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Theological Dictionary

Sacrament - Wrath

Sacrament

     A visible manifestation of the word. The bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are considered sacraments in that they are visible manifestations of the covenant promise of our Lord: "In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" (Luke 22:20).

     God, in the O.T. used visible signs along with His spoken word. These visible signs, then, were considered to have significance. "Among the O.T. sacraments the rites of circumcision and the Passover were stressed as being the O.T. counterparts of baptism (Colossians 2:22-12) and the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 5:7)."

Salvation

     Salvation is the deliverance from sin. When someone appeals to God and seeks forgiveness in Jesus, his sins are removed. He is cleansed. His relationship with God is restored, and he is made a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). All of this is the work of God, not man. Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23).

     We are saved from damnation. When anyone sins, and we all have (Romans 3:23; 6:23), he deserves eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Yet, because of His love and mercy, God became a man (John 1:1,14) and bore the sins of the world in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2). We are forgiven when we realize there is nothing we can do to merit the favor of God and put our trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Only God saves. The only thing we bring to the cross is our sin.

     Both God the Father (Isaiah 14:21) and Jesus (John 4:42) are called Savior; that is, deliverer from sin. Remember, it was the Father who sent the Son (1 John 4:10) to be the Savior.

Sanctify, Sanctification

     To sanctify means to be set apart for a holy use. God has set us apart for the purpose of sanctification not impurity (1 Thessalonians 4:7) and being such we are called to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).

     Christians are to sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts (1 Peter 3:15). God sanctified Israel as His own special nation (Ezekiel 37:28). People can be sanctified (Exodus 19:10,14) and so can a mountain (Exodus 19:23), the Sabbath day (Genesis 2:3), the tabernacle (Exodus 20:39), and every created thing is sanctified through the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4).1

     Sanctification follows (See Justification). In justification our sins are completely forgiven in Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.

Scriptures

     The scriptures are, quite simply, the Bible which consists of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Each one is inspired, without error, and is completely accurate in all things it addresses. The entire Bible, though written by many people over thousands of years is totally in harmony in all its teachings. This is because each book of the Bible is inspired.

Second Coming, The

     The Second Coming is a term applied to the return of Christ. If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first. The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born. At the second coming of Christ every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7) as He descends from heavens in t he clouds (Matthew 24:30; Mark 14:62).

Septuagint, The

     The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. It was during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) That the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, were translated into Greek. Shortly afterwards the rest of the Old Testament was also translated. This translation was done by approximately 70 translators. Hence, the Septuagint is known by the letters LXX, the Roman numerals for seventy.

Sin

     Sin is anything that is contrary to the law or will of God. For example: if you lie, you have sinned. Why? Because God has said not to lie (Exodus 20:16). If you do what God has forbidden, then you have sinned. In addition, if you do not do what God has commanded, you sin (James 4:17). Either way, the result is eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 1:3) and unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin leads to blindness (John 9:41) and death (Romans 6:23).

     Paul, in the book of Romans, discusses sin. He shows that everyone, both Jew and Greek, is under sin (Romans 3:9). He shows that sin is not simply something that is done, but a condition of the heart (Romans 3:3:10-12). In Ephesians Paul says that we are "by nature children of wrath" (Romans 2:3). Yet, "while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

Son of God

     This is a title of Jesus. It implies His deity (John 5:18) because the title is one of equality with God. In the O.T. it was figuratively applied to Israel (Exodus 4:22). In the N.T. it is applied to Christ (Luke 1:35). It has many facets, for example: It shows that He is to be honored equally with the Father (John 5:22-23). That He is to be worshiped (Matthew 2:2,11;14:33;28;9; John 9:35-38; Hebrews 1:6); called God (John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8); prayed to (Acts 7:55-60; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2).

Soteriology

     The study of the doctrine of salvation. It is derived from the Greek word soterious which means salvation. Some of the subjects of soteriology are the atonement, imputation, and regeneration.

Soul Sleep

     The teaching that when a person dies his soul ceases to exist. On the final judgment day he is brought back to life and judged. This is not a heresy, only an error of interpretation. The Bible is not specific on the condition of the person after death and between the resurrection, however, there are scriptures that strongly suggest man's continued self-awareness and continued existence after death (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 1:21-23).

Sovereignty

     The right of God to do as He wishes (Psalm 50:1; Isaiah 40:15; 1 Timothy 6:15) with His creation. This implies that there is no external influence upon Him and that He also has the ability to exercise His right according to His will.

