Lesson 00.04

Dictionary of Terms



  1. Active Obedience - Active obedience is Jesus' actively fulfilling all the law of God.  
  2. Agnosticism - The belief that it is not possible to know if there is or is not a God.
  3. Amillennialism - The teaching that there is no literal 1000 year reign of Christ as referenced in Revelation 20. It sees the 1000 year period spoken of in Revelation 20 as figurative. Instead, it teaches that we are in the millennium now, and that at the return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:16 - 5:2) there will be the final judgment and the heavens and the earth will then be destroyed and remade (2 Pet. 3:10).
  4. Angel - Angel means messenger. Angels are created (Psalm 148:2,5; Col. 1:16), non-human, spirit beings (Heb. 1:14). They are immortal (Luke 20:36), innumerable (Heb. 12:22), invisible (Num. 22:22-31), sexless (Matt. 22:30), and do the will of God (Psalm 103:20). These angels have a ministry to believers. They guide (Gen. 24:7, 40), protect (Psalm 34:7), and comfort (Acts 27:2, 24).  There are good angels (Gen. 28:12; Psalm 91:11) and bad angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).
  5. Annihilationism - The teaching that when a person dies, he is annihilated, most often this doctrine is applied to the wicked, thereby negating eternal hell fire.
  6. Anthropomorphic - Manifesting in human form.  It is from the Greek "anthropos" meaning "man" and "morphe" meaning "form."  In biblical theology, God is described in anthropomorphic terms; that is, in human terms with human attributes. For example, God has hands and feet in Exodus 24:9-11 and is loving (1 John 4:8).
  7. Antichrist - A figure who opposes God. The word is used to describe a spirit of rebellion against God, "...the spirit of the Antichrist..." (1 John 4:3) and of a specific future person identified as the man of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3). He actively opposes Christ (2 Thess. 2:4) and when he arrives, he will be able to perform miracles (2 Thess. 2:9). Some believe he will be an incarnation of Satan and as such will be able to deceive many. His number is 666 (Rev. 13:18). A further possible description of him might be found in Zech. 11:15-17).
  8. Apologetics - To give the defense, to defend the Christian faith."  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence," (1 Pet. 3:15).
  9. Arminianism - There are five main tenets of Arminianism: 1) God elects or reproves on the basis of foreseen faith or unbelief, 2) Christ died for all men and for every man, although only believers are saved, 3) Man is so depraved that divine grace is necessary unto faith or any good deed, 4) This grace may be resisted, 5) Whether all who are truly regenerate will certainly persevere in the faith is a point which needs further investigation
  10. Atheism - The position that there is no God, or that God is denied.
  11. Atonement - To atone means to make amends, to repair a wrong done. Biblically, it means to remove sin. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by Jesus. Jesus atoned for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2).  This atonement is received by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9).
  12. Baptism - An immersion or sprinkling of water that signifies one's identification with a belief or cause. In Christianity it is the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:4-54). It is done in the name and authority (Acts 4:7) of Christ with the baptismal formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). It does not save us (1 Pet. 3:21).  However, it is our obligation, as believers, to receive it.
  13. Blasphemy - Speaking evil of God or denying Him some good which we should attribute to Him. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is stating that Jesus did his miracles by the power of the devil (Matt. 12:22-32) and is an unforgivable sin (Mark 3:28-30). Blasphemy arises out of pride (Psalm 73:9,11), hatred (Psalm 74:18), injustice (Isaiah 52:5), etc. Christ was mistakenly accused of blasphemy (John 10:30-33).
  14. Calvinism - A system of Christian interpretation initiated by John Calvin. It emphasizes predestination and salvation.
  15. Cessationism - The position that the charismatic gifts have ceased with the death of the apostles.
  16. Canon - This is another word for scripture. The Canon consists of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. The Canon is closed which means there is no more revelation to become Scripture.
  17. Charismatic gifts - The special spiritual gifts given to the church. They are for edifying and building up the church. They are mentioned in Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, and 1 Cor. 14: Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.
  18. Christ - Christ is a title. It is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament term "messiah" and means "anointed one." It is applied to Jesus as the anointed one who delivers from sin. Jesus alone is the Christ.
  19. Church - The word is used in two senses: the visible and the invisible church. The visible church consists of all the people that claim to be Christians and go to church. The invisible church is the actual body of Christians; those who are truly saved.
  20. Communion - The Lord's Supper (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 1:23-26). It is the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42,46) and a time to give thanks (Luke 22:17,19). It was originally instituted by Jesus (Matt. 26:26-29) on the night of the Passover meal which was an annual occurrence celebrating the "passing over" of the angel of death that claimed the firstborn of every house in Egypt (Exodus 12). The Lord's Supper, or communion, replaces the Passover meal with the "body and blood" (Mark 14:22-24) of Jesus. It is to be taken only by believers (1 Cor. 11:23-28). (For further study see John 6:26-58 and 1 Cor. 11:27-34).
