From the book, “What People Ask About The Church,” by Dale A. Robbins


Glossary of Church Terms

Frequently asked questions about the church often include the many cliches, theological terms, and vernacular used by ministers and laymen. Many of these terms originated from scripture or tradition, perhaps taken from Greek or Latin words, or from the old English vernacular of the King James Version. The following are many of such terms and their meaning:

Anathema — The Greek word for cursed or condemned, as used in the King James Version. "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" (1 Cor. 16:22 KJV).

Anointing — A biblical term to describe the application of oil (a symbol of the Holy Spirit) in an act of consecrating sacred objects or persons, such as a priest or King. It also refers to an endowment of God's Spirit, blessing, or approval upon a servant of God. The Messiah literally means "anointed one." "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you..." (1 John 2:27).

Anointing the sick — From the New Testament, this refers to elders of the church, applying oil (a symbol of the Holy Spirit) upon the body of one who is sick, to be followed by prayer. Olive oil is believed to be the original type used. "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14).

Apocalypse — From the Greek, APOKALYPSIS, meaning "revelation or unveiling," as used in Rev. 1:1. The New Testament book of Revelation is frequently referred to as the Apocalypse.

Apostle — A person sent by God. One of five office gifts described in Ephesians 4:11.

Arminian — Generally used as a reference to subscribers of a theological view held by Arminius, A Dutch Protestant theologian (1560 - 1609). Arminius refuted Calvin's doctrine of unconditional predestination, limited atonement and unresistable grace, and stood for universal salvation for all.

Atonement — Literally, "a covering," as in covering our sins from God's sight. It is used in reference to a sinner's reconciliation with God through the sufferings of Christ. "Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, For Your name's sake!" (Psa. 79:9).

Apology — A theological term to describe a contention made in defense of the Christian faith. It is derived from the Greek, APOLOGIA, meaning "a defense in conduct or procedure." Apologetics is the study of this explanation or defense.

Baptism in water — The act of being immersed in water in obedience to scripture, as a statement of faith in Christ. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19).

Baptism in Holy Spirit — The experience of being immersed and filled with the Holy Spirit. "...for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:5).

Baptismal — A term describing the event of baptizing or the place where baptisms are performed.

Bishop — An overseer, originally the principle officer of a local church, but evolved into a position of supervision over multiple churches. Elder or presbyter usually referred to the same person. "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work" (1 Tim. 3:1).

Body of Christ — The universal assembly of all believers. "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually" (1 Cor. 12:27).

Born-again — The state of being born in the Spirit, resulting from placing faith in Jesus Christ. "Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

Brethren — A plural term for brothers, either as siblings or Christian brothers. "Who is My mother and who are My brothers? And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, Here are My mother and My brothers!" (Matt. 12:48-49).

Bride of Christ — The church, or the body of Christ. "...Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!" (Rev. 19:9). "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 21:9).

Called — To be chosen of God for a particular purpose. "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God..." (1 Cor. 1:1).

Calvinist — A reference to those who subscribe to the doctrines of John Calvin (1509-64), who taught the concept of unconditional predestination, limited atonement, and irresistible grace, sometimes referred to as eternal security.

Canon — A Greek reference to a "reed" or measuring rule. This pertains to those writings which are considered to be sacred or divinely inspired.

Canticles — From Latin, CANTICUM which means a "song." Often interchanged as the title of the Old Testament book, Song of Solomon.

Catholic — A Latin term taken from the Greek, KATHOLIKOS, meaning "universal," referring to all believers.

Charismatic — Comes from the Greek word CHARISMATA which means gifted. A Christian who believes in or practices speaking in tongues and the present-day operation of the spiritual gifts.

Church Hopper — A person who attends different churches without a commitment to any one in particular, or one who changes churches frequently.

Communion — A memorial supper of bread and wine, symbolizing the broken body and shed blood of Jesus. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16).

Contrition — An expression of humility, sorrow or repentance for sin. "The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psa. 34:18).

Convert — One who has been "converted" as a Christian by placing faith in Jesus Christ. "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3).

Covenant — A sacred, irrevocable promise between God and man. "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Acts 3:25).

Conviction — An inner awareness of truth. "Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst" (John 8:9).

Creed — A statement of beliefs which include the fundamentals considered necessary to salvation.

Deacon — Literally a servant. An office of servant ministry within the church. "But let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless" (1 Tim. 3:10).

Decalogue — A reference to the ten commandments.

Demon — A devil, an agent of Satan.

Demon possessed — To have a demon or demons. Sometimes interpreted as being possessed by demons. "When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick" (Matt. 8:16).

