Chapter 2 – Definitions

  In hopes that the reader and author might share a common vocabulary while partaking of this exercise, definitions have been put up front within this text as opposed to at the end in a glossary.  Should the reader disagree with the author over the use of terms, it is hoped that the reader might indulge the author and accept these definitions so that the text may be understood according to its intended meaning.  The author understands how these definitions may be contrary to the reader’s current frame of reference, and that these differences may have theological roots.  The author’s intent here is to avoid squabbling over terms, over words and their usage by being upfront with what is meant when a particular term is used (2Tim.2:14).  By including the biblical references where possible, it is hoped the reader might at least understand and appreciate how the author came to use a word or phrase in a particular way.  Undoubtedly, theological differences exist between any two given souls and it is understood that they exist between the reader and the author.  It is the author’s prayer that these differences do not become obstacles that impede the spiritual growth that this work aims to encourage.

Abundant Life:  joyful life in Christ; full and meaningful, a state where all of our human needs (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) are being satisfied;  a sense of being safe, secure, harmonious, significant, sufficient,  having goodness with peace of mind, serenity, adequacy, selflessness, and of loving kindness.  (Jn.10:10, Rom.8:28-29, Eph.3:19-20)

Abusive Relationship:  any relationship that compromises human dignity

Apophatic:  (see *note below) to speak of God by delineating what He isn’t.

Born Again, Born Anew:  a spiritual rebirth in Christ, receiving forgiveness for sins and the eternal life of Christ by accepting Christ as Lord of life.

Brokenness:  a soul in full submission to our Lord Christ Jesus, having a will that is well practiced at submitting to the Word of God and the promptings of His Holy Spirit.

Cataphatic:  (see *note below) to speak of God by describing what He is.

Child of God:  the identity of a person who has accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior;  a soul that has been born anew in spirit, having God as our Father, Christ as our Brother, and a conscience guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  (Jn.1:12, Rom.9:8, Gal.4:1-7, 1Jn.3)

Christian:  a disciple of Christ Jesus who believes in His deity and the redemptive work of His life, death and resurrection; having Christ as Lord of life; being in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Condemnation:  to be found guilty and be sentenced by God, not for Christians. (Rom.8:1, Jn.3:16-18, 5:24)

Conscience:  the name of the function of the soul that interacts with the spirit.

Conviction:  the work of the Holy Spirit upon the conscience; to convince a soul of wrongdoing or call to action.  (Jn.16:7-11­)

Curiosity:  an endeavor of the flesh motivated by passions to sate inquisitiveness concerning things of the temporal realm.

 

Death:  separation from God.  (Jn.5:24)

Deiform:  Christ likeness, godliness; unity with God in the Holy Spirit.

Demon:  the fallen angels; any obstacle or source of temptation that has the potential to tempt a soul to act outside the will of God.

Detachment:  the state of being where a soul is more attuned to living according to the eternal and heavenly ways of God than the temporal and secular ways of man; subscribing to the economy of God and forsaking the lustiness and greediness of the flesh.

Discrimination:  discernment, the ability to recognize what is from God from what is not.

Dispassionate:  see “stillness”, opposite of passion.

Economy of God:  the eternal priorities and value system of Heaven where virtue is treasure and gold is used for paving roads. (Lk.12:33-34, 18:22, Rev.21:21)

Eternal Life:  the life of Christ (1Jn.5:11, 20), life with no beginning and no end, timeless.

 

Evil:  satanic activity, the influence of demons, all that is contrary to goodness.

Fair:  equality in upholding justice and dignity in Truth; honoring the economy of God and upholding the Law of God; dealing with others honestly and equitably.

Flesh:  the ways of men apart from God.  (Gal.5:13-21)

Fool, Foolish:  lacking the wisdom of God.

Free Will:  the ability of a soul to freely decide and make choices; free to choose or reject God.  (Jos.24:15)

Glory of God:  the presence of God, a manifestation of His power, majesty, splendor, righteousness or holiness; toward acknowledgement of God as Lord of all, of His supremacy, worthiness and holiness.

Grace:  help from God, the providential power that enables us to act above and beyond the normal physical and mental abilities of our flesh.

Heart:  the overlapping qualities of our body, soul and spirit; key personality components emphasizing our sensibilities, emotions, intuitions, and proclivities.

Hypocrisy:  having beliefs and behaviors that are contrary to our identity in Christ.

