Dictionary of Bible Words and Christian Terms

Born Again

The term "born again" is found in the Bible, in the gospel of John (John 3:3; John 3:7) and the letter 1 Peter (1 Peter 1:23).
The Bible describes two births. The first birth is physical - the birth of the body. The second birth is spiritual - the rebirth as a new creation as a child of God. Being "born again" is triggered by an individual coming to faith in Jesus Christ - that Jesus Christ is God; that He is the one who died to pay the penalty for their sins and that apart from Him, we are not good enough to be in a right relationship with God.


Righteousness is the quality of being morally pure or holy. God is perfectly righteous. People in their natural state are not righteous. However, when individuals are born again, they receive a new spirit and a new heart and we are deemed righteous because Jesus' righteousness is credited to us. (2 Corinthians 5:21)


The word "justified" is a judicial term. As one person put it, to be justified means that God looks at me "just as if I had never sinned." Individuals are justified or declared not guilty before God when they come to faith in Jesus Christ who died to pay the penalty for his or her sins. Jesus met the requirements of divine justice - his death satisfied God's just demand that sin must be paid for and when individuals place their faith in Him, Jesus' payment on their behalf is credited to them as if they had paid the price and they are deemed justified. (Romans 5:1)


In the Bible, both things and people a referred to as being sanctified. These sanctified things and people are set apart for and dedicated to service to God.


Propitiation is one of my favorite words because of what it means.

Sin is a violation of God's character and His standard for our behavior. Sin offends God and results in God's wrath. Propitiation is a gift or sacrifice that appeases wrath. Jesus' death is the only gift or sacrifice that was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins and appease God's wrath. Jesus Christ is my and our propitiation. (Romans 3:23-25)


The Bible says that Jesus came to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) It does not mean that we are saved from the sinful acts of others nor does it mean that we are kept from committing sinful acts ourselves. Rather, it means that Jesus Christ has saved us from having to suffer the eternal consequences of our sins. We are saved from eternal torment in hell and separation from God and everything that is good.


To redeem something or someone is to pay a price to recover that thing or person. Jesus Christ redeemed us by paying the price to recover us from our lost, damned state. We are redeemed through His blood. (1 Peter 1:18-19)