Denomination — A cluster of individual churches, which have unified together due to their agreement on certain issues, and perhaps due to their disagreement with the viewpoints of other churches or denominations.

Devil — A reference to Satan, or one of his demon agents. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11).

Disciple — One who is taught or trained. "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27).

Dispensation — A determined period of time. "...that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him" (Eph. 1:10).

Doctrine — A teaching; That which is taught as the belief of a church. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

Dogma — A belief which is held as authoritative and indisputable by a religious body.

Ecclesiastical — A term from the Greek, EKKLESIA, pertaining to the church or used in association with clergymen.

Edification — To build up and strengthen. "He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church" (1 Cor. 14:4).

Elder — A mature believer charged with spiritual supervision and ministry within the church. Elder and bishop are generally used interchangeably in the New Testament. "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine" (1 Tim. 5:17).

Election — A term which means the process by which God selects someone to be saved. "...knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God" (1 Thes. 1:4).

Enemy — A synonym for Satan. "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19).

Epistles — Letters written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to be read as instruction to the churches. "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren" (1 Thes. 5:27).

Eschatology — A theological term to describe the study of last events.

Esoteric — A term based upon customs in mysterious Greek religions to explain advanced doctrines only to the fully enlightened, as was probably inferred by this passage: "For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing" (Acts 17:21).

Eternal Security — A term which generally refers to the doctrine of Calvinism and predestination. Stated simply, it suggests that once a person is saved, they cannot lose that salvation — they are eternally secure.

Eucharist — The Lord's supper, communion.

Evangelical — A term to describe those with devotion to the Gospel of Jesus instead of the ecclesiastical or rationalistic forms of Christianity — Spiritual mindedness and zeal for Christ rather than ritualism.

Evangelist — A proclaimer or preacher of the good news. One of five office gifts described in Ephesians 4:11.

Fall of Man — Mankind's estranged condition from God through sin, as originated with the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the garden.

Fasting — Abstaining from eating food for specified periods of time. "So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed" (Acts 14:23).

Fellowship — The spiritual relationship between believers and the Lord, and the gathering together of Christians in the name of Jesus. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:6-7).

Fishers of men — A term Jesus first used to describe the soul-winning mission of his disciples. "And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19).

Fornication — Any act of unsanctioned sexual behavior or perversion, especially used in association with sex outside the realm of marriage. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;" (Eph. 5:3).

Fundamentalist — One who believes in the infallibility of the Bible as inspired by God and that it should be accepted literally.

Glossolalia — A theological term to describe the doctrine of speaking in tongues. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).

Gospel — Literally, "good news." The story of Christ's life, His death and resurrection, as described from different perspectives by eye-witness authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their four individual records of Christ are each called a Gospel, entitled with each authors name — which comprise the first four books of the New Testament. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).

Hallelujah — A variation of a Hebrew word, Allelujah, which means Praise the Lord. "After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power to the Lord our God!" (Rev. 19:1).

Heaven — The eternal realm and dwelling place of God. "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:3).

Hell — From the Greek, GEHENNA (valley of Ge-Hinnom) used figuratively to describe the place of everlasting punishment for the unrighteous. (Also used for SHEOL and HADES, "the abode of the dead.") "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire" (Matt. 18:9).

Holy Roller — This term has been used as a reference to Pentecostal believers, who are often associated with more emotional, Charismatic displays of worship. It is believed the term was coined to describe those so overwhelmed by the Spirit, that they would fall to the floor and roll in the aisles.

Indulgence — A term used by the Roman Catholic church to describe a remission of temporal punishment due to sins. The sale of indulgences by the church was the one of the first issues refuted by Martin Luther which inadvertently brought about reformation.

Inspired — A term which means originated of God or God breathed. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

Intercession — To intercede in behalf of another person or cause in prayer. "...It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Rom. 8:34).

Jehovah (Yahweh) — The English rendering of the Hebrew consonants, JHVA. This is God's sacred name, used over 7,000 times in the Old Testament. The Jews considered this name to be so sacred that when reading scripture aloud, they preferred not to utter it, but would use the word Adonai, which means "Lord," in its place. The transliteral pronunciation, Jehovah, was formed from the Hebrew consonants JHVA and the vowels from Adonai. However, scholars of ancient Hebrew say that JHVA was originally pronounced as "Yahweh." The King James Version translated it as Jehovah, while new translations use Yahweh or Lord. "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." (Psalms 83:18 KJV)

Justified — To be made just and right in God's sight which occurs through our faith in Christ. "...being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).

Laity — The laymen or non-clergy members of the church.

Lake of fire — The place of everlasting punishment — hell, GEHENNA. "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15).

