whom you owe everything to and are responsible to. Embedded in this wonder is a heightened sense of God's just judgement directed by His pure love.

Feast of Passover: The first of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year. The Passover meal celebrated being freed from Egyptian slavery by God. It was followed by a week of eating only unleavened bread.

Feast of Tabernacles: The third of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year was held at the end of harvesting. People lived in temporary shelters (booths) to remember their wilderness wanderings under Moses and so celebrate God as their provider in the bountiful land they now possessed

Feast of Weeks: The second of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year occurred 50 days after Passover. Offerings of grains and flour were made to celebrate God’s daily provision.


Fellowship: To enjoy the company of others who have the same foundation of faith in Jesus.

Fire (of God): Refers to the holiness of God which has a cleansing and unquenchable aspect to it.

Firstfruit: a) Giving to God, in faith, the first portion of your livelihood.
                   b) The gift of the Holy Spirit to Christians, a first portion of God's presence.
                   c) Jesus, whose death and resurrection is the beginning of a harvest of souls into heaven.

                   For a fuller explanation, visit The Word...

Flesh: The desires of self that are at odds with God's best for us.

Follow (Jesus): To surrender your ambitions, goals, desires and whole life to the cleansing, enabling, energising Lordof life and companion of followers. For a fuller explanation of 'follow (Jesus)', visit The Word...

Forbearance: a) Putting up with the faults of others.
                               b) A fruit/outworking of the Holy Spirit in people's lives.

Foreigner: A term applied to Christians because they are citizens of heaven to which they owe their first allegiance. Hence, the foreigner prays Jesusprayer "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".

Foretaste: The Holy Spirit ‘in’ believers is a foretaste and a pledge of life in the presence of God in heaven.

For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Forgiveness: Saying you bear no grudge for any wrong committed against you. You won't even talk about it anymore because you want a clean sheet to build a healthy relationship on.

Fornication: Sex outside the covenant of marriage.

Fourth watch: 3am to 6am; the point of greatest weariness before the new day.

Franciscan: A nun or friar in the order founded by St Francis of Assisi.

Futurist: A belief that Revelation chapters one to three refer to the time of writing, or that the seven churches are seven eras from the apostles to Jesus' return, and the remainder of Revelation refers to the Great Tribulation.

Gehenna: A rubbish and waste dump outside Jerusalem which continually burnt. It became a figurative description ofhell.

Genealogy: A family tree tracing back to a particular ancestor. For example, Matthew’s genealogy for Jesus traces back to Abraham because he was writing to a Jewish audience.

Genesis: The title of this Old Testament book is derived from its first three words in the beginning.

Gentile: a) A non-Jew.
               b) Those outside the privileges and unique experiences afforded the Jews by God. They were not to remain so with the coming of Jesus.

Genuflect: To bend the knee, to humble oneself, in worship.

Gird: To be ready for action in Christ's service. (From the idea of hitching up your long garments so you can move faster and more freely.)

'Gloria in excelsis Deo': The angels' song of praise at Jesus’ birth.

Glorification: The point at which a believer is brought, morally perfect and in a Christ-like ascended body, into God's presence. It will then be impossible to sin again.

Glory: a) Beauty, honour and adoration all rolled into one. Empires or individuals can "shine" in this way.
                 b) God is glorious. Everything He creates emanates glory. Think splendour, perfection and goodness all rolled into one; that is the glory of God. For a fuller explanation of glory, visit The Word...

Gnosticism: A philosophy which arose in the early church era that states all matter is evil and freedom from this evil comes through a special knowledge of spiritual truth.

God: The one Supreme Being who creates everything and maintains governance over what He creates.

Godfather/Godmother: Traditionally a man or woman who oversees a child's spiritual growth in the Christian faith.

God-fearing: To devoutly revere God.

God-forsaken: To be be rejected and forlorn.

Godhead: The nature of God personified in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Godless: To give God no thought, thus enabling wickedness and evil to manifest.

Godly: To live reverently, seeking God's will for your life.

Godsend: A surprise boon, readily welcomed.

Godspeed: May your journey be joyous, prosperous and successful.

Gospel: Good news! Jesus has ascended to the Father so that we can follow in His footsteps!

(SynopticGospels: The books of Matthew, Mark and Luke which present the same overview of Jesus’ life.

Grace: With pleasure, God offers humanity His free and undeserved favour. It is up to us whether we will waste or embrace His grace.

    • (Common) Grace: (see above)

    • (Prevenient) Grace: (see below).

(Fall from) grace: To lose status, respect, protection, prestige, and/or approval. Stems from Adam and Eve's loss of God's protection and approval in Eden.

(Saving) grace: A good quality which shines in an otherwise flawed or evil person.

Gracious: A spirit of generosity towards others.

Great ShepherdJesus is the leader, protector and sustainer of His people (see the Titles of Christ).

Greed: An excessive desire for money, even to the point of using dishonest and questionable means to obtain it. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Hagia Sophia: Refers to Jesus as God's "holy wisdom".

Hallel: Songs of praise; principally Psalms 146 to 150.

