Freeing from guilt or obligation, remission of sin or its penalty. The Catholic doctrine of releasing a person from sin by God, through the means of a priest. An aberrant doctrine in relation to orthodox belief which asserts that only God and Jesus Christ may forgive sins.
The process by which an individual gains entry into the family of God.
Meaning to come. Applied to Jesus Christ in that His first Advent, or first coming, was His birth in Bethlehem. His second Advent will be to receive His church.
A term coined by Professor Huxley in 1869. The meaning being that a person cannot know. An agnostic is a person who claims that God cannot be known personally and that it cannot be known that a god even exists.
The belief that the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ, described in the book of Revelation, is spiritual or symbolical and that it pertains to the current time. This current time will end with the return of Jesus Christ.
A particular view in relation to the logical order of God's decrees regarding salvation. It has to do with the order of the decrees and not their timing because God made his choice before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4. The Amyraldism order is as follows:
2. Permit the fall of man.
3. Provide salvation for all men.
4. Elect some men, reject or pass over the rest.
5. Call the elect to salvation.
The belief that all natural phenomena have souls that exist independent of the physical.
The teaching that after death unbelievers are destroyed so that they no longer exist.
The assigning of human physical characteristics to that which is not human. In relation to God, it is the description of Him as having eyes, arms. legs, hair, etc.
The assigning of human emotions or responses to that which is not human. In relation to God, it is the description of Him as showing regret, grief, remorse, happiness, etc.
Literally, against law, opposition to law or regulation by law. The belief that an individual can become a Christian through faith, but continue to act as if no moral or spiritual laws require obedience, and, anything and everything is permissible, without penalty, restraint or law. Considered a heretical belief.
The collection of books included by the Roman Catholic Church. (A Greek word "things that are hidden")
The fourth-century heresy which held that Christ had a human body, but not a human mind or spirit.
A formal defense or vindication. The branch of theological study concerned with the defense and proof of Christian doctrine.
Before the fact, prior to a determination being made based on an evaluation of the evidence. An assumption or belief held prior to confirmation based on fact, reality or reasoning.
The doctrine of Jacobus Arminus, 1560-1609, Dutch theologian. The belief that God overcomes the depravity and fallen nature of man by granting a "common grace" which enables an individual to choose salvation of his own free will. This is in opposition to Calvinism which states that man has no ability to choose salvation on his own but, it is granted solely on the basis of the sovereignty of God. Arminianism is a form of Pelagianism. Arminianism is considered incorrect doctrine, but has not necessarily been granted the status of heresy as has been done to its parent, Pelagianism. Arminian belief has been adopted by the majority of Christian churches, including most Baptists and Methodists.
The logical order of God's decrees in Arminian theology are as follows:
2. Permit the fall of man.
3. Provide salvation for all men.
4. Call all men to salvation.
5. Elect those who choose to believe.
The work Christ did in His life and death to earn salvation for His people.
An ordinance commanded by Jesus Christ. It is a procedure that should be performed by all Christian believers. It is an affirmation of faith in Jesus Christ. There are two views regarding the method:
(1) Sprinkling of water on the top of a person's head.
(2) Immersion of the entire body in water.
The system of doctrines and belief of John Calvin, 1509-1564, French Protestant Reformation leader. The beliefs dominated by predestination and election to salvation of an individual solely on the basis of God's sovereign will and grace. The beliefs being signified by the acrostic, TULIP, meaning: Total depravity of man, being dead in sins and unable to respond to the spiritual, Unconditional election or choice of men to salvation by God, Limited atonement for sins for the elect only, Irresistible grace which man cannot reject, Perserverence of the saints (the elect), continuing in the faith until death.
The list of all the books that belong in the Bible.
A system by which religious principles and beliefs are taught through a series of questions and answers, many answers accompanied by references to Scripture verses.
Someone who thinks that certain miraculous spiritual gifts ceased when the apostles died and Scripture was complete.
Pertaining to the charismata or gifts. Having a connection with or pertaining to the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. Churches or groups who emphasize or believe that certain of the spectacular gifts are in operation today, namely those of tongues, healing, words of knowledge and prophecy, among others, and these gifts are given through a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Such churches or groups having a greater emphasis on emotions and feeling, to validate their belief, rather than on teaching and doctrine.
Known as the "Lord's Supper". An ordinance commanded by Jesus Christ to his disciples at the last supper when they celebrated the Passover prior to His death. It is a religious service of observance and remembrance of the death of Christ. Two elements are used, bread and wine or grape juice. The bread signifies the body of Christ that was to be crucified on the cross. The wine or grape juice signifies the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for sin on the cross.
