To admonish means to warn, caution, instruct, or advise.
Admonition may be corrective, warning a sinner about the consequences of failure to repent. Titus 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Admonition may be instructive. We are admonished by the examples, especially negative ones, of the past. Child-raising involves admonition, in which learning comes through cautionary instruction rather than experimentation. 1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 6:4
Admonition may make others aware of danger. Paul told the Ephesians elders to be alert, remembering his continuous and passionate warnings about false teachers. Acts 20:31
In the New Testament, admonitions are usually directed toward fellow Christians, both faithful and unfaithful. While admonition sounds negative, it comes from genuine concern and a desire for the admonished to avoid danger. 1 Corinthians 4:14; Colossians 1:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:15
Christians should admonish one another in song and teaching. Colossians 3:16; Romans 15:14
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
Amen was originally a Hebrew word which has been adopted into nearly every language. In English Bibles, it is also translated truly, verily, and assuredly. Amen is an affirmation of faithfulness and trustworthiness.
In Hebrew, amen was closely related to the verb aman, which means to support, confirm, or be faithful. Amen does not not simply express that someone likes what has been done or said. Amen expresses acknowledgment of objective truthfulness, accuracy, and reliability. Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 19:7
Amen has several applications:
(1) Assertion of certainty. Jesus was particularly fond of prefacing statements with a double amen, which is usually translated as truly, truly, or verily, verily, or most assuredly. This prompted his audience to recognize the truthfulness of his words. Prayers and psalms sometimes ended with “amen” to prompt listeners to accept or express acceptance of the words as true. John 3:3; Psalm 106:48
(2) Approval or endorsement. Amen may also be given by listeners or participants being led in worship. For example, amens may be heard in a church setting during or after a prayer, song, or lesson to emphasize recognition of the truthfulness of what has been said or done. 1 Chronicles 16:36
(3) Agreement or consent. Upon hearing God’s laws, Israelites were sometimes told to respond with, “Amen.” If they later broke the law, their own amen stood as a witness against them. Deuteronomy 27:15-26
(4) A description of God. Amen is used as a title of Jesus in Revelation, and the meaning is expanded as the faithful and true witness. This expresses the certainty of his teachings, promises, and warnings. Revelation 3:14
Now to the King eternal– the immortal, invisible, and only God– be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17
Related words: supplication
Apostle is derived from the Greek apostolos. It refers to one who is sent to carry out the orders of the sender. In the New Testament, it is used in both common and proper senses.
The Son of God is called our apostle, because he was sent to earth by the Father to purchase salvation for all. He chosen twelve of his disciples to be his apostles. After he began preaching, he sent them to the Jewish towns to announce, “The kingdom of heaven is hand.” He also sent seventy-two others ahead into the towns he planned to visit. After his resurrection, he commanded the eleven remaining apostles to go throughout the world to preach the good news and make disciples. For these missions, Jesus’ apostles were given miraculous powers to confirm that the new message was an authentic revelation from God. Hebrews 3:1-2; John 12:44-50; 1 John 4:14; John 3:17; Matthew 10:5-8; Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-20; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-20
The twelve original apostles of Jesus were Peter (or Cephas, formerly known as Simon), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James and John (called sons of thunder, sons of Zebedee), Philip (of Bethsaida), Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Thomas (“The Twin”), Matthew (or Levi, the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddeus (or Judas, son of James), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of Simon Iscariot).1 Peter, James, and John were the apostles closest to Jesus. John referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in his narrative. Matthew 10:2-3; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; Mark 5:37; 9:2; 13:3; 14:33
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and committed suicide. He was replaced by Matthias, who had been with Jesus and the others from the beginning and had witnessed Jesus’ resurrection. Matthew 26:14, 47-50; 27:3-10; Acts 1:15-26
Saul of Tarsus received a direct appointment from Jesus later and became better known by his Roman name, Paul. He is described as the apostle to the Gentiles for his extensive preaching away from Judea, although others taught Gentiles as well. Paul wrote Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Some think he is also the anonymous writer of Hebrews. Acts 9:1-30; Acts 13:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-11; Acts 22:6-21; Acts 26:14-18; Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 2:7
James, brother of John, was executed by Herod. Jesus prophesied Peter’s unnatural demise, which was drawing close when Peter penned his second letter. Paul was aware of his impending execution when he wrote his second letter to Timothy. John lived long enough to pen Revelation while exiled on an island close to the end of the first century. There are various legends concerning the deaths of the apostles, but these are conflicting and largely unreliable. Acts 12:2; John 21:18-19; 2 Peter 1:13-15; 2 Timothy 4:6
Others who were called apostles in a non-technical sense include Barnabas, James (Jesus’ brother), and Epaphroditus. John the Baptist was also an apostle, because he was sent by God. Acts 14:14; Galatians 1:19; Philippians 2:25; John 1:6
With great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33
1 People were often associated with their hometowns or parents. Some were given nicknames for certain traits. There were several languages and cultures of the New Testament world, including Aramaic (Jews), Greek (Hellenists), and Latin (Romans). These explain why some people have more than one name.
