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Did you know?

Words have meanings. In different areas of our lives we use vocabularies that that have little or no meaning to people outside of that area. For instance, in our professional lives, in our life's work, there are often words we use that have little meaning to others not in our line of work. Carpenters have a language; bankers have a language; farmers have a language; computer programmers have a language; doctors have a language, etc.

The same is true in Church life. There are words we use which have little or no meaning to those in the secular world. Even the word “Church” is misunderstood by people both inside and outside of the church. It has little meaning other than “It's a building with a steeple on top.” Ecclesia is the word used in the Greek New Testament, which is most often translated “Church” in our English translations. The word really means “called out assembly,” and refers to the people who have been called out (or separated out) to gather together for prayer and worship. It does not mean a building.

Another word people both inside and outside of the church don't have a clear understanding of is the word “Gospel.” We hear it used often, and many people associate it with a style of music, as in “Urban/Black Gospel” or “Southern Gospel.” The context in which it is used most commonly, though, is when referring to “preaching the Gospel” or “sharing the Gospel.” But what does that mean? We think we kinda sorta know what it means. If you ask most people what Gospel means they will say “Good News,” but what does good news mean? What's the news and why is it good? First Corinthians 15:1-4 gives us the clearest definition, that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures.” It's good news, because Jesus died for our sins. It's good news. because He's alive. It's good news, because of His promise that “Because I live, you shall live also.” (John 14:19). News doesn't get any better than that!

There are many other words we take for granted, but don't really have a clear understanding of their meanings. Hallelujah, redemption, salvation, and hosanna are just a few that come to mind. What or where is Gehenna? Is it just another word for Hell? What does the word Hell mean? What do the words Satan and Devil mean? We could go on and on. I would encourage you that when you have a nagging doubt or question about a word, take the time to research it. I guarantee it will be worth your while nagging doubt or question about a word, take the time to research it. I guarantee it will be worth your while.

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