Hallelujah!: An exclamation of delight meaning literally "praise be to the God of our salvation".

Hallowed: Anything set apart for holy use.

Hamartiology: The aspect of theology dealing with sin.

(Place) Hand under a thigh: Cultural practice to signify a serious vow. Placing the hand close to the penis and testes might have indicated the person’s descendants would avenge any breaking of the vow and/or a swearing on your life.

Hardness (of heart): A rejection of God or His will in a particular situation.

Head of The Body: Jesus is the director of and sustainer of the church (see the Titles of Christ).

Heart: The real self; the inner man with all his affections, motivations and spirit.

Heathen: An archaic term for someone who isn’t a Christian.

Heaven: God's home, filled with his servants (angels) and invited guests (Christians who have stepped beyond the grave). It's a house of unbelievable joy and celebration.

Hedonism: A belief that pleasure is the primary goal and value of life (similar to epicureanism).

Hell: Satan's home, filled with his misguided lackeys (fallen angels) and house bound guests (people who chose not to love God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). It's a house of pain, "worms" and "unquenchable fire". (The opposite ofheaven.)

Henotheism: A belief you can worship one god while not denying other gods.

Heresy: Opinions or beliefs contrary to the established doctrines of the Bible.

Hermeneutics: The use of methodological principles to understand how the Bible applies to our lives.

High place: a) Elevated places where altars were often built, in Old Testament times, and which were sources ofapostasy for Israel.
                      b) Used figuratively of the place God calls humanity to step up into, a place of worshipglory and intimacy.

High Priest: Jesus represents humanity to God interceding on their behalf through His completed salvation work. (see the Titles of Christ)

Historicist: A belief that the whole of Revelation addresses church history from Pentecost to Jesus’ return.

Holiness: Christians are called to be holy because God is holy. Our character should reflect something of His unblemished virtue.

Holy: Someone set apart from his or her former life (or something set apart from its common use) to serve God. For a fuller explanation of holy, visit The Word...

(Confer) Holy Orders: Catholic ordination service.

Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost): The second person in the Trinity who was sent by God, the Father and Son, on Pentecost, to dwell with those who believe in Jesus.

Homiletics: The craft of preaching.

Hope: A substantial conviction that what has not yet fully transpired in our relationship with Jesus will occur. Not just a wish. A trust or promise received. A confidence and expectation of things to come that is stronger than mere desire or possibility. For a fuller explanation of hope, visit The Word...

Hosanna: A worshipful exclamation to God meaning 'We ask you to save now, Lord'.

Humanism: A belief that man is a moral being capable of self-fulfilment.

Humility: An awareness of our shortcomings, a lowliness of spirit, because of Christ’s provision for us, but not a downcast spiritFor a fuller explanation of humility, visit The Word...

Husband: a) An illustration highlighting some of the attributes of God's love for His people.
                  b) An image of Jesus as He waits for His bride, the church, who is preparing herself for their wedding at the end of this age. For a fuller explanation of husband, visit The Word...

Hymn: Traditional song or thanksgiving or praise to God.

Hymnal: Traditional church songbook.

Hymneal: A wedding hymn, song or poem.

Iconostasis: A screen adorned with icons separating the nave from the rest of the church in Eastern Orthodox churches.

Idealist: A belief that Revelation is a symbolic picture of the ongoing struggle between Christianity and paganism, good and evil.

Ignorance: A lack of information. In the New Testament it also carries the idea of a need for forgiveness because of the failure to understand.

Immanentism: A belief that God indwells all creation.

Immanuel (also Emmanuel): Literally means ‘with us is God’ and has become a title of God the Son.

Immutable: Unchanging and unchangeable - said of God and His plans and purposes.

Imperishable: Something that cannot be ruined or changed for the worse.

Impute: To credit one person with something that belongs to another. (When we put our faith in Jesus, He gives us His righteousness.)

Incarnation: The divine Christ revealed as the human Jesus.

Ineffable: a) In a spiritual context, this is an experience of God so overpowering that you fail to find the words to express it.
                  b) It also refers to things that should not be said. For example, the Israelites' unwillingness to speak the name of God in Old Testament times.

Iniquity: Anything, word or deed, that does not meet God's standard of holiness, hence the fallen condition of humanity.

Inner man: The spirit or innermost self of a person that lives on after the body is dead.

Inspiration: God's act of imparting something to one's mind or heart. It's where you know this thought, image, feeling or whatever construct it takes is a spirit-to-spirit communication from God.

Intercession: A prayer where you stand before God on behalf of someone else and plead their case. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Investiture: To put on the robes of office for a church-appointed position. An inauguration.

Jehovah: God, the Lord of all creation. (Originally spelt JHVH as the Jews, in reverence, were not permitted to pronounce God’s name.)

Jesus: The Saviour who came to rescue sinners (humanity) from our misguided ways and restore us to an open relationship with God.

Joint: Found in Hebrews 4:12, "joints and marrow". A figurative expression for the totality of a person's spiritual and moral being.