Lamb of God — A figurative term to describe Jesus as the lamb sacrifice for our sins, relating from the lamb sacrifices of the Old Testament. "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).

Laying on of hands — The act of placing hands upon a person, in conjunction with prayer, to invoke God's blessing or anointing. "...they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:18).

Litany — A prescribed form of prayer made by minister or priest with congregational responses.

Liturgy — This is a prescribed form or collection of forms for public worship. In liturgical churches, the rite and ceremony is more prominent than the emphasis on preaching, evangelism, or spontaneous expressions of worship.

Lord's Supper — A memorial meal for believers to commemorate Jesus' death and suffering, using bread and wine as symbols of His broken body and shed blood, as was portrayed at His last supper with His disciples. It is also referred to as Holy Communion. "Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper" (1 Cor. 11:20).

Lost — The state of not knowing God, unsaved, unregenerated. "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost" (Matt. 18:11).

Lucifer — The name of one of the Lord's three archangels, who rebelled and was cast out of Heaven to the earth, where he dwells as Satan or the Devil. "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!" (Isa. 14:12).

Mainline — A reference to long-standing denominational establishments; mainline churches are those such as the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and others.

Manifestation — The act of making obvious or bringing out in the open. "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9).

Maranatha — A Greek word which means "Our Lord comes," or the coming of the Lord, used literally in the King James Version. "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" (1 Corinthians 16:22 KJV).

Messiah — A reference to Jesus Christ. Literally, "The Anointed One" (Dan. 9:25).

Millennium — A word that literally means "thousand," referring to the future thousand years of Christ's reign upon the earth. "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:6).

Minister — One who serves in a ministerial role of a church, as to preach sermons or conduct religious services, or to perform some service to the spiritual benefit of others. It literally means to serve, help or encourage. "...I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power" (Eph. 3:7).

Monotheism — The belief in one God.

Move of God — A traditional term to describe a spiritual stirring among God's people, or the activity or manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Mt. Zion — The mountain on which Jerusalem is built, where Solomon's Temple rested. Frequently used metaphorically as where God dwells. "Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King" (Psa. 48:2).

Offering — A gift given from our own possessions or riches. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, In what way have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings" (Mal. 3:8).

Omnipotent — A theological term to describe the all-powerful characteristics of God.

Omnipresent — A theological term to express God's characteristic of being everywhere at once.

Omniscient — A theological term to describe God's all-knowing characteristics.

Ordained — Chosen, authorized or endorsed. Generally used to describe God's approval. Ordination of a minister is the act of recognizing God's endorsement upon an individual for a ministry office, implemented by the laying on of hands or the issuance of ministerial credentials. "...He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

Ordinance — A religious rite or ceremony performed in obedience to scripture, but not considered a sacrament.

Orthodoxy — A belief in doctrines which are considered correct or sound.

Outpouring — A reference to a generous showering effect — often in association with the Holy Spirit. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).

Parishioner — A constituent or member of a church congregation or parish.

Pastor — By modern tradition, a person who is a minister and spiritual overseer of a church congregation — an elder or bishop. A pastor literally means "a shepherd," a metaphoric description of one who cares for and leads a flock of God's sheep. One of five office gifts described in Ephesians 4:11.

Pentateuch — A reference to the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy.

Pentecostal — A believer who claims the same experience of the early disciples on the day of Pentecost — the infilling of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-4). The Pentecostal embraces the present-day operation of the gifts of the Spirit.

Pews — The traditional bench-long seats in churches. The term originated from the French word, PUIE, "a raised place," which was used to describe the boxed, balcony seats in a theater. In precolonial days, the term became identified with the enclosed boxed seats in a church sanctuary, and later to all church bench seats. Other tradition says that the term originated from pioneer days when bathing was sometimes infrequent, and the bench seats retained the odor from users.

Plead the blood — A term whose origin is associated with the story of the Passover, when the death angel passed over the home of Israelites who had wiped lamb's blood on their doorposts (Ex. 12:1-15). It is sometimes used to describe a prayer appeal for God's protection, symbolically covering us with Christ's blood.

Polytheism — The belief in many Gods.

Pray-through — An older traditional term used to express earnest seeking of God in prayer until an inner confidence or peace is attained.

Preacher — One who proclaims monologues, or brings forth sermons or messages in relationship to the Bible. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).

Protestant — A term which originated with regards to Martin Luther and his followers. Because they "protested" against certain nonscriptural practices of the Roman Catholic Church, they were called "Protestants."

Prophecy — The act of speaking from the mind of God. Either to forthtell or foretell. "...for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21).

