Glossary of Terms ‘S’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14th, 2010 at 6:28PM. Copyright 2010.

A type of Modalism or Monarchianism. It is a belief that there is one God. The belief that the persons of the Godhead are modes or manifestations of one God, not a manifestation of three seperate persons; not a trinity. Sabellianism, Modalism and Monarchianism deny the existence of the trinity, indicating that it is pagan in origin.

The teaching that ordination imparts special abilities/powers necessary for the operation of the ministry.  Also, the teaching that grace is administered through the one so ordained.

A visible manifestation of the word. The bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper are considered sacraments in that they are visible manifestations of the covenant promise of our Lord: “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'” (Luke 22:20). God, in the OT, used visible signs along with His spoken word. These visible signs, then, were considered to have significance. “Among the OT sacraments the rites of circumcision and the Passover were stressed as being the OT counterparts of baptism (Col. 1:10-12) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 5:7).”

A group of religious leaders in the Jewish religion from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. In Hebrew their names mean “the righteous ones.” They were smaller in size than the group of the Pharisees. The Sadducees were generally on the upper class, often in a priestly line, and the Pharisees in the middle class, usually merchants and tradesmen. The Sadducees accepted only the Torah, the first five books of the old Testament, as authoritative. They held rigidly to the old Testament law and a denying the life after death, reward and punishment after death, the resurrection, and the existence of angels and demons. They controlled the temple and its services and were unpopular with the majority of the Jewish population.

Salvation is the “saving” of a sinner from the righteous judgment of God and he is made a new creature (2 Cor 5:17). All of this is the work of God, not man. Salvation is a free gift (Rom 6:23). We are saved from damnation. When anyone sins, and we all have (Rom 3:23; 6:23), he deserves eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Yet, because of His love and mercy, God became a man (John 1:1,14 ) and bore the sins of the world in His body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24; 1 John 2:2). We are forgiven whether we realize this or not. There is nothing we can do to earn the favor of God and we put our trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross (Eph 2:8-9; 1 Cor 15:1-4). Only God saves. The only thing we bring to the cross is our sin. Both God the Father (Isaiah 14:21) and Jesus (John 4:42) are called Savior; that is, deliverer from sin. Remember, it was the Father who sent the Son (1 John 4:10) to be the Savior and the Son proceeds from the Father.

Sanctify, Sanctification
To sanctify means to be set apart for a holy use. God has set us apart for the purpose of sanctification not impurity (1 Thess. 4:7) and being such we are called to do good works (Eph. 2:10). Christians are to sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts (1 Pet. 3:15). God sanctified Israel as His own special nation (Ezek. 27:28). People can be sanctified (Exodus 19:10,14) and so can a mountain (Exodus 19:23), as can the Sabbath day (Gen. 2:3), and every created thing is sanctified through the word of God and prayer (1 Tim. 4:4)Sanctification follows justification. In justification our sins are completely forgiven in Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.

The Sanhedrin was a council of 71 individuals, around the time of Christ that was comprised of Pharisees and Sadducees who governed the Jewish nation while under the rule of Rome. It often served as a court to settle legal and religious matters.

A deliberate break with the unity of the church, condemned vigorously by influential writers of the early church, such as Cyprian and Augustine.

The method of study in the Middle Ages which was used to support the doctrines of the church through reason and logic.

The scholastic philosophy associated with Duns Scotus.

The scriptures are, quite simply, the Bible which consists of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Each one is inspired, without error, and is completely accurate in all things it addresses. The entire Bible, though written by many people over thousands of years is harmonious in all its teachings. This is because each book of the Bible is inspired.

Second Coming, The
The Second Coming is a term applied to the return of Christ. If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first. The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born. At the Second Coming of Christ every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7) as He descends from the heavens in the clouds (Matt. 24:30; Mark 14:6).

