Oct 20, 2015
Christianity has its own vocabulary. I learned it the hard way by hearing it and hoping for someone to enlighten me. Of course this was way before Google.
Still, I thought it might be helpful to give you a rundown on some of the most used words from an inside the pew perspective.
Born again. Not a Matt Damon movie but a state of being. This is the result of asking Jesus into your life. It is like starting over but now Jesus is on the inside of you. In Revelations Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock…” The door represents your heart. I know there are many theologians who say that you don’t need to be born again, but Jesus has always been in the business of making stodgy theologians look stupid. (John 3:1-21)
Salvation. This is a noun not a verb. There is nothing you can do to earn it. But what is it saving you from? Hell. (Yeah, it’s a real place but it doesn’t have a zipcode. More on that in a later post.) The nasty truth is you are a creature of sin (see below). God is pure goodness, HOLY. Sin and HOLY don’t mix. This is why we are separated from God. To change this, Jesus, who is God in a flesh and blood form, came to help us get clean or forgiven. How? By his blood. As weird as this sounds, the truth is life is in blood. Jesus blood is without sin because his Father is God. When Jesus died on the cross, he took all sins upon himself. Then he rose again, but without the sin. This is why we want his life in our life, and saved is what you are after you are born again.
If you are still with me at this point, you are ready for the next one.
Sin. Not a joke if you die with the most. There are two kinds and neither has anything to do with a cardinal.
1) Original sin. This is not one no one ever thought of; it is what you are born with straight out of the womb. Adam and Eve were tricked into going against God and trusting Satan who lied to them. When they trusted Satan instead of God, sin entered them and the world they were supposed to care for. Adam’s blood courses through us all; with it, his sin. This is why we all struggle with being good. We can only last so long before we blow it. (This is the reason Jesus has no earthly father.)
2) Sin. This is an act willfully done or in ignorance that is against God’s desire for us.
Either one is why we need God to forgive us and the reason for his death on the cross. There is no reason to hang on to either kind because Jesus made a way for our salvation (see above).
Repent. This is the act of admitting to God what you did/do wrong and trusting him to change your behavior, then making the effort to change. It is like making a u-turn. (Hint: you should include this when you ask him to enter your life.)
Second Coming. Ready or not. Jesus said that he is coming again, but not like he came before. When he comes the second time, thus the Second Coming, the sky will open up in a global event that won’t be missed. This is a time I hope you have that born again box checked because he is coming for those that are his. Trust me, you do not want to be not his.
For more check out John Stott’s classic Basic Christianity.
Photo by Josh Cantrell Courtesy of freeimages.com
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