Spiritual Gifts

     Spiritual gifts are gifts given by Jesus to His church. Spiritual gifts are discussed in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Romans 12. They vary in degree and nature. There are some that are obviously supernatural in the usage: speaking in tongues, discerning of spirits, healing, etc. There are others that are not so supernatural: administrations, help, admonition, etc.

     There is debate over the continuance of the gifts. Some say that the gifts have ceased because we now have the Bible. They argue that the gifts were used for the building of the body of Christ during the beginning of the Christian church when the Bible was not complete. Since the Bible is complete there is no further need for the revelatory gifts, that is, gifts that give revelatory like speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Others maintain that the gifts are all for today though to a lesser degree. There are good arguments on both sides.

Synagogue

     A Jewish house of worship. Traditionally the first synagogues were established during the Babylonian exile. The early synagogues had a place in the center of the room where the sacred scrolls were kept and from where they were read. It is from the worship order established in synagogues that our modern church patterns of reading and expounding upon scripture from the pulpit are derived.

Synergism

     The teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. This is opposed to monergism which is the teaching that God is the sole agent involved in salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God's grace combined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible.

Tabernacle

     The tabernacle was the structure ordered built by God so that He might dwell among His people (Exodus 25:8). It was to be mobile and constructed to exacting specifications. It is referred to in Exodus 25-27, 30-31, 35-40; Numbers 3:25ff.; 4:4 ff.; 7:1ff. In all of scripture more space is devoted to the tabernacle than any other topic. Many books have been written on the spiritual significance of the tabernacle, how it represented Christ, and how it foretold the gospel. The tabernacle consisted of the outer court and the tabernacle. The outer court was entered from the East in which were the altar of burnt offering (Exodus 27:1-8) and the bronze laver (Exodus 30:17-21). The tabernacle stood within the court (Exodus 26:1 ff.). It was divided into two main divisions: the holy place and the holy of holies which were separated by a veil (Exodus 26:31 ff.), the same veil that was torn from top to bottom at the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27:51). Where the veil had represented the barrier separating sinful man from a holy God (Hebrews 9:8), its destruction represented the free access sinners have to God through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19 ff.).

     The tabernacle was a place of sacrifice. The holy place contained three things: first, a table on which was placed the shewbread, the bread of the presence (Exodus 25:23-30), second, a golden lampstand (Exodus 25:31-40) and third, an altar of incense (Exodus 30:1-7). In the holy of holies was the ark of the covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16). The holy of holies was entered only once a year by the high priest who offered sacrifice for the nation of Israel.

Temptation

     That which moves us to sin. God cannot be tempted (James 1:13). But we can be tempted by our lusts (James 1:13-15), money (1 Timothy 6:9), lack of self examination (Galatians 6:1), and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16), to name a few. We are commanded to pray to be delivered from temptation (Matthew 6:13) for the Lord is capable of delivering us from it (2 Peter 2:9).

Testament

     The word testament is a derivation of the Latin word testamentum, which was used in Jerome's Vulgate to translate the Hebrew word b'rith, covenant. The Greek equivalent is diatheke, which also means covenant. The word has come to be used in describing the two main divisions of the Bible: The Old Testament and The New Testament. It should be understood then, that the Bible is generally to be looked at as a covenant between God and man.

[The rest of this material on "testament" is not from CARM.]  It is important to realize that with relation to the Bible and Christianity, "testament" has nothing to do with either "testimony" or a "last will and testament".

This is a good example of why modern-day Christians generally should not use the King James Version, also called the Authorized Version.  "Testament" is one of several hundred words that have changed meaning since King James' time.

Tetragrammaton

     This is a term applied to the four Hebrew letters that make up the name of God. In English the letters are basically equivalent to YHWH. It is from these four letters that the name of God is derived and has been rendered as Yahweh and Jehovah. The true pronunciation of God's name has been lost through lack of use, because the Jews, who were first given the name of God, would not pronounce it out of their awe and respect for God.

Theism

     The teaching that there is a God and that He is actively involved in the affairs of the world. This does not necessitate the Christian concept of God, but includes it. (Compare to Deism)

Theodicy

     The study of the problem of evil in the world. The issue is raised in light of the sovereignty of God. How could a holy and loving God who is in control of all things allow evil to exist? The answer has been debated for as long as the church has existed. We still do not have a definitive answer and the Bible does not seek to justify God's actions.

     It is clear that God is sovereign, and that He has willed the existence of both good and evil, and that all of this is for His own glory. Proverbs 16:4 says, "The LORD works out everything for his own ends -- even the wicked for a day of disaster"; Isaiah 45:7 says, "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

Theology

     The study of God, His nature, attributes, character, abilities, revelation, etc. True theology is found in the Bible which is the self-revelation of God.

