Sometimes at church we throw around words that mean a lot to us—but they may not mean much to you. This month, I’d like to share a glossary of church words and terms to help you better understand what we say and do.
- Church: noun. An assembly of Christians. Never used to describe a building, a location, or a set of beliefs; always used to describe the people. We want to be the church (the assembly) of Christ! (See Matthew 16:18, 18:17, Acts 11:22, Ephesians 5:23, et al)
- Bible: noun. The authoritative, inspired holy book for Christians. Its name means book – and it is a book of books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. It rests on the greatest evidence of any book of antiquity, and is the only book that is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12) See also 2 Timothy 3:16.
- Worship: verb. To offer praise and demonstrate admiration for God. Comes from an ancient phrase meaning either to serve or to blow kisses. Worship is an act of love and humility that must be offered from a sincere heart in a way that honors the will of the worshipped one. Worship should belong to God alone. It can be done informally through action in our lives and formally as we pray, sing, give, study scripture, evangelize, encourage one another, or partake of the Lord’s Supper. Worship s a dominant activity of Heaven. See John 4:24, Mark 7:7, and Colossians 2:18.
- Baptize: verb. To immerse. In the Bible the term always refers to a complete envelopment, a burial. It is the transformational process in which a believer signifies a “death” to his old way of life and experiences forgiveness of sins and receives the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ promised comforter (Acts 2:38). It is undertaken by those who are willing to live in the grace of Jesus—those old enough to believe, repent, and confess. It is the process by which man comes into contact with the blood of Jesus, and thus—it saves us through him. See 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 8, and Romans 6:1-12.
- Hope: noun. Eager anticipation; desire and expectation. Hope is not wishy-washy; it is a solid anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19). Christians have hope because we look forward to the return of Jesus, and we are certain that it will happen. Hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
- Burns Church of Christ: You won’t find this exact phrase in your Bible, but we believe that you will find it described. It is an assembly of Christians who gather regularly to worship God and encourage each other. They trust the Bible as our sure guide to understanding Jesus and his desire for us. We are not perfect—anything but—but we are made right with God though the blood of Jesus—and that gives us hope. Join us this Sunday and find out more!