  21. Compatibilist Free Will - The doctrine concerning the free will of people which states that the sinner is only capable of choosing that which is sinful nature permits him to choose.  he is limited by his sinful nature in the choices he can make.
  22. Covenant - A pack or an agreement between two or more parties with stipulations of rewards and punishments for keeping and/or breaking the covenant.
  23. Cult - A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity, and in particular, CARM, it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable
  24. Damnation - The righteous judgment of God upon those who have not trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.
  25. Deism - The belief that God exists but is not involved in the world. It maintains that God created all things and set the universe in motion and is no longer involved in its operation.
  26. Death - used in different senses in the Bible.  it means physical death as well as spiritual death.  the latter being separation from God.
  27. Depravity - Moral corruption, a state of corruption or sinfulness. Total depravity is the teaching that sin has touched all aspects of the human: body, soul, spirit, emotions, mind, etc.
  28. Dispensationalism - Dispensationalism says that God uses different means of administering His will and grace to His people. These different means coincide with different periods of time. The Scofield Reference Bible says there are seven dispensations: of innocence, of conscience, of civil government, of promise, of law, of grace, and of the kingdom.
  29. Doctrine - A set of accepted beliefs held by a group.  In religion, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of that belief system. Hence, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set.  In Christianity, for example, a true biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence.
  30. Ecclesiology - The study of the church.
  31. Elect, election - The elect are those called by God to salvation. This election occurs before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and is according to God's will not man's (Rom. 8:29-30; 9:6-23) because God is sovereign (Rom. 9:11-16).
  32. Eschatology - The study of end times doctrines.  The study of the things concerning the return of Christ, the millennium, and the new heavens and new earth.
  33. Eternal life - Life everlasting in the presence of God. "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent" (John 17:3).
  34. Eternal Security - The doctrine that salvation cannot be lost. Since it is not gained by anything we do, it cannot be lost by anything we do. This does not mean that we can sin all we want (Rom. 6:1-2) because we have been freed from sin and are set apart for holy use (1 Thess. 4:7).
  35. Evolution - The theory that all living things on earth evolved from a single source and driven by genetic mutation and natural selection gave rise to all the various life forms on earth.
  36. Faith - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). It is synonymous with trust. It is a divine gift (Rom. 12:3) and comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It is the means by which the grace of God is accounted to the believer who trusts in the work of Jesus on the cross (Eph. 2:8).
  37. Firstborn - The first of the mother's offspring. It stands figuratively for that which is most excellent. The firstborn male of the family carried certain familial rites and privileges (Gen. 27:1-29; 48:13-14) and was given a double portion of the inheritance (Deut. 21:17).  It is a transferable title.   Compare Jer. 31:9 with Gen. 41:50-52.
  38. Forgiveness -
  39. Free Will - Freedom of self determination and action independent of external causes.
  40. God - The supreme being of the universe. He is the creator of all things (Isaiah 44:24). He alone is God (Isaiah 45:21,22; 46:9; 47:8). There have never been any Gods before Him nor will there be any after Him (Isaiah 43:10).
  41. Gospel - The Gospel is the good news that we have forgiveness of sins through Jesus. Specifically, the gospel is defined by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
  42. Grace - The unmerited favor of God.
  43. Harmatiology - The study of the effects of sin upon man in the world.
  44. Hell - Hell is the future place of eternal punishment of the damned including the devil and his fallen angels. There are several words rendered as Hell: Hades - A Greek word. It is the place of the dead, the location of the person between death and resurrection. (See Matt. 11:23; 16:18; Acts 11:27; 1 Cor. 15:55; Rev. 1:18; 6:8).
  45. Heresy - A doctrinal view that deviates from the truth, a false teaching. We are warned against it in Acts 20:29-32 and Phil. 3:2. Heresies include teachings that Jesus is not God and that the Holy Spirit is not a person (Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, The Way International), that men may become gods (Mormonism), that there is more than one God (Mormonism), that Jesus lost His divinity in hell and finished the atonement there, and that good works are necessary for salvation (all cults say this), to name a few.
  46. Holy Spirit, The - The third person of the Godhead. He is completely God. He is called God (Acts 5:3-4), has a will (1 Cor. 12:11), speaks (Acts 8:29; 13:2), and knows all things (John 14:17). He is all powerful (Luke 1:35) and is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-13).
  47. Hypostatic Union - The doctrine that Christ has two natures:  divine and human.  these two natures are united in one person, Jesus.