Theophany

     A theophany is a visible and sometimes physical manifestation of God usually restricted to the Old Testament. God has appeared in dreams (Genesis 20:3-7; 28:12-17), visions (Genesis 15:1-21; Isaiah 6:1-13), as an angel (Genesis 16:7-13; 18:1-33).

     There is a manifestation known as the Angel of the Lord (Judges 6:20 f.) which seems to have characteristics of God Himself (Genesis 16:7-9; 18:1-2; Exodus 3:2-6; Josh. 5:14; Judges 2:1-5; 6:11). Such characteristics as having the name of God, being worshiped, and recognized as God has led many scholars to conclude that the angel of the Lord is really Jesus manifested in the Old Testament. This does not mean that Jesus is an angel. The Hebrew word malach can be translated either "angel" or "messenger".

     Some examples of theophanies are found in Genesis17:1; 18:1; Exodus 6:2-3; 24:9-11; Numbers 12:6-8. (See also Appearances of God in the Plurality Study.) I believe all physical appearances of God in the O.T. were really of the pre-incarnate Christ because no one has ever seen the Father (John 6:46).

Total Depravity

     The doctrine that fallen man is completely touched by sin and that he is completely a sinner. He is not as bad as he could be, but in all areas of his being, body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, etc., he is touched by sin. In that sense he is totally depraved. Because man is depraved, nothing good can come out of him (Romans 3:10-12) and God must account the righteousness of Christ to him. This righteousness is obtainable only through faith in Christ and what He did on the cross.

     Total depravity is generally believed by the Calvinist groups and rejected by the Arminian groups.

Transcendence

     A theological term referring to the relation of God to creation. God is "other," "different" from His creation. He is independent and different from His creatures (Isaiah 55:8-9). He transcends His creation. He is beyond it and not limited by it or to it.

Transfiguration

     This refers to the mysterious change that occurred to Jesus on the mount: "Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white." (Matthew 17:1-2). The transfiguration preceded Jesus' time on the cross and may have been the Father's preparatory provision to strengthen Jesus as He prepared to bear the sins of the world.

Tribulation, The

     According to premillennialism, this is a 7 year period that immediately precedes the return of Christ and the millennial kingdom of His rule which lasts for 1000 years. It will be a time of great peace (the first 3 years) and great war (the second 3 years) when the Antichrist rules over many nations. At the mid point of the tribulation (at the end of the first 3 years) the Antichrist will proclaim himself worthy of worship. Many will bow down and worship the Antichrist and many will refuse. Those who refuse to worship the Antichrist will be killed. The second half of the tribulation is called the Great Tribulation. It will involve the whole world (Revelation 3:10). There will be catastrophes all over the world. (See Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 17.)

Trichotomy

     The teaching that the human consists of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. (Compare with Dichotomy.)

Trinity

     The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a word used to describe one fact the Bible teaches about God: Our God is a Trinity. This means there are three persons in one God, not three Gods. The persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and they have all always existed as three separate persons. The person of the Father is not the same person as the Son. The person of the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The person of the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. If you take away any one, there is no God. God has always been a trinity from all eternity: "From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Psalm 90:2).

     God is not one person who took three forms, i.e., the Father who became the Son, who then became the Holy Spirit. This belief is known today as the "Jesus Only Movement". It is taught by the United Apostolic and United Pentecostal churches, and is an incorrect teaching.

     Nor is God only one person as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way International, and the Christadelphians teach (These groups are classified as non-Christian cults). For proof that there is more than one person in the Godhead, see the Plurality Study.

     The Bible says there is only one God. Yet, it says Jesus is God (John 1:1,14); it says the Father is God (Philippians 1:2); and it says the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Since the Son speaks to the Father, they are separate persons. Since the Holy Spirit speaks also (Acts 13:2), He is a separate person. There is one God who exists in three persons.

     The following chart should help you understand how the Trinity doctrine is derived.