Related words: disciple
Baptism and baptize are derived from the Greek words baptisma and baptizo, respectively. Baptism means immersion or submersion. Acts 8:38; John 3:23
In Acts 2 and Acts 10, a group of Jews and a group of Gentiles received a special baptism of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the prophecy of Joel and the promise of Jesus to his apostles. Baptism is also used in a special, figurative way in 1 Corinthians 10 to describe the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. Baptism in water, as seen throughout Acts, is the only baptism related to salvation. Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-21; Acts 11:15-17; 1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Ephesians 4:4-6
The common usage of baptism is illustrated in a Greek recipe from 200 BC for making pickles: Baptize (baptizo) the cucumber in vinegar. The vegetable is permanently changed, just as the person who is baptized in water. Romans 6
Baptism is how one “calls upon the name of the Lord” to receive salvation. It is how we appeal to God to cleanse the conscience. Baptism symbolizes washing away sins and death, burial, and resurrection. Acts 2:21, 38; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4
At baptism, one becomes a disciple of Jesus and is added to God’s church. Matt. 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:41; Galatians 3:27-28
The New Testament uniformly affirms that baptism is a prerequisite to salvation. It is not the work which provides salvation; it is the condition which those seeking salvation must fulfill to receive it. Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21
“Now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16
Blaspheme is derived from the compound Greek word blasphemeo = blapto (harm) + pheme (speech). It is speech intended to do harm, especially to one’s character. Several Hebrew words can be translated as blaspheme, the most common of which is gadaph. Synonyms for blaspheme found in English Bibles include revile, malign, deride, speak against, speak evil of, slander, and rail.
While blasphemy normally refers to words, actions which express the same disposition are sometimes called blasphemy. In the Bible, blasphemy could be directed at God, people, or things. Ezekiel 20:7; Numbers 15:30; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Timothy 6:1
There is some debate over the meaning of Jesus’ ominous warning concerning blasphemy toward the Holy Spirit. I believe this sin is a sustained rejection of the message originally delivered by the Holy Spirit. Many Jews blasphemed the Son of God during his earthly life, but some later repented when the Holy Spirit revealed more of the truth. Those who continued to opposed it ultimately blasphemed the Holy Spirit who had given the message and confirmed it with miracles. There was no further stage of revelation, so as long as they refused to believe it, they would not find forgiveness. Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10; Acts 7:51; Acts 13:45-46
To avoid blasphemy against God, we must never use his name carelessly (as in interjections like “OMG”) or euphemistically (as in substitutes like “gosh” or “jeez”). Claims of equality with God are also blasphemous. Toward others, our speech should not tear down but build up. It should be seasoned with grace rather than slander and name-calling. Corrections and warnings are appropriate, but the goal must always be to heal rather than harm. Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; 1 Peter 3:9-16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:14
We must avoid causing others to blaspheme God. Israel had done this historically in two ways. First, they behaved hypocritically, priding themselves in their covenant with the true God while breaking his laws. Second, when God punished Israel for this, enemy nations attributed Israel’s defeat to the weakness of its God. We can likewise cause unbelievers to blaspheme our God when they observe us suffering for sin and acting hypocritically. Instead, we should prompt people to glorify God when they see the good works which his word produces in our lives. Romans 2:17-24; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:19-23; Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:12
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:12-16
Christ is derived from the Greek christos, which means anointed one. The Hebrew is messiah. John 1:41; 4:25
Anointing was the inauguration process by which kings, priests, and prophets were appointed to their offices. Oil was poured on his head and his appointment was formally announced. 1 Kings 19:16; Exodus 28:41; 1 Samuel 10:1
The Anointed One was prophesied and greatly anticipated by the Jews. Psalm 2; Isaiah 61:1-3; Daniel 9:24-27
He would be King, Prophet, and High Priest. Matthew 21:5; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 4:14
Jesus’ anointing occurred immediately after his baptism. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit rather than with oil, and the Father made the announcement. Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-33; Acts 10:38
When Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
In the Old Testament, crowns symbolized honor or something which brought honor. Removal of a crown symbolized shame. Esther 6:7; Proverbs 12:4; Job 19:9; Lamentations 5:16
The New Testament makes frequent references to the victor’s crown. The wreath of leaves (olive, laurel, pine, or celery) awarded to winners of athletic competitions or military heroes represents the reward for those who overcome sin. This reward is called the crown of life, righteousness, and glory. Just as athletes who did not follow the rules of the games were disqualified, those who do not follow God’s laws will not receive the crown of eternal life. James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Peter 5:4; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 2:5
In contrast to the crown of leaves which withered, the spiritual crown lasts forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Peter 5:4
The royal crown is mentioned three times in Revelation. This crown is usually translated diadem to distinguish it from the victor’s crown. These crowns are worn by the dragon, a beast, and the rider on a white horse (representing Satan, the Roman Empire, and Jesus). Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:1; Revelation 19:12
“Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10
Despise often has the connotation of hatred in modern conversation. In the Bible, the words translated despise primarily mean to think lightly of or to regard as unimportant (relatively or objectively).
