Defining Religion


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R

Rapture

a snatching up of believers from earth to be with Jesus forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Some believe that Jesus will return to "rapture" believers before judgment day. The Bible, however, teaches that believers who are still alive will be "raptured" after the dead are raised on judgment day. Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 with Hebrews 9:28, John 11:24, John 5:28-29, and John 6:39.

Rationalism

a movement beginning in the 17th and 18th centuries that exalts human reason. Rationalists tend to be distrustful of authority and tradition and believe that truth can be found only through reason, observation, and experiments. They exalt human reason above the Bible. The Scriptures, however, teach that God's Word is truth (John 17:17) and that we are to make our every thought obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and his Word.

Real Presence

the scriptural teaching that in the Lord's Supper Christ's true body and blood are actually present with the bread and the wine. As the Bible declares, "Is not the cup of thanksgiving . . . a participation in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread . . . a participation in the body of Christ?" (1 Corinthians 10:16)

Redemption

Jesus' work of buying us back. He paid what we owed to God by living a perfect life in our place and suffering the punishment that we deserved for our sins. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7).

Regeneration

Regeneration is a synonym for conversion. It is the act in which the Holy Spirit creates new life or faith in a person who by nature is spiritually dead. Those who have been converted or regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the means of grace are born again (John 3:3-6, 1 Peter 1:23).

Relativism

The false idea that there is no such thing as absolute truth, but that truth depends on one's background and point of view; relativism rejects the objective nature of the truth of God's Word, dismisses the concept of moral absolutes, and ultimately opposes the biblical teaching that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus.

Religion

The worship of a supreme being or supernatural beings or supernatural power based on a system of teachings and beliefs; true religion is the worship of the Triune God, trusting in him for forgiveness of sins and salvation, as he has revealed himself and his plan of salvation in the Holy Scriptures.

Remission of Sins

forgiveness of sins. God does not count our sins against us because he counted them against Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:19-2l). Jesus redeemed us from the punishment we deserved for our sin by being punished in our place (Isaiah 53). Our sins are therefore remitted or forgiven.

Repentance

a change of mind. True repentance involves both sincere sorrow for sin and trust in Jesus for forgiveness. A Christian's entire life is one of repentance. Impenitence is unbelief.

Representation

the false teaching that the bread and wine in Communion merely symbolize Christ's body and blood. Most Protestant denominations teach representation. The Bible teaches that Jesus' true body and blood are actually present with the bread and the wine in the Lord's Supper.

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