All definitions in this glossary, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Following the definition are Bible verses and Unger’s and my personal comments for further clarification. Unger’s comments are in quotes. Mine are not.
Believe — Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible “‘to have faith’ (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by impl. to entrust (espec. one’s spiritual well-being to Christ).
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” “To believe” here, by definition, means to put faith in, to trust in, Jesus and His death on the cross for payment for one’s sin. It is not the mere belief that Jesus existed. It requires a faith-led action step by the believer–trust in the person of Jesus.
Believers — “A term applied to Christian converts (Acts 5:14; 1 Tim. 4:12). It signifies those who have exercised saving faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ and who, as a result, have obtained a position that is denoted by the oft-recurring phrase in the NT ‘in Christ’ (Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph 1:3; etc.).” (See Believe.)
Disciple — Gk. “learner” Unger’s also adds, “…one who professes to have learned certain principles from another and maintains them on that other’s authority.”
The word “disciple” brings to mind the Twelve Disciples of Jesus. But John the Baptist had disciples as well as the Pharisees (a religious party of the Jews). If you are a learner of Jesus and His Word, then you are one of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus’ closing words to His then eleven disciples were, “…go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19) “…The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26)
Glory — “… it is the exercise and display of what constitutes the distinctive excellence of the subject to which it is spoken; thus, in respect to God, His glory is the manifestation of His divine attributes and perfections, or such a visible splendor as indicates the possession and presence of these… Glory is the expression of holiness, as beauty is the expression of health.”
A Christian brings glory to God by displaying God’s attributes of holiness, unselfish love, and submission to the One who is completely trustable. People then see the Christian and, ideally, see a little picture of what God is like.
Justification — “…a divine act whereby an infinitely Holy God judicially declares a believing sinner to be righteous and acceptable before Him because Christ has borne the sinner’s sin on the cross and has become ‘to us…righteousness’ (1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:24).” Unger’s also adds this picture: “A justified believer emerges from God’s great courtroom with a consciousness that another, his Substitute, has borne his guilt and that he stands without accusation before God (Rom. 8:1, 33-34).”
Messiah (Cristo)— Heb. “anointed”
In John 4:25,26 The woman Jesus was speaking to said, “’I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you–I am he.’” Then the town’s people in verse 42 add their understanding, “They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’”
“Messiah” is Hebrew (OT) and “Christ” is Greek (NT), both with the same definition. It is clear that the Jewish people were, and still are, looking to the coming of their Messiah.
Unger’s adds a clarification on Messiah as “…a divinely appointed method of deliverance from sin.” Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give the genealogy (or Messianic line) of Jesus, the Christ.
Rapture — Though the word “rapture” is not found in the Bible, this passage clearly describes the event. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) (Other Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:50-54)
Scripture — Heb. “written”: Gk. “document”
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
The word “Scriptures” today in Christian conversation refers to the Bible and its sixty-six book divisions, Old Testament and New Testament.
Trinity — “The term by which is expressed the unity of three Persons in the one God.”
The word is not in the Bible, but the triune God is mentioned throughout. Here are some passages to meditate on:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,'” Matthew 28:18-19
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
These are only a few of the many places in Scripture that speak of the triune God, or the trinity. Even the Old Testament speaks to the triune God: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,'” (Genesis 1:26) The words “us” and “our” indicate a multi-person reference. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:2). Here God is mentioned in Spirit. And after Adam and Eve sinned, “…the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” (Genesis 3:8) For Adam and Eve to hear God walking, and for him to be walking, strongly suggests God in a physical form, as with Jesus.
There is still the nagging question of how all this can be. The One True God in three persons? How can that be? A picture that helps me (I admit, only a little) is thinking of myself as a father, a son, and a friend. I can be all three at the same time. The three roles involve three distinctly different responsibilities. To my Father I am submissive and teachable. To my son I give loving care, support and guidance. To my friend I am loyal and compassionate. But… I am stuck in this one body. Unlike me, God is not stuck. His abilities are infinite. He can be the Judging Father, the self-sacrificing Son, and the Counseling Spirit all at the same time AND in an infinite number of places. He’s God. He can do it.