T H E   T R I N I T Y
 
 

FATHER

SON

HOLY SPIRIT

       
Called God Philippians 1:2 John 1:1,14;
Colossians 2:9
Acts 5:3-4
Creator Isaiah 64:8; 44:24 John 1:3;
Colossians 1:15-17
Job 33:4,26:13
Resurrects 1 Thessalonians 1:10 John 2:19, 10:17 Romans 8:11
Indwells 2 Corinthians 6:16 Colossians 1:27 John 14:17
Everywhere 1 Kings 8:27 Matthew 28:20 Psalm 139:7-10
All knowing 1 John 3:20 John 16:30; 21:17 1 Corinthians 2:10-11
Sanctifies 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Hebrews 2:11 1 Peter 1:2
Life giver Genesis 2:7:
John 5;21
John 1:3; 5:21 2 Corinthians 3:6,8
Fellowship 1 John 1:3 1 Corinthians 1:9 2 Corinthians 13:14;
Philippians 2:1
Eternal Psalm 90:2 Micah 5:1-2 Romans 8:11;
Hebrews 9:14
A Will Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42 1 Corinthians 12:11
Speaks Matthew 3:17;
Luke 9:25
Luke 5:20; 7:48 Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2
Love John 3:16 Ephesians 5: 25 Romans 15:30
Searches
the heart
Jeremiah 17:10 Rev. 2:23 1 Corinthians 2:10
We belong to John 17:9 John 17:6  
Savior 1 Timothy 1:1; 2:3; 4:10 2 Timothy 1:10;
Titus 1:4; 3:6
 
We serve Matthew 4:10 Colossians 3:24  
Believe in John 14:1 John 14:1  
Gives joy   John 15:11 Romans 14:7
Judges John 8:50 John 5:21,30  

Type, Typology

     A type is a representation by one thing of another. Adam was a type of Christ (Romans 5:14) and so was Isaac (Hebrews 11:19). The passover was a type of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7). There are many types in the Bible and most of them are too extensive and deep to be listed.

     An example of a typology follows: Isaac a type of Jesus.

ISAAC AS A TYPE OF JESUS

TYPE 

ISAAC

JESUS
Only begotten Son Genesis 22:2 John 3:16
Offered on a mountain, hill 22:2 Matthew 21:10
Took donkey to place of sacrifice 22:3 Matthew 21:2-11
Two men went with him. 22:3 Mark 15:27; Luke 23:33
Three day journey.
Jesus: three days in the grave
22:4 Luke 24:13-21
Son carried wood on his back up hill 22:6 John 19:17
God will provide for Himself the lamb 22:8 John 1:29
Son was offered on the wood 22:9 Luke 23:33
Ram in thicket of thorns 22:13 John 19:2
The seed will be multiplied 22:17 John 1:12; Isaiah 53:10
Abraham went down, Son didn't,
"not mentioned."
22:19 Luke 23:46
Servant gets bride for son 24:1-4 Ephesians 5:22-32;
Rev. 21:2,9; 22:17
The bride was a beautiful virgin 2416 2 Corinthians 11:2
Servant offered ten gifts to bride* 24:10 Romans 6:23; 12; 1
Corinthians 12

Universalism

     The heresy that every person will be saved, regardless of what sins the person committed and whether he repents or not.

Word, The

     In Greek the word for "word" is logos. It is used in many places, but of special interest is how it is used of Jesus. In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." The Word is divine and the word "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). In other words, Jesus is the Word of God who represents God to us and us to God.

The term is also used to describe the Scriptures (Romans 9:6; Hebrews 4:12), Christ's teaching (Luke 5:1), and the gospel message (Acts 4:31).

The Word of God:

  • is inspired: "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • is truth: "The sum of Thy word is truth" (Psalms 119:160).
  • makes free: "...If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
  • produces faith: "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17, NASB).
  • judges: "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

Worship

     The obligation of God's creation to give to Him all honor, praise, adoration, and glory due Him because He is the holy and divine creator. Worship is to be given to God only (Exodus 20:3; Matthew 4:10). Jesus, being God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Colossians 2:9), was worshipped (Matthew 2:2,11; John 9:35-40; Hebrews 1:6).

Wrath

     Biblically, it is the divine judgment upon sin and sinners. It does not merely mean that it is a casual response by God to ungodliness, but carries the meaning of hatred, revulsion, and indignation. God is by nature love (1 John 4:16), however, in His justice He must punish sin. The punishment is called the wrath of God. It will occur on the final Day of Judgment when those who are unsaved will incur the wrath of God. It is, though, presently being released upon the ungodly (Romans 1:18-32) in the hardening of their hearts.

     Wrath is described as God's anger (Numbers 32:10-13), as stored up (Romans 2:5-8), and as great (Zechariah 7:12). The believer's deliverance from God's wrath is through the atonement (Romans 5:8-10). "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9).


1. Adapted from Baker's Dictionary of Theology, p. 470.

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

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C.A.R.M. is not affiliated with or responsible for this website.



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