The belief that absolute divine sovereignty is compatible with human significance and real human choices.
The view that men and women are equal in value before God but that some governing and teaching roles in the church are reserved for men.
To be of the same or unite in one substance. In theology, the doctrine that the body and blood of Jesus Christ exist on earth and are consumed with the wine and bread at the eucharist (communion). Proposed as a replacement for the doctrine of transubstantiation which proposed that the wine and bread were actually transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ while inside the human body. Consubstantiation was proposed by Martin Luther and adopted into the Lutheran church. It is a doctrine rejected by most Protestant churches and by the Catholic church.
The system of belief that the major theme of the Bible is the revelation of the continuous redemptive plan of God by means of the various covenants that He made with man. Such covenants asserting the grace of God and are all connected to each other, with elements of the previous being represented by elements in the new.
Of a creed or belief. Baptism as a result of belief and a statement of that belief. Baptism that occurs after a person has become a Christian and can understand the meaning and significance of the salvation message. Almost exclusively applied to adults, but also of children who are capable of understanding the significance of the salvation message and have become a Christian by belief.
A system of religious belief that assumes the existence of a god who created the heavens, earth and man and then withdrew himself from that creation. The god of the Deist cannot be known in a personal manner and the revelation of God claimed by Christians is rejected. Deists base many of their beliefs on Christian principles, but do so without foundation because they assume beliefs that they deny can be known.
The idea that acts, events, and decisions are the inevitable results of some condition or decision prior to them that is independent of the human will.
The system of belief that God has dealt with humanity through various "dispensations" or divisions of time in which certain elements are present in one dispensation and not in another. Dispensations are related in kind, but not in content and various elements of one dispensation do not relate to those of another dispensation unless Scripture specifically states the fact. Such dispensational divisions are subject to definition by the proponent of belief and may differ from one teacher, group or church to the other. Some dispensational divisions might include but are not limited to: Dispensation of Innocence (Adam), Dispensation of Conscience (Pre-flood), Dispensation of Government (Noah), Dispensation of Law (Moses), Dispensation of Grace (Current day).
Something taught. Principles, tenets, creeds or beliefs. Usually presented in some type of official form but also may not be stated in an organized manner. Doctrine is usually considered to be a systematic and carefully worked out principle or belief.
Something taught. Principles, tenets, creed or beliefs. Usually an official, established belief or principle that is handed down from a higher authority and declared to be true or binding. It is similar to doctrine, however it may be more arbitrary and not have any relationship to a systematic or carefully worked out principle or belief.
To have control or power over. In relation to theology, the belief that the Christian church is to exert power and control over secular institutions and will eventually establish a theocratic rule over the governments of the earth. There are various views regarding Dominion Theology, the two most prominent groups are represented by Christian Reconstructionism (Reconstructionism) and Kingdom Now.
The belief that there are two gods, one god is good and one god is bad. Expressed in the beliefs of Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra). A form of this belief is represented in current popular media through the messages of the films of Star Wars in which the "force" (as some form of a god) is represented as having both a good side and bad side which human beings can choose to embrace.
The study of the assembly. In theology, the study of the church, defined as the body of those who believe in Christ, and all of the various aspects of that body.
Those who are called by God, will and must come to salvation by faith. Similar to the irresistible grace taught by John Calvin.
The view that all functions and roles in the church are open to men and women alike.
A methodology of textual study in which a meaning is assigned or "read into" a passage of text.
A decision and action by God, at some time prior to the creation of the universe, by which He chooses some persons to receive salvation by His sovereign will and by-passes the rest. These chosen people, God will bring to a saving knowledge of faith, justify and glorify them through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The study of end times, namely the future coming of Jesus Christ, the catching away of the church, the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the battle of Armageddon, the final judgment of Satan and his angels and the new heaven and the new earth.
The proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers.
A methodology of textual study in which the meaning of a passage is explained from within the passage itself. To analyze and interpret a passage by what it says.
To make a satisfaction, appeasement or atonement. To make amends for a wrongdoing. Specifically in relation to Jesus Christ who made an atonement to God for the sins of humanity. Such atonement being His death on the cross. providing the means by which believing Christians can be cleansed of their sins.
The belief that human choices and human decisions make no real difference because things will happen as they have been previously ordained.
The personal, relational knowledge by which God thought of certain people in a saving relationship before creation.
The knowledge of God's existence, character, and moral law that comes through creation to all humanity.
To exalt and honor. In relation to Jesus Christ, His exaltation to the right hand of the Father after His resurrection. In relation to the believing Christian, their exaltation to heaven and into the presence of God.