  48. Immutability - The divine attribute of unchangeableness. God said in Exodus 3:14, "I AM that I AM," signifying His eternal sameness and His sovereignty. He cannot change His moral character, His love, His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.  God is "From everlasting to everlasting," (Psalm 90:2).
  49. Imputation - To reckon to someone the blessing, curse, debt, etc. of another. Adam's sin is imputed to all people (Rom. 5:12-21), therefore, we are all guilty before God. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross where He became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and died with them (Isaiah 53:4-6).
  50. Incarnation - The addition of human nature to the nature of God the second person of the Trinity. It is where God became a man (John 1:1,14; Phil. 2:5-8).
  51. Judgment - Condemnation. There are several judgments: the judgment of the believer's sins (John 5:24), the judgment of the believer's self (1 Cor. 11:31-32), the judgment of the believer's works (2 Cor. 5:10), the judgment of the nations (Matt. 25:31-46), and the judgment of the wicked (Rev. 20:11-15).
  52. Justice - The due reward or punishment for an act. Justice is getting what is deserved. God is merciful but He is also just (Deut. 32:4 - righteous) and must punish sin. In the grace of God, justice fell upon His Son so that mercy would fall upon us.
  53. Justification - To justify means to declare legally righteous.
  54. Law - The Law is God's instructions concerning the moral, social, and spiritual behavior of His people found in the first five books of the Bible. The Law is the very reflection of the nature of God because God speaks out of the abundance of what is in Him. Therefore, since God is pure, the Law is pure. Since God is holy, the Law is holy. The Law consists of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), rules for social life (Exodus 21 - 23), and rules for the worship of God (Exodus 25 - 31).
  55. Libertarian Free Will - The teaching regarding free will that the sinner is capable of acting and choosing without the limitations of his sinful nature.
  56. Mercy - Mercy is the act of not administering justice when that justice is punitive. Because of our sinfulness we deserve death and eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23; Isaiah 59:2), but God provided an atonement for sin and through it shows us mercy. That is, He does not deliver to the Christian the natural consequence of his sin which is damnation.
  57. Monotheism - The belief that there is only one God in all places at all times. There were none before God and there will be none after Him. Monotheism is the teaching of the Bible (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5,14,18,21,22; 46:9; 47:8; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; Gal. 4:89).
  58. Naturalism - The belief that all of human experience can be described through natural law.  It asserts that biological evolution is true and that there are no supernatural realities.
  59. Open Theism - The position that God does not know all of the future free will choices of people and that God can make mistakes, take risks, and learn.
  60. Original Sin - This is a term used to describe the effect of Adam's sin on his descendants (Rom. 5:12-23). Specifically, it is our inheritance of a sinful nature from Adam. The sinful nature originated with Adam and is passed down from parent to child. We are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3).
  61. Penentheism - The belief that the universe is contained within God.  The universe is a part of God, but not all of God
  62. Pantheism - This is an identification of the universe with God. With this view there is a blurring of the distinction between the Creator and the creation as well as an attack upon the personality and nature of God. Pantheism tends to equate God with the process of the universe and states that the universe is God and God is the universe.
  63. Pneumatology - The study of the Holy Spirit, His person, works, relation to the Father and Son, relation to man, ministry in salvation and sanctification, conviction, and indwelling.
  64. Polytheism - The teaching that there are many gods.
  65. Postmillennialism - The belief that through the preaching of the word of God, the entire world will be converted to Christianity and this will usher in the kingdom of Christ. This is when Christ will return.
  66. Prayer - A privilege and an obligation of the Christian where we communicate with God. It is how we convey our confession (1 John 1:9), requests (1 Tim. 2:1-3), intercessions (James 5:15), thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6), etc., to our holy God. We are commanded to pray (1 Thess. 5:17).
  67. Predestination -  The doctrine that God has foreordained all things which will come to pass yet He is not the author of sin. He does, however, use sinful things for His glory and purpose. For example, the crucifixion was brought about by sinful men who unjustly put Jesus to death (Acts 4:27); yet, in that death, we are reconciled to God (Rom. 5:10).
  68. Propitiation - This means the turning away of wrath by an offering. It is similar to expiation but expiation does not carry the nuances involving wrath. For the Christian the propitiation was the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. It turned away the wrath of God so that He could pass "over the sins previously committed," (Rom. 3:25). It was the Father who sent the Son to be the propitiation (1 John 4:10) for all (1 John 2:2).
  69. Rapture - The rapture is an eschatological (end times) event whereupon the return of Christ the true believers who are "alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [those who already died as Christians] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air..." (1 Thess. 4:17). This is the time of the resurrection where the Christian receives his resurrected body. First to receive their new bodies are those who have died as Christians, and then "those who are alive and remain."