Joint-heirsChristians are to receive the same estate from God as did Jesus.

Joy:  A steady delight, contentment and strength stemming from God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s engagement with our lives. This is an updated definition. For a fuller explanation, visit The Word...

Judaiser: Someone who seeks to win others to Judaism. The term was used negatively by the beginning church to describe those who adhere to a strict legalism which erects a barrier between people and God.

Judaism: The monotheistic, ethical, tribal/national religion of the Jewish people centred on God’s self revelation.

Judeo-Christian tradition: Beliefs stemming from the Hebrew and Christian faiths.

Judge: a) To decide on the basis of the knowledge we have.
            b) A powerful title for our omniscient God.
            c) The Hebrew word ‘shophet’ for a judge in the Old Testament meant to bring into a right relationship. This is the purpose and nature of the work of a judge and as such Christians are to be ‘shophet’ judges and not judgemental.For a fuller explanation, visit The Word.

Judgemental: The tendency to point a critical finger at others while not doing anything to change things for the better.For a fuller explanation, visit The Word.

Judgement Day: The final judgement made by God at this world’s end.

Judgement seat (of Christ): a) The throne from which Jesus judges what Christians built with their lives when they pass through death into His presence.
                                             b) The throne from which Christ rules in the Millennium.
                                             For a fuller explanation, visit The Word...

Justification: Despite the pain we have caused God, the wrongs we have committed against Him, our case has been thrown out of heaven’s court because there is no accuser for those who seek to live for Jesus.

Kantianism: A belief that God is outside the scope of human experience and knowledge.

Kingdom of God: Christ’s rule and salvation for those who receive. It is unshakeable, eternal and heavenly. We are to seek it earnestly – ‘thy kingdom come’.

Kingdom of Heaven: God's rule now, and its complete future fulfilment.

Koinonia: A Greek word defining the church as a sharing partnership and fellowship.

Laity: The mass of people in the Christian faith, excluding clergy.

Lamb: Applied to Jesus, it refers to His purity, patient suffering and substitutional death for humanity.

Lament: To mourn the loss of someone through finding the words and expression that can give voice to that pain.

Lamentations: An Old Testament book which mourns the loss of all God gave Israel when they were carted into exile as Babylonian slaves.

Last Adam: Jesus is the DNA of all who are born again (see the Titles of Christ)

Laver: Large basin used by Israel's priests in the Tabernacle and Temple areas.

Law: The demand and expectation of God; a demand and expectation that necessitated Jesus' substitutional death for us.

Lay witness: Archaic term referring to non-clergy who seek to introduce Jesus to people.

Legalism: a) The tendency to reduce relating to God to a set of impersonal rules.

                       b) An obsessive adherence to the letter of the law.

Liberator: As applied to Jesus, it speaks of the freedom He gives his followers; a freedom from sinSatan and the illusions of our current world.

Libertine: a) A person who lacks moral restraint, especially in sexual relations.
                  b) A person with unorthodox or unconventional religious views.

Libertinism: Deviation from moral restraints; a promiscuous and unscrupulous approach to life.

Life: a) existence; being; the time between birth and death.
              b) God is life and in Him is life. This life incorporates power, love and righteousness, all of which are imparted to those who believe in Jesus.

Litany: Prayer consisting of a series of similar responses from a congregation to a leader.

Liturgy: A prescribed form of church service.

Logos: God the Son, incarnate, who is The Word.

(To) Look back: To turn your heart away from your God-given course in life.

Lord: A title that applies equally to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, signifying their status as the highest and final authority.

Lord Jesus Christ: This phrase identifies the three dimensions of His character as man (Jesus); as God (Christ); and as sovereign (Lord).

Love of God: a) The essence of who God is, as revealed in Jesus the fulfilment of His salvation plan.
                              b) To be so enraptured with God you can’t imagine living without Him.

Madonna: Roman Catholic reference to Mary, Jesus' mother, as 'my lady'.

Magi: A Median and Persian hereditary priestly class from which came the Wise Men who honoured the infant Jesus.

(The) Magnificat: Mary’s jubilant song announcing God’s hand in her pregnancy and what her Son will achieve.

Magnify: To extol or glorify as great. For a fuller explanation of magnify, visit The Word.

Mana: Belief held by some tribes that magical powers, good fortune, etc, come from an impersonal supernatural force.

Manifest: To show openly or to display (eg. Jesus made manifest the will, love and deeds of the Father).

Manna: A food source divinely supplied for the Israelites during their 40 year sojourn. It is often used in the sense of God’s provision in difficult times.

Man of the Cloth: Pastorpriest, clergyman.

Maranatha!: Our Lord (Jesus) has come and will come again.

Mass: A largely Roman Catholic term for a service based on Jesus' last meal with His disciples.

Materialistic: To be overly concerned with the things of this world and giving little thought to the spiritual.

Matins: Dawn or early morning prayer service.

Mea culpa: (Latin) I acknowledge my fault, my guilt.         

Mediator: Jesus is mankind’s mediator. We walked away from God but He came to bring us back. Through His life, crucifixion and ascension He mediated our return.