Meaning knowledge. A system of religious belief in which elements from various religious systems are combined into one. The adherents claiming that intuitive knowledge is all that is necessary to obtain their definition of salvation. Gnosticism is the parent of rationalism in which a person claims that God can be known through the rational thinking of a person rather than through revelation. Because of its rejection of revelation and the definition of God in the Scripture, Gnosticism is considered heresy.
Gospel of Inclusion
A doctrinal teaching regarding the nature of salvation, stating that all men are going to heaven, even if they do not know it. It is not necessary to have faith in Jesus Christ or even know Jesus Christ in order to go to heaven. It is a version of the "Wider Mercy Doctrine" and is based on Universalism. It is a heretical teaching.
The kindness or favor of God toward His creation and toward His elect which is unmerited by either. The granting of salvation by His sovereign choice to His elect through no worthiness or right standing of their own. A sovereign, unmerited act of mercy on the part of God.
The final command of Jesus to proclaim the gospel to all of creation.
To interpret. The science and art of interpretating the Bible. The standards by which Biblical texts are studied and their meanings determined through exegesis - meaning from within the text.
A Greek word meaning "of a similiar nature".
A Greek word meaning "of the same nature".
The union of Christ's human and divine natures in one person.
To brighten, clarify or explain. In relation to religion, it is not a direct revelation from God, but is a result of careful study, prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit in which a believer is given the ability to understand the spiritual matters. Illumination is given in measure to every believer.
To reckon, to think of as belonging to someone.
The process and means by which Jesus Christ, as Deity, entered the stream of humanity and took on the nature of humanity through His birth.
Also known as sublapsarianism. A particular view in relation to the logical order of God's decrees regarding salvation. It has to do with the order of the decrees and not their timing because God made his choice before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4. The infralapsarian order is as follows:
2. Permit the fall of man.
3. Elect some, pass over all the rest.
4. Provide salvation for those who were elected.
5. Call the elect to salvation.
Literally, a breathing in. Generally applied to the method by which Scripture was written. Revelation is the message that is given, and inspiration is the power or method by which the message is communicated. It is the prompting or influence on the prophet, causing him to write that which was made known.
The act of God in which He pardons sinful men and declares them just and guiltless. It is a judicial act and pronouncement, assigning the righteousness of Jesus Christ to the sinful believer who has believed in Christ for salvation, and thus the individual is placed in a right relationship with God.
An emptying. In theology, the act of Jesus humbling himself through the inclusion of the nature and form of a human being.
In relation to theology, a version of Dominion Theology, teaching that the Christian church will eventually dominate all secular institutions of government.
The belief that unless a person is willing to acknowledge and receive the Lordship of Christ over their life, they cannot be a Christian. Known also as "Lordship salvation".
Similar to Sabellianism or Monarchianism. The belief that the persons of the Godhead are modes or manifestations of one God. It is a belief that there is one God, but there are no separate persons of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. The second and third persons of the Godhead are modes or manifestations of the one God, in which God reveals Himself in different forms which take on different characteristics or appearances. Because Modalism, Sabellianism and Monarchianism deny the existence and personality of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, they are considered to be heretical beliefs.
Meaning a singular god. As applied to Christianity and Judaism, it is the belief that God is one singular entity expressed in three persons (Trinity). Monotheistic belief can be expressed in relation to the true God or in relation to a false God.
A fifth-century heresy that taught that there were two seperate persons in Christ, a human person and a divine person.
The state of being all powerful. In relation to God, He has all power in heaven and earth. His power is not diminished by any accomplishment including the creation of the heaven and the earth. He can do and accomplish anything that He chooses at any time and in any manner.
The state of being all present. In relation to God who is everywhere in the universe at the same time. The Scripture states that He fills the heavens and the earth. God does not have boundaries or limitations and He is wherever there can be found a place.
The state of knowing all things. Applied to God who knows every possible point of information or understanding, past, present or future.
A theology that came into vogue around 1980, proposing a different definition of God. The God of open theism is defined in the image of a man, being limited in abilities. The God of open theism does not control the future and is also unable to know the future, the claim being made that even a God cannot know what has not yet happened. Open theism is a heretical doctrine.
Commands regarding the establishment and practice of certain religious rights instituted by Jesus Christ. There are two ordinances: (1) The Lord's Supper - communion (2) Baptism.
