Deepening Meaning of Biblical Words
Certain Biblical Words do much more open up themselves to us by their meaning in the Hebrew and Greek Bible languages and their cultural background … and especially in their relation to God and faith. The most important ones, which are very often found in the Bible, are listed here with a short explanation, so that even today they may reveal their deeper meaning to us.
Holy means that something or someone belongs to God and thus is cleansed. In that sense every true believer who believes God and follows Him is a holy Saint, who belongs to God and therefore possesses a meaningful life in the presence of God. Already the authors of the letters in the Bible called the believers in the Churches Saints.
All of those words are not merely legal words in the Bible. Instead they are connected with a right and rightful relationship with others. Therefore a just or righteous person in Biblical terms is someone who endeavors to have a right relationship with God and people, a relationship which is in order. God’s own righteousness means that He does everything He can to keep his relationship with men or to restore it. Wouldn’t He do it, He would be unjust.
Thus righteousness and justice are always connected with faithfulness and closeness. The focus is not a legal righteousness or a righteousness concerning a law, but a right relationship with men---not the relationship towards a law is in the center, but the relationship with men.
Justification and to justify someone means that someone is put right and kept right, he is in order. It is not merely a single act of judgement but a process. Through the working of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit the character of such a person will be more and more put right, brought in order. On the other hand by that step of turning around, by faith and by handing oneself over to God a person becomes a believer whose relationship with God is now in order and put right, he is now justified.
Sanctification means that someone hands himself over to God and belongs now to God. On one hand it is a point of time, a conscious step one takes, a new direction of mind and a new goal, a change, a turning around. On the other hand it implies that one grows in character, which is a process too.
Thus both words in their essence mean the same and are interchangeable; they mean that a person has changed and now belongs to God, and that he inwardly and in his life will be put right and that he grows in his relationship with God and in his character.
Faith in the Bible is not just a guessing or an assumption or an individual conviction, but a sure knowledge that God does exist and that one trusts in Him, believes Him and His Word, and that this is expressed in the life of a person and his way of acting. Thus true faith is not just a faith in God but that one will believe God what He says and does. One does not only believes in Him but believes Him and acts upon the guidance in the Bible. Therefore true faith is not a blind faith.
Thus John wrote in his letter: “We have believed and known that God loves us. And we love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4,16.19)
Hope in the Bible is not just a vague desire that something will come to pass as hoped for, but it is a steadfast knowledge that something exists or will come to pass, even though one may not see it jet. Different to the usual use it is a much stronger and much more powerful word which also empowers and strengthens much more, since one does not lean on something unsure, but on something which is sure and exists—in this case on God, on his salvation and the heritage of the eternal life.
Sin is not just a moral or legal wrong act but in contrary to faith an inward turning away from God and his law of love. Sin does destroy a person and leads to eternal death. Sin is not just written down somewhere and by forgiveness is cancelled but sin happens in the character and being of a person, and changes him with every wrong doing. Today it is known that with every deed the neurons in the brain build stronger connections and even build tracks, which make the next step to wrong doing--- to sin—more and more easier. Thus conscience dies gradually.
Those topics see on the page “The Answer“. This article talks about these very important topics into depth. And even this turns out to be Good News which relieves and frees us, since it shows that God is really a God of love.
Law in the Bible means God’s law. Those laws include God’s principle of love and God’s character of love. Those are the good foundations of God which lead a person toward the good and produce in him a good character.
In contrast to our understanding today is mercy in its original sense a voluntary and overabundant gift that touches and changes the receiver. Thurs it expresses God’s overabundant goodness and care. In this sense mercy and justice are not contradicting words. They are connected with each other, since it is God’s goodness (grace and mercy), which leads a person to turn to God with the desire to belong to Him. Thus God can put a person right and purify him—in usual biblical terms expressed: He can justify and sanctify him
Biblical Reconciliation means that God himself is the one acting, the one setting out to gain our trust and to win us over, who tries to convince us of his love, so that we, who were against Him, would turn around and be ready for reconciliation with Him. Not He needed to be reconciled, not He was against us but we were sinners and enemies, we were against Him and far away from Him. We needed to be reconciled. Therefore it was not Jesus’ death, which needed to placate and appease God, but Jesus’ death convinced us of God’s total love for us and placated us, so that God was able to reconcile us with Himself.
The word Gospel in the original Greek is called ”Evangelium“, which means translated Good News, Glad Tidings. And the Glad Tidings are about God being altogether different than the negative images having been spread. Jesus revealed God’s character of love perfectly, since He Himself is God and always emphasized on being at one with God the Father and on carrying out the will and mission of God. Jesus’ mission was to reveal the truth about God and to unmask the lies of Satan. The lies about God are the darkness, which darkens the life and mind of people. The Gospel exposes the lies and frees from fear one has of God.
Thus also Paul writes: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel—the Glad Tidings—since through them God has the power to heal and save everyone who believes Him, since in the Gospel God’s own righteousness is revealed—it is revealed that He is right and faithful in his relationship with us and acts according to it.” (see Romans 1:16-17)
That God is really love and that Jesus by his life and death gave the evidence of it this is the Good News and the Glad Tidings.
Truth in the Bible refers to the truth about God.
Jesus got the mission to testify of this truth. Thus He Himself says: “I was born and I came into this world to testify of the truth.”
This truth is the light, which chases away the darkness and enlightens the people. Therefore the words “Good News, Glad Tidings”, “truth” and “light” are exchangeable. They all are testifying of the Glad Tidings of God’s true character of love.
© 2018, Jaimée M. Seis