absolution The assurance given to someone who repents of his sins that they are forgiven because of Jesus Christ’s perfect life and death as a payment for all sin.
Advent Coming. The portion of the Church Year which focuses on the coming of Christ into the world in human form.
Alleluia “Praise Ye the Lord”
apostle One who is sent. A term applied to the twelve disciples (students) of Christ who were selected by him for special training in preparation for their mission of spreading the Gospel. The term was also applied to Paul who was converted by Jesus from a persecutor of Christians into a bold preacher of the Gospel. He was given the title since one of the qualifications for an apostle was to be an eye-witness of Christ, and Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus
Ascension The day in the Church Year on which we celebrate Jesus’ return to heaven after his rising from the dead.
Ash Wednesday A day in the Church Year intended to let people meditate on their sinfulness. Ashes are sometimes applied to the foreheads of worshippers as a sign of humility. It is also the first day of the season of Lent.
atonement Making amends for a wrong. Describes Christ’s perfect life and innocent death in our place to reconcile us with God. “…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Baptism A one-time sacrament (see below) in which God’s word is spoken and water is applied to a person for the forgiveness of sins.
blessing A favor or gift from God.
canticle A liturgical hymn
Christ The anointed one. The title of Jesus. In Old Testament times anointing with oil (putting oil on someone’s head) was often done to officially designate someone as the rightful holder of an office. At his baptism Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit to show his right to the offices of our prophet, priest, and king.
Christian One who relies on Christ alone to save him from his sin and its eternal consequences.
Christmas A church festival celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Church, The Holy Christian(Communion of Saints) All people who trust in Christ as their only savior from sin, regardless of church affiliation.
Communion (See Lord’s Supper)
confession Admitting your sin. Also used to describe a public statement of faith (for example, Lutheran Confessions).
confessional Subscribing to a confession of faith. Atonement is called a confessional church because it publicly states its belief that the Lutheran Confessions (see above) are a true statement of what the Bible teaches.
covenant An agreement between two parties. Used to describe the agreements God has made at various times with his people.
creed A formal statement of beliefs (for example, The Apostles’ Creed). Creeds were written by the Early Church to combat false teachings.
crucifixion A form of execution in which a person was nailed to a cross and left to die.
disciple(s) Student. The followers of Christ during his ministry on earth.
doctrine A teaching or set of teachings
Easter The season of the Church Year which focuses on Christ’s rising from the dead after his death on the cross.
Epiphany Appearance. The portion of the Church Year which focuses on the events which showed Jesus to be the Son of God.
evangelical Having a strong emphasis on proclaiming the gospel.
faith “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)
flesh A term often used to describe the sinful nature of Humankind. This term can also refer to the sinless human nature of Jesus Christ (see John 1:14).
Good Friday A day in the Church year set aside to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ and the suffering he went through on our behalf. It is called “Good” because during Christ’s crucifixion he was taking on himself the punishment for the sins of the whole world (See Isaiah 55:5).
Gospel Good news. The message that God’s love for the Human Race is so great that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Also a term used to refer to the four biblical accounts of Jesus’ ministry (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
heaven God’s dwelling place. Where all who trust that Jesus died and rose again to save them from their sins will go to live forever after their death.
hell A place of eternal separation from God for those who die without trusting in Christ to save them from their sins.
holiness A state of perfection. This state of perfection is God’s standard for living in harmony with him —”…without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The only way for us to have holiness is through Jesus Christ, “who has become for us wisdom from God—that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
institution, words of The words spoken by Jesus on the evening when he instituted the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus Savior. This name was given by God through the angel Gabriel. “…you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
justification To be declared not guilty. Describes the result of Christ’s death and rising from the dead on our behalf. “He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
Law The portions of God’s word which show us our sin and our inability to save ourselves from sin and death. It is also used to refer to portions of the Old Testament section of the Bible.
Lent A forty day period in the Church Year starting with Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. It is a time to focus on the suffering of Christ to pay for the sins of the world
liturgy A structured format for a public worship service.
Lord’s Supper A sacrament (see below) in which a person receives the body and blood of Jesus Christ along with the visible elements (bread and wine) for the forgiveness of sins.
Maundy Thursday The last Thursday in Lent. Commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and the institution of the Lord’s Supper.
Messiah Hebrew word for anointed. Equivalent to the Greek term ‘Christ’.
New Testament The books of the Bible written after Christ returned to heaven.
NIV New International Version. The Bible translation frequently used in worship services in the WELS.
Old Testament The books of the Bible written before Christ came to earth as a human being
Original Sin The sin each person has passed down to him from Adam because of his sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis, Chapter 3)
Palm Sunday A Sunday in the Church Year which reminds us of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his death on the cross
Pentecost A day in the Church Year set aside to remember when the Holy Spirit came on the Apostles and signaled the start of the Christian Church.
psalm A Biblical poem written to be chanted or sung during worship.
redeem To buy back. Describes what Jesus did for all people by coming to earth, living a perfect live to fulfill God’s demands of all people, and dying on the cross for the sins of all people of all time. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
repent To change your mind. Used to describe turning away from sin and resolving to follow God’s commands with his help.
resurrection Rising from the dead with an immortal body.
righteousness Thoughts, words, and actions that are in accordance with God’s will. All such acts ultimately come from God, working through the believer.
sacrament An act instituted by Jesus Christ which uses a visible element with God’s word to bring the forgiveness of sins to an individual (see Baptism and Lord’s Supper).
saints Another term for believers in Jesus Christ. Indicates the fact that they are sinless in God’s sight because of their trust in Jesus as their savior.
salvation Rescue from the power and penalty of sin. Describes Jesus work in our behalf.
sanctification The process of conforming to God’s will in our thoughts, words, and deeds. This process is a result of the Holy Spirit (see trinity) working in our heart.
Scriptures Another name for God’s Word, the Bible.
sin Disobedience to God. Any thought or action which does not meet God’s standard of perfection, either by failing to do something demanded or by doing something forbidden by God.
soul The part of a person which continues to exist after the body dies.
testament Covenant (see above).
transgression To break one of God’s commands by doing something he forbids or by not doing something he commands. (See also sin).
triune (trinity) Three in One. A word used to express how God reveals himself in the Bible—one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
WELS Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. (wels.net) An organization of churches sharing a common set of beliefs to which over 1,200 churches belong.
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