So many times what we say and what we mean are two different things.
Take for instance the word “church.” Most of us think of a building where Christians meet every Sunday for an organized, pre-planned service of music, prayer, and sermon by a paid pastor.
In reality, church is better described by the word ecclesia. It’s people. It is people who are following Christ and allowing Him to live and love through them.
Church isn’t a place, a building, or the house of God, and it isn’t at a set time or day.
Then there is the word “Christian.” We think of people who love God, go to church, pray, read their bible, and try to do the right things.
Actually, “Christian” is a man-made word that originally was used to describe those who followed the teaching of Jesus and were doing the works of Jesus. Today, rather than being the true sense of following Christ, it is more widely known as a religion. Christians are considered people who believe in Jesus, go to church, follow specific rules, adhere to a set doctrine, pray, read the bible and try to get more people to come to their church.
We think of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu and a host of other religions rather than a way of life walking with Jesus, which is what the word refers to.
When we talk about prayer, we generally think of a pastor or godly person saying spiritual sounding words to God. Many times prayers are written out and followed word for word to make people sound more spiritual.
Actually prayer is just talking. Like you would talk to a friend or relative, prayer is talking to God. Not only talking, but being quiet and listening for God to speak to you.
What about the Bible? Of course, our first thought is a book that God inspired men to write. We think of the Word of God.
Yet if we look closer at John 1:1, we find that the Word is not a book at all. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” So actually, the Word of God is Jesus. He is the inerrant, all powerful, living Word of God.
The Bible is a book that contains God-inspired words which show us the ways of men and the Way of God. It is in the Bible that we read about the Word of God — Jesus Christ, who Himself is the ultimate revelation of God.
Does that mean we don’t need to read the Bible? Of course not, we can learn a lot about God and ourselves by reading it. What we don’t want to do is make the Bible equal to God. The Bible is not part of the trinity; it is a book.
The word worship is generally thought of as a time during the service when people are lead into song and outward praise to God by a leader or group, paid to lead people this way. The style of worship also varies greatly from group to group. Many people think worship are songs, or lifting of hands, or dancing. A lot of people think of worship as a church service.
Yet worship is a true sense of reverence and adoring praise to our Father. It is personal and does not need a professional leader. It is a sincere and earnest thankfulness we have for God.
Jesus is the all in all. It doesn’t boil down to our doctrines, beliefs, and man-made efforts. It boils down to following Jesus, allowing Him to live in us and through us.
What Words Can You Add?
There are many other words we could be discussed, but the point is that it is not as important the word we use, but the true meaning.
What words do you find have confusing usage in some Christian circles? What words can we start using more clearly?