Septuagint, The (LXX)
The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. It was during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) that the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, were translated into Greek. Shortly afterwards the rest of the Old Testament was also translated. This translation was done by approximately 70 translators. Hence, the Septuagint is known by the letters LXX, the Roman numerals for seventy.

Sin is anything that is contrary to the law or will of God. For example: if you lie, you have sinned. Why? Because God has said not to lie (Exodus 20:16). If you do what God has forbidden, then you have sinned. In addition, if you do not do what God has commanded, you sin (James 4:17). Either way, the result is eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 1:3) and unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin leads to bondage (Rom. 6:14-20) and death (Rom. 6:23). Paul, in the book of Romans, discusses sin. He shows that everyone, both Jew and Greek, is under sin (Rom. 3:9). He shows that sin is not simply something that is done, but a condition of the heart (Rom. 3:10-12). In Ephesians Paul says that we are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). Yet, “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). The word wrath in Greek means – children of God’s desire.

Skepticism is the philosophical approach that denies that the world can be objectively known in any absolute sense.  It further denies the true knowability of God.

Sola Fide
The teaching that faith alone saves a person when he places his faith and trust in the sacrificial work of Christ.

Sola Gratia
The teaching that God pardons believers without any merit of their own based solely on the sacrificial work of Christ.

Sola Scriptura
The teaching that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation and proper living before God.

Son of God
This is a title of Jesus. It implies His deity (John 5:18) because the title is one of equality with God. In the OT it was figuratively applied to Israel (Exo 4:22). In the NT it is applied to Christ (Luke 1:35). It has many facets, for example: It shows that He is to be honored equally with the Father (John 5:22-23). That He is to be worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6); called God (John 20:28; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:8); prayed to (Acts 7:55-60; 1 Cor. 1:1-2).

The study of the doctrineof salvation. It is derived from the Greek word soterious which means salvation. Some of the subjects of soteriology are the atonement, imputation, and regeneration.

Soul Sleep
The teaching that when a person dies his soul ceases to exist. On the final judgment day he is brought back to life and judged. This is not a heresy, only an error of interpretation. The Bible is not specific on the condition of the person between death and resurrection.  However, there are scriptures that strongly suggest man’s continued self-awareness and continued existence after death (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; Phil. 1:21-23).

The right of God to do as He wishes (Psalm 50:1; Isaiah 40:15; 1 Tim. 6:15) with His creation. This implies that there is no external influence upon Him and that He also has the ability to exercise His power and control according to His will.

Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are gifts given by Jesus to His church. Spiritual gifts are discussed in 1 Cor. 12-14 and Rom. 12. They vary in degree and nature. There are some that are obviously supernatural in the usage: speaking in tongues, discerning of spirits, healing, etc. There are others that are not so supernatural: administrations, help, admonition, etc. There is debate over the continuance of the gifts. Some say that the gifts have ceased because we now have the Bible. They argue that the gifts were used for the building of the body of Christ during the beginning of the Christian church when the Bible was not complete. Since the Bible is complete there is no further need for the revelatory gifts like speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Others maintain that the gifts are all for today though to a lesser degree. There are good arguments on both sides.

The teaching that the individual is the source and judge of all religious knowledge based upon his own knowledge and experience.

An issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God’s mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world.  The word means “before the fall.”  This position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world.  By contrast, the infralapsarian (“after the fall”) position is the reverse in that it holds that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it.

A Jewish house of worship. Traditionally the first synagogues were established during the Babylonian exile. The early synagogues had a place in the center of the room where the sacred scrolls were kept and from where they were read. It is from the worship order established in synagogues that our modern church patterns of reading and expounding upon scripture from the pulpit are derived.

The teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. This is opposed to monergism which is the teaching that God is the sole agent involved in salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God’s gracecombined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible.

Synoptic Gospels
The first three gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are referred to as the synoptic gospels because of their great similarity. The term (derived from the Greek word synopsis, “summary”) refers to the way in which the three gospels can be seen as providing similar “summaries” of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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