Baptism (sprinkling) of children, usually as an infant soon after birth. Practiced by Reformed churches and the Catholic church. Practiced by Reformed churches as a result of an interpretation of covenant belief that the baptism confers, to the child, entry and identification with the covenant, the church and, in some beliefs, grants salvation. Based on the theory that circumcision in the Old Testament corresponds to baptism in the New Testament. This belief is rejected by other protestant churches, including most Baptist churches, as being a belief based on a fundamentally flawed view of covenant theology and connection of circumcision to baptism that is not supported by the Scripture.
Meaning all. A term coined in by J. Toland in 1705, expressing the idea that God is not a personality, but that all things are god and part of god. Therefore god is all and all is god. It is a false system of belief.
Being one who is called, summoned or judicially as an advocate, pleader, intercessor. In the New Testament applied to the Holy Spirit who is also a comforter.
Meaning a pattern, example or model.
Meaning virgin in origin. Pertaining to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ in which He was conceived without the aid of a human father.
The doctrine of Pelagius, 360?-420?. British monk who denied the doctrine of original sin and maintained that humanity has complete freedom of will to choose in matters of salvation. Arminianism is a form of Pelagianism. Because Pelagianism denies the sinful condition of mankind and the force of God in the granting of salvation to the unbeliever, it is considered to be heresy.
Meaning many Gods. The belief that there is not one universal God, but that there are many gods at many levels. Current belief is expressed in teachings of the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and many forms of Eastern religions.
Meaning after the millennium. Specifically applied to the return of Jesus Christ after the "symbolic" reign of Jesus Christ on the earth.
Meaning after the Tribulation mentioned in Revelation. Specifically applied to the return of Jesus Christ for His church, which it is believed goes through the Tribulation period on this earth.
Another term for election.
Meaning before incarnation. As applied to Jesus Christ, it is any reference to Him in His pre-existent form prior to His Incarnation or birth in Bethlehem. It also refers to the theophanies in the Old Testament which are considered to be appearances by Jesus Christ prior to His birth.
Meaning before the millennium mentioned in Revelation. There are several applications of this term:
(1) The church is raptured (taken away to heaven) by Jesus Christ prior to the start of the seven year Tribulation period mentioned in Revelation - also prior to the millennium. This belief is pre-tribulation, pre-millennial.
(2) The church is raptured (taken away to heaven) by Jesus Christ half way through the seven year Tribulation period mentioned in Revelation - also prior to the millennium. This belief is mid-tribulation, pre-millennial.
An assumption that forms the beginning point of any study.
The belief that certain prophetic events in the New Testament, namely the appearance of the anti-Christ and the tribulation period were fulfilled in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Some proponents go so far as to claim Nero, emperor of Rome, as the anti-Christ.
To cause to become favorably inclined, to win or regain good will, to pacify, to appease or conciliate through offerings or sacrifices. Used in relation to the wrath of God directed toward sinful man that was poured out on Jesus Christ in His death on the cross, thus satisfying the payment of death required of all sinners by God. Jesus Christ was the perfect offering (the propitiation) that satisfied the payment required for the sins committed by humanity.
Foresight, preparation and provision for.
1 - A general or common benevolence that is given to all humanity, both good and bad. A preserving of the creation through natural gifts such as food, rain, sunshine and good weather for growing food.
2 - Also a sense in which situations and events occur through the direct work of God. As such they are "providential" in nature, being decreed or caused by God.
In Roman Catholic Doctrine, the place where the souls of believers go to be further purified from sin until they are ready to be admitted into heaven.
The "taking up" of believers to be with Christ when He returns to the earth.
To rebuild, reform or make over. In relation to doctrine, to redefine traditional and orthodox doctrine by a different set of criteria or definitions. Reconstructionism is not to be confused with Kingdom Now Theology, although they have much in common and also significant differences, however they are both classified under the label of Dominion Theology. Reconstruction Theology is not necessarily heretical, but is to be considered doctrinal error.
In the sense of a buying back from the possession of another or a release from an obligation or contract. A payment made by which such a release is obtained. Applied to Jesus Christ as the "Redeemer" of mankind from judgment for their sins, by His death on the cross in payment for the penalty of those sins. The redemption payment is validated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which guarantees and assures that the payment by Jesus Christ was sufficient and acceptable to God.
A system of theological belief tracing its roots to the Reformation leaders. Views are based on the covenant agreements between man and God vs. the dispensatonal view, and emphasizes the sovereignty of God over His creation and in matters of salvation as opposed to the sovereignty of man. Considers Calvinism and the Westminster Confession to be the core of doctrinal belief.
The sovereign act of God in changing the nature and character of a person by renewing the heart (mind) and affecting a new set of beliefs and desires by which the person can relate to God in a personal manner.
