List of Common Christian Terms

Common Christian Terms Need EncouragementLearn The Definition Of Many Common Christian Terms!

Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

There is a loosely used term, “Christianese,” which implies when a Christian speaks in a way that only other Christians can understand. Slangs or expressions to convey spiritual terms. It is not something to be grasped, yet we often say them in circles of Christian friends. It is best to speak in a way that others who are not Christian can understand. ~ Bill Greguska

 

 

 


Terms Christians Sometimes Use With Themselves!

 

 


 

What is Christianese?

“Christianese” is a term that’s been made to describe Christian jargon and phrases. In short, it’s Christian lingo that people outside the Christian community wouldn’t understand.

It’s important we’re aware of when we’re speaking Christianese, especially to those who are unfamiliar with the terminology. I’ve found this to be an issue when it comes to evangelism.

Christian Terms and Definitions

To simplify terms, here are Christian terms and definitions for you. Each word is also linked to another website to understand the word and its meaning better.

  • Baptize: When someone says baptize or baptism, they’re often referring to water immersion. This is a practice Christians do to declare their faith in Jesus publicly.
  • Born again: Being born again means God has saved you, and you’ve become a new person as a result. Jesus talks about being born again with a man named Nicodemus (John 3:1-15).
  • Christ: Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name. It’s actually a title that means Messiah or anointed one. The Old Testament speaks of someone who would be a savior and deliver (e.g., Isaiah 42:1, 61:1-3). Jesus fulfills this Messiah role. That’s why he’s called Christ.
  • Church: Most people know what Church means if you’re referring to the building. However, in the New Testament, we learn that Church actually refers to the people rather than the building. As Christians, we are the Church.
  • Depravity: Depravity isn’t a word we find in the Bible. It’s a theological word used to describe our human nature.
  • Disciple: Disciple means student. In that time period, this conveyed a student who would follow their teacher and 
  • Doctrine: Doctrine is another word that isn’t found in the Bible. It’s a theological word that refers to the teachings or beliefs taught by a church.
  • Evangelism: Evangelism means sharing the gospel, which is the good news of Salvation.
  • Faith: Faith isn’t wishful thinking or blind belief as unbelievers may think. We’re told what faith is in the Bible. It states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV).
  • Fornication: Fornication is premarital sex. This isn’t limited to sexual intercourse – any sort of sexual interaction between people before marriage. Fornication is a sin.
  • Grace: Grace means unmerited favor. It’s a favor the person doesn’t deserve.
  • Hedge of protection: Funny enough, this phrase isn’t found in the Bible. You can argue the concept is found in the Bible, though. When people say this phrase, they typically are praying God will protect them/others.
  • Idolatry: Idolatry is anything you love and put above God. Anything can become an idol.
  • Messiah: see Christ for definition.
  • Repentance: Repentance means turning away from sin and turning toward Christ. It’s a complete 180.
  • Righteousness: Righteousness is doing what’s right in the sight of God. We’re called righteous when we put our faith in Jesus.
  • Salvation: Salvation means you’ve been saved and delivered from sin and its ultimate destiny – hell.
  • Saved: Being saved means God has saved you. You have been made right in God’s eyes and are in good standing with him because of Jesus. (see also born again for definition).
  • Sin: Most would profess to be a good person, but we’re all bad people when it comes down to it. Sin means missing the mark. We all sin – no one is perfect except God.
  • Son of God: To be the Son of God simply means to be of God. Jesus is the Son of God in that he is of God. He has the exact nature of God because he is God.
  • Sovereignty: Sovereignty is a word used to describe God often. God is sovereign in that he’s in control of everything. He has the power to do whatever he wills.
  • Theology: Theology simply means the study of God.
  • Washed in the blood: This phrase isn’t found in the Bible but is used by Christians to refer to God’s sacrifice for us on the cross.
  • Worship: Worship doesn’t simply refer to music but to reverence to God. We worship Him through the way we live our lives.

 

ByAllieForYou.com

 

 


 

“More Christian Terms”

 

A

* Abraham: The Father of the Jewish nation. He and his group left Ur and started a new life in Canaan. He is also called the Father of all those who have faith
* Adam and Eve: The first people according to the book of Genesis. They lived in the Garden of Eden
* Agnostic: Someone who says we cannot know whether God exists
* Amen: The final word of a prayer; means “so be it” in Hebrew
* Apostles: The twelve followers of Jesus; means “a person who is sent to preach the gospel.”
* Armageddon: the ultimate conflict between good and evil
* Ascension: When Jesus went back to heaven, 40 days after the resurrection
* Atheist: Someone who does not believe there is a God
* Atonement: Making amends for your sins or wrong deeds. Trying to put things right

B

* Blasphemy: Blasphemy is the act of swearing using God’s name, saying bad things about God, or doing disrespectful things against God
* Blood of Christ: Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking the penalty of death for sins. His blood being poured out (shed) on that cross is what covers sins. We are “cleansed” of our sin by His blood. [Romans 5:9]
* Born again: (also reborn) To be spiritually born after being physically born. When one enters into a relationship with Christ, a new life begins. The old life is past. [John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17]

