God On The Net

Theological Dictionary

Idol - Kingdom of God

Idol, Idolatry

      An idol is a representation of something in the heavens or on the earth. It is used in worship and is often worshiped. It is an abomination to God (Exodus 20:4). Idolatry is bowing down before such an idol in adoration, prayer, or worship. In a loose sense, idolatry does not necessitate a material image nor a religious system. It can be anything that takes the place of God: a car, a job, money, a person, a desire, etc. Idolatry is denounced by God at the beginning of the Ten Commandments and is considered a form of spiritual fornication.


      The divine attribute of unchangeableness. God said in Exodus 3:14, "I AM that I AM" signifying His eternal sameness and His sovereignty. He cannot change His moral character, His love, His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.

      Immutability does not mean that God does not vary. The incarnation is just such an example of variation. Also, God's attitude toward a person is changed when the person becomes a Christian. For example, the enmity between God and man is removed (Romans 5:10).

      Mormonism denies the immutability of God. It says that God was not always God, that He was a man on another planet who became a God (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 321.).

Impute, Imputation

      To reckon to someone the blessing, curse, debt, etc. of another. Adam's sin is imputed to all people (Romans 5:12-21), therefore, we are all guilty before God. Our sins were imputed to Jesus on the cross where He became sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21) and died with them (Isaiah 53:4-6). Therefore, our sins are forgiven. Understanding imputation is very important. Imputation is the means of our salvation. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross. Our sins were "given" to Jesus. When He died on the cross, our sins, in a sense, died with Him. The righteousness that was His through His perfect obedience to the Father in His complete obedience to the Law is imputed, given, to us. In short, our sins were given to Jesus. His righteousness was given to us. Technically speaking our sins were imputed to Jesus. His righteousness was imputed to us.


      The addition of human nature to the nature of God the second person of the Trinity. It is where God became a man (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:5-8). It was the voluntary act of Jesus to humble Himself so that He might die for our sins (1 Peter 3:18). Thus, Jesus has two natures: Divine and human. This is known as the Hypostatic Union.

      The doctrine is of vital importance to the Christian. By it we understand the true nature of God, the atonement, forgiveness, grace, etc. It is only God who could pay for sins. Therefore, God became man (John 1:1,14) to die for our sins (1 Peter 2:24) which is the atonement. Through Jesus we have forgiveness of sins. Since we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) it is essential that our object of faith be accurate. The doctrine of the incarnation insures accuracy, the knowledge that God died on the cross to atone for sin and that the God-man (Jesus) is now in heaven as a mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) between us and God.

      Jesus came to reveal the Father (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22), to do His will (Hebrews 10:5-9), to fulfill prophecy (Luke 4:17-21), to reconcile the world (2 Corinthians 5:18-21), and to become our High Priest (Hebrews 7:24-28). (Contrast with Kenosis.)


      The doctrine that the Bible was written by the influence of God. It is, therefore, without error. It is accurate and authoritatively represents God's teachings (2 Timothy 3:16). As such it is a revelation from God which implies direct knowledge about God, creation, man, salvation, the future, etc. It is an illumination in that it shows us what we could not know apart from it.

      One of the ways to prove that the Bible is inspired is to examine the O.T. prophecies fulfilled in the N.T. concerning Jesus (Luke 24:27-45). Because the Bible is inspired, its words are unbreakable (John 10:34-36), eternal (Matthew 24:35), trustworthy (Psalm 119:160), and able to pierce the heart of man (Hebrews 4:12). Additionally, the inspired Word of God will not go forth without accomplishing what God wishes it to (Isaiah 55:11).


      The Bible is about Jesus (Luke 24:27,44; John 5:39; Hebrews 10:7). The prophets prophesied about Him (Acts 10:43). The Father bore witness of Him (John 5:37, 8:18). The Holy Spirit bore witness of Him (John 15:26). The works Jesus did bore witness of Him (John 5:36, 10:25). The multitudes bore witness of Him (John 12:17). And, Jesus bore witness of Himself (John 14:6, 18:6).

      Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14). He is fully God and fully man (Colossians 2:9) thus, He has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity. He existed in the form of God and when He became a man, He added human nature1 to Himself (Philippians 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a "union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature."2 Right now in heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He is our Savior (Titus 2:13). He is our Lord (Romans 10:9-10). He is not, as some cults teach, an angel who became a man (Jehovah's Witnesses) or the brother of the devil (Mormonism). He is wholly God and wholly man, the Creator, the Redeemer. He is Jesus. (See also Jesus.)

Jesus Only Movement

      This is a movement in some Pentecostal circles. It is an error in the understanding of the nature of the Trinity. The biblical Trinity consists of three person simultaneously and eternally existing in one God. The Jesus Only Movement maintains that there is only one person in the Godhead: Jesus. It teaches that the person of the Father became the person of the Son who then became the person of the Holy Spirit and that the persons are consecutive not simultaneous. This movement is incorrect in its trinitarian interpretation. Additionally, they mistakingly believe that baptism is necessary for salvation and that tongues are evidence of true conversion. See the Plurality Study for a study that refutes their theology.


      Condemnation. There are several judgments: the judgment of the believer's sins (John 5:24), the judgment of the believer's self (1 Corinthians 11:31,32), the judgment of the believer's works (2 Corinthians 5:10), the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46), and the judgment of the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15).

      There is no judgment for the Christian in respect to salvation (Romans 8:1). We were judged in Christ on the cross 2000 years ago. However, as Christians we will be judged according to our works (2 Corinthians 5:10) with, most probably, varying degrees of rewards. But, remember, the judgment of our works does not affect our salvation.

Just, Justice

      The due reward or punishment for an act. Justice is getting what is deserved. God is merciful but He is also just (Deuteronomy 32:4 - righteous) and must punish sin. In the grace of God, justice fell upon His Son so that mercy would fall upon us. (See also Proverbs 8:15; Genesis 18:19; Hebrews 10:38).

Justify, Justification

      To be justified is to be made righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless. This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, "...having now been justified by His blood..." (Romans 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, "...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the "one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men" (Romans 5:18, NASB). In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself--Jesus. We receive mercy--we are not judged according to our sins. And, grace is shed upon us--we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Romans 3:24), by faith (Romans 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).


      This is a teaching concerning Jesus' incarnation. The Kenosis attempts to solve some paradoxes between the nature of God and of man as united in Jesus. For example, how could an all knowing God become a baby, or how could God be tempted? The Kenosis maintains that God when becoming a man divested Himself of some qualities of being a man. In a sense, the Kenosis is God minus something e.g. God subtracting some qualities of deity to become a man. The Hypostatic Union is God plus something e.g. God adding human nature to Himself. The Kenosis, then, jeopardizes the true incarnation because it puts in doubt the full indwelling of God among men in the person of Jesus. (Compare with Hypostatic Union.)

Kingdom of God

      The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).

      Entrance into the kingdom of God is by a new birth (John 3:5), repentance (Matthew 3:2), and the divine call (1 Thessalonians 2:12). We are told to seek the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33) and to pray for its arrival (Matthew 6:10). "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). It is also a future kingdom where full rulership in the actual presence of the king Jesus will occur when He returns to earth.

     1. Jesus' adding to Himself the nature of man by becoming one of us is known as the Hypostatic Union. Errors dealing with the relationship of Jesus' two natures are: 1) Monophycitism which states that Jesus' two natures combined into one new one; the problem here is that neither God nor man was represented in Christ. 2) Nestorianism which states that the two natures of Christ were so separated from each other that they were "not in contact;" the problem here is that worship of the human Jesus would then not be allowed. 3) Eutychianism is similar to Monophycitism. It states that Christ's natures were so thoroughly combined -- in a sense scrambled together -- that a new third thing emerged; the problem is this implies that Jesus was not truly God nor man, therefore unable to act as mediator.

     2. B. Milne, Know the Truth (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1982), p. 145.

Theological Dictionary pages (c) 1997 by Matthew J. Slick, B.A., M. Div. (except as noted) at
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (C.A.R.M.)

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