Despise is often used to indicate not giving someone or something the proper respect or value. Esau despised his birthright by trading it for a meal. The firstborn’s inheritance was worth far more than a bowl of stew, but he didn’t consider its value when he made the trade. Despising God and his word is a common charge in the Old Testament. It refers to the lack of respect behind people’s disobedient actions. They ignored God’s authority and the consequences of sin. Genesis 25:34; Numbers 15:30-31
Despise is also used in comparisons. Jesus despised the shame of the cross. Crucifixion was designed to inflict as much shame as physical pain. The condemned person was stripped of outer clothing and displayed on a tall cross for thousands to see. Yet, Jesus counted the extreme public humiliation as insignificant compared to the joy beyond it. Providing salvation for the world far outweighed the physical and emotional pain in his decision to die. This verse motivates us to despise the difficulties we must endure to be with Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2
God deserves our greatest respect and honor, because he is our Creator and Judge. His word deserves our most diligent attention and obedience. People deserve to be thought of and treated with respect, regardless of age, sex, race, or other inherent qualities. God created us in his image and we each have a soul that will live on beyond this life. That makes our physical lives and spirits valuable.
Synonyms in English Bibles include spurn, esteem lightly, treat with contempt, scoff, and disdain. Other synonyms include look down on, take lightly, disregard, and underrate.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3
Diligence encompasses several qualities. It’s translated from many Hebrew and Greek words. It has many synonyms in English, too: do your best, make every effort, be eager, and be earnest.
In the Old Testament, diligence is especially associated with seeking and searching until the answer or object is found. Some Hebrew words also carry the connotation of starting the task early in the morning, which suggests it’s a high priority. Other words focus on vigilance and attentiveness. Psalm 63:1; Ezra 5:8; Proverbs 13:4
In the New Testament, diligence is especially associated with hurrying, which indicates a sense of urgency. Other Greek words indicate hard work and careful attention. 2 Peter 1:3-15; Ephesians 5:15; 2 Timothy 2:6, 15
Diligence is often contrasted with procrastination, laziness, idleness, and negligence. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Proverbs 10:4
In all that God tells us to do, we must get to work, give it everything we’ve got, and never give up.
Be devoted to one another with brotherly love; prefer one another in honor, do not be lazy in diligence, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord, rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Romans 12:10-13 MEV
Disciples were students who followed the instructions and examples of their teachers. Discipleship was more like being an apprentice than a student in a classroom. Luke 6:40
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he was calling people to become his disciples. This invitation was offered first to those who would eventually become his apostles. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” is a another way of phrasing the invitation to discipleship. Matthew 4:19; 9:9; 16:24; 11:29
Discipleship can involve personally training under the teacher or studying the teacher’s recorded teachings and life. About 1,400 years after Moses died, the Pharisees claimed to be his disciples, although they did not truly follow his teachings. Isaiah, John the Baptist, Gamaliel, and the Pharisees also had disciples. John 9:28; Isaiah 8:16; Matthew 9:14; Acts 22:3; Matthew 22:15-16
Baptism (submersion into water), is the method by which Jesus told his apostles to make disciples for him. Thousands of people became disciples of Jesus by being baptized in the book of Acts. Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:12; 14:21
After the first Gentiles were baptized, the disciples of the Christ were called “Christians.” The term “were called” indicates that the discples received this name from God rather than choosing it for themselves. Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16; Isaiah 62:1-2
Have you become a Christian, a disciple of the Christ?
Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
An elder is a leader within a local church. Three Greek words describe this role in the New Testament.
Presbuteros, usually translated elder, is a general word referring to a person of older age. In ancient societies, elders were dignified men who served as judges, community leaders, and respected counselors. Elders in local churches have similar qualities and jobs. 2 Samuel 5:3; Joshua 20:1-4
Episkopos, translated overseer or bishop, describes the job of supervising the members and work of the local church.
Poimen means shepherd or pastor. The verb form is translated shepherd, feed, tend to, or care for. Elders must shepherd souls as good shepherds do for sheep.
Elder, overseer, and shepherd are used interchangeably in the context of the church. 1 Peter 5:1-5; Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-35.
Elderships are precisely regulated by God’s word. Each church must have more than one elder to have an eldership. Elders must have the qualities described in the New Testament. Acts 14:23, 15:4; 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-11; 1 Peter 5:1-5
Elders are part of God’s design for fully equipped local churches, so appointing elders should be an important goal for every church, as it was in the first century. The benefit of elders is invaluable. Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17
Exalt comes from several common Hebrew and Greek words meaning to lift up. These are sometimes translated extol. Exalting God is esteeming him as being above all his creation. Exalting self through boasting or showing off is sinful. Psalm 57:5; 1 Chronicles 19:10-13; Psalm 30:1; Luke 16:14-15
Exalt is used in a physical sense, as when Moses lifted the bronze serpent. Exalt is also used figuratively, as in receiving a promotion. An equivalent English phrase is “putting on a pedestal.” Jesus was unjustly exalted in a physical sense when he was lifted above the ground on the cross, but he was exalted to his position of authority in heaven and deserves exaltation in praise from all people. John 3:14; Acts 5:30-31; Philippians 2:1-11
Exalt is frequently contrasted with humble. That God exalts the humble and humbles the exalted is an ironic truth repeated throughout the Bible. Matthew 23:1-12; Luke 1:52; Luke 14:7-11; Luke 18:9-14; James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:5-7
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 108:5
Related words: hallelujah, hosanna
Exhortation has three basic meanings in the Bible:
1. A call to come to one’s side is the literal meaning. Today, we would use the phrase “get on board” to convey the same idea. When this meaning is intended, the phrase I urge you... is a common translation, as well as encourage, beseech, implore, appeal, and entreat. A sense of urgency and importance is implied. Peter exhorted the crowd on Pentecost to obey. Paul exhorted the divided church in Corinth to agree. Acts 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:10
2. Encouragement to continue is an exhortation to someone who is already on your side. Barnabas and Paul visited Christians in various places, exhorting them to continue in the faith. In fact, Barnabas means Son of Exhortation. Acts 11:23; Acts 14:22; Acts 4:36
3. A message of comfort is also called exhortation. Paul provided reassuring information about the second coming to the distressed Christians in Thessalonica, telling them to comfort one another with his words. The church in Corinth needed to comfort a recently restored brother. 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8
Exhort and exhortation are very common words in the New Testament, and we should be frequently exhorting one another in whatever way is needed. Be like Barnabas. Hebrews 3:13; Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:11
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, exhort you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you were called. With all humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another in love, be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
Gospel is derived from the Old English gōdspel, which means good news. The New Testament Greek word is euaggelion (from which we get the word evangelist, or messenger of good news). Romans 1:16; Acts 21:8
Sin creates a separation between God and people, and there is nothing we can do to fix it. The good news is that God has provided the solution through his sacrifice. Jesus died to provide salvation and was raised from the dead to provide assurance and hope. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
The first four books of the New Testament are sometimes categorized as the “Gospels”, because they contain the narrative of Jesus’ work. The entire New Testament is the complete gospel, because it contains all the information necessary to receive salvation through Jesus.
God’s gift of salvation and instructions on how to receive it are good news indeed. Acts 8:35-39
I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:15-17
Hallelujah is derived from the Hebrew halal Yah, which is an imperative, meaning praise Yahweh or, as it appears in many English translations, Praise the Lord1. Hallelujah is rendered two ways in New Testament Greek. In Revelation 19, it’s transliterated as Alleluia. Elsewhere, it’s translated as aineo Kurios (praise the Lord). Psalm 117; Revelation 19; Romans 15:11
Hallelujah is an instruction to others, telling them to praise God. It’s a very common term in the Psalms and in modern hymns.
