Christian Words

Did you know that Christians have our own dialect? It’s not like secret, magic Mormon underwear or something like that.  Christians sometimes use weird and unfamiliar words like Saved and Lost, Forgiven, Redeemed and Blessed. I like to call these “Christian Words.”

I think Christians sometimes forget the real meanings and the power behind these Christian Words as well.

I once was Lost

For our discussion, take the phrase – “I once was lost.”  Bible reading Christians know the rest of the phrase as being “but now I’m found” (or some variation).  It comes from the words of Jesus in the story of the lost son in Luke 15  The son had left home, lived a horrible life, and the father waited daily for the son to return home.  When he did the father ran to him and forgave him.  He even threw a party to celebrate his son’s return.  The older brother heard the noise and came in from the field and complained to his father. The father said:

“It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”  Luke 15:32

The story is in a section where Jesus is telling about the love that God has for us and his willingness to see past our former lives or our failures and give us a completely different life.

The Christian Meaning of Lost

So we use this word “Lost.”  It’s a Christian Word.  We all understand what the word lost means in the English language.  It means lost or not knowing where you or something is located.  I can be lost when taking a trip when I lose my way and get off course.  A person can lose a favorite pen or pair of shoes.

When someone hears the story of this son being lost, we might understand that the son was lost on his path of life.  He had made some bad choices and was living a horrible life.  But if we fully understand the story we know that the son was lost in a much more critical way!  He was complete on a path that would lead to loss of everything – including his soul.  Now that is a pretty significant loss!  The Christian meaning of the word lost here is death, suffering, and loss of a life of value.

When we talk about someone being lost with someone who is Lost, we must understand the true meaning of the word.  More importantly, we must be able to put the meaning into words that the person who is Lost understands.  Saved and Lost, Forgiven, Redeemed and Blessed are important “Christian Words, ” but if Christians misunderstand them and foreign to non-Christians, then we run the risk of these important words not having the true power of meaning that they have.

Next Steps
  • List in the Comments section the “Christian Words” that you most often hear and you think may confuse Christians and Non-Christians alike.
  • Read Luke 15:11-32.  Think about the real meaning of the words and retell the story to someone important to you sharing the actual meaning.

One Comment

  1. Justification…. I work with teenagers and just this past Sunday night as our youth pastor was sharing a great biblical concept with them I could see on their faces they were clueless about the work justified and justification. My sister doesn’t know Bible-ese either so I have to be careful to put into words she can understand when I mention anything about salvation. It is a Christian language and one that I love but if can be confusing to someone that is a newly born Christian or a non-Christian.

    Joy G King

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