Meek: People who are in awe of God and know they are totally dependent on Him.

Melchizedek: A priest of God who blessed Abraham. He is a forerunner to or type of Jesus being both priest and king with the titles of King of Righteousness and King of Peace.

Mercy: God’s goodness to people in misery.

Messiah: God's appointed One whose purpose is to deliver His people.

Messianic Age: The era when the Gospel is proclaimed, from the time of Christ until the end is prophesied in Revelation.

Metaphysics: A division of philosophy focused on the origin and nature of being and the connection between being and the universe.

Millennium: The 1000 year reign of Jesus, at His second coming, marked by peace, prosperity and holiness.

Mind (nous): What you set your mind to, what you think on, how you perceive things, how you feel about things, how you reason things out, how you shape things, how you purpose things to be. For a fuller definition, see The Word piece on 'mind' here.

Minister: Someone who serves God, who is committed to His cause and purposes.

Ministry: God’s commissioning work for each person to do.

Miracle: An extraordinary event that reveals God’s power and presence.

Missiologist: A person who has experience and understanding in missions.

Mission: The Christian mission is to spread the good news of the Biblical Jesus.

Missional: Work relating to an outward perspective of the church.

Missionary: A person who is sent to spread the good news of the Biblical Jesus.

Modalism: Unorthodox teaching claiming Father, Son and Holy Spirit are expressions of God, not ‘persons’ or actual entities.

Monastery: Residence for a Christian group, especially monks, bound by vows and living in semi or total seclusion.

Monastic: Contemplative, self-disciplined and semi-secluded or secluded lifestyle particularly evidenced by monks and nuns. 

Monism: Belief in a single, ultimate organic whole with no independent parts.

Monk: A Christian man who commits to a religious order that lives by a set of vows.

Monotheism: A belief that God is one and there are no other gods.

Mortal: To be merely human (not God).

Mysticism: A belief that insight, intuition and other subjective experiences are a key method for knowing God and spiritual truth.

Narthex: A lobby or entrance hall in early churches.

Nave: The central space in a church.

Nazarite vow: A vow taken as a consecration to God. The original Nazarite vow involved not touching a dead body, growing your hair and abstinence from alcohol. These acts were living memorials of a life to be lived faithfully unto God.

New TestamentTwenty-six books which record the outworking of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the fulfilment of God’s first covenant.

Nicene Creed: A statement formulated in 325AD summing up orthodox beliefs, held from the apostles onwards, concerning the character and personage of God. (A belief in the Trinity is one key tenet of the creed.)

Nihilism: A belief that life is meaningless and useless.

Noble: a) A person of high social standing
             b) Doing the right and good thing; generous actions
             (Ideally a is achieved by b, and b epitomises a.)

Nominal: Barely existent or non-existent. (When actions do not match a professed faith then that faith is nominal.)

Nun: Christian woman who commits to a religious order that lives by a set of vows.

Occult: Magic, incantation, astrology, divination or other forms of supernatural practice.

Oil (on head): Used for celebrations and joyous events.

Old CovenantAn agreement struck by God with man that reveals His holiness through the Law. As mankind could not keep the Law, a sacrificial system involving the blood of animals for blotting out failure was instituted.

Old TestamentThirty-nine books comprising the canon of God’s first covenant with mankind and its history.

Omnipotence: God's unlimited power and authority.

Omnipresent: God, unlimited by space, is present everywhere.

Omniscience: The limitless knowledge, awareness and wisdom of God.

(God is) One: A description and title of God recognising His pre-eminence, wholeness, and His being first in all things.For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word.

Ordain: A public declaration and acknowledgement of the authority God has given to someone to minister in His name.

Ordination: A minister's induction service.

Orthodox: The traditional, established, Bible-based doctrine of faith.

Over-spiritualising: Looking to draw a spiritual application from every event, person, place and verse in the Bible.

Outreach: Any structured approach by a group of Christians to spread the good news of Jesus to people.

Overcomer: Christian who faithfully follows Jesus, come what may.

For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Pantheism: A belief that God only exists within the natural laws of the universe and therefore the creation we see around us is to be worshipped as God.

Papacy: The jurisdiction and office of the Pope.

Parable: A story from everyday life used to tell a truth.

Paraclete: a) Someone who supports helps or assists.
                    b) The work of the Holy Spirit in supporting, helping and assisting.

Paradox: When one statement or situation seems to contradict another.

Parousia: Christ’s second coming.

Passover: A Jewish festival commemorating their first-born sons being spared while Egypt's sons died because the pharoah refused to free the Jews.

Pastor: A minister who feeds his people with God's Word and tends to their needs, like a shepherd would his flock.

Pastoral: Pertaining to the role a pastor/priest performs in a church.

Pastoral care: The shepherding role performed by leaders in a church.

Pastoral epistles: Paul’s two letters to Timothy and letter to Titus to help them pastor effectively.

Patriarch: The father and overseer of a race. (Applied especially to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)

Patristic: Relating to the leaders and teachers of the church, especially in its early days.

