what do these words mean?

Christian words 101

  • communion

    Jesus told us to eat bread and drink from the cup, symbolic of his body and blood, to remember him.  Read more here. 

  • Devotional

    A short few minutes spent reading a Bible verse, or verses, and talking, or reading, about how it applies to Christian living

  • forgiveness

    An offender who confesses his offence to God gets pardoned. While the consequences of sin is eternal death, like a debt we must pay, Jesus stepped in and paid the debt for us. He-who-had-no-sin took our punishment while nailed to a cross. All of it. There is no sin that's too big for God to forgive, but a person must ask for it. When forgiven, God doesn't even remember our sin, because he sees Jesus standing in for us. God's forgiveness forgets.

  • GoD

    Three different entities make up the 3-in-1-God: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes when we say "God", we mean the group of 3, and sometimes we mean God the Father. 

  • heaven

    To be gone from this body is to be with Jesus in heaven. It's a place of great joy for those who trust Jesus. At some point there will be a new heavenly city and a new earth for us to live with no more sorrow or pain EVER. When our loved ones who had faith die, we do not mourn as those who have no hope, because we know we'll see them again. 

  • hell

    A place of everlasting torment with a lake of fire for those who have rejected Jesus. God doesn't send people to hell, they choose it. For those who don't want God in their life here on earth, he gives them what they want in eternity. God doesn't force himself on anyone. It's all about free choice. There is no true love without freedom of choice - and he loves us enough to let us choose.

  • Missionary

    A person on a mission to promote what they believe. For us, our mission is to tell people the good news about the ways God loves us. This is our Carl who grew up with us. God gave him the mission to tell people about God's heart for the fatherless while advocating for the beauty of adoption.

  • ordinance

    An authoritative decree, law, regulation, or action. In our case, we're talking about actions God commands us to do.

  • Mercy

    Mercy is not getting what you deserve, as far as punishment. Mercy is also getting what you don't deserve, as in good things. God is merciful and wants us to love mercy.  

  • ministry

    The acts of care to serve a need, or, an organized group serving a specific need.

  • New living Translation-English Standard Version , huh?

    Since the Bible was first written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, translators had had to decide to translate word-for-word (when the original sentences are arranged differently than ours), or thought-for-thought. The first translation to English was the King James Version in 1611. Since then our language has changed a lot, plus, archaeological discoveries have given new understandings to what the original language probably meant. We are rich with many translations today. 

  • Parable

    A short story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson; especially one of the stories told by Jesus as recorded in the Bible.

  • prayer

    God is all about the relationship. That's why He created us! Prayer is talking to God about whatever's on your mind, praising and thanking him for his goodness, requesting your desires, and listening to him "speak" peace or that inner nudging of what direction you should go into your heart. It's where the relationship is.  Because he values this relationship so highly, God has decided to let our prayers influence and accomplish his will on earth. You can talk out loud or silently in your head - eyes open or shut - none of the method matters - God hears. 

    Jesus gave us this example of prayer - he said, 

    Pray like this:

    Our Father in heaven,

        may your name be kept holy.

    May your Kingdom come soon.

    May your will be done on earth,

        as it is in heaven.

    Give us today the food we need,

    and forgive us our sins,

        as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

    And don’t let us yield to temptation,

        but rescue us from the evil one.   Matthew 6:9-13

    Here are more examples of prayer. There is no right way to talk to God, but if you feel like you struggle for words - don't worry about it. God still understands what's in your heart.

  • righteous

    With faith in Jesus - that trust that he's taken care of our sins - our broken relationship with God is made right. That right relationship makes one righteous. It comes from faith alone. Abraham believed what God said, so God counted Abraham as righteous because if his faith. There is no good behavior that counts, because compared to God's goodness, it's still not good enough. Faith alone makes one righteous. It's all about the right relationship. Anyone can be completely righteous.

  • Salvation

    Deliverance from sin and its consequences.  When we accept Jesus's offer to take our sin on himself, we are made right in the eyes of God the Father. Since Jesus is standing in the gap for us, the Father see's us clean from sin, and we are welcomed as adopted children and look forward to forever together.


  • sanctify

    To set apart or to make holy. Those who make Jesus their Lord have God's Holy Spirit living inside them, and are set apart from the world. From one degree to the next, God makes us to be more like Jesus in the way we think and act.

  • sanctuary

    It's the part of the church around the altar. It's where we sit to hear the speaker. Also, a place of peace and refuge.

  • sin

    Rebellion against God. We're all born spiritually dead with a rebellious nature, no exceptions. While different sins have different consequences, all sins are equally forgivable when we ask for it, but we do have to ask.