Glossary of Terms ‘G-H’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14, 2010 at 6:18PM. Copyright 2010.

Gehenna
Originally, a location southwest of Jerusalem where children were burned as sacrifices to the god Molech. It later became a garbage dump with an continuous burning of trash. Therefore, it was used biblically, to illustrate the abode of the damned in Christian and Jewish theology. In some schools of thought, Gehenna is mentioned as the place of punishment of unquenchable fire where both the body and soul of the wicked go after death. It is apparently the future abode of Satan and his angels. They often use these verses to justify their belief of eternal torment – Mark 9:43, Matt 10:28, and Matt. 25:41. However, there are other schools of thought that teach contrary, thus interpreting such verses differently in light of God’s ultimate triumph of mercy over His justice. There are many verse’s that claim to indicate this latter thought.

Gentile
Those who are not Jews. Gentiles were used by God to punish apostate Judea (Deut. 28:49; 1 Kings 8:33) and often included in blessings by God upon the Jewish people. “Gentiles” is often used biblically in reference to nations.

Gifts, Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual abilities given by God for the purpose of building up the church. Every Christian has at least one (1 Cor. 7:7). They are listed and discussed in different places in the N.T. (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28-30; Eph. 4:7-12). Following is a list of the gifts arranged in two groups. The first are gifts that require supernatural intervention and are possessed only by true Christians. The second are gifts that do not require supernatural intervention. Even non-Christians can have the second group of gifts. A further issue is whether or not the gifts are still in use today. Some believe they ceased with the apostles and the closing of the Canon (the completion of the writings of the Bible) and they are no longer needed for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). Others believe the gifts are still in use but not in the pure apostolic sense. In other words, they are still in use but not in the same way possessed by the apostles. Instead, they are available to the believer if and when God decides it is beneficial to use them.

Gnosticism
A theological error prevalent around the time of Christ. Generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis). This knowledge usually dealt with the individual’s relationship to the transcendent Being. It denies the incarnation of God as the Son. In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.

God
The supreme being of all that is. He alone is the Almighty God (Isaiah 45:21,22; 46:9; 47:8). There have never been any Gods before Him nor will there be any after Him (Isaiah 43:10). God is God from all eternity (Psalm 90:2). In Exodus 3:14, God revealed His name to His people. Fo the name of God (See Tetragrammaton). God knows all things (1 John 3:20), can do all things (Jer. 32:17,27) and is everywhere all the time (Psalm 119:7-12).

Gods, False
Gods that are not real, but invented by men or inspired by demons the purpose of which is to deceive people so they do not believe in the true and living God. Some of the false gods listed in the Bible are Adrammelech and Anammelech (2 Kings 17:31), Asherah (1 Kings 15:13; 18:19), Ashtoreth (1 Kings 11:5,33), Baal (1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 23:7), Baalzebub (2 Kings 1:1-16); Luke 11:19-23), Dagon (Judges 16:23-30), Molech/Moloch (Lev. 18:21; 20:1-5), Rimmon (2 Kings 5:18, and Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14).

Gospel
The Gospel is the good news that we have forgiveness of sins though Jesus. Specifically, the gospel is defined by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” The gospel comes from God (Gal. 1:10-12), is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), is a mystery (Eph. 6:19), and is a source of hope (Col. 1:23), faith (Acts 15:7), life (1 Cor. 4:15), and peace (Eph. 6:15).

Grace
Grace is unmerited favor. It is God’s free action for the benefit of His people. It is different than Justiceand Mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve. But because of God’s love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace rules out all human merit. It is the product of God, that is given by God, because of who He is not because of who we are. It is the means of our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). We are no longer under the Law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14). (See 1 Cor. 15:11; Rom. 5:2, 15-20; 2 Cor. 12:9; and 2 Cor. 9:8).

Guilt
Being responsible for and accountable for an offense. Biblically, it is the state of being under a present or pending consequence due to a sin against God’s Law. It is also an emotional state as well as legal condition. Guilt feelings are used by the Holy Spirit to inform the sinner of broken fellowship with God (Isaiah 59:2; John 16:8). Because of our guilt before God, we need reconciliation (Rom. 5:6-9).

Hades
New Testament term for the Hebrew “sheol,” which is the abode of the conscious dead. It is apparently a place (Acts 2:31). In Revelation it is referred to as a creature on a horse (Rev. 6:8). In Rev. 1:18, it says that Christ holds the keys to death and Hades.

Hamartiology
The study of the doctrine of sin.

