Learning to Speak Christianese

If you’ve been around the Church and Christians long enough, maybe 10 minutes, you’ve realized that there is another language there. For most of my life I heard words and just thought I knew what they meant. Using context from stories, past knowledge, and probably my imagination I just rolled with it instead of taking the time to truly learn what these words mean.

I’m guessing that I’m not alone and that a lot of us just think we know what words mean and don’t take the time to investigate further. Knowing the true definition of words can also help us explain/defend our faith.

Here we go. This is not a complete list. This is just a list of words that I’ve enjoyed learning more about. A lot of these are circled and defined multiple times throughout my bible because I want to read scripture in context and with the full picture that God intended.

*Remember, asking questions and doing research doesn’t make you anything more than a student of the Word. Never feel like you can’t ask someone, look something up, or that you aren’t enough to understand what you’re reading.

Biblical Words & Definitions

  • Gospel // The teaching of Christ
  • Holy // Dedicated to God
  • Faith // Belief in God
  • Love // More on this soon. But the bible has multiple words for love depending on the depth of the love in question. Philo is a brotherly lover (hence where Philadelphia gets it’s name). Agape is a spiritual and godly love.
  • Grace // Unmerited favor of God.
  • Mercy // Forgiveness and/or compassion towards someone who doesn’t deserve it. Generally the one forgiving has the ability and power to punish but doesn’t.
  • The Fall // The Adam, Eve, and the serpent story? Genesis 3
  • Sin // To sin is to fall short of God’s righteousness. We’re all sinners!
  • Hell // Place of eternal wrath of God
  • Heaven // Place to the presence of God with no sin and pain
  • Righteousness // Quality of acting according to God’s law. We are characterized righteous by being in a right relationship with God.
  • Repentance // To repent is more than just regret. You actively change your mind and actions.
  • Godliness // Displaying the characteristics of God.
  • Sovereign // God’s ultimate supreme power and authority
  • Great Commission // In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus tells them disciples to and make disciples of all nations. The last command that he gave to them and the mission for all believers to come.
  • Predestination // Could this be the most controversial topic of theology? Maybe. The Reformed view is that before we are formed God has decided if our final destination is heaven or hell. Some believe that because of God’s omniscience, He already knows our destination but allows us to have free will. Please don’t let this be a big conflict in your heart right now. You don’t have to say one view is correct or not. I want you to remember that no matter what God is good.
  • Justification // Being justified is to be declared righteous by God Justification is a one-time thing that once you accept Christ, no matter what you’ve done, you’re justified.
  • Salvation // You’ve heard the stories about when someone was saved or maybe you were asked when were you saved.
  • Sanctification // The process of the Holy Spirit working in us after salvation/justification. This is the process of being set apart.
  • Covenant // Generally this is a contract. But a contract between God and man is more than just a binding agreement. Covenants at first were works and living sacrifices were made. But Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and fulfilled the covenant of works. Now there’s a covenant of grace.
Learning to Speak Christianese // Defining Terms used by Christians

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