The soveriegn decision of God before creation to pass over people, in sorrow deciding not to save them, but to punish them for their sins and therefore manifesting His justice.
Disclosure, exposure, unveiling or telling of something that was previously hidden or unknown.
A type of Modalism or Monarchianism. The belief that the persons of the Godhead are modes or manifestations of one God. It is a belief that there is one God, but there are no separate persons of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. The second and third persons of the Godhead are modes or manifestations of the one God, in which God reveals Himself in different forms which take on different characteristics or appearances. Because Sabellianism, Modalism and Monarchianism deny the existence and personality of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, they are considered to be heretical beliefs.
To set apart, cleanse or purify. It is that action which God performs within the believer as to changing the nature and character of the person.
A variation on the doctrines of Pelagianism and Arminianism. Men are given the ability, by God, to accept salvation when they hear the message of the gospel. Original sin does have some affect on humanity, but they are considered to be corrupted by sin, not actually "dead" in sin.
In relation to the Biblical admonition to "come out from among them and be separate". Not having a worldly mindset, but having a view toward the spiritual and godly. Not being a part of the system of the world as to immoral and irreverent conduct.
sine qua non
An essential component, condition or qualification. An indispensable part or absolute prerequisite.
By faith only. Applied to salvation by the Reformation leaders, signifying that salvation is by faith only granted by God, as opposed to salvation by works or human effort.
By grace only. Applied to grace by the Reformation leaders, signifying that salvation is given by the grace of God and not by any merit on the part of the recipient.
Scripture (Bible) alone. Applied to the scriptures by the Reformation leaders, signifying that the Scriptures alone are the revelation of God leading to salvation and are the only true and authoritative guide to human conduct and means by which salvation can be obtained. Claims of persons to additional revelations and the acceptance of traditions as being authoritative are rejected.
soli Deo gloria
To God alone be glory. Applied to the worthiness of God by the Reformation leaders, signifying that only God is worthy of honor and worship in relation to all things.
Christ alone. Applied to Jesus Christ by the Reformation leaders, signifying that Jesus Christ alone is the only way by which salvation can be obtained. There is salvation in no other name.
The term designating the study of Christian salvation as revealed in the Scriptures.
The doctrine that believers go into a state of unconscious existence when they die, and that they return to consciousness when Christ returns and raises them to eternal life.
Above all others, chief, greatest, superior; supreme in rank, power or authority; of or holding that position as a ruler; independent of all others as a singular entity. As applied to God, it is the ability of God to act and accomplish His will, independent of any other source or influence.
speaking in tongues
Prayer or praise spoken in syllables not understood by the speaker.
God's words addressed to specific people, including the words of the Bible.
A particular view in relation to the logical order of God's decrees regarding salvation. It has to do with the order of the decrees and not their timing because God made his choice before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4. The supralapsarianism order is as follows:
1. Elect some people, reject or reprobate the rest.
3. Permit the fall of man.
4. Provide salvation for those who were elected.
5. Call the elect to salvation.
Occurances of different words in different ancient copies of the same verse of Scripture.
The study of the origin of sin in relation to the Divine justice of God in allowing it to exist.
Known also as "Dominion Theology" and "Christian Reconstructionism" and is a theological interpretation regarding ecclesiology and eschatology. Primarily asserts that all governments will be progressively dominated by Christians, at some point that domination being so complete that it will usher in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Meaning god appearing. The appearance of Jesus Christ, in human form, prior to His incarnation or birth in Bethlehem.
Meaning animal and man. In relation to religion, the worship of gods that are half man and half animal. Especially prevalent in Egyptian religious depictions.
To transform one substance into another. Applied in Catholic theology to the bread and wine used in the communion service. To literally change the bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ.
A time of great difficulty here on earth.
Applied to a description of the Godhead as a condition of being three persons in one God. Pertaining to God the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. All are separate entities but all are one God. "The doctrine of the Trinity does not say that God is one person and three persons, or one being and three beings." "There is within the one being that is God, three co-equal and co-eternal Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
The election to salvation of certain individuals not based on anything within them.
A decision based solely on God's right to choose and His good pleasure.
The belief that everyone goes to heaven.
The biblical teaching that Jesus was conceived in the womb of His mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spiritand without a human father.
Word of Faith Movement
A distorted and in some cases heretical view held by many Charismatics. Word/Faith teachers claim that faith is a power which, when joined to a positive confession will produce results. Our words have the same power and effect as God's Word. Also known as "name it and claim it", "blab it and grab it" or prosperity teaching.