Friday, June 27, 2008
A Helpful List of Theological Terms Defined
- taken from Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine and Bruce Damarest, The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation
Sin - Any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature. Man in his sinful nature, apart from any work of God, is said to be “totally depraved.”
Election - An act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved out of fallen humanity, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.
Common Grace - The grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation. It is God’s undeserved goodness to every person in the form of his general care.
Special Grace - The grace of God by which He exercises saving power. It brings forgiveness, gives us everything we need for life and godliness and is sufficient, free, takes various forms, abounds in scope, and endures forever.
General Call - Sometimes known as the “gospel call,” this is an invitation to all humanity whereby the Gospel or Good News is made known to all nations.
Effectual Call - An act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he inwardly summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.
Regeneration - A secret act of God in which He imparts new spiritual life in us. This is sometimes referred to as being “born again,” where our spiritual nature has been “made alive,” restoring our intellectual, volitional, moral, emotional, and relational capacities to know, love, and serve God.
Conversion - Our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation. The turning from sin is called repentance, and the turning to Christ is called faith. (faith + repentance = conversion)
Union With Christ - A phrase used to summarize several different relationships between believers and Christ, through which Christians receive every benefit of salvation. These relationships include the fact that we are in Christ, Christ is in us, we are like Christ, and we are with Christ.
Justification - An instantaneous legal act of God in which he 1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and 2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.
Adoption - An act of God whereby he makes us members of his family. In adoption, we have a new way of relating to God as our Heavenly Father.
Spirit Baptism - Refers to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life (regeneration) and cleanses us and gives us a clear break with the power and love of sin (the initial stage of sanctification).
Sanctification - A progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives. This process begins at justification and is a necessary result of saving faith. The goal of sanctification is Christlikeness.
Perseverance - Means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.
Glorification - The final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all the believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own.