Identity:  who a person is; determined by birth not by activities, deeds or occupations (Phil.3); Christians are new creations in Christ (2Cor.5:17), a child of God and one in Christ. (Gal.3:26-29)

Justified:  to be declared righteous by God and no longer be under condemnation for sin.  (1Cor.6:11)

Logos:  the Word of God, the incarnate Word of God, Christ Jesus.

Legalism:  obeying the Law of God without the love of God.

Life:  being in communion with God.  (1Jn.5:12)

 

Meekness:  not prone to ostentatious displays, without need for self-aggrandizement or attention seeking.

 

Meriting Grace:  putting ourselves in a position to receive His blessings.

Mystery:  that which has yet to be fully revealed by God.

Nature:  intrinsic characteristics of our physical birth or our spiritual rebirth.

Natural:  acting according to our birth nature.

Need:  that which is required to sustain life.

 

Noetic:  thoughts and/or activities based in the spiritual realm; of the conscience.

 

Passion:  that which stirs the heart; angst or anxieties contrary to stillness; attitudes, actions, or thoughts that are contrary or hostile toward life in the Holy Spirit.  (Rom.7:5, Gal.5:24, 1Thes.4:3-8, Titus 3:3-7)

Prayer: communion, communication with God

Praying:  focusing the soul on the spiritual instead of the physical, seeking and beseeching God

Pure Prayer:  prayer in the Holy Spirit that is wholly undiluted by any thoughts, perceptions or sensing of the physical world; singular focus on unity and communion with God while praying; the state of being when all conscious attentions are rapt in prayer.

Productive:  to make things better; being constructive as opposed to destructive; promoting unity and not discord.

Reality:  living according to Truth, having all perceptions of existence based on Truth.

Redemption: exchanging our sin debt to God for the righteousness of Christ; being returned to God after the penalty for sin has been paid in full.

Righteous:  that which is acceptable to God.

Righteousness:  A gift from God (Rom. 5:15-17), not to be achieved by man (Rom. 10:2-4), Christ is our righteousness (1Cor.1:30), and in Him we are the righteousness of God (2Cor.5:21), a state of being right (truthful, correct); upholding right relations with others and with God; our spiritual condition in Christ that enables us to enter into His presence.  (1Cor.6:9-11)

Salvation: being spared from the condemnation of sin and saved from eternal death; possessing the eternal life of Christ.  (Jn.3:16-17)

Salvation History:  the entire biblical record of man’s fall from grace and restoration through Christ.

Sin:  rebellion against God, man choosing his own way instead of following God; the cause of death (Rom.6:23), exists in the flesh (Rom.5-8), and is hereditary. (Rom.5:12).

Spiritual growth:  learning, knowing, believing and then acting in accord with the Truth of God; learning the ways of God and imitating Christ.

Surrender:  the removal of all things in life that prevent us from full submission to the will of God.  Willingness to part with anything that interferes with expressing the love of Christ at all times in all circumstances.  Having God as top priority (God centered, as opposed to self-pleasing), and subjecting all our concerns to His authority and care.

Tears:  a physical reaction to a spiritual experience; symptomatic of heartfelt repentance or joy.

Temptation:  a trial or test allowed by God that aides one’s spiritual growth; a call to faithfulness under trying circumstances and an opportunity to do good in the face of evil; a demonic suggestion devised for the purpose of inducing a soul to sin, an opportunity to do evil.

 

Theosis:  union with God.

 

Truth:  God is Truth and the sole determinant of Truth; the Word of God, divine knowledge, that which is from God.  (Jn.17:17, 1Jn.4:1-6)

 

Understanding:  the progression from knowledge to wisdom; grasping the temporal implications of eternal Truth; the application of knowledge with foreknowledge of consequences when choosing between goodness and evil.   

 

Virtue:  the attributes of God or fruits of the Holy Spirit that man can aspire to attain or practice.

 

Walk with God:  a Christian’s ongoing communion with God while tending to the cares of life.

 

Will:  the power to choose and execute choices.

Willful:  unreasonably obstinate.

Willing:  accepting without protest; consenting, compliant, done or offered freely.

Willpower:  exercising determined purposefulness.

Word of God:  His revelation to mankind, Truth; scripture; the incarnate Christ.

*Note:   “If you theologize in an affirmative or cataphatic manner, starting from the positive statements about God, you make the Logos flesh, for you have no other means of knowing God as cause except from what is visible and tangible.  If you theologize in a negative or apophatic manner, through the stripping away of positive attributes, you make the Logos spirit or God as He was in His principial state with God:  starting from absolutely none of the things that can be known, you come in an admirable way to know Him who transcends unknowing.”

St. Maximos the Confessor (6-7th C.); The Philokalia Vol. II, pg. 147 #39

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