romans glossary

Words + phrases

Covenant

The promise God made to rescue the world through Abraham and his family. The promise that they would be the blessing to undo the cursing in this world. God entered into a relationship with Abraham and his descendants into which he promised to bless them, make them fruitful, give them a promised land and to one day bless the entire world through them.

The Law

In the Bible, the Law can refer to both Torah - the first five books of the Old Testament - and the law code of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, The Law was given to this family of Abraham - God’s covenant family - as a gift. It was not seen as negative or oppressive. It was a gift of God given to his sons and daughters after he rescued them from Egypt. The Torah was to be a lamp to their feet and a light to their path and shape them into a family that reflected the character of God to the nations. 

Righteousness

The state of being in the right, just and true. In other words, things the way they were intended to be. It speaks to both God’s righteousness and our righteousness: God is righteous because he remained faithful to his promise - his covenant - to rescue the world through the family of Abraham. We are and will be made righteous not because we were faithful, but because Jesus as our King was faithful. 

Justification

This is a very similar word to righteousness. The words have the same root in the original languages. Something wrong, unjust or false is being made right, just and true - restored to the way it was intended to be, For one, setting right a relationship that has been broken. 

Judgment

The declaration of a judge as to whether one is right, just, or true. It is also the consequence of that declaration; the verdict AND the sentence. God’s righteous decree as the just judge of all. 

Faith

Many times translated as “belief” in the New Testament. It is the call to place one’s trust in; to declare allegiance to something or someone. This is not merely mental agreement that you believe something to be true. We are called to continuously trust in the faithfulness of Jesus our King.

Faithfulness

The acting out of one’s faith; actions and behaviors in everyday choices that confirm one’s trust and allegiance in every area of life.

Santification

Literally means "the setting apart for special use or purpose" or "making holy." The lifelong journey to becoming right, just and true, living out on a day to day basis what has been made true of you, bearing the fruit of the Gospel. This happens through communion with the Father through the Spirit in the Son and in community with the family of faith. 

Wrath of God

God’s right, just and true anger towards the destruction and defacement of his creation. Many times this is seen in his releasing us to a path of our own destruction by allowing the consequences of our choices to unfold.

Gospel

The Good News that Jesus is the True King who has come in fulfillment of the covenant promise given to Abraham and his descendants.

Salvation

Rescue from the suffering and brokenness brought by sin and death, including death itself.

Redemption

To be bought back from the slave market. In the Jewish story this is always in the reference to the exodus from slavery in Egypt. To go from slave to free.

Glory of God

The complete otherness of God, God’s holiness on display. To give glory to God is to make much of Him, ascribe to hIm the worth, honor and praise that is due him.

Apostle

The word literally means “sent one” in the original language. These were the spiritual leaders shaping the beliefs and practices of the early church.

Resurrection

Not merely the rising of the dead but a complete restoration to true humanity, a transformation of our whole selves into the way we were intended to be.

New Creation

The complete restoration of not just humanity but all of God’s good creation, a re-newing of what has been broken and separated into the way it was intended to be.

Heart

The essence of our whole selves, the core of who we are, We are not just thinkers and feelers but desirers. God is always moving after us at this core, desiring level, in other words, our heart. 

Adoption

The declaration of one as a member of a new family, no longer an orphan or slave but a son or daughter and entitled to the inheritance of the father.

Circumcision

Removing the foreskin of the penis as a physical marker of one’s membership in the family of Abraham - the covenant people of God.

Flesh

Our, physical, fleshly bodies devoid of the spirit of God. Rather than being the union of body and spirit, as it was intended to be. man has lost this breath of God and become merely flesh. . Because of this loss of the Spirit that brings life, our bodies are given over to the decay of death. 

Spirit

The life giving breath of God meant to dwell inside of us and give us life to the full for all time.

Jew

Those in the family of Abraham, the chosen people of God through whom God promised to rescue the world. 

Gentile

The Jewish title for any who were non Jews, not in the family of Abraham and therefore not a member of the chosen people of God. Those in Rome would have been Greek Gentiles.