Heaven
Heaven is the dwelling place of God and for those who go there a place of everlasting bliss. Scripture implies three heavens, since “the third heaven” is revealed to exist (2 Cor. 12:2). It is logical that a third heaven cannot exist without a first and second. Scripture does not describe specifically the first and second heaven. The first, however, apparently refers to the atmospheric heavens of the fowl (Hosea 2:18) and clouds (Dan. 7:13). The second heaven may be the area of the stars and planets (Gen. 1:14-18). It is the abode of all supernatural angelic beings. The third heaven is the abode of the triune God. Its location is unrevealed. (See Matt. 23:34-37; Luke 10:20; and Rev. 22:2, 20-27).

Hedonism
The teaching that pleasure is the principle good and proper goal of all action. Self indulgence.

Hell
According to one school of thought, Hell is the future place of eternal punishment of the damned – including the devil and his fallen angels. There are several words rendered as Hell: Hades – A Greek word. It is the place of the dead, the location of the person between death and resurrection. Gehenna – A Greek word. It was the place where dead bodies were dumped and burned (2 Kings 23:13-14). Some say Jesus used the word to designate a place of eternal torment.  Sheol – A Hebrew word. It is the place of the dead, not necessarily the grave, but the place the dead go to. It is used of both the righteous (Psalm 16:10; 30:3; Isaiah 38:10) and the wicked (Num. 16:33; Job. 24:19; Psalm 9:17). To some Hell is a place of eternal fire. It was prepared for the devil and his angels and will be the abode of the wicked and the fallen angels. The second school of thought refers to the concept of as that of a symbol of purification where God is considered as the Refiners Fire – to refine means to clean or make better – to purify. The consensus is considered correct when viewed in light of the Old Testament and certain Hebrew and Greek words referring to the next age or ages (as in aion) – a time of duration – meaning a time limited in duration. Not one of eternal pain and suffering. It is an metaphor and/or allegory.

Henotheism
The teaching that there are many gods but that only one of them must be honored and worshipped.

Heresy
A doctrinal view that deviates from what another perceives to be the truth.

Heterodoxy
A set of beliefs or opinions that are not in agreement with accepted doctrinal beliefs of a church or Proto-Orthodoxical beliefs.
See Orthodoxy.

Homiletics
That branch of theology concerned with preaching and sermons and the proper way in which to deliver them.

Homoousion
A Greek term, literally meaning “of the same substance,” which came to be used extensively during the fourth century to designate the mainstream Christological belief that Jesus Christ was “of the same substance as God.” The term was polemical, being directed against the Arian view that Christ was “of similar substance” (homoiousion) to God.

Holy, Holiness
A quality of perfection, sinlessness, and inability to sin that is possessed by God alone. As Christians we are called to be holy (1 Pet. 1:16). But this does not refer to our nature. Instead, it is a command of our practice and thought. We are to be holy in obedience (1 Pet. 1:14). God has made us holy through His Son Jesus (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9).

Holy Orders
In Catholicism, one of the seven sacraments by which men, bishop, deacons, and priests, are given the power and authority by a bishop to offer sacrifice and forgive sins.

Holy Spirit, The
He is completely God. He is called God (Acts 5:3-4), has a will (1 Cor. 12:11), speaks (Acts 8:29; 13:2), and knows all things (John 14:17). He is not an “active force” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly teach. The Holy Spirit is alive and is fully and completely God. He is called the Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2), Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:1), the Helper (John 14:16,26), and Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). He knows all things (1 Cor. 2:10-11), is all powerful (Luke 1:35), and is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-13).

Holy Water
In Catholicism, special water that has been blessed by a priest, bishop, etc. or a liturgical ceremony. It is used to bring a blessing to a person when applied.

Humanism
A philosophical system of thought that focuses on human value, thought, and actions. Humans are considered basically good and rationale creatures who can improve themselves and others through natural human abilities of reason and action. Secular Humanism is a late development emphasizing objectivity, human reason, and human standards, that govern art, economics, ethics, and belief. As such, no deity is acknowledged.

Humility
The attitude of the Christian that teaches us not to “…think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment…” (Rom. 12:3). It teaches us to prefer others over ourselves (Rom. 12:10). It is knowing our true position before God. It is not self-abasement or demeaning one’s self. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Humility is necessary to be a disciple of Jesus (Matt. 18:3-4). The humility of Jesus is described in Philippians 2:5-8, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (NIV).

Hypostatic Union
This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, He has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity. He continued to exist as God when He became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a “union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature.” Right now in heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). (For related information on Jesus and His two natures, see Incarnation, and the errors concerning His natures known as Eutychianism, Monophycitism, and Nestorianism).

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