The following 10 big ‘churchy’ words are a big deal. They describe very key and essential understandings of the over all work and process of God in the world. They are not in order alphabetically but ordered by the process of which they take place. These words are either stated in scripture or describe an idea that is stated in scripture and are not later invented doctrines. They help in deeper understandings of what God has done and is doing in the world around us. below are brief outline and definitions of the words:
Atonement – The act of God in space and time that makes possible the re-establishment of our intimate relationship with God; by how God himself dealt with our problem of sin that kept us separate from God. The word “atone” means to “make amends and repair a wrong done”. God removes the guilt of sin from man and placed it on his Son instead. In the Old Testament, the high priest would make an atoning sin offering for the people of Israel regularly. In the New Testament, Jesus acting as our high priest became the final atoning sin offering for all people (1 John 2:2). The offering is then received by faith (Rom. 5:1, Eph. 2:8-9). Because mankind is sinful (Rom. 5:8) there could not be an absolute atonement from man by man; therefore God did it himself with his Son for us (1 Pet. 2:24). His Son was the sacrifice and paid for the sin, in our place (1 Pet. 3:18). Only through this the relationship between God and man is re-established (Rom. 5:10). Thus paying the price of the eternal offense toward God (Isaiah 59:2).
Propitiation – This is the turning away of God’s wrath and satisfying the need of justice for sin through an offering. In the Old Testament, when Israel was in Egypt, a healthy lambs blood was smeared on the doors of the houses and this faithful act turned away God’s wrath. Later the high priest would make a sacrificial offering to continually turn away God’s wrath and temporally satisfy God until the final absolute satisfying offering was made through Jesus (1 John 4:10). Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice for all time completely turning away God’s wrath and satisfying God’s perfect justice for sin for all those who receive it (1 John 2:2).
- To satisfy absolute justice for sin.
Justification – This is the declaration of being made right. Jesus, being our propitiation for our sin and atoning for sin on our behalf, makes us right by God and justified by Jesus (Rom. 5:18, NASB). This is not to say we are sinless; but it is to say that we are declared sinless by God, by what Jesus did, and not by anything we try to do (Rom. 5:9). This is a gift of
grace (Rom. 3:24) and by faith (Rom. 3:28).
- Declared right by God, Justified by Christ Jesus.
Imputation – This is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, granted to us and applied to us by no act or will of our own. The righteousness of Christ is applied to the believer who receives the act of Jesus on the cross (Rom. 4:11, Phil. 3:9). This imputation is completely dependent on Jesus Christ’s atonement (Rom. 5:9). When God sees his chosen, he sees Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf instead of their sin.
- Righteousness applied to sinners.
Reconciliation – This is the change of state and relationship before God. Before being reconciled to God, we were estranged from God and separated by sin (Eph 2:3, 11-15; Isaiah 59:2). Through the work of Jesus on the cross we are then brought back into fellowship (1 John 1:3) and can have a relationship with God (Romans 5:10-11). This estrangement and barrier was removed by God through Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:18).
- Brought back to God.
Salvation – This is a two fold result. It saves those who receive the works of Jesus Christ from the righteous and just judgement of God for sin; it also gives a free gift (Rom. 6:23) of eternal fellowship and relationship with God despite our own sin (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). This gift makes us a new person eternally and spiritually (2 Cor. 5:17). Salvation can only be achieved by the actions of God himself (John 1:1, 14; 1 Pet. 2:24, 1 John 2:2). It can not be earned by any thing we do (Eph. 2:8-9, 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
- The free gift of eternal life and freedom from the judgement of sin.
Regeneration – This is where God alone gives us spiritual life and renews the dead spiritual condition of the sinner. It is an absolute spiritual change in the sinner by The Holy Spirit. This is being “born again” and begins the process of spiritual growth and maturity (John 3:1-21).
- Bring born spiritually.
Edification – To edit in a positive sense. This is where each regenerated believer builds each other up and support each others relationship with God (Rom. 14:19, Eph. 4:29, 1 Cor. 3:1-4, James 4:1-6). Since spiritual birth, life is now lived in such a away that it can be used for each others spiritual benefit (1 Cor. 14:26). God’s Word edifies our spirit (Acts 20:32) and genuine true love for one another (1 Cor. 8:1).
- Living life to help grow other peoples relationship with God.
Sanctification – This means to be set apart for holy use. God pays for our sins, gives us spiritual life, and then makes us holy. He does not grant us faith to sin freely (1 Thess. 4:7; Romans 6:1-2). Because it is God working in us, we can then do good works of which God expects us to since he is in us and works through us (Eph. 2:10). People, places, and things can be set apart and used for holy use (Exodus 19:10, 14; 19:23; Gen. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:4-5). For people, it is a process by which The Holy Spirit makes us more like the Son of God. Much like a baby growing up and learning how to be a person; we are spiritually born and The Holy Spirit raises us to learn how to more like the only begotten Son of God; because we are newly adopted Children of God.
- The process where God sets whom he has chosen apart for his use, for his glory, and raises us up to his Son’s likeness.
Glorification – This is the final work of God where he transforms our physical dying corrupted bodies into our eternal physical bodies. Jesus was the first to have a glorified eternal body post crucifixion but we as well are promised eternal glorified physical bodies (1 Cor. 15:20). These are our bodies that will forever dwell in the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1) and will be without corruption and exactly how they were intended to be before sin (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
Simplified: Salvation comes from Gods Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ’s work alone, for God’s Glory alone, and all declared by Scripture alone.
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