Penance: An act of self-abasement or devotion which demonstrates remorse and repentance for sin.

Penitent: Rueful for sin committed and wishing to make amends.

Pentateuch: The first five books of the Bible which is also referred to as “The Law” in the Hebrew canon.

Pentecost: The day the church was born; the day God began to gather a harvest of people who would love Him and carry His Gospel to the world. We are still living in the "day" of Pentecost. For a fuller explanation of Pentecost, visit The Word.

Pentecostal church: Christian denominations which acknowledge and seek to use the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit (for example, prophesy and healing).

Perdition: Hell; a place of eternal misery and loss.

Perfect: refers to the restoring, adjusting, maturing work of God in a believer which ultimately leads to being one with Father, Son and Holy SpiritFor a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...

Perfection: When we become clay in God, the potter's hands, and are fashioned into a completed vessel. (A life-long work completed when we are with Jesus in eternity.)

Perish: To be cut off from God.

Perseverance: Apart from the standard dictionary meanings, perseverance also refers to the Holy Spirit's ongoing work in a believer's life in taking a person from salvation to completion in Christ.

Perverse: To wilfully twist something out of moral shape.

Pew: Church bench seat.

Pharisees: A prominent Jewish sect at the time of Christ who believed in the Old Testament, oral law, angels, spirits,resurrection and immortality.

Pietism: Seventeenth century movement stressing a personal experience with God and Bible study.

Piety: Reverence for, and devotion to, God.

Pilgrim: a) A Christian who takes a trip, the sole purpose of which is to draw near to God.
                     b) Christians who wander this earth far from their country (heaven) and people (Christians from all ages who live with God).

Pious: To be God-like in that you show love and kindness to all.

(God’s) Pleasure: Everything touching on salvation; as seen in the heart of the prodigal son’s father.
For a fuller explanation of behold, visit The Word...

Pneumatarian: Person who believes in the Holy Spirit’s work, including the expression of spiritual gifts; sometimes to the detriment of not giving equal focus to Father and Son.

Polytheism: A belief in and worship of more than one god.

Postdiluvian: Events occurring after the flood in Noah’s time.

Post-exilic: Occurring after Israel's exile to, and return from, Babylon.

Power-encounter: A dramatic and personal experience of the Holy Spirit (for example, healing).

Prayer: Communicating your heart to God and listening to His. 

Praise: Voiced admiration; extolling that which is at the centre of our lives.

Preach: To exhort, through sermons, the Gospel of Jesus.

Pre-eminence: To be first in order, or to have no other equal. (An essential understanding of Jesus.)

Presbyter: An overseer or leader in a local congregation in the early church.

Preterist: A belief that Revelation’s symbolism relates only to the times it was written in.

Preternatural: That which cannot be explained by natural causes.

(Prevenient) Grace: This understanding of grace states God took the initiative to save sinners. He makes it possible for everyone to respond to Him and be saved.

Priest: Mainly used by the Catholic and Orthodox churches in reference to an ordained minister.

Principalities: Those who are in power and exercise rule, especially a spiritual dominion.

Prodigal: Wastefully extravagant; to squander money, resources or whatever one has.

Profane: Disrespectful towards God or something sacred.

Prophet: A person who is regularly inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak on behalf of God.

Prophetic: Announcing to people things that could only have been learnt by a direct communication from God.

Propitiation: The act of satisfying the terms for both parties so that enemies can be reunited. Jesus' life and ministryachieved this for God and man.

Proselyte: A convert from one religion to another.

Protestant: A Christian who is a member of any church which has broken away from the Roman Catholic Church since the 1500s.

Protestant Reformation: An era in church history, beginning in the 1500’s, when attempts to reform the existing Roman Catholic Church were largely rebutted. The result has been breakaway Protestant (protesting) churches.

Providence: God's guidance, care and protection for His people.

Psalm: A prayer put to song to extol God.

Psalms: A song-book in the Old Testament.

Pure: A moral guiltlessness and innocence before a righteous God.

Purify: To have our disobedience, and its shame, washed away by Jesus' love and to then choose (again) attitudes which honour him.

Puritan: Person who follows a strict ethical and religious code of behaviour based on an understanding of the Bible.

Puritanical: Having a strict moral or religious outlook.

Quakers: Members of a movement started by George Fox who stress simplicity in worship and lifestyle.

Quicken: Where once there was sin and death, Jesus comes into our lives to quicken us. It's the process of being born again and renewed daily in our inner man.

Quietism: A form of mysticism involving quashing your will, separating yourself from the world and a passive meditation on God.

Rabbi: Jewish word for 'teacher', often used to refer to Jesus.

Rainbow: The sign of God’s promise, given after Noah’s flood, to never destroy the earth with water again.

Raison d'etre: (French) Your reason for living, for being.

Ransom: The price Jesus paid (crucifixion) to satisfy God's holy requirements for dealing with sin.

Rapture: A belief that Christians alive at Jesus' return will move straight from earth to heaven.

Reborn: To be spiritually rejuvenated, as if born again.