C

* Christ: Jesus Christ, son of God and Savior of mankind
* Christian: One who believes and worships Jesus Christ
* Church: The people who gather together to worship God. Not necessarily a physical building. [Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 11:18]
* Communion: (also The Lord’s Supper; Last Supper) The sharing of bread and wine to remember the death and sacrifice of Jesus. The bread represents His body and the wine His blood. [1 Corinthians 11:23-26]
* Commandments: Laws of conduct written on stone and given to Moses by God at Mt. Sinai
* Confess: Confess is used in two significant ways in the Bible. The first type of confession is the confession or admission of sin. The second kind of confession is the confession of faith. This is where the Christian declares their faith, usually publicly, or declares their faith as a part of witnessing
* Covenant: A legal promise between two people or groups. Some kinds of covenants apply equally to both sides, like a marriage, or only one side like God’s promises.
* Covenant: An agreement or pact. In the Bible, it refers to an agreement between God and man. The Old Testament Covenants included the rules that Jews lived by to stay in grace with God. In the New Testament, there is a new covenant; our Salvation is now the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins
* Cross: Representation of Christian faith, Jesus died on the cross to take away all sins

D

* Disciple: A disciple is a student and follower – Christians are disciples or students of Christ

E

* Epistle: A letter. Most of the New Testament is a series of letters from apostles to churches and from apostle to apostle. The letters of Paul are called the Pauline Epistles.
* Eternal life: To have a relationship with God that never ends. It cannot be earned or bought. It is a free gift through faith in Christ. [Romans 6:23]

F

* Faith: To trust or believe in something or someone. Often mistakenly portrayed as being blind or that you need to give up rational thought. The only way a person can be forgiven of their sins is through faith. [Acts 10:43, Ephesians 2:8]
Faith = faithfulness/loyalty to God or trust in God, depending on the context.
* Fast: Process of denying the self-body of food for a certain period of time; usually done as repentance of one’s sins or for the love of Christ

G

* God: Creator of time and space. Christians believe there is one God but three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are God equally. They are not separate or smaller parts of God. [John 1:1-5, Matthew 28:20]
* Gospel: Word of the Lord

* Grace: Receiving something we don’t deserve. God forgives sins and gives us His love through His grace even though we don’t deserve it. We cannot earn His grace; it’s His gift to us when we accept the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross.

Grace = the merciful kindness of God and His blessing that turns people’s hearts to Christ and gives them the knowledge of how to change and conform to Jesus.
* Guardian Angel: Angel that guards over you

H

* Heaven: The ultimate paradise, God’s kingdom
* Hell: The place reserved for the devil (Satan) and his followers – all who do not accept Jesus
* Holy Spirit: God; Sent to help believers live more like Christ by giving guidance, strength, and love. He is inside of every Believer in Christ. [John 16:5-15]
* Holy Trinity- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This makes up the Godhead – there is only one God

I

* Incarnate: (to take on a bodily form) Jesus Christ became fully human by being born in the flesh. He did not stop being fully God. He is both fully God and fully human. [John 1:14]
* Iniquity = inclination towards sin, lawlessness, unrighteousness.
* Intercede: (intercession, intercessor): To go between two groups of people against each other and prevent one from harming the other. To plead on behalf of another before a judge or king. An advocate or defense lawyer. [Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25]

J

* Jesus Christ: God; Became fully human to save us from everlasting death. Both completely God and completely man. We know He was fully man because He died on the cross. We know He was fully God because He rose from the grave. He conquered sin and death for us
* Justification: The process of being made good or perfect. To be justified is to be right. Jesus makes us right with God. And this cannot be accomplished by works (good deeds). [Romans 5:1, Galatians 2:16]

L

* Lamb of God: Jesus refers to Himself as the Lamb of God several times in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, lambs were used as sacrifices, and their blood washed away sins. Jesus came as the final sacrifice, taking the place of the lamb
* Lord’s Supper (Communion): The night of His arrest, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples. This is known as the Last Supper. He offered them bread as a symbol of His flesh that would be sacrificed for us and wine as a symbol of the blood He would shed for us. When we take the sacrament of communion, we do it in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us

M

* Martin Luther: Major revolutionary who brought about a significant change ushering in the Protestant Church
* Mediator: Someone who works out disagreements between people or organizations.[1 Timothy 2:5]
* Mercy: Not receiving what we deserve. We don’t receive punishment for our sins because of Jesus. Mercy = God’s compassion towards believing Christians in providing them a measure of time during which they can survey their lives and recognize what they need to do to change and conform to Jesus. The time that the Lord gives us to realize what sin we have and repent of it.
* Messiah: The Anointed one from God. Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah [John 1:41]
* Missionary: Person who preaches the Christian faith