Hallelujah and Praise the Lord should not be used irreverently, because these phrases include God’s name. Psalm 135
There are many reasons to say, “Hallelujah!” God is perfectly good, faithful, and holy. God is love. God created everything. God provided salvation with his sacrifice. God deserves our praise. Psalm 18; Psalm 106; Psalm 148; Revelation 19
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah! Psalm 150:6
1 God’s name in the original Hebrew is YHWH, which is rendered Yahweh, Jehovah, or Lord in English Bibles. Like the word hallelujah, many Hebrew names contain jah or iah, the shortened form of YHWH (Elijah, Isaiah, etc).
Hosanna is derived from the Hebrew phrase “yasha anna”, which means, “Save us, we pray.”
Hosanna is both a plea and an expression of praise, because the plea acknowledges God as the Savior. Psalm 118:25; 2 Kings 19:19
At Jesus’ birth, angels informed his father and the shepherds that Jesus would save people from their sins. Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11
When Jesus entered Jerusalem the Sunday before his death, he was met with shouts of, “Hosanna!” The crowd was seeking salvation from him and calling him their Savior. Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9-10; John 12:13
The crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9
Related word: hallelujah, exalt, supplication
Showing mercy is withholding the punishment someone deserves. It can also mean relieving or preventing someone’s suffering. The Biblical words translated mercy are also translated or coupled with kindness, loving-kindness, steadfast love, compassion, and pity. Mercy is motivated by compassion and sympathy.
God is the perfect example of mercifulness. Everyone who commits a sin deserves eternal death (separation from God). God provides a way for us to avoid this punishment. God desires everyone to accept his mercy, but his mercy is conditional. It’s a gift that cost him the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Psalm 103:8; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 33:11; Romans 6:23
We must show mercy in two ways. We must desire reconciliation with our enemies rather than punishment. Responding to insults with blessings and praying for our enemies are some examples of extending mercy rather than seeking revenge. We must also be moved by compassion to help those who suffer. The merciful do not ignore misery but do what they can to alleviate it. Showing mercy toward others is one way in which we follow God’s example. The unmerciful will receive no mercy from God. Luke 6:27-36; Luke 10:25-37; James 2:13
“Return to Yahweh your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents from punishing.” Joel 2:13
Nephilim is a Hebrew word found twice in the Bible. Most English translations render it giants or leave it untranslated. The etymology is now unknown, but Nephilim apparently referred to groups of giant people.
Genesis 6 records the corruption of mankind leading up to the global flood. The Nephilim lived in those days and after, indicating that the Nephilim were not a particular clan or nation. They are described as famous, mighty men. Genesis 6:4
In Numbers 13, the twelve Israelite spies reported giant people descended from Anak, which they called Nephilim, living in Canaan. The spies felt like grasshoppers compared to them. These Nephilim could not have been related to those in Genesis 6, for those had all perished in the flood, and everyone after descended from Noah. Numbers 13:32-33
The assumption that the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were the offspring of angelic fathers and human mothers is purely mythological. The Bible never indicates that angels had relations with humans or produced human offspring. Advocates of this legend misunderstand the terms sons of God and daughters of men. This simply describes godly people corrupted through the influence of ungodly spouses. Genesis 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 14:1; Luke 20:27-36; Romans 8:14
They brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” Numbers 13:32-33
Paradise comes to us from the Greek paradeisos which came from the Persian pardec. Paradise originally meant a beautiful park or garden.
Paradise appears three times in the Hebrew Old Testament and referred to a park, forest, and orchard. Nehemiah 2:8; Ecclesiastes 2:5; Song of Solomon 4:13
In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Garden in Eden was translated as Paradise in Eden. This association sheds some light on the three times paradise appears in the New Testament. Genesis 2:8
Jesus described the portion of Hades1 in which the righteous reside as paradise. He promised the man on the cross next to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus was there between his death and resurrection. Luke 23:43
Paradise describes heaven in the writings of Paul and John. This is probably an allusion to the Garden of Eden, the place humans lived in perfect fellowship with God before they sinned. John’s vision also included the Tree of Life in its symbolic portrayal of heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2, 14, 19
“To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
1 Hades is the realm where all the spirits of the dead reside prior to final judgment. It is divided into paradise (or comfort) and torment (or prison). See Luke 16:19-31; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4-9.
Rebuke means command to stop.