Prophet — One who speaks in God's behalf, either to proclaim His written Word or to speak from His supernatural revelation. One of five office gifts described in Eph. 4:11.

Pulpit — The podium from which a minister preaches. The term was used in the King James Version, where a pulpit was something stood on for elevation when speaking to a crowd. "And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood..." (Nehemiah 8:4 KJV).

Rapture — This term comes from the Latin word, RAPTO, to "seize" or "snatch," which was used in the Latin Vulgate version of the New Testament to describe the saints being "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes. 4:17). This event will occur in the last days, preceding Christ's return to the earth. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

Rebuke — An expression of disapproval or reprimand. "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him" (Luke 17:3).

Reconciliation — A term which means being brought back. "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled" (Col. 1:21).

Redeemed — A term which means bought or purchased. "...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

Regenerated — A theological term, describing the state of new life, resulting from the new birth in Christ.

Repent — To be remorseful for sin, and to turn around and go in a new direction. "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).

Saints — Persons who are separated unto God. A term which refers to all believers. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (Eph. 2:19).

Salvation — A term which describes the rescue of our soul from eternal death. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).

Sanctified — To be made separate for holy use. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor" (1 Thes. 4:3-4).

Sanctuary — Often used to describe the auditorium used for church gatherings. The term originates from reference to the temple or tabernacle, coming from the term "sanctify," to set apart for the Lord's use. "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD" (Psa. 134:2).

Sawdust trail — A traditional term which refers to the aisles between seats in the revival preacher's gospel tents. Timber was cut to erect poles for the tents, leaving sawdust behind on the floor of the tent. Thus, the preacher would call for the lost to come down the aisles — the sawdust trail — to accept Christ.

Secular — That which is not sacred or ecclesiastical. It pertains to things not Christian or church related, such as unbelieving society.

Second Coming — A reference to the end-time return of Jesus Christ to the earth, His second appearance, which He promised and which is predicted throughout the Old and New Testaments. "You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand" (James 5:8).

Seeking God — A reference to praying to God or attempting to attain his attention or favor. "Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore!" (1 Chron. 16:11).

Sermon — An oral presentation of teachings or inspiring thoughts.

Slain in the Spirit — An extrabiblical term used to describe a phenomenon which brings about an overwhelming awareness of the Holy Spirit, causing a person to fall prostrate. "Then; when He said to them, I am He; they drew back and fell to the ground" (John 18:6).

Soteriology — A theological term used to describe the doctrine of salvation. Taken from the Greek word for salvation, SOTERIA..

Soul-winner — A person who wins souls to Jesus Christ. "...he who wins souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30).

Speaking in tongues — An utterance in another language supernaturally enabled by the Holy Spirit. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).

Spirit-filled — To be full of the Holy Spirit. "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).

Spiritual gifts — Manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit which provide ministry to the body of Christ. "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:" (1 Cor. 12:1).

Tarry — A term which means to wait, sometimes used to describe waiting on the Lord through prayer. "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).

Teacher — One who seeks to instill knowledge in others by methods of instruction. One of five office gifts described in Ephesians 4:11.

Testament — A sacred covenant or promise, as in the Old or New Testaments. "But their minds were hardened. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ" (2 Cor. 3:14).

Testimony — A solemn affirmation of some fact. In modern church tradition this frequently describes a public testimonial of thanksgiving to God for an answered prayer. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death" (Rev. 12:11).

Theology — The study of God (Greek, THEO).

Throne of grace — A term which refers to God's presence and His character of granting undeserved favor through prayer. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).

Tithe — The first ten percent of our increase or income which God claims as His. "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:10).

Tract — A brief pamphlet designed to share Gospel truths or to invite persons to accept Jesus Christ.

Trespass — A sin or offense. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25).

Tribulation — Trouble or calamity. The "Great Tribulation" is a seven-year period of unparalleled calamity upon the earth, immediately prior to the return of Christ. "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21).

Trinity — A theological term which describes the three persons of the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A church which embraces this doctrine is called "Trinitarian." "For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).

Trouble-Maker — A term often used to describe a person who stirs up strife or causes tension or trouble in the church.

Unregenerated — A theological term referring to the natural, sinful state of man; without having been regenerated or born-again.

Wildfire — A traditional term which is sometimes used to describe spiritual disorder in a church service resulting from highly fanatical, emotional outbursts or sensational displays which are determined to be of a fleshly origin rather than inspired of the Holy Spirit.

Witness — To share the Gospel of Christ with others; to bear witness of His presence in our life. "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Word — "The" Word, God's Word, the Bible. Jesus Christ is the Word who was made flesh. "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4).


This glossary is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1995, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.You may download for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain published quantities of this title, email us.

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