A Word About Words

Righteousness

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but [it is] righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 13:17). In his letter to Rome, Paul passionately spoke of three characteristics of the kingdom of God. The first is righteousness. For Paul, righteousness comes not by the right observance of religious rituals, or …

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Inspiration

Words must be carefully defined when used, or else they take on meanings that were never intended. One such word frequently arising in discussions on the Bible is “inspiration.” While it is a biblical term, its real meaning is often obscured. We find this word used in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by …

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Kindness

Believers are to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of that fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. The fifth aspect of the fruit of the Spirit he mentions is “gentleness” or “kindness”(NIV). The Greek word chrestothes means “a tender concern for others.” it can also mean “useful, outgoing, and benevolent,” …

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Joy

The Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit, that is, the nine-fold characteristic of the growing Christian life. Each of the aspects is related to the others and they all are to be cultivated together. The second quality of the fruit of the Spirit is “joy.” Joy for believers in …

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Advocate

A seldom used but important word is the word “advocate.” Translated from the Greek word parakletos, its essential meaning is “called to one’s side” or “intercessor.” An advocate is one who pleads another’s case, usually before a court of law. It can also mean one who sympathizes with us in times of trouble as a counselor …

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Wine

Wine was a common commodity in Jewish life. It was a major agricultural product in Palestine. Solomon traded wine for timber (2 Chronicles 2:10, 15). Wine was used in worship when sacrificing a lamb (Numbers 15:6-7). Wine was also used as a beverage. Whenever one discusses a Christian view on drinking, the question arises, “Was …

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Fornication

“Fornication” is the word translated from the Greek word porneia. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, the word is used of illicit sexual intercourse in general. The NIV reflects this fact when it translates the word “fornication” with the word “immorality.” It can more specifically indicate sexual relations between unmarried persons. Relations between married persons who are …

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The Fall

The account of man’s first sin of disobedience is recorded in Genesis 3. It is confirmed in the New Testament (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Timothy 2:13-14), and is referred to as “the fall of man.” Adam and Eve were created by God and placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden. They were given …

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Faith

Christians are to be a fruitbearing people, according to Galatians 5:22-23. The fruitful Christian exhibits nine aspects of character. Some commentators group these into three groups of three aspects each. The first three–love, joy, peace–emphasize our relationship to God. The next three–longsuffering, gentleness, goodness–reflect on our relation to our neighbors. The inward character is the …

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