O

* Omnipotence: Having all power; a characteristic of God. There is nothing as powerful as God. All the forces of the universe combined do not even come close to His power
* Omnipresence: Having all presence; a characteristic of God. He can be everywhere at the same time. There is no place that God cannot go
* Omniscience: Having all knowledge; a characteristic of God. He knows everything that was, is, or ever will be

P

* Passover: Festival celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from the Egyptians
* Patriarch: A father. Biblical patriarchs refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are considered the fathers of the Hebrew nation
* Pentecost: Pentecost is a Jewish feast day celebrated 50 days after Passover. It has significance to Christians because that first Pentecost after the crucifixion was when the Holy Spirit was sent to the Christians as the Comforter
* Pharisee: The Pharisees were a group of extremely devout Jews who were intent on obeying Moses’s Laws to the letter. Their error was in missing the spirit of the laws. Today when Christians talk about someone being like a Pharisee, they are talking about a person who is rigidly applying the Scripture to their lives and missing the spirit of love that Jesus wants us to have
* Pope: Religious head of Roman Catholic church
* Prayer: Plea/talking to God
* Prophet: A messenger from God. A person is only considered a prophet if their prophecy is true and consistent with God and His word
* Propitiation: To turn away wrath or punishment. Jesus turned away the wrath of God. [Romans 3:25]
* Protestant: Christians who do not accept the Pope as the head of the Church; have a few different beliefs than Catholics. Initially started by people who protested against the wrongdoing of the Catholic Church

R

* Reconcile: To reconcile is to restore a relationship. We are separated from God by our sin. When we accept Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross, we are reconciled with God. Reconciliation is an important part of Christian doctrine. [Colossians 1:20-22]
* Redeem: (Redemption) To receive something in exchange for something else. Our sin was exchanged for eternal life. [Ephesians 1:7] To redeem is to purchase for a price. The price paid for our redemption was Jesus’ life. We didn’t have to pay the price of our sin; Jesus did it for us. He is called the Redeemer for this reason
* Remnant: Remnant refers to a small, leftover portion. It generally refers to the small group of Jews who remained faithful to God through the Old Testament times. In the Book of Revelation, it refers to those who become or stay faithful to God during the tribulation
* Repent: Repent means to turn away or to turn around 180 degrees. When Christians talk about the need to repent from sin, they say that we need to turn away from those things that we know offend God. Repentance- Feel sorry/to make up for wrongdoings – people do not become Christians without this step.
*Repentance = a decision to change, as in one who repents of a purpose they have formed in their heart or of something they have done; it begins with sorrow and with regretting and hating one’s sins and then determining to change in one’s life.
* Resurrection: The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of Christianity. When Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross, He shed His blood for our sins. When He came back to life, He proved that He had conquered the penalty of sin, which is death. It means To come back to life and never die again. [Romans 6:9]

S

* Sabbath: Seventh-day of the week, a Saturday or Sunday for most countries
* Sacrifice: Giving up something valued a lot by a person or offering an animal to God for special favor or sign. To make an offering in payment for a debt. [Hebrews 11:11-16]
* Salvation: Salvation is the gift of eternal life that God offers us. To claim the gift, we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. We ask Jesus to wash away our sins so that we can come before God blameless. The price of sin is eternal death, but the gift of Salvation is eternal life. By taking the penalty for all our sins, Jesus can offer us the gift of Salvation. [John
3:14-17] Salvation = being saved from sin and its consequences, being saved from dangers, adversities, and tribulations, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, being healed from disease, and having the gift of eternal life with God.
* Sanctification = the process of separating ourselves from the nasty things of this world, of consecrating and dedicating ourselves to God, and then of purifying ourselves from sin through repentance and renunciation to renew our soul and cleanse our spirit.
* Savior: A person who saves or rescues others from danger or death. [2 Timothy 1:10]
* Scripture: The inspired word of God. The Bible. [2 Timothy 3:16]
* Sin: Missing the mark. Sin is what separates us from God; it’s those things we do that we know are wrong but do them anyway. As Christians, our goal is to strive to eliminate sin from our lives, hit the mark every time, and do those things that please and honor God. Sin is a turning away from God’s love. Doing something wrong and disobeying the command of God.
Sin = disobedience to God and transgression of His Law; anything that is not from faith.
*Synoptic gospels = the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar wording, and present the narrative of Christ’s life, ministry, etc. from the point of view held in common by all three. The term synoptic comes from the Greek syn, meaning “together,” and optic, meaning “seen.”

T

* Testament: A witness or evidence given for belief. The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is about events that took place before Christ, and the New Testament is about the advent of Christ, during Christ’s presence, and after Christ
* Ten Commandments: Laws of conduct written on stone and given to Moses by God at Mt. Sinai
* Theology: A way of believing about life as it relates to God.
* Trinity: There are three persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but one God

W

* Worship: To pray to, to give honor and acceptance to God in Jesus name
Contributions
With contributions from the Bible Gateway, Gospel Communications Network, Teen Reachout, and several others. Thank you.