Christian Terminology For New Christians
Agnosticism is the belief that we cannot know for sure whether there is a God, or not. Maybe there is a God. Maybe there is not.
Antichrist is the popular name given to the man referred to in the Bible as the “Man of Sin” or the “Beast.” He is a man, empowered by Satan, who will rise to power and severely persecute God’s people near the end of the age during a time the Bible calls the Great Tribulation. When Jesus returns, he will destroy him, casting him into the lake of fire where he also casts Satan. You can read some things that the Bible teaches about this man on our web site. (Read more about the Antichrist.)
Atheism is the belief that God does not exist. Atheists believe that there is no God. (See: “Theism”)
Atonement is the act of bringing man and God together. It is the same as “reconciliation.” When Jesus died on the cross, he made possible the Atonement of men with God. Therefore, He is called our “Atonement.” (See also: “Expiation”; “Substitutionary Atonement“).
The word “baptism” refers to the act of being placed into or “immersed” into something. New Christians are “baptized” into water to symbolize the fact that we are dead and “buried” to an old way of life, that Jesus died and was buried in the tomb before He came back to life, and that our bodies will someday die and be buried before God raises us back up from the dead. All new Christians should be baptized as a testimony to the world of our commitment to Christ and as an act of obedience to our Lord. (See: “Ordinance”)
In general, Baptists believe the Bible is the God’s Word to man, absolutely true in all its parts and our source of authority (It tells us how to live.). Baptists believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again. Baptists believe that we can have eternal life only through trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation (see “salvation”). The name “Baptist” comes from the fact that while other denominations (see “denomination”) practice baptism by sprinkling or pouring, Baptists emphasize baptism (see “baptism”) by immersion following commitment to Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches that when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord and Savior, our lives are changed so much and we are so different that we can be called “new creatures.” To emphasize this total change in our lives, Jesus called the experience being “born again.”
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:7)
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23)
His full name and title is the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “Christ” [Hebrew: “Messiah”] emphasizes that He is the anointed or specially chosen One of God. He is anointed, or specially chosen, to bring salvation to mankind by His death on the cross.
Communion is a special name for the “Lord’s Supper.” The word “communion” emphasizes the fellowship we have with the Lord Jesus Christ and with other Christians in this beautiful ordinance (see “ordinance”).
This word refers to the complete change that takes place when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our lives.
Someone who has received the Lord Jesus Christ into his or her life is said to be “converted.” It refers to the total and complete change that He makes in our lives.
The word conviction is commonly used in two ways. When we have done things that are wrong, and the Holy Spirit reminds us that we have sinned (see: “Promptings of the Holy Spirit“) we say that we are “under conviction.” People who have never received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior sometimes fight conviction for a long time before they finally repent. Christians learn to repent quickly when the Holy Spirit brings conviction. The word “conviction” is also used to refer to our strong beliefs upon which we base our lives. As Christians we have many strong convictions that we are absolutely convinced to be true. For example, we have an absolute conviction that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
A cult is a group of people who claim to believe the Bible and even claim to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. But their actual teachings are so far away from the Bible that they are not true Christians. Some examples would be those who do not believe that Jesus Christ is really God, or those who believe that salvation can be attained in some way besides faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (See: “Heresy”)
Demons are fallen angels who chose to be on Satan’s side when he rebelled against God. God uses them, just as He uses Satan, to give Christians the opportunity to learn spiritual warfare and how to overcome in our preparation for eternity. You can learn more about our spiritual enemies and how to overcome them in our web pages on Spiritual Warfare.
A denomination is a Christian group that believes things and practices things slightly differently from other Christian groups. Individual churches are often part of a larger denomination. (For example, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Monroe County, Tennessee, is part of a denomination called the “Southern Baptist Convention.”) However, all Christian denominations agree that the Lord Jesus Christ is God who became man in order to die for our sins, and that faith in Him is the only way to receive eternal life.
A Christian. Someone who believes in and follows (obeys) the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ is called His disciple.
Discipleship refers to the act or position of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See: “Disciple”)
Doctrine is a term that means the teachings and principles that are taught in the Bible. (Back to Contents)
Christians are called “the elect.” The term “elect” refers to the fact that God chose (or “elected”) us to be His children before He even created the world.
The Bible doctrine (see “doctrine”) that teaches that God chose who His children would be before the creation of the world.
The belief that once a person is truly saved, he is kept by God forever. True salvation cannot be lost. Of course, this does not mean that we can “go forward at invitation,” get “baptized,” or become a “church member,” then live a life of disobedience to God and have confidence of salvation anyway! One who is truly saved will be kept forever by God, but he will also live a life of obedience to God. (See: “Perseverance of the Saints” and “Security of the Believer”).
Christians who believe the Bible is God’s Word and who believe that the Gospel (“Good News”) of Jesus Christ should be shared with others are often called “evangelicals.” Christians from many different denominations are called evangelicals.
Evangelism basically means sharing the good news about Jesus Christ. This can be done one-on-one (person to person). It can also be done in large “evangelistic” meetings. Doing the work of evangelism means telling others about what Jesus has done for them, providing them an opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
An evangelistic church or ministry or individual recognizes the importance of doing the work of evangelism and seeks to tell others about Jesus.
Expiation is what Jesus accomplished for our sins when He died on the cross. Jesus Himself took the just death penalty we deserved for sin instead of that penalty being given to us. Jesus removed the sin that had caused us to be separated from God and that had kept us from having a relationship with God. (See “Atonement” and “Reconciliation”).
God created Adam and Eve as sinless, innocent people, but with the power to choose to disobey God (sin). When Adam chose to disobey God, bringing sin into God’s perfect creation, it led to an enormous change in the whole of creation, including the nature of man. This horribly catastrophic event in history is called the “fall of man.”
The word “fundamentalist” has several meanings. Usually most people use it to refer to people of any denomination who believe that the Bible is the Word of God, completely true in all of it’s parts and totally without error. Some Christians, who do believe the Bible is God’s Word and without error, prefer not to be called fundamentalists because they think the word means the same as “legalists” to many people.
Salvation has three aspects: Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification. Glorification will certainly one day take place for all Christians, but we do not experience it while we still live in these bodies of flesh and blood. When Jesus returns, all Christians will be given brand new bodies that will be wonderful and eternal. These bodies are called “glorified” bodies. It is at that moment that “glorification” takes place.
This word is used in two senses: God is said to be “glorified” when we honor Him, praise Him, live for Him, and give thanks to Him. People (Christians) will be glorified when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom. (see: “Glorification”).