Recapitulation theory: This theory states the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls in the book of Revelation are three perspectives on the same events.

Recessional: hymn sung at the end of a church service as the choir and priest/minister leave.

Recommitment (service): Ceremony to renew wedding vows.

Reconcile: Our wilful defiance of God put us at odds with Him but Jesus came as the mediator to bring us together as friends.

Reconciliation: To re-establish harmony between individuals or parties which have been fractured and in disarray. To bring order, symmetry and health to a relationship. In a poetic sense, reconciliation is bringing beauty from ashes and this involves apologies, forgiveness and a treasured, newly rediscovered relationship.

(The) Redeemer: Designation of Jesus as the One whose life bought mankind's freedom from sin with its eternalconsequences.

Redemption: Jesus' death was God’s ransom price to buy our freedom from the grip of sin in our lives.

Regenerate: To have our lives made new again by God's Word and the Holy Spirit.

Relativism: A theory that every person can find their own truth as there are no absolute values.

Remission: Removal of the 'cancer' of sin through forgiveness. It also carries the idea of forgiveness being able to cancel the 'debt' of sin.

Remorse: Genuine regret for your actions.

Repent: To seek forgiveness for a sin and commit yourself to doing an about face in how you think and act.

Reproof: A conviction for sin or an exposing of that sin or error. Part of God's process for correcting us.

Requiem: A Christian service to honour and pray for someone who has died.

Resurrection: Life beyond death. Jesus rose from his tomb opening the way for all His disciples to follow Him to his Father's house. For a fuller explanation of resurrection, visit The Word.

Revelation: Having an insight into God's heart and mind.

     • (General) Revelation: Spiritual truth derived from logic, conscience and an awareness of the world around us.

     • (Special) Revelation: God, and Biblical truth, revealed directly to a person.

(The) Revelation: The climatic book of the Bible revealing God’s salvation plan completed in a new humanity, new earth and new heaven. (There are four schools of thought on reading Revelation: FuturistHistoricistIdealist andPreterist.)

Reverence: A deep respect for God that flows from a strong willingness to be subject to Him.

Revival: When God awakens people to connect (non-Christians) and reconnect (Christians) with Him.

Righteousness: The quality of being right or just or truthful or faithful according to God's standard of holiness. To be in right standing with God.

Risen: The elevated status given to Jesus and his followers before the eternal throne of God.

Rite: A solemn religious ceremony. For example - baptism.

Ritual: The established format for a ceremony.

Rosary: A string of beads used by Catholics to help recite a sequence of prayers.

Sabbatarian: Person with strict views on what can be done on Sunday, the focus of which is worship and rest.

Sabellianism: An unorthodox teaching of the third century declaring Father and Son to be one person.

Sacerdotalism: Relating to the office of a priest system.

Sacrament: A rite, such as baptism or communion, which is symbolic of a spiritual reality.

Sacred: That which is dedicated to God (for example, music, altar or implements used in church).

Sacrilegious: Insulting or harmful to beliefs or things held to be sacred.

Sacristy: Room attached to a church for storing sacred objects.

Sacristan: Person who looks after a church’s contents.

Sacrosanct: Something to be kept sacred and untainted.

Sadducees: A prominent Jewish sect at the time of Christ who believed in the Torah and a literal interpretation of written law. They denied angels, spirits, a resurrection and immortality.

Saint: Someone who believes in Jesus; not just someone of exceptional character or works.

Salvation: To be saved from the greatest danger in this life – a godless life.

Salvific: Has the intent or the power to redeem.

Sanctification: God working with us to sort through the business of our lives so that we can fulfill His purposes.

Sanhedrin: The Jews' supreme council in post-exilic times which was responsible for religious and criminal matters.

Satan: A fallen angelic being who strives against God and man.

Saviour: Jesus, the only person who can rescue us from our fallen state or sin, and its consequences. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word.

Scapegoat: A person who is expediently blamed rather than the guilty person. The word stems from an Old Testamentpractice of symbolically placing the people's sin on a goat and releasing it into the wilderness. This practice was more about forgiveness, with the removal of guilt from a person's life, than its current meaning.

Schismatic: To set up a rival to the true worship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Scholastics: Christian philosophers in the medieval era.

Scripture: The writings of God recorded in the Bible.

Sect: A breakaway group from the Christian church with alternative beliefs and practices.

Secular: Relating to this world without consideration of the spiritual or sacred.

Semitic: Relating to Noah’s son Shem. (Jews and Arabs are Semites.)

Septuagint: A translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek between 280BC – 180BC. It was the Bible of the beginning church used by Jesus and the apostles.

Seraphim: Six-winged angels whose primary task is to cleanse.

Sermon: An address or speech given as part of a church service.

Sermon on the Mount: One of Jesus’ great discourses containing the beatitudes and ethical teaching.

Service: Christians meeting together for worship.

Shalom: A greeting which means more than ‘peace be with you’. Shalom is a prayer that the person addressed flourishes finding delight in a full life infused with God’s grace and peace.

