Defining Religion


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S

Sabaoth

a Hebrew word which means "hosts." The Bible calls God the Lord of sabaoth or the Lord of hosts. This name is used to exalt our God as the all-powerful sovereign or ruler over everything, including all human and superhuman forces.

Sabbath

rest. God commanded his people in the Old Testament to observe the Sabbath or seventh day of the week by doing no work (Exodus 20:8-10) and remembering creation (Exodus 20:11) and the deliverance from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). This ceremonial law foreshadowed the spiritual rest the Savior would bring and no longer applies in the New Testament (Colossians 2:16,17).

Sacrament

A sacrament is a sacred act, instituted by Christ for his church, in which an earthly element is used together with God's Word as a means of offering, giving, and sealing to us the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Holy Communion and Baptism are sacraments.

Sadducee

a member of the ruling or priestly party of the Jews during the time of Jesus and the apostles. The Sadducees were rationalistic. They denied the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels (Acts 23:8).

Saint

A saint is a holy one. Every Christian is a saint because the Holy Spirit has brought him to faith. Through faith every believer in Christ has received the forgiveness of sins and has been covered with Jesus' perfect righteousness.

Sanctification

the Holy Spirit’s work of making us holy through the means of grace; in the wider sense sanctification includes His entire work in believers, including conversion and preservation in faith (1 Thessalonians 5:23); in the narrow sense it is the Holy Spirit’s work of leading us to hate sin and bring forth good works in our lives (Ephesians 2:10).

Sanctify

the Holy Spirit's work of making us holy. When the Holy Spirit creates faith in us he renews in us the image of God so that through his power we produce good works. These good works are not meritorious, but show the faith in our hearts (Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2:18).

Sanhedrin

the Jewish ruling council and religious supreme court permitted by the Roman government in Jesus' day (Mark 19:55ff). The Sanhedrin was composed of high priests, elders (tribal and family heads), and scribes or legal experts (Acts 4:5). The council included Pharisees and Sadducees (Acts 5:17,34), numbering about 70 members in all.

Satan

adversary; one of the names the Bible gives to the devil or the chief of the evil spirits. Satan and the other evil spirits were angels who rebelled against God sometime after the week of creation (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6). Satan is a murderer and the father of lies (John 8:44).

Schism

A schism is a formal division in or break from a religious organization usually resulting from a disagreement in doctrine and practice. Although causing needless divisions is sinful, we are commanded to separate from those who persist in teaching falsely (Romans 16:17-18).

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