Comparative Glossary


A guide to biblical terms and concepts As generally understood by the Churches of Christ As generally understood by evangelical Christianity

Baptism Obedience to "water" baptism is necessary because it is the means by which the believer receives the forgiveness of sins and thus salvation.
When we come to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. Acts 11:15-17; 1 Cor. 12:13
 
As new believers we are then "water" baptized, which bears testimony to our true, actual, or Holy Spirit baptism. Acts 10:47-48

Thus like the Lord's Supper, "water" baptism is the believer's sign or symbol to the spiritual reality.

A Believer/ Christian A person who has obeyed God's necessary requirements for salvation (i.e. hear, believe, repent, confess, and be "water" baptized), and who lives and worships according to the pattern and teachings of the New Testament.
A Christian is a sinner who has been saved by grace through faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
 
Good works demonstrated in the life of the believer do not save, but rather are simply the result of salvation.
The Church of Christ A religious movement that rejects or minimizes the doctrine of the fall and the teaching that man has an inherent predisposition to sin and to do evil.

Believes that we can receive the redeeming work of Christ through our own positive response to the moral and religious requirements of the New Testament.

Evangelical Christianity
Historically refers to Protestant (Christian) churches that believe:

a) In the supreme authority of the scripture in doctrinal matters of the church.

b) That salvation of the believer is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Faith/ belief One of the '5 steps of salvation'; To accept as true the facts of the Christian faith; To believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Trust, belief or conviction; To place trust or reliance upon; "Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Acts 16:31
The Fall of Man The fall of man is the story of how sin was first introduced into the world through Adam and Eve.

Note: The fall of Adam did not adversely affect man's moral and religious abilities to prevent him from saving himself by obeying all of God's necessary moral and religious commands for salvation.
Because of the fall of Adam, man is a sinner by nature and has a prior inclination and predispositon to sin and to do evil.
 
Man therefore lacks the moral and religious ability to save himself by the principle of keeping commands and laws. Thus his only hope for salvation is to place faith and trust in the Savior, trusting that Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Forgiveness Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross and by obeying the necessary moral and religious requirements of the New Testament, we can now receive the forgiveness of sins. God forgives the believing sinner on the basis that Jesus Christ took upon Himself God's full wrath and punishment for our sin at the cross. In other words, God was willing to punish Jesus as our substitute so that He would not have to punish us.
Justice, Grace, and Mercy
Justice is getting what is earned or deserved. Because God is holy and just, He must punish our sin.

Mercy is not getting what is earned or deserved. Since 'the wages of sin is death' and 'the soul that sins shall die', God punished Jesus as our substitute so that He would not have to punish us.

Grace is getting what is not earned or deserved. Eternal life is not by the economy of works. Rather it is God's free gift to us, brought to us by Christ and received by faith.
Justification To be made righteous.

"Just-as-if-we-had-never sinned."
To show, to be declared, or to be deemed as righteous.

Biblical justification is the process of how an unjust person is ultimately shown, declared, or deemed as righteous. God is both "just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Rom 3:26
Justification by faith alone A doctrine rejected by the Church of Christ and understood to mean 'salvation by merely believing the facts of the Christian faith' or in other words, "easy believe-ism." Being deemed or declared as righteous by believing God's promise that Jesus Christ received in His body ALL of God's wrath, anger and righteous indignation for OUR sin, died on the cross, paid the penalty for sin, and that God raised Him from the dead.
The New Testament Pattern or "Patternism"
A Church of Christ doctrine which takes an Old Testament approach to salvation of 'doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reason' and applies it directly to the New Testament.

"New Testament Law-keeping"

The Purpose of the Old Testament Law (and the rational behind the Church of Christ doctrine of "Patternism")
As God gave the Israelites the Old Testament Law so the people could know what they had to do to please God and go to heaven, so God has given us the New Testament.

Sometimes called 'following the gospel', 'meeting God's conditions of pardon', 'the 5 step plan of salvation', patternism is a doctrine  teaching that salvation is by New Testament Law-keeping.
The purpose of the Law was never to save anyone, but rather to show us that we are sinners in need of a Savior.

In other words, the Law's ministry was to magnify our sin to such a degree that we would despair of ever trying to save ourselves and say, 'God, if this is your standard for righteousness and holiness, I can't do it. Please  forgive me and have mercy on me through Jesus Christ.'  (Gal. 3:21, 22, & 24)
The Purpose of works
Simply believing or having faith is not in itself a sufficient condition for salvation.

A person must also cooperate and be obedient to all of the rest of the necessary moral and religious requirements of the New Testament.
Good works and obedience are only the practical result of the believer's new spiritual birth which occurs the moment a person believes God's promise that Jesus Christ saves them.

Thus being born-again, the believer's good works do not save, but are rather the practical result of new spiritual birth and salvation. (Eph. 2:8-10)
Regeneration Since the Church of Christ traditionally does not believe in the dynamics of the fall, it is difficult for them to understand the need for new spiritual birth and regeneration.

In other words, the natural man only needs to cooperate with all the necessary moral and religious requirements of the New Testament in order to receive the forgiveness of sins and thus salvation.
To be renewed, reborn or born again.
 
Living the Christian life is not simply a matter of us making our natural man become obedient to all the right moral and religious commands of the New Testament. Rather God gives NEW LIFE to ALL who place faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ as Savior. Thus, good works are only the result of new spiritual birth and salvation.
Repentance To sorrow for wrong doing, to seek forgiveness, to make resolution to not to repeat the offence.

"Turning from sin" or "self-reformation"
Biblical repentance means a post-thought, after-thought, conversion, or a change of mind.

It
literally means if you were going to do one thing and then changed your mind, you would have then repented.

Anyone who has stopped trusting in themselves and in their own moral and religious obedience and trusts in Jesus Christ alone to take them to heaven, has repented and has "changed their mind" about what they once believed.

The righteousness that is required for salvation
That righteousness which is obtained by 'doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reason.'

"works" righteousness (Rom. 10:5)
The gift of perfect righteousness that is given (credited, imputed) to us by God, brought to us by Christ, and is received by faith in Him.

"faith" righteousness  (Rom. 10:1-12; Phil. 3:1-9)
Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ
When a person's belief in God and the Bible causes them to be obedient to all of the necessary moral and religious requirements of the New Testament, they will have been 'saved by faith.'
It is YOU believing the promise that Jesus Christ came, died on the cross, paid the full penalty for YOUR sin, that He was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead. (1 Cor. 15:3, 4, & 11; Galatians 2:15, 16)