Appendix A


Use this glossary to help you understand terms you hear at church and among Christians and terms in this book and others. The definitions are not intended to be exhaustive or deeply theological. The intent is to help you understand them as they are generally used.

  • Anointing—to smear or pour on, often oil in scripture; symbolic gesture or rite to confer a divine grace or the Holy Spirit
  • Apostle—one who is sent; refers to one who carries the message of God; in scripture, the disciples of Jesus and other chosen ones after Christ’s return to Heaven
  • Baptism—Christian practice through which a person makes a public statement that he or she is now a follower of Jesus; rite that includes a person being immersed or sprinkled with water to symbolize burial with Jesus in death and rising with him in resurrection; a practice that Christ mentioned was to be observed by his followers
  • Believer—one who accepts the message of Jesus
  • Born again—one who has been spiritually regenerated, or born “from above”, according to Jesus in John 3:3
  • Carnal—to be sensual, corruptly impassioned, or worldly; description of the unregenerate heart
  • Christ—“the Anointed One”; a Greek title (Christos) for Jesus that is equivalent to “Messiah” in Hebrew
  • Christian—a follower of Christ; of a belief in Jesus Christ
  • Church—the spiritual “body of Christ;” those that have been called out of sin; those who meet together to worship Jesus
  • Consecration—the act of setting something apart or dedicating it to a special purpose or God
  • Contemporary worship—style of worship characterized by contemporary music, celebratory atmosphere, vibrant worship, a sophisticated multimedia experience, and practical and relatable preaching or teaching
  • Creed—statement of faith; a doctrinal declaration
  • Disciple—a pupil or adherent; in scripture, one of the twelve men Jesus chose to carry his message
  • Discipleship—the process of making disciples; the act of teaching converts the basic beliefs and practices of the Christian faith
  • Eternal life—life after death, also called everlasting life; the knowledge of God and the spiritual vitality that comes from it, according to Jesus in John 17:3
  • Evangelism—the act of declaring the good news of Jesus; to preach the gospel with the purpose of converting souls
  • Faith—conviction and assurance; spiritual sight to see the unseen; belief
  • Father—reference of Jesus denoting his relationship to God; the Sovereign of all Creation and spiritual Lord of the redeemed; head of the Godhead (or Trinity) who is equally God with the Son and the Holy Spirit; term that characterizes God’s relationship toward his spiritual children
  • Flesh—the lower, deprave nature of the human heart out of which arise all sinful motives and deeds
  • Forgiveness—pardon; the act of making peace; the removal of offense
  • Godhead—the eternally existent Deity; the Trinity, one power consisting of three persons, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit
  • Gospel—“good news” about Jesus and his salvation; reference to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, biographies of Jesus’s life
  • Grace—unmerited or undeserved favor; the means of Christian salvation; empowerment to do or be something
  • Great Commission—Jesus’s command to his disciples and all Christians to teach his message to all people and make disciples of them
  • Heaven—the abode of God, the holy angels, and those who die in Christ
  • Hell—the place of separation from God; the place of torment and despair for those that die without salvation; the eternal future for Satan and his angels that was originally created for them
  • Holiness—the moral purity of God
  • Holy Spirit—the third person of the Godhead, also called the Spirit of God, whose role in the earth is to convict people of sin, reveal Christ, empower for ministry, and illuminate the scriptures
  • Jesus—the second person of the Godhead, also called the Son of God, Son of Man, and Christ; the prime figure of the New Testament Gospels; the one who spiritually took upon himself the sins of the world in his death in order to win human salvation; the central figure of Christianity; the spiritual head of the Church
  • Judaism—monotheistic religion of the ancient Children of Israel and present-day Jews based on the Hebrew scriptures; the religion of Jesus; the religion from which Christianity arose
  • Justification—the act whereby God declares a sinner innocent or sinless
  • Kingdom of God—the spiritual rule of God; the dominion of Jesus Christ as King
  • Liturgical—a worship style centered on a prescribed set of practices for public worship and Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist
  • Mercy—kindness; God’s goodwill toward humans and desire to help them; God’s choice to not punish when punishment is deserved
  • Ministry—a vocation; one’s service to God in some way
  • New Testament—the distinctly Christian writings of the Bible consisting of 27 books, including the Gospels, epistles, and apocalypse, also known as the new covenant
  • Old Testament—the portion of the Bible that is the Hebrew Bible of the Jews consisting of 39 books, including the Law, Prophets, and Writings
  • Pentecostal—worship style deriving from the Acts 2:4 experience of the Holy Spirit’s advent and sometimes characterized by spontaneity, spiritual gifts, divine healing, and vigorous preaching
  • Providence—God’s oversight over Creation and the affairs of humankind
  • Reconciliation—restoration and a return to favor
  • Redemption—the act of redeeming, or buying back, in the sense of deliverance; the setting free of a soul from sin and the harsh consequences of it; ransom
  • Regeneration—spiritual renovation
  • Righteousness—uprightness or virtuous; obedience to God’s law; right standing with God or one’s fellow neighbor
  • Salvation—deliverance; the preservation or saving from sin and all of its effects
  • Sanctification—purification; the lifelong process by which a Christian separates his or her life from ungodliness
  • Satan—the primary one who opposes God and leads a host of fallen angels in rebellion of him, also known as the Devil and the Evil One; the enemy of Christians and all good; originally an archangel in Heaven named Lucifer
  • Saved—one who has received salvation
  • Sin—to err or wander from God’s moral law; unrighteousness; the curse that came upon humankind and the earth with Adam and Eve’s disobedience
  • Son of God—the title Jesus used to explain his relationship with the Father; an expression of the divinity of Jesus
  • Traditional worship—worship style characterized by more elderly audiences, richly theological hymns, robed choirs, organ music, strongly evangelistic messages, and alter calls
  • Trinity—the eternal Deity comprised of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, also called the Godhead
  • Unbeliever—one who has not accepted Jesus as his or her personal Savior; a term that describes a person’s spiritual state and not necessarily that he or she does not believe what the scriptures teach
  • World—the wicked, idolatrous culture that opposes God

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