With our Christian dictionary, we hope to help you to grow in your walk with Jesus Christ. There are many words that are used every day in the churches but many do not have a firm grip on their meaning. Many people are ashamed to ask because they are afraid that it will look like they are less of a Christian.
BONDSLAVE : The short definition of the word is a willing servant. This speaks of someone who was given their freedom but willingly stayed and served their master because of the love that the master had displayed for them in the past. This was different from the normal slave (servant) who was working to pay off a debt or who had been captured in battle and forced to work for the master.
This slave had more privileges than the hired help (one that was working to pay off his debt) because he was considered to be a part of the family. His only responsibility was to listen to the master and do what the master told him to do. The master's responsibility was basically everything else including taking care of the bondslave.
BLASPHEMY : There are two basic types mentioned in the Bible. The first definition is given in Leviticus 24:14-16. This is speaking the name of God with an attitude of disrespect or showing contempt for God's name. The other type is specific and we are told that it is the only sin that cannot be forgiven. This is found in Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:29, and Luke 12:10 and it is showing contempt for the name and work of the Holy Spirit. It is unforgivable because, without the Holy Spirit is not possible to recognize sin. If you cannot recognize sin then you cannot repent.
BLESSED : The Greek word for "blessed" that is used in the Bible is makarios. The word is used to describe someone who is happy or as we would say "has it made in the shade" or does not need to worry. The Hebrew root is brk and gives the sense of being under God's protection. The practical meaning for us is that we do not have to worry about anything because we are under the protection of God.
CONSECRATION : This is the act of dedicating something to a particular use or purpose. The process is more mental than physical in the fact that we have to make a decision and stick with it. As Christians, we consecrate ourselves by choosing to follow Jesus as He leads us into God's plan for our lives.
CURSED : This is the opposite of blessed and quite simply means that someone is subject to worry because God's hand of protection has been removed from their life. We see this in Genesis 9 where Noah foretold the removal of God's protection from Ham's youngest son and the fact that they would be subjected to slavery under Israel in the future.
FASTING : In Leviticus 23:27, God told Moses to have the people "deny yourselves" on the Day of Atonement. This phrase comes from the Hebrew INuL NeFeSH which is commonly translated as "afflict your souls". The literal meaning of NeFeSH is "throat" and the more accurate translation of the phrase is "to afflict your appetite". This is what is known as fasting and it means to close your throat (not eat or drink). This was prescribed by God, in Leviticus, to focus the minds of His people on Him and not the physical things of the earth. The Day of Atonement was a picture of the coming of Jesus to pay for their sins as well as ours and to give us eternal life with Him. Jesus had a spiritual mission on this earth (see Mark 2) and so God was demonstrating this shift in focus from the physical to the spiritual in the prescribed fast.
GLORY : God is good and every good thing is from Him. Glory is the presence of God and all of His goodness as we see in Exodus 33:14. That presence (glory) of God is recognizable just as it was with Moses when he came down from the mountain after being in the presence of God. (Exodus 34:29) His face was radiant meaning he simply glowed from being in the presence of God.
GRACE : Grace is when you are given a gift which you had no way of obtaining on your own. You did not deserve the gift and could not get it on your own.
JUSTIFICATION : The meaning of this is commonly confused with forgiveness but it is much more than forgiveness. Justification is a legal term in which a judge declares the accused not guilty. Someone can be forgiven if they are guilty of a crime but it wouldn't change the fact that they were found guilty. Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself and was declared guilty and punished in our place. Therefore, through His blood we are declared not guilty and are justified.
MERCY : Mercy is when you are not given a punishment that you deserve. It is like being guilty of a crime and not being charged for it. Because of sin, we all deserve the death penalty but God shows us mercy in that He does not kill us.
NICOLAITANS : In Greek, the words basically mean those who conquer the lay people. This is a false religion that speaks of a ruling religious class that has exclusive knowledge and access to God. In Revelation 2, Jesus makes it clear that this is not acceptable in His church.
REPENTANCE : The Hebrew word is teshuvah and means turning back to God. This is an awareness that we have strayed from the ways of God and that His ways are right. This awareness leads to sorrow for our fallen state and a confession of our fallen state. This is followed by a change of actions to conform our lives to the Word of God. It is understood that this turning to God is the way that we turn away from evil.
SACRED ASSEMBLY : In Hebrew , the phrase is "qadash miqra" and is translated as holy convocation. The word "qadash" means set apart for God while "miqra" means a rehearsal which is the act of practicing for an upcoming event. The sacred assembly was prescribed by God in Exodus 12 in connection with the Passover celebration. The passover celebration was a time to remember how God had delivered His people from Egypt and the people had to sacrifice a lamb. This was in effect a practice session for the coming of Jesus Christ (our Lamb) who would die for our sins so that we might live.
SANCTIFICATION : Sanctification is where something is set aside to only be used in the service of God. In the days of the temple, the things that were used for worship in the temple were never taken out and used for anything else. We also are called to be set aside exclusively for the use of God.
SIN : Sin has two basic meanings from the original Hebrew and Greek translations. The first is when we go beyond a boundary or limit that was set by God. This is when we violate the laws that God gave us (the Ten Commandments). The second meaning is when we miss the mark so that we do not measure up to what God created us to be. In Genesis 1:27, we find that we were created in the image of God and therefore our "mark" is to be like God. All of these things are doing something but Jesus showed us, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), that it not only includes the actions of the law but also our attitude. It is not only about things that we do not do or think but also things that we should do but do not do. In James 4:17, we see that, if we know what we should do and do not do it, then we also sin.