Jesus rebuked diseases, demons, storms, and other forces. He commanded these forces to cease what they were doing. Luke 4:39, 41; Luke 8:24
Examples of rebuke directed toward people:
One crucified criminal rebuked the other for speaking evil of Jesus. Luke 19:38-39
The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke his disciples for praising him. Luke 23:39-40
Sin should be rebuked. The goal of rebuke is repentance. 2 Timothy 4:2; Luke 17:3
A true friend will rebuke out of love rather than let someone continue in sin. Proverbs 27:5-6
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4
Spiritual redemption is based on the concept of slavery in the ancient world.
The natural meaning of redemption was the purchase of freedom or property which had been forfeited due to debt. A third party redeemer could graciously pay off the debt on behalf of the slave. Leviticus 25:23-34, 47-55
Redemption figuratively described deliverance. God was frequently called Israel’s Redeemer, because he had freed them from slavery in Egypt. God also redeemed people from oppression and from their own sins. 2 Samuel 7:23; Isaiah 44:6; Psalm 119:134; Psalm 130
Sin creates a spiritual debt we could never pay or work off. God is the gracious redeemer who paid the debt for us by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. The payment is sometimes called the ransom. Mark 10:45; Titus 2:11-14
Without our Redeemer, we would all remain enslaved to sin, resulting in permanent separation from God. Romans 6:16-23
He sent redemption to his people. He has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name! Psalm 111:9
Reprove comes from the Greek word elegcho. It means to point out others’ sins to them. Elegcho may also be translated convict, expose, or tell him his fault. The word conveys a charge which can be proven. John 8:46; Ephesians 5:11-13
Reprove is often coupled with rebuke in the New Testament, because rebuke (command to stop) naturally follows reproof. In some translations, elegcho is translated rebuke, although reprove is more precise. One usually implies the other. Titus 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:2
Reproof is the responsibility of every Christian. It should be motivated by love. If someone sins against you, the first step toward reconciliation is reproof. Many relationships are broken and remain so because the offender never realizes he offended someone or because the offended person talks about the problem to others rather than the one who offended him. Matthew 18:15; Galatians 2:11-14
Although reproof is difficult to hear, the wise will listen to it, appreciate it, and make the appropriate corrections. Revelation 3:19; Proverbs 9:8
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
Righteousness is a very common word in the Bible. In the Hebrew Old Testament, tsadaq and its derivatives are found about 500 times; in the Greek New Testament, dikaios and its derivatives are found over 200 times. These are usually translated as a form of righteousness or justification.
In the original Bible languages, righteousness was a judicial term. In spiritual contexts, it conveys alignment with God’s laws, being right in God’s judgment, and being as we should be.
God is righteous, meaning his actions and words are always correct. Nehemiah confessed that God’s punishment of Israel and Judah was righteous. Jesus is called the Righteous One, for he is perfectly and inherently righteous. His works always align perfectly with the will of the Father. In this sense, no accountable human is righteous, for all have sinned. The name Zedekiah means Yahweh is righteous. Psalm 119:137; Psalm 7:17; Nehemiah 9:32-33; Acts 7:52; Romans 3:9-26
Many people are described as righteous in the Bible. Those who live by God’s laws are declared righteous by God. Those who disobey God are called unrighteous. Through God’s word, people learn how to be made righteous. Noah, Daniel, and Job are examples of righteous people. Romans 1:16-18; Ezekiel 14:14
Those who trust in their own works rather than God’s to provide salvation are self-righteous. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” He offers salvation to those who acknowledge they need it. While obedience to God’s law is inseperable from righteousness, we are completely dependent on God to provide it. We must not confuse the requirements God has placed on us with his work to make us righteous. Luke 18:9-14; Luke 5:29-32
In word-processing, justified refers to text aligned with both margins. This is a fitting parable of spiritual justification, for we must be aligned with God’s will, doing all he commands and avoiding all he prohibits. God instructed Israel, “You shall be careful to do as Yahweh your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32
I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:16-18
Related words: gospel
A supplication is a request for a need. Think of the related English word supply. It is used as a synonym for prayer. The Greek and Hebrew words may also be translated prayer, petition, plea, entreaty, and request. Its verb form means to beg or plead. Luke 9:38; 2 Chronicles 6:21
Supplication is commonly offered on behalf of others. James instructed Christians to supplicate for each other to be healed. Paul supplicated for the salvation of his fellow Jews. James 5:16; Romans 10:1
Supplication may also be a personal request. The supplication of Zechariah for a child was granted. Paul urged supplications for civil leaders to create a peaceful environment for Christians. Luke 1:13; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
God promises to listen to the supplications of the righteous. 1 Peter 3:12
The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God... And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-6, 19