  70. Reconciliation - Reconciliation is changing for the better a relationship between two or more persons. Theologically it refers to the change of relationship between God and man. We are naturally children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and are at enmity with God (Eph. 2:11-15); but, "...we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son..." (Rom. 5:10). Because of the death of Jesus, the Christian's relationship with God is changed for the better. We are now able to have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3) whereas before we could not.
  71. Redemption - Redemption means to free someone from bondage. It often involves the paying of a ransom, a price that makes redemption possible. The Israelites were redeemed from Egypt. We were redeemed from the power of sin and the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13) through Jesus (Rom. 3:24; Col. 1:14). We were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).
  72. Regeneration - The act of God whereby He renews the spiritual condition of a sinner.  It is a spiritual change brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit so that the person then possesses new life, eternal life.  Regeneration is a change in our moral and spiritual nature where justification is a change in our relationship with God.  Also, sanctification is the work of God in us to make us more like Jesus.  Regeneration is the beginning of that change.  It means to be born again.
  73. Repentance - To repent means to turn. In the NT repentance means to turn from sin. We were called by God to turn from sin. In fact, all men everywhere are commanded by God to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). God's longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9) as does His kindness (Rom. 2:4).
  74. Sacrament - A visible manifestation of the word. The bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are considered sacraments in that they are visible manifestations of the covenant promise of our Lord: "In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" (Luke 22:20).  "Among the OT sacraments the rites of circumcision and the Passover were stressed as being the OT counterparts of baptism (Col. 1:10-12) and the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 5:7)."
  75. Salvation - Salvation is the "saving" of a sinner from the righteous judgment of God. When someone appeals to God and seeks forgiveness in Jesus, his sins are forgiven. He is cleansed. His relationship with God is restored, and he is made a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). All of this is the work of God, not man. Salvation is a free gift (Rom. 6:23).
  76. Sanctification - To sanctify means to be set apart for a holy use. God has set us apart for the purpose of sanctification not impurity (1 Thess. 4:7) and being such we are called to do good works (Eph. 2:10).
  77. Second Coming, The - The Second Coming is a term applied to the return of Christ. If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first. The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born. At the Second Coming of Christ every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7) as He descends from heavens in the clouds (Matt. 24:30; Mark 14:6).
  78. Sin - Sin is anything that is contrary to the law or will of God. For example: if you lie, you have sinned. Why? Because God has said not to lie (Exodus 20:16). If you do what God has forbidden, then you have sinned. In addition, if you do not do what God has commanded, you sin (James 4:17). Either way, the result is eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 1:3) and unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin leads to bondage (Rom. 6:14-20) and death (Rom. 6:23).
  79. Sola Scriptura - "only scripture." The teaching that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation and proper living before God.
  80. Soteriology - The study of the doctrine of salvation. It is derived from the Greek word soterios which means salvation. Some of the subjects of soteriology are the atonement, imputation, and regeneration.
  81. Tetragrammaton - This is a term applied to the four Hebrew letters that make up the name of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14.  God said to Moses, "And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  YHWH makes up the base of the verb "to be" from which God designated His own name as "I AM."  In English the letters are basically equivalent to YHWH.
  82. Theodicy - The study of evil in the world.
  83. Theophany - A theophany is a visible manifestation of God usually restricted to the Old Testament. God has appeared in dreams (Gen. 20:3-7; Gen. 28:12-17), visions (Gen. 15:1-21; Isaiah 6:1-13), as an angel (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:1-33), etc.
  84. Total Depravity - The doctrine that fallen man is completely touched by sin and that he is completely a sinner. He is not as bad as he could be, but in all areas of his being, body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, etc., he is touched by sin. In that sense he is totally depraved. Because man is depraved, nothing good can come out of him (Rom. 3:10-12) and God must account the righteousness of Christ to him. This righteousness is obtainable only through faith in Christ and what He did on the cross.
  85. Trinity - The teaching that God is three persons, Father, son, and Holy Spirit.  There are not three gods, but one God in three persons.
  86. Worship - The obligation of God's creation to give to Him all honor, praise, adoration, and glory due Him because He is the holy and divine creator. Worship is to be given to God only (Exodus 20:3; Matt. 4:10). Jesus, being God in flesh (John 1:1,14 ; Col. 2:9), was worshipped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6).
  87. Wrath - Biblically, it is the divine judgment upon sin and sinners. The punishment is called the wrath of God. It will occur on the final Day of Judgment when those who are unsaved will incur the wrath of God. It is, though, presently being released upon the ungodly (Rom. 1:18-32) in the hardening of their hearts. Wrath is described as God's anger (Num. 32:10-13), as stored up (Rom. 2:5-8), and as great (Zech. 7:12). The believer's deliverance from God's wrath is through the atonement (Rom. 5:8-10). "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9).
  88. YHWH - The four letters of the new Hebrew name of God translated into the equivalent in English.



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