Sheol: A Hebrew term for the abode of the dead.

Shrove Tuesday: Day before Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent; traditionally a day for confessing sin. Also known as Pancake Day (Mardi Gras) due to the celebratory tradition of eating pancakes on this day.

Signs and wonders: Acts performed by Jesus which further verified His claims of who He is.

Simony: To buy or sell a position in the church for money.

Sin: Choosing to live for yourself rather than for God.

Sinner: a) In Jesus' time, sinners were people who refused to follow the interpretation of those who taught Mosaic Law. It also referred to people such as murderers, thieves, adulterers and tax collectors.

               b) A person who fails to fulfil all of God's moral law in thought and deed; a category every human being falls into.

Sojourners: Those living temporarily in a place. Applied to this life in contrast to eternity with or without Jesus.

Son of David: One of the Messiah's titles. The Messiah had the heart of David and a king's authority.

Son of the Most High: Jesus, God the Son, who comes from God the Father.

Song(s): Inspired community worship sung for the purpose of edification.

Sorcery: Using power (knowledge) gained from evil spirits.

Soteriology: The study of what God has done through Jesus to save mankind.

Soul: The "real you" within your fallen humanity, including desires, feelings and perceptions (see Spirit).

Strive: Christians are to exert themselves and be disciplined in the work of the Gospel.

Spirit: The 'real you', which can only be free from sin when God awakens your spirit with His love and hence changes your desires, feelings and perceptions. (see Soul).

Spiritual: Related to matters dealing with the core of our humanity.

Spiritual gifts: Gifts from the Holy Spirit, freely given to and exercised through Christians, to serve God's gracious purposes.

Spiritualism: A belief that spirits of the dead speak through mediums to the living.

Stigmata: Marks resembling Christ's crucifixion wounds said to appear on some people.

Stoicism: A belief that everything is controlled by fate and therefore we should live calmly and with resolve. (similar todeterminism)

Straight: Direct, right, narrow. The straight path is repentance and walking with Jesus.

Stumbling block: A snare or obstacle preventing further progress.

For a fuller explanation of stumbling block, visit The Word...

Substitution: Christ's vicarious death on behalf of sinful humanity.

Suffer: a) To allow or permit: as in suffer the little children to come to Jesus.
              b) Pain and injustice, generally, but more specifically, from an identification with Jesus and His crucifixion.

Suffering Servant: Isaiah’s prophetic description of the Messiah.

Superstitious: Acting on magic, ignorance, fear of the unknown or a false concept.

Supplication: Asking earnestly and passionately. Often applied to a form of prayer.

Swaddling cloth: Strips of cloth used for wrapping babies in Jesus’ time.

Synagogue: Judaic places of worship which focused on opening up the Scriptures; a focus the church adopted.

Synagogue rulers: In Jesus' time, they were laymen who managed the synagogue building and worship in it.

Synergism: doctrine stating salvation comes through human effort co-operating with God’s grace.

Synoptic: Used in reference to Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels as they have many incidents in common.

Tabernacle: Ancient Israel's portable dwelling for God.

Taboo: What tradition, social expectations or other authority deems forbidden.

Talmud: An annotated collection of Jewish traditions.

Tarot: A misdirected notion that a pack of tarot cards can tell a person's future.

Tax collectors (aka publicans): Rome's agents. Largely seen as swindlers and traitors.

Teacher (Rabbi): Title given to Jesus which can be translated as "My Great One"; the teacher who has authority.

For a fuller explanation, visit The Word...

Temperate: Holy Spirit strengthened and directed self control. For a fuller explanation of temperate, visit The Word.

Temperance: a) abstaining from alcohol.

                          b) A Christian movement which responded to general excessive drinking.

Temple: A general term for a place of worship used by a number of religions.

Temple tax: At the time of Christ it was the equivalent of two days' wages and every male over the age of 20 had to pay.

Temporal: Pertaining to life, here and now.

Tempt: To entice someone to do something they should not do.

Temptation: Being enticed.

Tempter: A name for Satan describing his attempts to lead all astray.

Tenet: A belief or doctrine that is seen to be true.

Testament: A covenant which binds two parties. (The Old and New Testaments are binding agreements between God and mankind.)

Testimonium: A standard point made from an Old Testament passage.

Testimony: a) A declaration of truth.
                   b) A declaration of what God has done in a person's life.

Theism: Belief in a personal God who is creator, sustainer and ruler over His creation.

Theistic evolutionism: The belief God used evolution as a means of creation.

Theodicy: Acknowledging God’s wisdom and justice in allowing the existence of evil.

Theology: The study of God and Christian teaching.

Theophany: God appearing to a person and manifesting His powers.

Theosophy: Religious system derived from a claim that all religions can access spiritual reality through mysticalexperience which gives insight into God.

Theosophical: Related to theosophy.

Theosophist: Follower of theosophy.

Thirty silver coins: Judas' payment was equal to four months wages for a labourer.

Travail: To painfully labor at, as in childbirth; hence a description of one form of prayer.

