Words Have Meanings, Especially Spiritual Words :: By Gene Lawley

Single words in the Scriptures sometimes come to mind with joyful impact that are hooks that believers can hang their hopes on with confidence. They are like a doorway to a joyful time of meditation that uplifts the soul and brings the glory of God evident to the world around us.

Grace is defined as the “unmerited favor of God.” It means that no one receiving that grace does anything to earn it. Romans 5:20 says, “when sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” The great promise of grace is found in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are you saved through faith… not of works lest any man should boast.”

Then we must include 2 Corinthians 9:8, which promises this: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

On the opposite side of the topic is the word “ungodly,” bringing visions of immoral activities and rebellion. That word, however, was the turning point of my own salvation as I came to it in Romans 5:6 that night some 67 years ago. I was struggling to find the way to peace with God by having Jesus in my life, and that verse said to me, “For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” In a flash, it struck me that I, myself, was the ungodly one Christ was nailed to the cross for – me! And a spiritual new birth happened instantly.

Another word in that same context is the word “wages.” In Romans 6:23a, Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death….” When an employer pays an employee for work done, he is paying wages. The great Judge of the Universe, to whom all will answer, He is paying for the deeds done that are in rebellion of Him, and that death is not this mortal one we are living now, but is one of our eternal destiny.

Fortunately, the second part of that verse, Romans 6:23, says, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” The gift of God is a worthy thought to dwell on for some time. Romans 5:18 sets up the basic plan of God for our redemption, saying basically, While Adam, by his disobedience, brought mankind into death, spiritually and physically, the gift of God in Christ is made available for mankind’s redemption by receiving Christ.

But what is the value, personally, of a gift that is never really accepted and, thus, never opened? It is like God is saying, You, mankind, chose death by your inheritance of the choice by Adam. Therefore, I am giving you a choice to make for eternal salvation in a free gift by the death of My only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. Choose Him; He is your salvation.

Romans 5:8 reveals that forgiveness which God planned before time began, saying, “But God commended His love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Does that imply that man is saved, no matter what? No, a gift must be accepted for it to be effective.

John 1:11-12 clearly tells it rightly when John writes, “He came to His own [kinsmen], and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Mercy is another word that carries much weight in God’s satchel of unmerited benefits to offer mankind. Mercy triumphs over judgment, according to James 2:13. In Lamentations 3:22, it says, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.”

Hope, in Bible language, is not wishful thinking. Speaking of the hope we have in Christ, Hebrews 6:19 says, “Which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast and which enters into that which is beyond the veil.” That hope is built on certainty, “that you know, that you know, that you know,” as some have said it.

Faithfulness is a very important characteristic of God that brings great peace to the heart of a believer who is uncertain about his own faith. We tend to look for our own faith for strength and security. The bottom line, so to speak, is God’s faithfulness; that is our confidence. He does not change; He is faithful. In Numbers 23:19, we are told this truth: “God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Has He said and will He not do it, or has He spoken and will He not make it good?”

In 2 Timothy 2:13, Paul speaks to that with these words: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” It is important to remember that Jesus “is the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and His faithfulness is an unchangeable attribute of His nature.

Fear is not a word of rejoicing but one of opposition to faith. The Bible has many words of victory over fear. Isaiah 41:10 gives this assurance: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” And Jesus Himself reminds us in John 14:27b, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Victory over the evil one and over our flesh is always a daily issue, for sweet is the path of righteousness, and painful is that of defeat. It is acclaimed fervently in 1 John 5:4-5 by the Apostle John: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Atonement. Apparently, there is a struggle with the declaration in the Scriptures that Jesus’ death on the cross was for all mankind, as that well-known promise of John 3:16, as you remember.

It is made more specific in the clear statement in 1 John 2:2 that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” The gift was made once for all, and it awaits acceptance by all, or any who want it.

The promise of atonement, where this issue comes to the forefront of discussions, is easily correctly understood when one again recognizes that Jesus Christ is our atonement and our salvation by our believing in Him and accepting His lordship in our lives.

The Bible speaks of “simplicity in Christ,” and man tends to dig himself into a hole of theological disconnections. Solomon’s Proverb 3:5 addresses that tendency very clearly: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” It is further underscored by Proverbs 9:10 with this: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Another word for meditation is found in this passage, 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For all the promises of God in Him [Christ] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” Amen means “so be it,” meaning “it is done, locked in,” and how can we have a greater hope than that?

It brings us to the very end of the Bible, where the Apostle John writes, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’

“Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Contact email: andwegetmercy@gmail.com