Tithe: One tenth of income given to God as an act of gratitude, submission and recognition of God as the giver of all things.

Torah: The Pentateuch and the whole body of Jewish law, including oral traditions.

Transcendent: To surpass the normal limits. God surpasses every limitation we can think of.

Transformation: The fundamental change in the nature and direction of a person’s life, beginning with being born again and culminating in everything being made new on passing through death to be with ChristFor a fuller explanation of transformation, visit The Word...

(Dynamic Equivalent) Translation: A free translation of the Bible which seeks to use equivalent grammatical and style elements in the receptor language to aid accessibility.

(Free) Translation: A Bible translation seeking to be as accessible as possible in the receptor language with less concern about the exact words applicable to the original language. For example, using torch instead of lamp.

(Literal) Translation: A Bible translation seeking to remain as close to the original language as possible while still making sense in the receptor language.

Transubstantiation: A largely Catholic belief that the wine and bread literally become the blood and flesh of Jesus as you receive communion.

(The) Transfiguration: Jesus’ exalted glorifying change in appearance when God the Father spoke with Him on the mountaintop.

Trial: A problem, a hard situation you go through, that God is working out His purposes in.

Tribulation: a) A trial (see below) involving extreme hardship. God hasn't stopped loving us in these situations.
                           b) A coming time when Satan is given the opportunity to make a last ditch effort to drag as many people down into hell as possible. Yet, God will still have His way at this time.

Trinity: The three ways God has revealed his personage to humanity; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. (Three-in-one and one-in-three.)

Triumphalism: A form of faith which claims we live in total victory now. It fails to recognise the on-going impact offallen nature.

True VineJesus infuses His disciples with His life so they can bear fruit (see the Titles of Christ).

Truth: That which is solid and binding and thus demonstrates integrity and reality. Jesus is ‘The Truth’.

Typology: Symbols, images and events in the Old Testament which are types prefiguring New Testament times.

Unbelievers: Those who do not acknowledge Jesus as mankind's Saviour.

Unction: To apply oil in a religious ceremony.

Unitarianism: A doctrine which denies the triune nature of God.

Unity: The New Testament definition is: Christians, bound in a common purpose and faith by the Holy Spirit, who make every effort to keep peace and maintain focus. For a fuller explanation, visit The Word...

Universalism: Belief that all faiths are legitimate and able to bring you to God.

Unorthodox: In a Christian context, it is non-conformance to traditions, doctrine or expected behaviour.

Unregenerate: A person not yet born again who is still at enmity with God.

(The) Unrighteous: Those who proudly take a faithless stance against God and His righteousness, graciously given inJesus.

(Take the) Veil: Traditional phrase for becoming a nun.

Venerable: Of a person who is revered because of their age, faith or character.

Venerate: Holding great respect for a person or God.

Veneration: Expressing, or feeling, awe for a person or God.

Verily: Honestly, truly, surely, indeed. It tends to precede a solemn and important statement.

Vesper: A prayer said at night.

Vestal: Pure or chaste.

Viaticum: Communion given to the dying or someone in danger of death.

(The) Vine: Applied to Jesus, it indicates His followers’ total dependence on Him for sustenance, for life and the capacity to bear fruit.

Vision: A fresh revelation from God received in image and word.

Wanton: Unrestrained and immoral sexual behaviour.

For a fuller explanation of wanton, visit The Word...

Way (The): a) Christ's way for life now and beyond the grave.
                   b) A term used to describe early Christians.

Wind (of the Spirit): a) A symbolic representation of God breathing life into a person.
                                  b) God’s expanding surging presence in a person, place or activity.

Wimple: A piece of cloth, worn by some nuns, which frames the face.

Winnowing fork: Used figuratively of Jesusjudgement which separates wheat (redeemed) from chaff (unrepentant).

Witness: One who tells what he has seen or experienced. God's simple calling for everyone who has experiencedJesus in their life.

Word (The): a) The Bible - God's voice for all who will listen.
                     b) Jesus is the Word because He is the living testimony of who God is.

World: The world system or the values and ethos of a society that shunts God aside so it can pursue its own goals, ambitions and ego.

Worldly: A person who fashions their life around temporal and material things.
For a fuller explanation of worldly, visit The Word...

Worship: Any thought, word or deed whose focus is to honour God the Father, Son and Holy SpiritFor a fuller explanation of worship, visit The Word

Worshipper: A person whose focus is to honor God in thought, word and deed.

Wrath of God: God bringing justice to an intolerable situation. Compare with wrath - a strong anger stirred by indignation.

Xmas: The first Greek letter in Khristos is 'x'. Hence 'Khristos mass' = 'Christmas'.

Yahweh: Hebrew for the English name Jehovah. The name means "God is". God is "I am" - the eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent One.

(The) Year of the Lord’s favour: The Messianic era when salvation is proclaimed through Jesus for all people.

Yule: The celebration and joy of Christmas.

Zealots: Jewish group who violently opposed Rome.

Do you have a word you'd like some clarification on? Or a meaning that really spoke to you? Why not email us at [email protected]...